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…)

EU flag_destroyed schoolThe European Commission published its Communication on post-2015, ‘A decent life for all: from vision to collective action’, in June 2014. The EU Council is expected to agree ‘Conclusions’ in December. When the previous Communication was published in February 2013, our advice to the Council was to limit their Conclusions to six words: ‘thank you very much, we agree’. Read Simon Maxwell’s opinion on the June Communication and advice for the Italian presidency here.

UK%20Parliament%20covered%20in%20fog_jpgRegent’s University has commissioned independent practitioners to provide accessible, informed, evidence-based analysis, outlining the costs and benefits for each policy area of a changed status in the relationship between the UK and the EU. This is the first of its kind and seeks to answer scientifically the question of what the UK stands to gain or lose from withdrawing from the EU. Mikaela Gavas contributed a chapter on EU development cooperation. In a related blog, she notes that there are genuine benefits to working together over the long term and that severing its ties to the EU on development cooperation could cost the UK considerable international influence. Read the blog here.

Disagreement over the rules on aid spending between the European Parliament, on the one hand, and the European Commission and the Member States, on the other, is threatening to derail EU aid disbursements. As a result, there is a real risk that, in 2014, spending by the EU institutions may crash. Simon Maxwell and Mikaela Gavas warns that, if its own aid has stalled, the EU will lose credibility in pursuing its agenda on Financing for Development, and in engaging in the negotiations on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Most importantly, aid recipients have planned for this money, and should not have their poverty-reduction programmes put at risk. Read the blog here.

Despite being identified as one of the priority areas of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, progress on ‘Regional Economic IntegratBustling%20market%20in%20Monrovia_jpgion, Trade and Infrastructure’ has been disappointing. The upcoming EU-Africa Summit in April 2014 provides an opportunity for both partners to consider why so little progress has been achieved to date. In a blog prepared in the build-up to the ETTG conference on Africa-EU relations in November), Raphaëlle Faure and Alberto Lemma identify some of the major constraints challenging the African private sector. They suggest that the partnership can serve as a platform from which the EU can support the African private sector by sharing their own experiences and practices. Read the blog on the Africa-Europe Relations blogspot.