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The European Think Tanks Group hosts a high-level conference in Berlin on 1 and 2 March 2016 to debate the EU Global Strategy and related strategy processes against the background of the 2030 Agenda and to identify a concrete course of action, combining perspectives from foreign and security, development, climate, environment, migration and trade policies.

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A man gazes towards Kawergosk refugee camp, Erbil governorate, Kurdistan region of Iraq. Photo credit: EU/ECHO/Caroline Gluck

Labelled as Europe’s biggest challenge, the Syrian refugee crisis has revealed severe gaps in Europe’s response to collective problems. The ODI research report Challenges to a comprehensive EU migration and asylum policy (in partnership with ECDPM) we trace the evolution of the policy, the complex system of competences that underpin decision-making, conflicting interests and approaches, and the financial arrangements that obstruct the EU’s ability to offer a coherent response to the current migration crisis.

We recommend a number of incremental steps to overcome these obstructions, including the appointment of a senior political advisor to build bridges between the external and internal dimension of migration and asylum policies across the EU system and between the EU institutions and the Member States.

To be effective, however, the proposed measures would require far greater political recognition of the fact that a joint response is in the interests of EU Member States and the EU as a whole.

COP21 podium at press room 3

COP21 podium. Photo credit: Mark Dixon

Developing countries need a robust deal at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, as well as an ambitious action plan to ramp up action afterwards. The EU can help finalise the deal by offering more in the key negotiating fora, especially on adaptation support and finance.

This briefing note from the European Think Tanks Group (ODI, DIE, ECDPM, FRIDE and IDDRI) looks at the challenges and opportunities for EU climate action. Climate change and energy have become central issues in foreign and security policy, and the EU needs to look beyond 2030 and focus on sustainability issues up to 2050, both within Europe and beyond its borders.

Image: 101 - 87 Shuffle. Daniel Hoherd, Flickr

Image: 101 – 87 Shuffle. Daniel Hoherd, Flickr

Simon Maxwell, November 2015

Some people think policy coherence for development (PCD) is only important to policy wonks. They’re wrong. In a world with fewer low-income countries in which official aid is declining in importance relative to other sources of finance, policy engagement is the future, and PCD its standard-bearer. (more…)

Jonathan Ernst, World Bank Photo Collection

Jonathan Ernst, World Bank Photo Collection

On 14 October 2015 the European Commission has released the new EU trade and investment strategy. Its catchy title – ‘Trade for All’ – is very auspicious, as well as ambitious. The strategy contains promising elements for global development. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating: how will the strategy be put into practice?

ODI’s Max Mendez-Parra and colleagues San Bilal (ECDPM) and Clara Brandi (DIE) identified six issues that are particularly important from a development perspective. Read their article here.

EU flag_destroyed schoolHidden in the small print of the 27 & 28 June European Council conclusions – eclipsed by the crisis in Greece, the row about migration and the UK’s bid to renegotiate the terms of its membership of the EU – was an important commitment to continue the process of reflection leading to an “EU global strategy on foreign and security policy”.

The challenges facing Europe today have global implications and require global solutions. In an op-ed originally published on Euractiv, the directors of the European Think Tanks Group argue that from the Greek crisis to migration and climate change, the EU must seek answers beyond its borders.

Read the article here.