DECEMBER 2015

 Experts with ECHO, DfID preview future engagement in Sudan – ECHO and DfID told Devex their organizations will continue to channel significant amounts of humanitarian funding to the country, although at a lower level compared to previous years. They encourage organisations to work more closely with the private sector – Devex

What happens to Burundi if the European Union suspension of foreign aid continues? – The EU has suspended foreign aid on the grounds the government is perpetrating abuse of the rule of law. It appears that the citizens of Burundi will suffer the brunt of the decision. In October 2015, the World Bank predicted a contraction in Burundi’s economy, describing how the political crisis is “turning a decade of good economic performance to a macroeconomic collapse.” – Ventures Africa; European Parliament

European Commission Adopts Record High Humanitarian Aid Budget for 2016 – The European Commission’s humanitarian aid budget for 2016 estimates 1.1 billion euros – Sputnik news

Conclusions on migration – European Council (17 December 2015) – European Council

EU has announced new decisions to manage migration better and address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement – a total of 16 actions worth almost €300 million to were announced to address the root causes of irregular migration and displacement, and to increase the positive impact of migration on the economic and social development in countries of origin, transit and destination of migratory flows. The majority of these actions (10) under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa will be implemented jointly by the European Commission and EU Member States, in full partnership with African partners; the other 6 are to be financed under the Development Cooperation Instrument Global Public Goods and Challenges Programme, through its thematic component on migration and asylum – European Commission – Press release; Fact sheet; Other fact sheet

A European Border and Coast Guard to protect Europe’s External Borders – It will bring together a European Border and Coast Guard Agency built from Frontex and the Member States’ authorities responsible for border management, who will continue to exercise the day-to-day management of the external border – European Commission Press Release and Fact Sheets

World Trade Organisation moves on from stalled Doha round – Trade ministers from around the world have put what may be the final nail in the coffin of the long-stalled Doha round of negotiations, clearing the way for the World Trade Organisation to start focusing on smaller agreements with a better chance of success. This is a victory for the US and the EU – FT; European Commission – Press release

The Commissioners’ Group on External Action – Key political facilitator – This report examines the mandate and organisation of the CGEA and notes that, in its first year of activity, the Group has injected much-needed political pragmatism into the way the Commission contributes to EU external action, thereby facilitating inter-service cooperation both within the Commission and with the EEAS. It argues the CGEA has become the logical counterpart to the Foreign Affairs Council, which allows the HRVP to deliver on her duty to assist the Council and the Commission in ensuring a comprehensive approach to EU external action, as indeed consistency in its implementation – CEPS

Appointment of senior managers in the EU External Action Service completes the Senior Management team of the EEAS. Of particular interest for international development are the following two appointments:

  • Koen VERVAEKE, currently Director for Horn of Africa, East & Southern Africa and Indian Ocean in the European External Action Service and Senior EU Coordinator for the Great Lakes region has been appointed as Managing Director Africa.  He is a senior Belgian diplomat who has also served in the past as EU Special Representative and Head of the European Union Delegation to the African Union in Addis Ababa and as Principal Africa advisor to High Representative/Secretary General of the Council of the EU, Javier Solana.
  • Lotte KNUDSEN, currently Director for Human Development and Migration in DG International Cooperation and Development in the European Commission has been appointed as Managing Director Human Rights, Global and Multilateral Issues for the EEAS. Ms Knudsen is a senior EU official who has also served in the past as Director in DG Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizens and has worked on criminal justice, security and the fight against terrorism – EEAS

Closing Ceremony of the European Year for Development – The Commission presents some of the key results of the EYD in this fact sheet – European Commission – Fact Sheet

Informal meeting of Ministers for Development Cooperation 9-10 December – Remarks by HR/VP; Meeting page; Meeting summary

EU announces support for poverty eradication in Eritrea – The EU announced €200 million in new long term support to promote poverty reduction and socio-economic development in Eritrea through the 11th EDF. It will support two main areas: energy and governance – European Commission – Press release

Foreign Affairs Council – 14.12.2015

 Migration and development Commissioner Mimica – Commissioner shares his perspectives on the challenges for sustainable development in 2016 and beyond – ECDPM

Fortress Europe is no solution to migrant flows, Louis Michel tells ACP-EU JPA – “Faced with the atrocities committed in certain parts of the world, we must play our part in worldwide solidarity”, said Co-President Louis Michel (ALDE, BE) at the opening of the 30th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) in Brussels on Monday. “‘Fortress Europe’ is not a solution and is unworthy of the humanist values that Europe defends” he insisted – European Parliament Press Release

EU plans fully-fledged external border force – The European Union is considering a plan to introduce a permanent external border control force that could be deployed if it deems that a member state is in need of help to police its frontiers even without the EU country’s consent – Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal; EUobserver

 EU mobilises €125 million for countries affected by ‘El Niño’ – It will finance emergency actions in countries affected by the extreme weather phenomenon ‘El Niño’ in Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America. The support, €119 million of which comes from the European Development Fund reserves, and a further €6 million from the humanitarian budget, will contribute to the joint effort of bringing life-saving emergency assistance and increasing resilience in the affected countries – European Commission – Press release (with a geographic breakdown available)

 State of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis – This sets out the priority actions and key measures immediately required for their implementation in terms of: (i) operational measures; (ii) budgetary support and (iii) implementation of EU law – European Commission – Press release

Syrian refugee crisis: EU Trust Fund launches single biggest EU response package ever for €350 million, helping up to 1.5 million refugees and their host communities in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq – The €350 million aid package consists of four different programmes: €140 million education programme; €130 million resilience & local development programme; €55 million health programme; and, €25 million to set-up a water, sanitation and hygiene programme. The remaining funds of this Madad Trust Fund will be mobilised in early 2016 – European Commission – Press release

 CEPS commentary on the new policy – The reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy is more pragmatic, differentiated and focused than its predecessors. The Joint Communication is a masterful analysis of the complex realities in the EU’s neighbourhood and pushes the policy forward in a more pragmatic direction. But the Review falls short of offering innovative solutions to ‘how’ the new approach will be implemented – CEPS; ENP Joint Communication

NOVEMBER 2015

EU announces new support for Mozambique – Commissioner Mimica with Mozambique’s Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, signed an agreement which will provide €734 million to Mozambique. This money will support two areas in particular: good governance and development and rural development – EU Press Release

EU signs program worth €3.6 billion with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States – The program will provide support in the areas of human and social development, environment and climate change, private sector development and peace and security across African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries – EU Press Release

European Commission announces new Pan Africa Action Plan projects – The European Commission has announced nearly €150 million for nine projects to support governance and human rights, as well as innovation and learning throughout the African continent. The projects announced today meet priorities identified in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy – EU Press Release; Factsheet on Pan-African Action Plan projects

The European Commission announces development support for Madagascar – The European Commission today announced it will provide €518 million to Madagascar, as part of its development cooperation programmes to help reduce poverty in the African country covering the period 2014-2020. U’s development cooperation with Madagascar until 2020 focuses specifically on three sectors: governance and strengthening of public policies, infrastructures in support to economic development, and rural development. Support to civil society will also be provided – EU Press Release

EU-Turkey summit statement (29.11.2015) – The EU will provide immediate and continuous humanitarian assistance in Turkey. It will also expand significantly its overall financial support. A Refugee Facility for Turkey was established by the Commission to coordinate and streamline actions financed in order to deliver efficient and complementary support to Syrians under temporary protection and host communities in Turkey. The EU is committed to provide an initial 3 billion euro of additional resources – Consilium

COP21: everything you need to know – Politico

Valletta summit – action plan
Valletta summit – political declaration

 A European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa – The European Commission has launched an “Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa”, made up of €1.8 billion from the EU budget and the European Development Fund (EDF), to be complemented by contributions from EU Member States and other donors. So far, 25 EU Member States and 2 non-EU donors (Norway and Switzerland) have announced a total contribution of around €78.2 million – European Commission – Fact Sheet; European Commission – Press release

Syria and Africa Funds: Parliament urges member states to pay up – Parliament urged member states to fulfil their pledges and pay for the EU migration actions that have been agreed by EU leaders. In Wednesday’s debate, MEPs proposed to use an unexpected windfall of €2.3 billion from EU fines and customs duties to finance some of the measures. The Commission earlier said the new trust funds set up for Syria and Africa were short of €2.22 billion in national contributions. Commission data revealed on 6 November shows that national contributions to match part of the contributions by the EU are still running short to the tune of €467.6 million for the EU Regional Trust Fund for Syria, €1.75 billion for the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, and €59.6 million for humanitarian aid – European Parliament Press release

 Informal meeting of heads of state or government – President Tusk convened an informal meeting of heads of state or government following the Valletta Summit on migration. EU leaders particularly focused their discussions on cooperation with Turkey. President Tusk announced a possible EU-Turkey summit to be organised as soon as possible – European Council

CLIMATE — EU NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS REINFORCE PUBLIC CLIMATE FINANCE: Conclusions from ECOFIN ministers’ meeting focused on climate finance: http://bit.ly/1NpMb3x

Commissioner Mimica to announce additional support for Niger and the region during visit – The Commissioner will also discuss regional security challenges and the envisaged €50 million of EU support to the Multinational Joint Task Force against Boko Haram and he will sign an agreement to provide a €36 million budget support package that is aimed at mitigating the effects of the Government’s additional security and defence expenses (due to instability in the region) on essential sectors like health and education – Press release; Fact sheet

 EU will pay African countries to take back migrants; new $2 billion ‘trust fund’ for continent announced – EU Leaders will push their wary African counterparts to help tackle the migration crisis at a summit in Malta this week, offering them billions of euros in aid in exchange for taking back more people classed as economic migrants and not refugees from war – Mail & Guardian Africa

The European Commission said it will give over 60 million euros in humanitarian aid to support Syrians displaced by conflict inside the country – Xinhua net

COUNCIL DECISION on the financial contributions to be paid by Member States to finance the European Development Fund in 2015, including the third instalment for 2015.

 The European Union’s cooperation with Africa on migration – On the basis of its Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) – the overarching framework of the EU external migration and asylum policy – the EU is engaged in a broad dialogue with countries on the African continent on migration and mobility at bilateral, regional and continental levels – European Commission Fact Sheet

 What to expect from the Valletta summit on migration – the need for more discussions around legal migration channels is emphasized in this piece – Devex

 State of Play: Measures to Address the Refugee Crisis – European Commission

 President Tusk has convened an informal meeting of heads of state or government on Thursday 12 November at 14:30, to discuss the latest developments in the migration crisis. This meeting will take place just after the Valletta Summit on migration – European Council; Politico

Africa and Europe Need Coherent Policies on African Migration – Chatham House

EU provides €365.5 million in Southern Mediterranean partner countries (Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco) – €237 million will support private sector development in all four countries; €100 million will contribute to improving citizens’ living conditions, including through poverty reduction initiatives and better access to basic health services; and, €28.5 million will support democratic reforms in Algeria, Lebanon and Morocco – European Commission – Press release

Commissioner Mimica launched the new phase of the Global Climate Change Alliance partnership between the EU and the most vulnerable developing countries to fight climate change – It will run until 2020 and is set to become one of Europe’s key tools to assist the world’s most vulnerable developing countries in addressing global climate change. Around €350 million of EU funds will be made available until 2020 for the GCCA+ – European Commission – Press release

 European Commission published its 2016 work plan – The main elements of interest for international development are:

  • Post-Cotonou Framework: New policy framework to govern relations with the ACP countries and regions.
  • Capacity building in the security sector: The package covers security sector reform and a possible new dedicated instrument for capacity building in support of security and development in third countries.
  • Commission contribution to the Global Strategy: The Commission will actively contribute to the Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy under the responsibility of the High Representative/Vice-President with a view to a better sense of direction to the EU external action – Commission Work Programme 2016; List of New initiatives

OCTOBER 2015

New Global Trade Strategy: ‘Trade for All: Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy’ – The communication announces a range of initiatives under the headings of effectiveness, transparency, values, and the EU’s programme of negotiations – Communication; Press release; Fact Sheet

State of Play of the Implementation of the Priority Actions under the European Agenda on Migration – European Commission Communication

Foreign Affairs Council Meeting – Council conclusions on Migration

European Council meeting 15.10.2015 – EU leaders agreed on the political direction and priorities for the next steps: i) cooperation with the countries of origin and transit to stem the migratory flows: EU leaders welcomed the agreement on a EU-Turkey joint action plan and agreed to achieve concrete operational measures at the forthcoming Valletta Summit with African heads of state or government; ii) strengthening of the EU’s external borders with an integrated border management system that will go beyond the Frontex mandate, and the addition of  hundreds more border guards to secure the hotspot areas in Greece and Italy; and iii) the issue of return and readmission – Summary, Conclusions

Turkey demands €3bn on EU asylum crisis – The broader plan includes shoring up external border controls, stepping up returns of unwanted migrants, and granting the EU’s border agency Frontex more powers to expel rejected asylum applicants. Turkey had also asked for €3 billion in financial aid, speeding up of its membership to the EU and the removal of visa restrictions for its citizens next year – EU Observer

Commissioner Mimica to announce new support for Peru in a visit to the region – While in Peru, Commissioner Mimica is expected to sign, with President Ollanta Humala, an agreement to disburse a €40 million package to support Peru’s National Development and Social Inclusion Strategy – New Europe; Commission Factsheet on EU’s Development Cooperation with Paraguay and Peru

European Council (15-16 October 2015) – Draft conclusions – The European Council will focus on the migration situation and is due to set out further orientations in the following areas: Cooperating with third countries to stem the flow of migrants; Strengthening the protection of the EU’s external borders; Responding to the influx of refugees in Europe and ensuring returns. EU Observer highlights EU leaders’ plan to discuss offshoring asylum reception centres and giving Turkey more money – Statewatch.org; EU Observer

Recent Council meetings:

Draft Two of the Valletta Summit Action Plan – This will constitute the basis for discussions at the Friends of the Presidency (the Council group in charge of the Summit preparation) meeting on 9 October. The Action Plan is built around five priority areas: i) Development benefits of migration and addressing root causes; ii) Legal migration and mobility; iii) International protection and asylum; iv) Prevention of and fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings; and v) Making progress on return arrangements and readmission agreements – Statewatch.org

Eastern Mediterranean – Western Balkans route conference (9 Oct 2015) – EU ministers for home affairs and ministers for foreign affairs met with their counterparts from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and the Western Balkans – Declaration of the High-level Conference

EU offers Turkey incentives to better tackle refugee crisis – The European Union announced Tuesday it is ready to offer Turkey new incentives to better tackle the Syrian refugee crisis — including money, the easing of visa restrictions for Turkish citizens and better intelligence-sharing — as Turkey warned that 3 million more people would cross into the EU if no comprehensive migration policy is developed. The Action Plan, which contains both short-term and medium term measures, tries to address the current crisis situation in two ways: (a) by supporting the refugees and their host communities in Turkey (Part I) and (b) by strengthening cooperation to prevent irregular migration flows to the EU (Part II) – Al Jazeera America; European Commission – Fact Sheet

Commission says blending of funds produces ‘huge’ results – Fernando Frutuoso de Melo, Director General of DEVCO of the European Commission said that recent experience with the blending of funds, combining grant aid with non-grant resources, has shown results that are “too good”. De Melo said that ODA was no longer seen as “THE solution” for the needs of developing countries, but rather as leverage for supporting policies that are important for their development. Eurodad (a network of NGOs), on the other hand, fears that blending may be wasting scarce ODA resources, that the blending mechanisms lack transparency and are unaccountable, and that there is no evidence that they meet development objectives – Euractiv

EU ministers prepare to resettle more Syrian refugees – The plan is part of a broader declaration to be announced later this week when foreign affairs ministers gather in Luxembourg on 8 October to discuss the flow of asylum seekers entering the EU from Turkey and the Western Balkans – EU Observer

Managing the Refugee Crisis: Budgetary measures under the European Agenda on Migration –The Commission has made a set of proposals for €1.7 billion of EU funding in 2015 and 2016 to address the refugee crisis – money EU Heads of State and Government committed to matching last week. It will provide emergency assistance to the most affected EU Member States, increase staffing at front line EU agencies, and provide assistance and humanitarian aid in third countries – European Commission Press Release

UN publishes draft of slimmed-down Paris climate change deal – The text is a crucial step forward for the talks, as previous versions of the draft were judged to be too long and unwieldy for negotiators to grapple with in time for the December deadline. The new text includes a commitment by governments to hold warming to no more than 2C, or potentially 1.5C, above pre-industrial levels. The revised text also provides for an ongoing process of review of nationally set climate targets in the years following any Paris agreement – seen as crucial to a successful deal – with countries required to communicate their emissions goals every five years – Euractiv

SEPTEMBER 2015

New framework for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations (2016-2020) – Press release; Fact sheet; Staff Working Document

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – What has the EU achieved? – EU Fact Sheet

Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda2030 – EU Fact Sheet

INFOGRAPHIC: EU provides over 55% of global ODA – Euractiv

JHA Council meeting: The Council adopted a decision (by vote, not consensus) to relocate 120,000 people in clear need of international protection from Italy and Greece and other Member States directly affected by the refugee crisis during the next two years. The Commission proposed a distribution key for all Member States setting out the number of people they should take. The UK is not concerned as it has not opted in to participate – European Commission Statement

Informal meeting of EU heads of state or government on migration: little came out of the summit. Worth noting are: an additional 1 billion euro will go to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme and other agencies to respond to the urgent needs of refugees in the region, and, additional resources for Frontex, EASO and Europol for border control missions – Official statement; Politico

More Responsibility in managing the refugee crisis: European Commission adopts 40 infringement decisions to make European Asylum System work. The European Commission is stepping up its efforts to ensure the full application of EU law in the area of migration and asylum – European Commission Press Release

JUNE 2015

The European Parliament Development and Environment Committees held a hearing today on the global development framework after 2015. Simon Maxwell was one of the discussants: find a video of the hearing here, and the agenda.

‘EU boosts humanitarian aid to those displaced by Boko Haram violence’ – The European Commission is providing €21 million to help the populations in Nigeria and the neighbouring countries that are affected by the violence inflicted by Boko Haram – European Commission press release

The European Commission published a proposal for an EU Council Decision on the financial contributions to be paid by Member States to finance the European Development Fund in 2015. Even though the 11th EDF has entered into force in March 2015, the new procedure concerning Member States’ contributions will apply for the first time for the first 2016 instalment. Until that date, the Commission is still referring to the 10th EDF Financial Regulation for matters related to Member States’ contributions. The individual EDF contributions to be paid by the Member States are set out in this table.

Commission Communication: Financial information on the European Development FundThis Communication sets out the financial implementation of the EDFs (8th to 10th and the Bridging Facility) for 2014 and the forecasts of financial implementation for 2015 to 2016.

Amendment No 2 to the Three-year Action Programme for the African Peace Facility (APF), 2014-2016 An amendment was made to the APF’s indicative budget. With amendment No.1 approved by COREPER on 28 January 2015 and adopted by the Commission on 23 February 2015, a further EUR 123 000 000 from the EDF Bridging Facility have been allocated to the APF. With this amendment No.2, the remaining amount of EUR 302 000 000 to reach the initially approved total amount of EUR 750 000 000 will be allocated to the APF from the 11th EDF. The ACP Committee of Ambassadors endorsed this additional allocation on 6 May 2015.

‘A first glimpse into the new EU Gender Action Plan’ – The new GAP will be articulated around three main areas of focus: Ensuring the physical and psychological integrity of girls and women; reinforcing their social and economic rights; and promoting their voice and participation. The new GAP will include one extra priority that the commissioner believes will be key to achieving progress in all areas: The promotion of “an institutional, cultural change” within the EU – Devex

‘Proposed EU trust fund would tackle migration challenges’ – Discussions are underway on proposals for a new trust fund, which could be “firmed up” before a special summit on migration to be held by the EU, the African Union, and government representatives from other key migration countries next November in Malta – Devex 

‘EU boosts support for sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean’ – The European Commission announced during the EU-CELAC Summit around €230 million to support the efforts towards the sustainable development of Latin America and the Caribbean – European Commission Press Release

‘The European Union increases its support for the transition in Burkina Faso’ – The European Union is increasing its support for Burkina Faso’s transitional government today with the signing of a €120 million budget support agreement covering a period of 18 months, financed under the 11th European Development Fund. This budget support has been quickly put in place to consolidate the country’s democratic gains following the popular uprising at the end of October 2014. Its aim is to promote much-needed political, economic and social stability – European Commission Press Release

EU looks to restore full development cooperation with Fiji – Fiji Broadcasting Corporation

‘Finland slashes development aid by 43% amid fears others may follow’ – The new Finnish government, which took power on 29 May will start cuts this year. Cuts have been made in all sectors of society, but the biggest cuts were for development aid and for education – The Guardian

‘European Development Days 2015 to focus on ending poverty and creating sustainable growth’ – European Commission press release

‘How the EU plans to get the private sector to ‘play by the rules’ of development’ – Neven Mimica stressed that “[a] precise framework and clear criteria” are needed to guide engagements with the private sector as set out in a Commission policy last year, which laid out criteria for how the private sector can be involved in efforts to create sustainable and inclusive growth for developing countries – Devex

‘EU to combat malnutrition with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’ – The European Commission unveiled a major partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on 3 June, announcing a new fund to tackle global malnutrition – Euractiv

‘Development MEPs call for action to target tax evasion in developing countries’ – European Parliament press release

‘Aid cuts undermine French COP 21 position’ – Cuts to the French development aid budget are jeopardising its COP 21 commitments. For Jean-Claude Juncker, cutbacks from member states are “unacceptable” – Euractiv

‘Unambitious’ EU outcomes put Addis prospects in jeopardy – Devex

‘EU ministers abandon 0.7% target to uncertain future’ – Ministers didn’t adopt a clear deadline for reaching the 0.7 goal. The conclusions say that the EU “reaffirms its collective commitment to achieve the 0.7% ODA/GNI target within the time frame of the post-2015 agenda” – Euractiv

EU and ACP countries bring together their opinions on post-2015 development financing – In their annual meeting on 28-29 May 2015, EU and ACP ministers focused their discussions on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, in particular financing for development and climate change – EU Presidency

‘Syrian refugee crisis: EU Trust Fund launches first response programmes for €40 million, helping up to 400,000 people in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq’ – the new EU regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, held its first board meeting on 29 May. The EU Trust Fund is open to all EU Member States, as well as to other donors, public or private. This fund may also be adapted to reconstruction needs in Syria in a future post-conflict scenario – European Commission – Press release

‘The EU engagement with the Central African Republic’ – The European Commission will increase its assistance for the CAR with a total of €72 million. The EU priorities in the Central African Republic are: security, humanitarian assistance, stabilisation, resilience and sustainable recovery, and the regional impact of the crisis – European Commission – Press release; European Commission Fact Sheet

‘ACP: Destroying boats is not a solution to migration’ – The Secretary-General of the ACP group of states said on 21 May that his organisation was against the EU’s idea of destroying the boats of human traffickers, who make fortunes by luring prospective immigrants into risky journeys across the Mediterranean – Euractiv

‘UN chief says EU boat-sinking plan won’t work’ – UN head Ban Ki Moon has criticised EU plans to destroy migrant-smugglers’ boats, while urging Europe to take in more people – EUobserver

‘Eurobarometer: Nine out of 10 Europeans want EU to keep giving humanitarian aid’ – Nine out of 10 citizens (90%) believe it is important for the EU to continue funding humanitarian aid, a rise of two percentage points since the previous survey in 2012 – European Commission – Press release

‘Why women and girls must be at the heart of the EU development agenda’ – A lasting solution to extreme poverty must begin with gender equality, writes Linda McAvan – Euractiv

‘Battle lines drawn as EU Parliament votes on ‘conflict minerals’’ – The European Parliament will consider this week whether to follow the United States by bringing in tighter controls on minerals from war zones, but critics say the measures risk being watered down – Euractiv; Politico

‘Statement by High Representative/ Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the situation in Burundi’ – EEAS official statement; Politico; The Guardian

‘Pacific: EU proposes to stop EPA negotiations for 3 years’ – Very little progress has been made on the Comprehensive EPA negotiations since October 2013, due to a number of contentious issues including the EU’s access to fisheries stock and conservation and management measures – Bilaterals.org

‘Namibia, EU ready to sign EPA’ – bilaterals.org

New Commission communication: ‘A European Agenda on Migration’ – The European Commission has set out the concrete and immediate actions it will take:

  • Tripling the capacities and assets for the Frontex joint operations Triton and Poseidon in 2015 and 2016.
  • Proposing the first ever activation of the emergency mechanism to help Member states confronted with a sudden influx of migrants.
  • Proposing an EU-wide resettlement scheme to offer 20 000 places distributed in all Member States.
  • Working on a possible Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operation in the Mediterranean to dismantle traffickers’ networks and fight smuggling of people.

The Commission identified four pillars to manage migration better in the future:

  • Reducing the incentives for irregular migration
  • Border management – saving lives and securing external borders
  • Europe’s duty to protect: a strong common asylum policy
  • A new policy on legal migration

Communication “A European Agenda on Migration’; Fact Sheet; Press release

‘A much-needed agenda on migration’ – Commissioner Mimica says: “I am confident that the EU’s Agenda on migration sends a clear signal that the EU is committed to address the migration challenges we are facing in a holistic and balanced manner, in close cooperation with our partner countries. I am looking forward to developing a common approach on this with the African region at the dedicated summit that will be organised in Malta in the autumn, together with the African Union” – Blog by Neven Mimica

‘EU: boat-sinking Yes, migrant quotas No’ – France and Poland on Monday (18 May) restated strong opposition to EU proposals on migrant relocation quotas, despite Italian appeals – EUobserver

Infographic – Facts about asylum seekers in the EU – Euractiv

MAY 2015

EU FAC (Development) – The Development Council bringing together the Member states development ministers will meet on 26 May. All the related material can be found at the link below.

Foreign Affairs Council

‘In EU, 0.7 percent aid target under threat’ – European governments could drop their aid pledge to developing countries — known as the 0.7 percent aid target — as disagreements between member states ahead of the May 26 Foreign Affairs Council threaten to derail the EU’s historic anti-poverty commitment, Devex has learned – Devex

Conclusions du Conseil sur le Burundi (in French) – The Council adopted conclusions on the situation in Burundi – Foreign Affairs Council

‘EU boosts assistance for the Sahel to increase resilience’ – The European Commission is providing assistance worth €34 million for immediate food aid for the most vulnerable people in Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso. Coming at the start of the lean season in the Sahel region, this funding will help bridge the gap until the next harvest – European Commission – Press release

‘The EU International Cooperation and Development Results Framework: A commentary’ – This commentary from Simon Maxwell assesses the Commission’s new development results framework and suggests areas for improvement – simonmaxwell.eu

‘Financing for development – European Parliament resolution of 19 May 2015 on Financing for Development’ – MEPs endorsed this parliamentary report in preparation for the third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa urging EU member states to “re-commit without delay” to the 0.7 percent of GNI target for ODA. They further recommended that 50% of ODA — and at least 0.2% of GNI — should be reserved for least-developed countries, urging all actors to present multiannual budget timetables to show how they would scale-up to these levels by 2020 – European Parliament

‘The EU’s migrant strategy: a welcome new impetus’ – The publication of the Commission’s agenda on migration comes at a difficult time in humanitarian and political terms. In this context, the Juncker Commission faced a sensitive challenge because it needed to act quickly but had only limited room for manoeuvre. There are three aspects to the agenda worth highlighting: its innovation, its confirmation, and its long-term vision – Notre Europe Tribune

EUROPEAN REPORT ON DEVELOPMENT:Combining finance and policies to implement a transformative post-2015 development agenda’. The report led by ODI and prepared together with four other research institutes was recently published. The report calls for a completely new approach towards finance for development and its main message is that finance alone will not be sufficient to promote and achieve the post-2015 development agenda. Policies also matter. Indeed, they are fundamental. Appropriate and coherent policies will ensure that finance is used effectively to achieve results and that it is not wasted or underused. Good policies will also help to ensure that more finance is mobilised as success breeds further success. Overall the analysis suggests that it is not an overall shortage of funds that will be the constraining factor in achieving a transformative post-2015 development agenda. Rather, it is the way finance is mobilised and used that will determine success in achieving the goals that the agenda enshrines – Executive summary; Full report; Press release

‘Increase political pressure for stronger migrant protections — ODI chief’ – The global development community must engage with political leaders and opinion formers to urgently change attitudes to migration. Kevin Watkins’ call comes ahead of a European Commission meeting on Wednesday, May 13, where European Union members will adopt a new agenda on migration – Devex

New European Commission communication linking security to development: ‘The European Agenda on Security’, published in late April, sets out how the Union can bring added value to support the Member States in ensuring security. The communication will be discussed by EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs at their Council meeting on May 18 in view of preparing the European Council in June which will put European Defence policy high on the political agenda – Communication; European Commission press release and fact sheet; Euractiv article

New European Commission/HRVP communication: Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (2015-2019) “Keeping human rights at the heart of the EU agenda’. The Joint Action Plan identifies the following five strategic areas of action: (i) Boosting the role of local actors; (ii) addressing key human rights challenges; (iii) ensuring a comprehensive human rights approach to conflict and crises; (iv) fostering better policy coherence and consistency; and, (v) deepening the effectiveness and results-based culture in human rights and democracy – Joint Communication; European Commission press release; Euractiv article

‘Development aid failures exacerbate migrant crisis’ – Chronic underdevelopment in many African countries is intensifying the crisis unfurling on Europe’s doorstep. But EU development aid continues to decline – Euractiv

APRIL 2015

‘EU proposes to boost humanitarian aid by €50 million as Commissioner Stylianides visits South Sudan’ – EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, who is visiting South Sudan, announces that the Commission is requesting new vital support in the amount of €50 million from the European Union for the victims of this humanitarian crisis – European Commission Press Release

‘Nepal Earthquake: EU mobilises all emergency response means’ – The European Commission is making available €3 million in its immediate response to the vast devastation caused by the earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday. This comes in addition to the assistance from the Member States and the deployment of European Commission’s humanitarian aid and civil protection experts to the crisis area – European Commission Press Release

‘EU Parliament could block next EU budget over international aid’ – EU Parliament president Martin Schulz asked the EU to increase funding for humanitarian and development aid or face the possible blocking of the 2016 budget. He said during the EU emergency summit that “some Parliament’s group leaders” wanted “a fundamental increase” as a condition for agreement on the EU’s budget – EU Observer

‘EU must pull its weight to help create a better global financial system’ – In the run-up to the Financing for Development meeting in July, pressure is growing on the EU to back developing countries’ agenda on aid, debt and tax. Developing countries complain about EU countries using aid to pressure poorer African nations to stop supporting G77 positions on systemic reforms – The Guardian

European Commission – African Union Commission, 7th College-to-College meeting – Joint Declaration

‘EU-Africa relations: from ‘handouts’ to ‘hands on’’ – The annual meeting of African Union leaders and their EU counterparts took place in Brussels on Wednesday 22 April – EU Observer

‘EU-African summit focuses on migration’ – “People who don’t have a livelihood are not going to sit and die, they are going to look for greener pastures,” Dlamini-Zuma said. She added that this was not something that could be solved tomorrow, but work had to begin now, because things may get worse if leaders don’t take steps. Among other issues discussed was womens’ empowerment and legal immigration – Euractiv

Special meeting of the European Council – The meeting discussed the dramatic situation in the Mediterranean and agreed four priority areas for action: fighting traffickers, strengthening the EU’s presence at sea, preventing illegal migration flows and reinforcing internal solidarity and responsibility – Official documents; official statement

‘Reading between the summit lines’ – The real story of Thursday’s meeting won’t be in the press releases: five key subplots to watch as the leaders try to tackle the long-simmering issue – POLITICO

‘Crushing repression of Eritrea’s citizens is driving them into migrant boats’ – To stem the tide of Eritrean asylum seekers heading for Italy, policymakers need to ensure the country is really on a path from dictatorship to nascent democracy – The Guardian

‘Post-2015 development agenda inspires 291 Parliament amendments’ – A six-page draft resolution on financing for the EU’s post-2015 development aid agenda has attracted 291 amendments from MEPs, a total of 135 pages, despite its light legal character. Most of the amendments are aimed at reinforcing the draft document and making it more stringent for the EU’s member states, ahead of a plenary vote scheduled in May – Euractiv

‘Parliament adopts relaxed measures on conflict minerals’ – MEPs from the Committee on International Trade have rejected a set of binding regulations for certain minerals extracted in conflict zones, in favour of a less ambitious system of self-certification, which would exclude some minerals entirely – Euractiv

‘EU resumes budget support to Tanzania, releases aid funding’ – The European Union has released 53.26 million euros in aid to Tanzania as part of a budget support package that had been suspended over corruption allegations in the east African nation – Reuters Africa

‘European countries focus aid on ex-colonies’ – Until the 20th century, they were Europe’s biggest imperial powers. Today, France, the UK, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Portugal are spending the bulk of their Official Development Assistance (ODA) budgets on their former colonies – Euractiv; Infographic

Council conclusions on the Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

Council conclusions on the Sahel Regional Action Plan 2015-2020

‘The EU in a multiplex world’ – Federica Mogherini’s confirmation that she will deliver a report at the June 2015 EU summit assessing the ‘changes in the global environment’ and ‘the challenges and opportunities arising for the Union’, with a view to subsequently review the strategy, seems to therefore tick all the right boxes. This paper is a first overview of some of the themes the June report may include – EUISS

‘A changing global environment Chaillot Paper 133’ – This paper offers a background analysis to the policy debates that will accompany the drafting of the High Representative’s June Report – EUISS

The Commission has published a Staff Working Document setting out its new results framework.

‘EU tops donor chart, but aid to poorest slumps’ – The EU remains the largest international aid donor, but aid to the poorest countries continued to fall in 2014, according to new statistics from the OECD, a wealthy nations’ club.

EUobserver (full article below); European Commission Press release; European Commission Fact Sheet on the new OECD aid data

‘Debate on development funding heats up’ – EU’s development ministers are due to reach a consensus on 26 May without great friction, largely because their statements will be broad, but the increased tempo of international diplomacy and pressure from diplomats working on the UN track to extract detailed EU positions on crucial issues – including financing – is complicating and sharpening the internal EU debate – European Voice

‘Is EU gender practice minding the GAP?’ – As discussions begin on the GAP’s successor, consensus is growing around the need to demonstrate more sturdy leadership to ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment stay visible and high on the agenda – Devex

‘African envoy expresses concern over EU migrant center plans’ – African Union Ambassador Ajay Kumar Bramdeo told EU lawmakers that by outsourcing migrant management, the EU would be “shirking its own responsibility in receiving refugees and migrants, also in footing the bill for managing and controlling migration.” – Yahoo news

The European Investment Bank in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in 2014: Results and Outlook

MARCH 2015

‘Guinea-Bissau: EU lifts restrictions on cooperation’ – This comes in the wake of credible elections in 2014, the restoration of constitutional order and the country’s progress in putting into practice reform commitments made to the EU – Council of the EU press release

‘More than €1 billion pledged in support for fresh start of Guinea-Bissau’ – Pledges amounting to over €1 billion were announced at the International Conference in support of Guinea-Bissau in Brussels, which the EU hosted together with the Government of Guinea-Bissau and UNDP. The pledges came from more than 70 delegations and include €160 million to be provided by the EU – European Commission Press Release

‘EU hopes to curb exodus from Eritrea through development aid’ – The EU said on Tuesday it hopes development aid to Eritrea will stem a growing exodus of Eritreans attempting the dangerous journey to Europe to claim asylum there – Reuters

‘Mimica: ‘I will be the most vocal male feminist’’ – Development Commissioner said he would be the most vocal defender of gender equality in his work, two days after he returned from a global forum in Addis Ababa dedicated to the role of women in politics – Euractiv

‘We are not perfect’ — EU development commissioner – This article highlights Mimica’s priorities: post-2015, the future of relations with the ACP, seeking a “paradigm shift” for European development cooperation policy, and a newly added fourth one – gender equality. It also provides more detail on how Mimica plans to achieve a ‘paradigm shift’ – Devex

‘Malmström sets out priorities for EU trade’ – European commissioner for trade, has said that transparency and corporate social responsibility will be two of the five priorities in her pending review of the European Union’s global trade strategy. The Commission will present its ideas in the autumn – European Voice

Development Committee opinion on TTIP – The DEVE committee in the European Parliament has adopted an opinion that will inform the Parliament’s position on TTIP drafted by the international trade committee – European Parliament

The new ACP Secretary General, Patrick I. Gomes, set out his vision for the future of the ACP in a speech

‘ACP group outlines elements for a WTO post Bali work program; push for deal in fisheries’ – The elements presented by the ACP group have been designed with a view toward reaching consensus by the next WTO ministerial conference in December – International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

Moving beyond a Donor-Recipient Relationship? Assessing Partnership in the Joint Africa-EU StrategyThis paper argues that, despite power asymmetries between the EU and Africa, the JAES is characterised by equality in decision-making and by African ownership in capacity-building. However, it also finds the EU and the AU often differ on how to apply shared values, more particularly on the types of intervention deemed to be acceptable (conditionality, military intervention, etc.). The analysis also identifies a general feeling of mistrust amongst both partners.

Negotiating a new UN climate agreement: Challenges on the road to Paris – This document gives an overview of the ongoing negotiations. It analyses the elements of the new proposal and the Parties’ negotiating positions, and outlines the challenges facing EU climate diplomacy – European Parliament In depth analysis

Joint Staff Working Document – EU Sahel Strategy Regional Action Plan (RAP) – The RAP aims to implement the EU Sahel Strategy, by identifying actions and initiatives for years to come, in coordination with Member States’ activities. It establishes bridges between the various EU initiatives and activities, and reinforces synergies in line with coordination efforts. The RAP is a framework for EU’s action in the Sahel region applying a comprehensive approach in full coordination with Member States – Council of the EU

EU Statement to World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai – EU statement; Euractiv assesses the outcome document as ‘disappointing’.

Unspent EU aid money goes to Greece – The European Commission president announced on 20 March that €2 billion of unused EU development funds will be made available to Greece as it battles socio-economic problems caused by the economic crisis – European Voice

‘German development aid hits record high in draft budget’ – Berlin’s draft budget is on its way, with plans for a massive increase in development aid. Still, critics fear the numbers could be distorted, and warn against the improper allocation of resources – Euractiv

‘Statoil discloses its payments to governments’ – On 19 March, Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil disclosed the sums it paid to governments in 2014 – Euractiv

‘Trade and Investment Barriers Report 2015’This Commission Report raises awareness of the most significant trade restrictive barriers.

‘Ahead of Sendai: The EU’s 3 priorities for disaster risk reduction’ – Stylianides noted three things he would want to see achieved at the conference: (i) ensure coherence with the international agenda (i.e. Addis, New York and Paris summits); (ii) have action-oriented targets; and (iii) include provisions that encourage innovative solutions and approaches to reducing and managing disaster risk – Devex; EU position for the Sendai negotiations

Vanuatu: EU deploys assistance for victims of cyclone Pam – the Commission is making available an initial €1 million to help in the emergency relief efforts and sending two experts to assess the humanitarian needs and liaise with partner organisations operating on the ground – EU Press release

‘Financial assistance is only a small part of EU support for developing countries’ Informal EU Development Council – European Union Development Ministers met on 12 March to discuss the EU’s participation in the negotiations on the post-2015 SDGs and their implementation and financing – EU Presidency Press release

Evaluation of the EU’s cooperation with the Pacific Region 2006-2012 – The evaluation found the overall performance of the Pacific regional programme was satisfactory. The EU supported the Pacific Plan for regional cooperation and integration in the region. But the objectives of the Plan were too generic to provide an adequate basis for the EU’s regional strategy. Nevertheless, the EU focused its regional support on two focal sectors of key importance to the region (natural resources and the environment, and trade & regional integration) which absorbed 77% of the commitments identified in the evaluation inventory. In addition, the EU supported organisational strengthening and functional cooperation initiatives that built capacity among regional organisations and non-state actors – Evaluation report

The ACP Risk Compendium was designed to raise the awareness and understanding of disaster risk across its three facets: hazards, vulnerability and capacity. It aims to remind decision-makers of the risk of natural hazards faced by the regions, sub-regions and countries; to create a culture of DRR advocacy; and to achieve further and enduring steps towards the protection of life and livelihoods, building resilience into political economies.

REPORT on the Annual Report from the HR/VP to the European ParliamentThis report prepared by the Foreign Affairs Committee Chair provides a series of recommendations on reforms for the EEAS and on the future of the EU foreign and security policy/strategy.

Fragile states: an urgent challenge for EU foreign policy – This FRIDE working paper analyses the global drivers of state fragility which will likely intensify in the coming years, as well as the changing types of fragile states which range from middle income countries to much poorer ones. It also explains how emerging powers, such as Brazil, China, South Africa and Turkey, are playing an increasingly important role in fragile states, and calls on the EU to further join up the disparate instruments of its foreign policy to better tackle state fragility.

‘Focus moves slowly from new Ebola cases to post-crisis recovery’ – Getting to ‘zero cases’ is proving very difficult, but policymakers now feel able to plan for long-term recovery in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – European Voice

‘No revolution’ in 11th EDF upsurge, but still encouraging – Under the 11th EDF, Brussels will sustain its commitment to helping ACP countries tackle common thematic challenges. Although bilateral cooperation will continue to absorb more than 80 percent of the funds, the intra-ACP program is slated to absorb about 12 percent of the total EDF envelope — the same share it received in the 2008-2013 period. Furthermore, the European Commission’s administrative expenditure will jump from 430 million euros to 1.1 billion euros. Many civil society actors hope this will help the EU delegations build the expertise they need to ensure more policy coherence and better delivery of commitments – Devex

Federica Mogherini, will chair an informal meeting of EU Development Ministers on 12 March, called to discuss financing issues in relation to post-2015, future financing for development and the climate talks – European Commission

‘EU donates over €2 million to increase participation of developing countries in trade negotiations’ – The European Union today pledged an additional €2 million to the WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF) and a further €100,000 for evaluating the fund – DG Trade

‘France helps Fiji with COP 21 contribution’ – The world’s poorest countries will have access to financial aid from several donors, including France, to help them implement projects to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. The EU is encouraging other member states to participate, ahead of the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015 – Euractiv

The Intended Nationally Determined Contribution for the EU and its Member States were submitted ahead of the climate conference in Paris next December – European Commission submission

‘Commission makes progress on a European Agenda on Migration’ – The group of external relations and other relevant  Commissioners met on 4 March for a first orientation debate on key actions to step up the EU’s efforts to implement the existing tools and cooperation in managing migration flows from third countries. “In May we will present a new migration agenda with an improved governance to strengthen our asylum system, set a sound course on legal migration, act more vigorously against irregular migration and ensure more secure borders.” – European Commission Press Release

‘Questions and Answers: What is the EU doing for women’s rights and gender equality?’ – This fact sheet answers questions such as: What is the EU doing to promote gender equality around the world? What is the EU doing to end female genital mutilation? – European Commission Press release

‘11th EDF comes into force’ – €30.5 billion worth of EU development cooperation to come on stream following entry into force of 11th EDF starting 2 March 2015 – European Commission statement

Council – Rules of Procedure of the European Development Fund Committee 

High-level conference on the Ebola epidemic (March 3 2015) – The purpose is to (i) take stock of the ongoing emergency response and adapt it to the evolving situation on the ground, leading to eradication of the disease; and, (ii) to plan for the long term and support the recovery and resilience of the affected countries, including the development  of their health systems. The event is co-chaired by the EU, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – European Commission Press Release

‘Is Mimica holding all the aces?’ – Mimica’s first 100 days have shown us how he may play the game of international development cooperation during his tenure. Here’s hoping he has not shown all his cards… These cards so far are a normative vision on what parties should do; looking to emerging economies only as donors; too much focus on financial contributions and a recycled EU commitment to the 0.7% ODA target – ECDPM

‘MEP Pedro Silva Pereira: Austerity-minded countries are wary of providing more ODA’ – The European Parliament hopes to contribute to a strong EU position at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa next July. But some EU countries are concerned about having to allocate more resources to official development assistance, MEP Pedro Silva Pereira says in an interview – Euractiv

Commission communication ‘The Paris Protocol – A blueprint for tackling global climate change beyond 2020’ – The communication sets out the EU’s proposed Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) – Communication; Annex; Staff Working Document; EU press release

‘The critical flaw in the EU’s climate plan’ – A successful EU climate pledge must look beyond emissions within Europe and include collaborative proposals to reduce pollution in developing nations as well – The Guardian

What Should Development Policy Actors do About TTIP?This DIE briefing paper offers specific recommendations to make TTIP as development-friendly as possible: 1) steps should be taken to avoid discriminating against third countries in the area of regulatory cooperation; 2) rules of origin should be as generous, uniform and open as possible; 3) preference programmes of the EU and the United States should be harmonised; 4) third countries should be afforded credible options for joining the partnership in future.

‘Les défis extérieurs de l’UE : quelles stratégies ?’ – This roundtable summary provides focuses on three key questions for the EU’s external challenges: (i) the need to revise the European Neighbourhood policy, (ii) the crisis in Ukraine and future relations with Russia, and (iii) some thoughts on a more global strategic rethink – Jacques Delors Institute (in French only)

‘Already 100 days for EU foreign policy under the leadership of Federica Mogherini. What has changed so far?’ – College of Europe blog

‘Mogherini’s first 100 days: Not the quiet diplomat’CEPS commentary

FEBRUARY 2015

  • ‘EU boosts humanitarian aid to €156 million in 2015 to meet the increasing needs in the Sahel region’ – This money will go toward the following priorities: assist the victims of malnutrition and the security crisis in Mali; help contain the food and security crisis in Nigeria; tackle malnutrition and help the increasing number of refugees coming from the Central African Republic (CAR) in Chad; support for the malnourished people and refugees from CAR in Cameroon; support partners that work at the regional level in West Africa to fight food insecurity and malnutrition; cover malnutrition and food assistance in the rest of the Sahel countries – European Commission press release
  • ‘EU resumes direct aid to Zimbabwe after a decade of sanctions’ – The EU will spend 234 million euros in Zimbabwe by 2020 toward health, agriculture-based economic development, governance and institution-building. Sanctions remain against Mugabe and his wife – Reuters
  • EU releases €212 million to ensure healthcare, education and other basic social services to the ‘Palestinian people’ – This first tranche of the 2015 financial support is composed of €130 million of direct financial support to the Palestinian Authority and €82 million United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees – European Commission Press Release
  • European Parliament Hearing On Financing For Developmentagenda for Tuesday 24 Feb.
  • ‘EU seeks experts in at least 3 new focus areas’ – (i) security and development, including counterterrorism; (ii) migration and its impact, with a focus on understanding the root causes of departure, the transit and destination, socio-economic factors — and how all of this can be tackled through a common response; (iii) the role of the private sector, especially economic growth and job creation – Devex
  • ‘Migration: a joint European responsibility’ – In his speech, the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship announced the launch of a Europol project for a dedicated maritime intelligence centre to better identify and track criminal networks operating in the Mediterranean and the possibility of extending Operation Triton and increase its resources if Italy needs it – European Commission – Speech
  • ‘France pushes for security spending to be recognised as development aid’ – France spent millions resolving conflicts in Mali and the Central African Republic in 2014. Now Paris is lobbying the OECD to include spending on security and peacekeeping operations in calculations of official development assistance – Euractiv
  • ‘EU set to spend €1bn in aid to counter Islamic State’ – The European Commission wants to invest another €1 billion of aid in Iraq and Syria over the next two years as part of a broader effort to counter Islamic State – EUobserver
  • EEAS/COM joint communication ‘Elements for an EU regional strategy for Syria and Iraq as well as the Da’esh threat – this 31-page strategy, drafted by the EU’s foreign policy branch, the EEAS and the European Commission, was presented on Monday at a ministerial gathering of EU foreign affairs ministers.
  • ‘European Investment Bank’s largest ever private sector lending programme in Africa launched with PTA Bank’ – a new EUR 160 million lending initiative was launched to support investment across eastern and southern Africa – EIB
  • ‘Bigger EU contracts to tackle big #globaldev challenges’ – Development issues are increasingly caught up in a web of crosscutting global themes. For the European Union, this will affect the way its programs are being set up: larger programs and less room for smaller, individual contracts – Devex
  • ‘Mogherini plans a rethink on EU migration policy as criticism mounts’ – The United Nations says the European Union’s asylum-seeker policy is not working because it fails to compel member states to offer a fair number of resettlement places – European Voice
  • ‘Refugee crisis prompts Italy to urge EU focus on Libya’ – With the Italian coastguard saving thousands of asylum-seekers in the Mediterranean over the weekend, calls are mounting for a regional response to the problem – European Voice
  • Mogherini’s first 100 days: Not the quiet diplomat – a new CEPS Commentary reflects on her early achievements and assess the efficacy of new approaches and working methods she has brought to EU foreign policy-making.
  • ‘Rethinking Fortress Europe’ – In this column, ODI’s director, Kevin Watkins, considers the shortcomings of the EU debate on migration and its related policies – Project Syndicate
  • ‘Review of EU experience, best practices and lessons learned in the field of environment and climate change through the aid modality of budget support’ – This paper co-authored by an ODI researcher reviews recent and on-going EU experience in the design and implementation of budget support programmes benefiting EU partner countries that are vulnerable to climate change, particularly though the Global Climate Change Alliance initiative – Capacity4dev
  • ‘European Commission sets out its position on global partnership for the post-2015 development agenda’ – the European Commission set out its views on global efforts that will be needed to eradicate poverty and boost sustainable development.  The Communication on a “Global Partnership for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development after 2015” has been jointly prepared by the High Representative and Vice President, Federica Mogherini, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella. It has been agreed with First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who holds horizontal responsibility for sustainable development. While putting forward proposals on how the international community should organise its action to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, it also shows how the EU and its Member States could contribute to the international effort – EU press release; Fact sheet; Commission communication; Euractiv
  • ‘EU countries must honour foreign aid pledge, says Commissioner’ – EU member states must finally make good on their pledge to spend 0.7% of gross national income on foreign aid as the world prepares to agree the development agenda for the next 15 years, a European Commissioner has warned – Euractiv; EUobserver
  • ‘Learning from the past for a sustainable future’ – This column written by Neven Mimica and Edgars Rinkēvičs (the Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister) is a call to create momentum around the importance of the year 2015 for international development – Devex
  •  ‘Commission actions to fight FGM in the EU and worldwide’ – European Commission Fact Sheet; European Commission Communication from 2013
  • European member states will reveal their collective contribution to a proposed UN climate deal on February 25 in a communication (the “Road to Paris” Communication) which will be fairly brief, detailing EU mitigation targets and including a short justification for the goals.It could also include some references to adaptation and climate finance, although these are not expected to be detailed – RTCC; Commission Press Release
  • ‘EU divided over ‘conditionality’ of aid’’ – Belgium has suspended part of its aid programme to Rwanda in response to the country’s poor human rights record. The conditionality of aid is a subject of disagreement among European countries – Euractiv
  • Infographic: Europeans support development aid – More than two thirds of Europeans believe that fighting poverty in developing countries should be one of the EU’s top priorities as it contributes to a more peaceful and equal world – Euractiv
  • ‘EU steps up humanitarian assistance to Syria crisis’ – Of the new humanitarian funding, half will go to needs inside Syria, and the other half to neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees. This includes €37 million to Lebanon and €20 million to Jordan in 2015 – European Commission press release; Syria fact sheet

JANUARY 2015

  • ‘EU approves Central African security mission’ – EU agrees to follow up peacekeeping operation in Central African Republic with military training mission – Council press release
  • EU to train Malian police – The Council has launched EUCAP Sahel Mali, the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy mission in Mali. The mission’s task is to support the Malian internal security forces – Council press release, Council decision
  • ‘TTIP is ‘big bonanza’ for developing countries, EU claims’ – The planned EU-US free trade agreement TTIP holds unexpected opportunities for developing countries, according to a recent study. But while the European Commission has high hopes for the deal, NGOs are warning of a transatlantic “Economic NATO” with devastating effects for the global world order – Euractiv
  • Early ETS reform likely after MEPs reject centre-right proposal’ – The European Parliament could now ask for reform as early as 2017 as opposed to the Commission’s proposal date for 2021European Voice; EUobserver
  • ‘France and Austria table compromise for launching FTT in 2016’ – France and Austria sought on Thursday (22 January) to break deadlocked talks with nine other European countries for a financial transaction tax, by proposing that it be applied to cover a wide range of transactions, at low rates, starting next year. France has indicated that it wants FTT, initially designed to be used for development aid, fighting epidemics and climate change, to be diverted entirely to the climate – Euractiv
  • Evaluation of France’s Contribution to the European Development Fund (EDF) – this evaluation published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development looks at the effectiveness of the EDF, the coherence of priorities and EDF complementarity with French bilateral assistance, the French influence on EDF strategies and concludes with a series of recommendations.
  • The World Economic Forum has published the 2015 Risks report.
  • ‘5 challenges for Africa and Europe in 2015’ – (i) Build on the foundations of EU-Africa relations; (ii) Define the future we want for post-2015; (iii) European solidarity and cooperation on migration; (iv) Security and development in Europe and Africa; (v) A comprehensive approach to Ebola – Devex
  • ‘Crises in Middle East and Africa lead to fourfold increase in migration to Europe’ – The number of migrants landing on Italian shores quadrupled last year, as more than 170,000 people from the Middle East and Africa fled humanitarian crises, piling pressure on the EU to form a long-term migration strategy – Guardian
  • Commission Fact sheet ‘Questions and Answers: Smuggling of Migrants in Europe and the EU response
  • The European Parliament Development Committee will discuss the future of development finance and modernising measures and instruments with Erik Solheim, Chair of the OECD DAC, on 21 January.
  • Le défi de la coordination des politiques européenes de dévelopement (in French) – This in-depth analysis published by the European Parliament finds that despite a strong rhetoric in favour of coordination and the multiplication of initiatives launch to that end, case studies show that the implementation in the field is difficult especially because of the reluctance of some European donors – European Parliament
  • The EU has made 2015 the European Year for Development (EYD). The EYD aims to raise awareness of development across Europe, and show European citizens that investment in development benefits them as well as people living in some of the world’s poorest countries. The EYD was launched in Riga on Friday 9 January. Euractiv gives a short description of the launch. Here is Jean-Claude Juncker’s speech at the EYD launch. Homi Kharas from Brookings gave the Kapuscinski Development Lecture for the occasion, which you can watch here.
  • Mimica: ‘There cannot be a sustainable foreign and security policy without a clear development contribution’ said the development Commissioner in an exclusive interview – Euractiv
  • ACP-EU relations after 2020: State of play’ – The European Parliament published a short note summarizing the state of play as we approach the expiry date of the Cotonou agreement in 2020 – European Parliament
  • Alain Le Roy will replace Pierre Vimont as secretary general of the EEAS from 1 March 2015.
  • The Commission working programme was published on 8 January and is available on the Commission website.
  • ‘The European Year for Development – Citizens’ Views on Development, Cooperation and Aid’ – Eurobarometer
  • ‘From Lima to Paris: 5 promising pathways for a joint EU-Africa position on climate change’ ­­– This article identifies five key areas of the negotiations for a global climate deal in 2015 that will require for the EU and Africa to agree on if a joint position is to be possible – Devex
  • ‘The EU and its neighbours: predictions for 2015’ – CEPS attempts to forecast the events of 2015 and to predict what the next 12 months will bring in terms of the EU’s relations with its neighbours – CEPS

DECEMBER 2014

  • The Council adopted the following conclusions last week: Conclusions on a transformative post-2015 agenda; Conclusions on South Sudan; Conclusions on Syria; Conclusions on Central African Republic (in French)
  • ‘European Commission and Italy launch first ever EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis’ – The EC and Italy have signed the constitutive agreement to launch the first ever EU Regional Trust Fund (as opposed to already existing national ones) as a new strategic financing tool to mobilise more aid in response to the Syrian Crisis. The start-up funding provided amounts to 20 million from the EU budget and 3 million from Italy as the first founding donor. Additional funding is foreseen for 2015. The EU Trust Fund will initially focus on support to refugees and host communities in Syria’s neighbouring countries – European Commission Press release
  • ‘EEAS in Indonesia: It is logical to exit health programmes in middle income countries’ – In middle income countries, the EU will in the future focus its development aid efforts in fewer sectors. In Indonesia, this means that health will not be a priority, though the country still has huge problems with the spread of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, where the help of the Global Fund will not be enough. But concentrating EU efforts makes sense – Euractiv
  • ‘Stylianides: We need strong bridges between humanitarian and development aid’ – As the world struggles to deal with crises, there is a need to change the way we think about managing them, while building stronger bridges between humanitarian aid and development assistance – Euractiv
  • The Commission presented its 2015 work programme to the European Parliament last week. It was received with criticism – EUobserver
  • Eurodad released a report providing a review of the quantity of different financing sources available to developing countries, and how they have changed over the past decade. One key finding of the report is that losses of financial resources by developing countries have been more than double the inflows of new financial resources since the financial crisis as illustrated in the figure below. Here is a short article summarising the report’s findings.
  • Development Council – The bi-annual foreign affairs council focusing on development issues took place on Friday 12 Dec. According to the press release, the EU is further developing its position on post-2015 through Council conclusions to be adopted by the General Affairs Council on 16 December, and will continue to do so in the coming months. A number of related documents were published and adopted: Agenda of the meeting; Background note to the meeting; Press Release; Council conclusions on a stronger role of the private sector in development cooperation: An action oriented perspective; Council conclusions on the Action Plan on Nutrition; Council conclusions on 2014 Annual report on the EU’s development and external assistance policies and their implementation in 2013; Council conclusions on migration in EU development cooperation; Remarks by F. Mogherini after the Development Council
  • ‘Growing share of European development aid disguised as loans’ – About a third of German, and more than half of French development aid payments made since 2005 were in fact loans to poorer countries on which they will receive interests – Euractiv
  • ‘EU reaches tentative budget deal, but NGOs still worried’ – Negotiators for the European Union’s three institutions finally agreed Wednesday on a preliminary deal to salvage next year’s budget — but nongovernmental organizations warned that the danger of a financial crisis has not yet been averted, as development funds are still at risk of drying out by mid-2015 and debts could continue to build up – Devex
  • ‘Development NGOs warn EU ministers against their ‘fixation’ with the private sector’ – EU development ministers met on 12 December in Brussels and adopted a “perspective” to boost the role of the private sector in the field of development cooperation. But leading NGOs warned that placing the private sector at the centre of EU development policy “shows ministers have failed to acknowledge its limitations” – Euractiv; Devex
  • ‘Lima summit avoids collapse of difficult climate talks’ – International climate talks in Lima saw the adoption of an agreement on Sunday (14 December) on the next steps to take to achieve a climate treaty in Paris in 2015. The proposals call on countries to reveal how they will cut carbon pollution, ideally by March next year. But much remains vague or poorly defined. The countries put off decisions about the legal structure of the agreement, and deferred decisions about ensuring a flow of finance to developing countries – EUobserver; Euractiv
  • The European Court of Auditors released a Special Report on the effectiveness of blending regional investment facility grants with financial institution loans to support EU external policies.
  • ‘EU Commissioner Mimica announces new support for fighting Ebola during visit to Guinea’ – Neven Mimica has announced €61 million of new support in response to the Ebola crisis in the affected countries of West Africa, during a visit to Guinea. This will include direct support to the governments of Guinea and Liberia to help them cushion the impact of the economic effects of the outbreak, as well as measures to address security issues in affected countries. In addition, existing health and awareness programmes will be refocused to specifically tackle the challenge of Ebola – EU Press release
  • ‘Mimica: EU aid’s nutrition strategy to focus on LDCs, partnerships’ – In an interview on the sidelines of the recent Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome, Neven Mimica said that continuing to redirect financial and programming actions to LDCs and reducing the number of strategic sectors will be the pillars of the new Commission’s nutrition strategy – Devex
  • Development Council meeting – EU Development Ministers will meet next Friday (12 Dec.) and are expected to adopt conclusions on the post-2015 development framework, an Action Plan on Nutrition, migration in EU Development cooperation and private sector in development cooperation.
  • ‘West African trade deal to be signed’ – The European Union’s first economic partnership agreement with an African region is to be concluded next Friday (12 December), with the signing of an agreement with West Africa’s 16-country trade bloc, Ecowas – European Voice; EPA document, Annex A-B, Annex C part 1 and part 2
  • EU raises the pressure on COP 20 conference’ – As the UN Climate Conference got under way in Lima last week, the EU set out its stall with an ambitious call for “quantifiable and comparable” national commitments on the reduction of CO2 emissions; a position refuted by some developing countries, who see the odds stacked against them. The EU has already presented a proposal text for a climate agreement, or “non-paper”, which has caused disagreement among some of the participants of the conference – Euractiv
  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon presented a “synthesis report” which he said will guide discussions on drafting the final sustainable development goals led by Ireland and Kenya. The report, entitled “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet,” contains six focus areas — dignity, people, prosperity, the planet, justice and partnerships — as well as 17 goals and 169 targets. The full report will be released on Dec. 31.
  • ‘How the EU is working together with partners to fight Ebola’ – Neven Mimica, the new Development Commissioner, explains in this article that the epidemic’s impact will be felt for years — which is why the EU’s development cooperation with partner countries in the region must go well beyond immediate measures and cover long-term planning. He then highlights some of the actions taken – Devex
  • ‘EU launches the first projects of the PanAfrican programme’ – The European Commission has approved the first 12 projects, for a total amount of €107 million, under its new PanAfrican programme, which will foster Africa’s integration process at continental level – the first ever EU programme in development and cooperation that covers Africa as a whole. The projects launched will notably support migration, higher education and research and infrastructure, as well as public finance management and the development of statistics – EuropeAid
  • ‘Tories, UKIP MEPs join far-right in voting against development goals’ – A recent vote in the European Parliament provided the opportunity to look into which MEPs voted against EU policies to promote the development agenda. Surprisingly, all the Eurosceptic and conservative British MEPs voted against – Euractiv
  • ‘EU outlines priorities for post-2015 talks’ – MEPs discussed and adopted an own initiative report outlining EU priorities in the upcoming debates on the future global development framework set to replace Millennium Development Goals when they expire at the end of 2015 – Devex
  • ‘Climate change talks: MEPs chart the course from Lima to Paris’ – Talks to be held in Lima at present should enable global partners to reach an ambitious climate agreement in Paris in 2015, so as to keep the world on track for a sub-2°C climate warming scenario, Parliament said in a resolution voted on Wednesday. MEPs reiterated the pledge by the EU and its member states to step up contributions to the UN Green Climate Fund – European Parliament
  • Tusk took over his new position as President of the European Council from Herman van Rompuy today – Euractiv
  • ‘Council and Parliament agree on budget deadline’ – The EU’s institutions have conceded that unless they reach a deal on the 2015 budget by Friday 12 December, the EU will be forced to adopt an emergency, month-by-month spending mechanism last used in 1987 – European Voice

NOVEMBER 2014

  • ‘EU Ebola czar prepares action plan after West Africa trip’ – More medical staff, focused communication strategies and differentiated approaches in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the priorities of the European Union’s action plan to respond to Ebola – Devex
  • ‘NGOs worry over stalled EU budget talks’ – The European Union’s finances for next year are in limbo, after the 28 member states and the European Parliament failed to reach an agreement on the Union’s budget for 2015. Humanitarian and development nongovernmental organizations worry that funding for programs in the field may grind to a halt if no solution is found in the coming weeks – Devex
  • ‘Juncker faces censure motion over Luxembourg tax deals’ – The European Commission faces a censure motion in the European Parliament this week after right-wing, and far-right Eurosceptic lawmakers united to condemn the role its president, Jean-Claude Juncker, played in Luxembourg tax evasion schemes. It is highly improbable that his critics will win the two-thirds majority required to force the Commission from office – Euractiv
  • ‘Juncker seeks control’ – All commissioners are equal, but some are more equal than others, according to a document that sets out working methods for the 2014-19 term – European Voice
  • ‘EU boosts anti-Ebola aid after Commissioners’ mission to worst-hit countries’ – New funding of €29 million will be made available by the European Commission – European Commission Press release
  • Council Conclusions on Ebola – The 17 November Foreign Affairs Council meeting led to the adoption of new conclusions on Ebola – European Council
  • ‘MEPs pave the way for European Year for Development 2015’ – European Parliament
  • ‘New EU leaders urged to push the ball together on global challenges’ – Devex asked ODI’s Mikaela Gavas and ECDPM’s Paul Engel whether further changes will be necessary for the new Commission to meet the challenges of internal coordination and urgent external crises – Devex
  •  ‘EU-Africa free trade agreement ‘destroys’ development policy, says Merkel advisor’ – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Africa Commissioner, Günter Nooke issued harsh criticism of the EU’s joint free trade deal with multiple African countries, claiming the EPA counteracts Europe’s development policy efforts – Euractiv
  •  ‘Financial institutions: Unintended beneficiaries of EU development aid’ – EU subsidies to infrastructure projects in developing countries can indirectly benefit the financial institutions that co-finance them, says the European Court of Auditors – Euractiv
  • ‘Parliament starts review of EEAS’ – The European Parliament began debating reform of the European External Action Service on 5 November, with discussion of a recent audit of the first three years of the European Union’s diplomatic service – European Voice
  • The European Parliament Development Committee is meeting today and tomorrow and will discuss post-2015, the work of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, child undernutrition in developing countries, the European Year for Development 2015 and Private Sector and Development. Here is the agenda.
  • ‘Progress towards achieving the Kyoto and EU 2020 objectives’ – In 2012, total EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (without international aviation and Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF)) were 19.2 % below 1990 levels and 21.6 % below Kyoto base years level. During the period 1990-2012, the EU has been successful in decoupling its economic activity and GHG emissions: the EU’s combined GDP grew by 45 % while total GHG emissions (excluding LULUCF and international aviation) decreased by 19 % – Council of the EU
  • ‘EU confirms support to Horn of Africa ahead of high-level visit of international organisations to the region’ – The EU has confirmed that it will support the wider region of the Horn of Africa with a total of €3 billion until 2020 – European Commission Press Release
  • The Council issued a draft decision on the financial contributions to be paid by Member states to finance the European Development Fund, including the ceiling for 2016, the amount for 2015 and the first instalment for 2015.
  • Frontex Joint Operation ‘Triton’ was launched on 1 November – Triton is an EU joint operation coordinated by Frontex (the EU’s border management agency). It was launched last Saturday at the request of the Italian authorities in the Central Mediterranean. Triton will rely on human and technical resources made available by the 21 participating Member States to ensure effective border control in the Mediterranean region and to provide assistance to persons or vessels in distress during these operations – European Commission Memo
  • ‘Trade committee to discuss metals and minerals’ – The trade committee will hold its first exchange of views on proposals by the European Commission to increase scrutiny of the trade in four metals and minerals. The ‘conflict minerals’ dossier, in which the development committee is expected to take a keen interest, may go to a vote by committees in February – European Voice; for more info: European Commission Press release (05.03.2014)
  • The latest elements of the EU’s response to Ebola can be found here.
  • ‘French Parliament launches aid budget rescue package’ – The French Parliament voted to reduce France’s 2015 development budget on 28 October. MPs reallocated 35 million euros to help the poorest countries, in an attempt to limit the impact of the reduction – Euractiv
  • The new European Commission presided over by Jean-Claude Juncker has taken office on Saturday 1st November. The renewal of the EU leadership will be complete on 1st December when Herman Van Rompuy hands over the presidency of the European Council to Donald Tusk.
  •  ‘EU’s pivotal role in tackling poverty and inequality worldwide’ – The European Think Tanks Group released a blog explaining that if the new EU leadership wants to make a difference in the eradication of poverty, it will need to frame its own poverty eradication policies, as well as the goals and targets in the post-2015 development agenda, in terms of the key measures which address chronic poverty, prevent impoverishment and sustain escapes from extreme poverty – ETTG
  • European Voice dedicated its weekly profile piece to Christos Stylianides, the new Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management and the EU coordinator on Ebola.
  • ‘A New Ambition for Europe: A Memo to the European Union Foreign Policy Chief’ – Drawing on consultations with experts from around the world, this memo proposes a new strategy for turning Europe into a more effective international actor – Carnegie Europe

OCTOBER 2014

  • ‘MEPs vote to increase EU budget, including development’ – By a 464-186 vote with 46 abstentions, members of the European Parliament rejected calls by some member states for drastic cuts and voted on 22 October to increase next year’s EU budget — including an extra €400 million for international development and humanitarian assistance – Devex
  • Climate and energy policy: European Union leaders have adopted a package of four climate targets. Poland and other eastern European countries were reluctant to sign off on the deal, but eventually agreed to the following targets:
    • at least 40% emissions reduction from 1990 levels by 2030 (nationally binding)
    • at least 27% energy efficiency increase by 2030 (binding only at EU level)
    • at least 27% renewable energy share by 2030 (binding only at EU level)
    • 15% increased energy interconnections between member states by 2030 (binding only at EU level) – European Council Conclusions
  • Ebola: Stylianides was appointed as EU’s Ebola co-ordinator. The role will require Stylianides to co-ordinate the emerging response of the threat of Ebola spreading into the EU’s member states. The announcement of Stylianides’s appointment contains few details about the role envisaged for the Cypriot or about how the Ebola crisis might amplify his mandate as European commissioner – European Voice; Euractiv
  • In a speech delivered today (27 Oct) at the Emergency Response Coordination Center, Stylianides set out some of the EU’s next steps to respond to the Ebola outbreak: “A huge relief effort is under way but there are still big gaps. My job as the EU Ebola Coordinator will be to identify these gaps and assess what Europe can do to fill them. Of course we need to provide funding, but above all we need to mobilise in-kind assistance. […] We also need more beds. From one thousand at present to five thousand as soon as possible. Every bed requires eight health and support staff. This means we need to mobilise immediately at least forty thousand staff.”
  • Juncker’s Commission received the EP’s approval at a plenary session on 22 October with 423 votes in favour, 209 against and 67 abstentions. The new Commission will take office on 1 November. In his speech to MEPs just before the vote, Juncker announced some final changes to the college of Commissioners taking into account concerns expressed by Parliamentarians – European Parliament Press Release
  • ‘Far-right Polish MEP saves Farage group’ – Farage rebuilds a political group in the European Parliament with the entry of Robert Iwaszkiewicz, from Poland’s far-right KNP party – EUObserver
  • ‘Aid programmes hit hard by EU budget woes’ – The European Union’s humanitarian aid and development aid programmes are being compromised by EU debts, and budget cuts forecast for 2015. The total budget of the section “Global Europe” could be reduced by 10%, representing €384 million. The budget of EuropeAid, dedicated specifically to development aid, will soak up a large part of these cuts, losing €192 million – 12% of its funding. For now, the European Parliament is united in opposition to the member states’ plans – Euractiv
  • ‘EU increases development support to Nepal and Bhutan for 2014-2020 period’ – EU support for Nepal will amount to €360 million; and it will focus on sectors such as education, sustainable rural development and strengthening democracy. For Bhutan, the EU will provide a €42 million package and will aim to strengthen civil society, support local governance and develop sustainable rural livelihoods – European Commission Press Release
  • ‘What is ODA spent on Africa’ – This infographic illustrates the distribution of the European Commission’s ODA going to Africa which represents 40% of its total ODA disbursements – Euractiv
  • Council conclusions on Ebola – The Council adopted Council conclusions on Ebola today (20 October) at its monthly Foreign Affairs Council meeting – Council conclusions
  • ‘EU leaders to agree on emissions targets’ – Leaders of the European Union’s member states are expected to agree on long-term carbon-emissions targets when they meet for their regular autumn European Council in Brussels on 23-24 October. They are expected to sign off on a binding target of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 40% from a 1990 baseline and to increase the use of renewable energy with a 2030 target of 27%; and and an indicative target at the EU level of 30% is to be set for improving energy efficiency. But member states disagree over several parts of the draft conclusions. The outcome of the summit will be an important signal for the global talks on the climate next year in Paris, when leaders from around the world will discuss global targets – European Voice; EU Observer; EU Observer 2
  • EFDD group collapses – Nigel Farage’s political group in the European Parliament collapsed on 16 October as a MEP defected. This means the EFDD no longer meets the conditions to form a political group i.e. at least 25 MEPs from seven different member states. The EFDD is now short of one nationality. All MEPs from that group will now be “non-associated MEPs”, which include among others the French Front National or Greece’s Golden Dawn MEPs. UKIP is set to lose nearly €2 million a year unless it manages to recompose a political group. In addition, the former EFDD MEPs will lose a series of advantages linked to being part of a political group such as more speaking time, availability of funds to pay for support staff or better representation on committees for example – EU Observer; policyreview.eu
  • A mini reshuffle of the Commission took place last week after the Slovene Commissioner-designate was rejected by MEPs. This will lead to two further hearings on 20 October: one for the new Slovene candidate, Violeta Bulc, who has been allocated the Transport portfolio; and the other for the Slovak candidate, Maroš Šefčovič, who was promoted from the Transport portfolio to the Vice-Presidency for the Energy Union. The European Parliament should approve the new Commission at its plenary session on Wednesday 22 October and the new Commissioners are expected to take office on 1 November.
  • ‘Proper funding for EU priorities: Budgets Committee puts figures on 2015 budget’ – To enable the EU to fulfil its international responsibilities, the committee added €400 million to the sum requested by the Commission for humanitarian aid; e.g. in Syria, neighbourhood policies (Ukraine) and a UN-run support programme in Palestine – EP Press release
  • ‘Commissioner Piebalgs to sign development programmes for Belize, Lesotho, Togo and Zambia’ – European Commissioner for Development signed on 10 October the National Indicative Programmes (NIP) for development cooperation with Belize, Lesotho, Togo and Zambia in the 2014-2020 period, which amount to €869 million – European Commission Press Release
  • A summary of the EU’s overall response to Ebola can be found here.
  • ‘EU considers military response in Africa on Ebola crisis’ – EU institutions are analysing potential evacuation of EU citizens from Ebola-hit African states and military operations to restore security in the outbreak zone – EUobserver
  • ‘Ebola Crisis: EU organises airlift operation to West Africa’ – The EU is scaling up its response in West Africa with an airlift operation to the affected countries. The European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) will facilitate the transportation of relief items to West Africa. In addition, the EU will fund and coordinate if necessary the evacuation of international staff from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone – European Commission Press Release
  • The commissioner-designate hearings finished last week, although a minor reshuffle is underway as the Slovene candidate to become vice-president of the Energy Union was rejected by MEPs. Further hearings are expected to take place by the end of October for the new Slovene candidate and for those Commissioner-designates whose portfolios will change as a result of the reshuffle. The new Commission was due to take office on 1st November 2014, it now looks like there might be a slight delay.
  • The hearing of Federica Mogherini, the future HR/VP, went very smoothly. She received unanimous support from the Foreign Affairs committee in Parliament. Devex describes her as the new ‘EU foreign policy czar’ in an article summarizing the priorities she set out in her hearing. A CONCORD blog sets out 6 things the NGO likes about Federica Mogherini. Her opening statement can be read here.
  • ‘Central African Republic: EU trust fund starts delivering support to population’ – The EU launched the first three development projects from the EU multi-donor trust fund on 29 Sept. The fund was created in July by the European Commission, with the support of France, Germany and the Netherlands. The projects will ensure better access to health for 760,000 people, create jobs and rehabilitate damaged infrastructure in the capital, Bangui, as well as empower women and work towards their economic inclusion – European Commission Press release
  • EPAs – the 1st October 2014 deadline has passed for EPAs to be concluded with the EU. Countries which have not done so yet will receive the less favourable Generalised System of Preferences until an EPA can be concluded. ECDPM published a map comparing trade regimes in Africa before and after the 1st of October 2014. Click here to view the map.
  • Commissioner hearings are continuing until Tuesday 7 October. For a recap of the first week, see here.
  • Neven Mimica’s hearing to be confirmed as Development Commissioner went well although it was at times short on specifics (see European Voice article below). He said his first priority is to work toward an ambitious framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals when they expire next year. He also mentioned the need to strengthen the strategic partnership with Africa as it cannot be a simple continuation from the past. He called on respect for fundamental values to be a core principle of that partnership. Mimica pledged to launch a broad consultation about what might replace the Cotonou agreement when it expires in 2020 and made commitments toward good governance and human rights as core principles of development aid. This Devex article gives a summary of his priorities.
  • As for Christos Stylianides, the Humanitarian Aid Commissioner-designate, his clarity and commitment impressed the MEPs, in particular with his response to the Ebola crisis (see European Voice article below). He said his first trip will be to Ebola stricken countries in West Africa. He praised the work done by his predecessor Georgieva and indicated he would follow in her footsteps. He also said he was not in favour of military intervention in the humanitarian context. This Devex article gives a summary of his priorities.
  • Other hearings have been more challenging in particular for the British, French and Spanish candidates. This is partly due to political dynamics within the European Parliament (see EUobserver) where after the socialists put a series of Commissioners from centre-right parties in difficulty, centre-right MEPs retaliated with socialist Commissioner-designates (see Coulisses de Bruxelles – in French). A reshuffle of portfolios cannot be excluded at this stage should Parliament refuse to confirm one of the Commissioner-designates.

SEPTEMBER 2014

  • ‘South Sudan: EU increases humanitarian assistance by €20 million’ – The European Commission is responding to the continuing major crisis in South Sudan by increasing its life-saving assistance by a further €20 million to help its most vulnerable people – European Commission Press Release
  • ‘EU boosts its cooperation on sustainable energy with developing countries’ – European Commission President co-signed joint declarations in New York to reinforce energy cooperation with five African countries: Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Togo and Rwanda – European Commission Press Release
  • ‘EU auditors: Haiti earthquake support falls short’ – in a report published on 23 September, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) was highly critical of the European Commission’s €1.23 billion contribution to relief efforts, following the March 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Out of 13 programmes examined by the ECA, only ten had reached their goals, while three failed to make significant progress, including the 10th European Development Fund general budget support programme. Nearly all experienced delays. Though the Commission was aware of these problems, it failed to adequately address challenges it was facing effectively. In conjunction with the European External Action Service, the ECA similarly charged the Commission with failing to strengthen the EU delegation in Haiti, which found itself ill-equipped and unable to manage projects in the field – Euractiv
  • ‘TTIP contradicts post-2015 development goals, experts say’ – The planned US-EU trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), has come up against intense criticism from both sides of the Atlantic. Now development officials have joined the choir, and are warning that the agreement will undermine the UN’s post-2015 development agenda – Euractiv
  • Commissioner hearings will begin this week, each hearing will be three hours long and will feature 45 questions from MEPs.
  •  The European Parliament has launched a website for the hearings.
  • ‘EU supports African Union mission to fight Ebola’ – The European Commission will provide €5 million to the newly established mission of the African Union (AU) “Support to Ebola Outbreak in West-Africa” (ASEOWA) that will join the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the disease in the region – European Commission Press Release
  • Germany’s 2015 budget leaves overseas aid ‘by the wayside’ – The Bundestag’s 2015 budget plan includes a €1.8 million increase in funds for development cooperation. Civil society organisations are criticising the sum as being marginal, calling for a considerably larger increase – Euractiv
  • Jean-Claude Juncker announced the composition of the new Commission last Wednesday, the organigramme can be found here. The main changes to note include a new structure with 7 vice-presidents (for the most part from small member states) who will be tasked with coordinating groups of commissioners working on similar policy areas. The HR/VP will move her office to the Commission building which led EUObserver to write that the commission has created a new foreign policy cell. Mogherini has appointed a former Director General for Development in the Commission, Stefano Manservisi, as her Chef de Cabinet. Juncker has written to each commissioner designate to set out their individual priorities for the next five years and to describe the way in which the college of commissioners will work. The letters can be found here.
  • The new commissioner for International Cooperation and Development is the Croatian politician and diplomat  Neven Mimica. A short biography follows:In 1997 he was appointed assistant to the Croatian Minister of Economy and served as Croatia’s chief negotiator during the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization and the European Union Association Agreement. In September 2001 he became Minister of European Integration under Prime Minister Ivica Račan, position he held until December 2003.He was elected to the Croatian Parliament in 2003 as a representative of the Social Democratic Party, and again in 2007. Since January 2008 he serves as deputy speaker of the Croatian parliament and is also the chairman of the parliament’s committee for European integration.On December 23, 2011 he was selected as a Deputy Prime Minister of the Croatian government, responsible for Internal, Foreign and European policy.On July 1, 2013 he became European Commissioner for Consumer Protection in the European CommissionLászló Andor was Acting Commissioner in his stead, from 19 April 2014 – 25 May 2014 while he was on electoral campaign leave for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament. He ultimately decided to not take up his seat.
  • ‘Piebalgs: Aid to conflict zones ‘becoming the rule, rather than the exception’’ – Europe’s engagement with fragile and conflict-prone states is increasingly becoming the mainstay of its developmental work, said the EU development commissioner an interview – Euractiv
  • ‘New EU programme to support Africa’s continental integration’ – The PanAf will be one of the instruments that will support the JAES and the first EU programme treating Africa as one. It will not replace but complement where relevant, through a continental or trans-regional approach, the other EU instruments and programmes that address the priority areas of the EU development policy in the African continent – European Commission Press Release; Multiannual Indicative Programme 2014-2017
  • ‘EU aid to Palestine ‘cannot continue indefinitely’ without results’ – European frustration with the glacial pace of moves to Palestinian statehood could lead to the bloc’s aid contributions to the region becoming unsustainable in as little as 3-4 years, officials say – Euractiv
  • ‘Commissioner Piebalgs signs Development programmes for 21 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries’ – Andris Piebalgs, and representatives from 21 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, have co-signed the National Indicative Programmes (NIP) on 2nd Sept. under the 11th European Development Fund for the period 2014-2020 for a total amount of €339 million.
  • ‘Seven things to look out for when Juncker announces the allocation of Commission portfolios’ – Jean-Claude Juncker is to announce this week (Tuesday or Wednesday) the allocation of portfolios among his nominated commissioners. There are 7 things to look out for according to European Voice.
  • ‘EDF 2014-2020: Following the money’ – This week, several Pacific and Caribbean countries will sign their national indicative programs to receive European Union development funds for the period 2014-2020 – Devex
  • The national leaders chose Donald Tusk, Poland’s prime minister, as the next president of the European Council, and Federica Mogherini, Italy’s foreign minister, to be the next EU foreign policy chief and a vice-president of the European Commission – Euractiv; EU Observer
  • ‘Ex-prime ministers could get management roles in next Commission’ – Jean-Claude Juncker, the president-elect of the European Commission, is reported to be considering giving management roles to former prime ministers who are members of the college of commissioners – European Voice
  • ‘Delay forces Parliament to adjust schedule of commissioners’ hearings’ – The one-month delay in announcing who will do what in Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission forces the European Parliament to change its calendar – European Voice

AUGUST 2014

  • ‘Denmark: two names floated for European Commission’ – Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt is believed to have nominated Christine Antorini (the education minister) and Morten Bødskov (the former justice minister), both of whom are centre-left politicians, according to Danish media.
  • ‘Post-2015: Arriving or Departing?’ – In this blog, Simon Maxwell shares his thoughts on the Open Working Group’s final report – http://www.simonmaxwell.eu/blog/post-2015-arriving-or-departing.html
  • ‘The EU and Post-2015: priorities for the Italian presidency’ – Simon Maxwell wrote an opinion piece considering the Commission’s latest communication on post-2015 in view of the Open Working Group’s final report and the preparation of a report by the UN Secretary General. The paper raises a series of challenges and opportunities the Italian Presidency will face in the run-up to the adoption of Council Conclusions in December – EDCSP Opinion 26, August 2014
  • EU launches €845 million Pan-African initiative’ – The European Commission has kick-started a new programme to help integrate African countries and regions, with a €415 million cash injection between now and 2017 and a further tranche of €430 planned before 2020 – Euractiv; European Commission Press Release
  • The final turnout figure for May’s European elections has been revised from 43.09% – a preliminary figure based on exit polls – down to 42.54%, the lowest ever in the history of the EU. While the 43.09% figure represented a slight increase compared with 2009, the revision confirms the trend of turnout falling at every consecutive election since direct elections to the European Parliament began in 1979.
  • Some insights into the next Commission from Juncker’s chief of staff – With an unprecedented number of former prime ministers nominated for commissioners and amid demands to restructure the 28-strong college, Juncker is considering a redistribution of tasks. As they have governing experience, nominees like the former PMs of Finland, Latvia and Estonia could have a “filtering” role – perhaps even without a portfolio – EUobserver
  • ‘Bulgaria returns Georgieva to Commission’ – Kristalina Georgieva, a contender for the role of High Representative of external affairs and Vice President of the European Commission, secures re-nomination as Bulgarian president unveils caretaker government.

JULY 2014

  • ‘EU to resume aid to Guinea-Bissau government after poll’ – The European Union will resume giving direct development aid to the Guinea-Bissau government after it held presidential elections rated as “free and credible,” the EU said on 14 July – Euractiv
  •  ‘EU launches first-ever development fund for CAR’ – The European Commission has announced a fund to link relief, rehabilitation and development in the Central African Republic, an initiative which will be financed by France, Germany, the Netherlands and private donors – Euractiv
  •  ‘Member states seek to slash EU budget for 2015’ – Move by member states sets the stage for a budget fight with MEPs – European Voice
  •  Jean-Claude Juncker was elected as the next Commission President by members of the European Parliament with 422 votes in favour, 250 against, and 47 abstentions. He presented his programme for the next five years which is available online here (scroll to the end of the email to read the section on the EU as a global actor).
  • The composition of the next College of Commissioners is becoming clearer. European Voice published a list of the confirmed and expected nominations. Kristalina Georgieva is seen as a possible contender for the post of European commissioner for international co-operation, humanitarian aid and crisis response if Bulgaria put her forward as their candidate Commissioner.
  •  A European Council summit was held on 16 July to discuss two top jobs: HR/VP and President of the European Council. No decision was made as the summit ended in a deadlock (Euractiv). The heads of state/government agreed to meet again on 30 August to continue the discussion and make the appointments. The main contender for the HR/VP role was Federica Mogherini, Italy’s foreign minister. She was faced with firm opposition from several leaders, mostly from the Eastern bloc as they feel Italy’s position toward Russia has been too indulgent. EU observer reports that the chances of Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski and Bulgaria’s EU commissioner for humanitarian aid, Kristalina Georgieva – both affiliated with the centre-right – have faded given an understanding that the HR/VP job should go to the Socialist family.
  • ‘Development billions loaned to Western companies and investment banks’ – A new Eurodad report found that billions of euros of public money are channelled into private sector projects in developing countries by organisations that favour Western companies and investment banks, and exclude the nations they should support – Euractiv 
  • ‘UN report: economic growth and decarbonisation ‘two sides of same coin’’ – The deep decarbonisation of developed economies, such as the EU, can go along with economic growth, according to a report published by the United Nations this week – Euractiv
  • ‘EU snubs Green Climate Fund, France pledges to contribute’ – The capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund is under way, but without the EU. The first roundtable talks will be over by late 2014, but the European Commission will not be present. Due to governance issues, it has refused to contribute to the fund, which aims to help developing countries deal with climate change – Euractiv
  • Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for the Environment and Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development issued a joint statement on the Ministerial Declaration of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF): “We are keen to see the High Level Political Forum live up to its promise and play a central role in developing an ambitious post 2015 agenda. For our planet to sustain the lives of 9 billion people we need to change the way we produce and consume. We need universal Sustainable Development Goals, closely monitored by the Forum, to give this process political impetus and a clear sense of direction. We need a truly transformative agenda and action by all, including the private sector. This is what the latest Commission’s proposal on the post 2015 agenda promotes, calling for ensuring a new global partnership to ensure a decent life for all. We also need to show that we are a credible partner in this transformation. The European Commission’s recent circular economy package is a good example that we mean business and that embarking on this transformation means creating jobs and growth.” – European Commission
  • ‘West Africa on cusp of EU trade deal’ – The leaders of West Africa’s 16-country trading bloc have agreed to sign an economic partnership agreement with the European Union, the European Commission says – European Voice; European Commission Press Release
  • ‘EU increases pressure on South Sudan’ – Decision to impose sanctions on military commanders is the first of many possible steps to end fighting, EU says as it warns of famine within weeks – European Voice; Fact Sheet on EU and South Sudan
  • MEPs are due to vote on the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the Commission on Tuesday 15 July during their first plenary session in Strasbourg (full programme available here).
  • EU heads of state/government will meet at a summit in Brussels on Wednesday (16 July) to decide who will get the high posts of HR/VP and President of the European Council. It looks increasingly likely that they will agree on the HR/VP but will delay the decision on the next President of the European Council to the autumn (EUobserver).
  • The European Commission released its EU Accountability Report 2014 on Financing for Development on 3 July. Overall, the Report found substantial progress on EU commitments concerning domestic resource mobilisation, private finance for development, combining public and private finance for development, and using development finance effectively; and limited or no progress on EU commitments concerning international public finance for development.
  • ‘Cash check: Where does EU aid go?’ – Together, EU institutions and their member states are the biggest contributor to development cooperation worldwide. In 2012 alone, more than $37 billion was donated in aid – not counting loans made by the European Investment Bank – Euractiv
  • Martin Schulz was re-elected for an unprecedented second term as the European Parliament’s president last week. Schulz will keep the presidency until 2017, when an EPP candidate – possibly France’s Alain Lamassoure – is thought likely to take over the position – EUobserver; Europe Decides
  • EP committees have been formed last week; here are links to the list of members on the foreign affairs and the development committees. Chairs will be elected at the first Committee meetings due to be held today (Monday 7). It is expected however that Elmar Brok (EPP, Germany) will become the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee and that Linda McAvan (S&D, UK) will become the chair of the Development Committee. A full list of the chairmen due to be confirmed today can be found at the bottom of this email or in this table.
  • Italy took over the rotating EU presidency on 1 July (Presidency website). The presidency programme sets out a series of priorities for development cooperation: to promote a common EU position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda; to consolidate the global agreement on a single, integrated, overarching and universally applicable framework in the field of development; to raise awareness on food security and related issues; to advance discussions on mainstreaming migration into development policies and interventions, as well as on the means of creating an enabling environment to maximise the positive impact of migration and mobility on development; and to continue the discussions on private sector development and engagement as a means of achieving sustainable and inclusive growth in partner countries.
  • The programme for the Presidency trio makes a brief mention of development (pp. 34-35) highlighting the following elements: post-2015, continuing to modernise EU development policy in line with the Agenda for Change and ensuring more coherent and effective EU external action (i.e. PCD).

JUNE 2014

  • ‘Brussels seeks to raise €2.6 billion for basic education in developing world’ – The Second Global Partnership for Education Replenishment Pledging Conference, hosted by the European Commission,  was held in Brussels last week. The two-day fundraising conference saw partners pledge a record of US$28.5 billion to the campaign over the next three years – Euractiv
  • The political groups in the European Parliament have been formed. Marine Le Pen failed to find enough allies to create a new group; her party and allies such as the Dutch PVV will sit with the non-aligned MEPs (Euractiv). European Parliament political groups have distributed the chairmanship of the different Parliamentary committees among themselves. The Development and the international trade committees will both be chaired by a S&D MEP (European Voice).
  • The member states voted in favour of proposing Jean-Claude Juncker to the European Parliament as candidate for President of the European Commission. (EUobserver).
  • European Council 26-27 June 2014 – Here is a link to the full conclusions of the two-day summit which include a strategy for the EU, and here is a summary of the discussions held between the Heads of State/government. EUobserver reports that “German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Finnish and Swedish leaders offered Cameron a small sweetener in the form of UK-friendly tweaks to the EU’s official priorities for the next few years” to make up for Juncker’s nomination.
  • ‘Georgieva considers Commission’s ‘clusterisation’’ – Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, responsible for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said the EU executive needed “more systematic” relations between groups of commissioners who have shared responsibility over certain dossiers – Euractiv
  •  ‘EU heavyweights advise Bulgaria to nominate Georgieva for Ashton’s job’ – The ambassadors of several Western EU countries have indicated their countries’ support for Kristalina Georgieva, the Bulgarian Commissioner responsible for Humanitarian Aid, to be nominated for the new EU executive, indicating that she might get the post of foreign affairs chief currently held by Catherine Ashton. Euractiv
  • ‘European External Action Service not living up to its potential, say EU Auditors’ – The European Court of Auditors’ report sets out a number of recommendations to enhance the EEAS’s added value and efficiency, such as clarifying its tasks and objectives, streamlining its organisational design, simplifying its administrative framework, strengthening its strategic role and developing its planning. The report also recommends reviewing the appointment process and functioning of EU special representatives and EEAS recruitment procedures. The EEAS should work with the Commission to mitigate the impact of the rigidity of its financial and staff regulations on the efficiency of EU delegations. Finally, the EEAS should continue its efforts to promote information sharing and co-location with Member States; and should assess the opportunity to offer consular services, including the protection of EU citizens – Commission Press Release, ECA Report
  • ‘Commissioner Piebalgs in Madagascar to resume EU development cooperation’ – Commissioner Piebalgs visited Madagascar on June 11-13 to confirm the resumption of development cooperation with the country and launch the discussions on the programming of EU funding for the period 2014-2020. The visit contributed to mark the return to normality in the EU-Madagascar relations, following the end of the political crisis in the country.
  •  ‘TTIP contradicts post-2015 development goals, experts say’ – The planned US-EU trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), has come up against intense criticism from both sides of the Atlantic. Now development officials have joined the choir, and are warning that the agreement will undermine the UN’s post-2015 development agenda – Euractiv
  •  ‘French overseas aid reshuffled after budget cuts’ – The new French legislation on development aid policy aims to create a unique structure to oversee the country’s international technical expertise. Budget cuts mean government will shift emphasis to “coherence and efficiency” – Euractiv
  •  ‘After election success, far right parties line up for EU money in Parliament’ –A new far-right group in the European Parliament would be entitled to receive up to €50 million in EU funding over the next five years, a cash jackpot that party leaders admit could make or break the future success of the grouping led by France’s National Front – Euractiv
  • Grillo MEPs to join Farage group after referendum’ – Members of Italy’s Five Star Movement Thursday voted to join forces in the EP with British eurosceptic leader Nigel Farage, in a controversial referendum in which members were offered limited choices – EUobserver
  • ‘Building a new Commission – the runners and riders for the next College’ – National governments are already putting forward their proposed nominees to sit in the new College. Here are some insights on the composition of the next Commission – Europe Decides
  •  At an extraordinary meeting on 11 June 2014, Commissioner Lewandowski presented the Commission’s Draft Budget for 2015 to the Members of the BUDG Committee. This presentation launches the procedure for the 2015 EU Budget with the consolidated Draft Budget for all sections being available on 25 June. BUDG will vote on the 2015 Budget beginning of week 40 (w/c 28 Sept.) and Plenary adoption is foreseen for week 43 (w/c 19 Oct.) – European Parliament; European Commission Press Release
  • ‘President Barroso calls on world leaders to reverse education funding decline’ – José Manuel Barroso and Andris Piebalgs, have signed an ‘Open letter’ calling for a greater commitment to global financing for education, particularly for girls – European Commission Memo
  • ‘EU announces new rural electrification projects which will provide access to energy to more than 2 million people in poor rural areas’ – Andris Piebalgs reveal the 16 energy projects which will receive €95 million funding, thanks to the EU’s new rural electrification programme. The projects include hydro, wind, solar and biomass projects across nine African countries – European Commission Press Release
  • ‘African countries feel cornered in EU trade negotiations’ – The EU is anxious to finalise talks with Africa over a planned Economic Partnership Agreement. If negotiators do not seal the deal by 1 October, preferential access to the EU’s internal market will be cut short, putting pressure on African negotiators, who feel their concerns are falling on deaf ears – EurActiv
  •  ‘European Parliament group formation – the latest’ – This article summarises the latest developments in the negotiations to form political groups ahead of the 24 June deadline. The UK conservatives group is gaining seats by letting in new parties, some of which used to sit with UKIP. This is causing difficulties for the radical right parties who are trying to create two rival groups – one with UKIP and one with the Front National. So far, both groups fall short of the requirement to have at least seven nationalities represented – European Voice
  • ‘Merkel meets the anti-Juncker front in Stockholm’ – German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets British PM David Cameron and her Dutch and Swedish counterparts today (9 June) in Stockholm to try to square the circle over the appointment of the next commission president ahead of the EU summit at the end of the month – Euractiv
  • ‘Germany’s Eurosceptic AfD sidelines development policy’ – The Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) has failed to define a clear development policy stance up until now. Speaking with EurActiv Germany, the party revealed only vague, primarily neoliberal approaches, while German development organisations reacted with consternation and spoke of a “completely outdated picture” – Euractiv
  • G7 Summit declarationthe heads of states reiterated prior commitments such as tackling tax evasion, agreeing an ambitious and universal post-2015 agenda in 2015, etc. The most notable element in the declaration with regard to development is the announcement of a new initiative on Strengthening Assistance for Complex Contract Negotiations (CONNEX) to provide developing country partners with extended and concrete expertise for negotiating complex commercial contracts, focusing initially on the extractives sector to be launched in New York in June.
  • ‘Sustainable development goals revealed’ – The draft by a U.N.-appointed open working group which contains 17 goals was revealed on Tuesday 7 June. On the same day, the African Union officially launched the Common African Position on the post-2015 development agenda. The previous day, the European Union released its priority themes and potential topics in a proposed communication which also touches on the panel’s and OWG’s proposed goals.
  • ‘Support for peacebuilding and conflict prevention in the EU’s external financing instruments 2014-2020’ – this paper provides an overview of those aspects of the external action component of the MFF and the new regulations with relevance for the EU’s ability to support peacebuilding and conflict prevention in its external actions – EPLO Briefing Paper 1/2014
  • New EU Communication to contribute to the EU position in international negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – ‘A decent Life for all: from vision to collective action’ – Communication, Press Release
  • ‘Commission rejects anti-abortion initiative’ – The Commission has announced that it will not take any action to address a European Citizens’ Initiative signed by more than 1.8 million European Union citizens that sought to cut off EU funding for activities in development aid, research and public health that involve abortion – European Voice
  • ‘EU foresees no budget support for Egypt (still) in 2014’ – The European Union has not channeled budget support to Egypt since 2012, and this is likely to continue in 2014 unless the new government — now to be led by former military commander Abdul Fattah al-Sisi — meets the bloc’s outstanding conditions – Devex
  • ‘Sound development policies need a strong parliamentary committee’ – Europe needs a strong development committee in the next Parliament as the aid debate approaches a crucial juncture, writes Matt Foster – Euractiv
  • ‘EU states at odds over Juncker’ – Jean-Claude Juncker may have been endorsed by Germany for the European Commission top job, but Italy and France have signalled opposition, while Britain has warned about the consequences of choosing the former Luxembourg PM for the post – EUobserver
  • ‘Katainen prepares for Commission, eyes Barroso’s job’ – Olli Rehn, the Commission Vice President for Economic and Monetary Affairs, will take up his MEP seat and is likely to be replaced by Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen from 1 July. Katainen, whose party NCP is EPP-affiliated, makes no secret that he wants to be the next Commission President – Euractiv
  • ‘UKIP and 5-Star leaders discuss alliance’ – Nigel Farage, UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader, met with Beppe Grillo, who heads Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, on Wednesday (28 May) in Brussels to discuss a potential alliance between Eurosceptic parties in the European Parliament – Euractiv
  • ‘Poland nominates Sikorski to replace Ashton’ – Poland has confirmed that it will nominate its Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski to replace Catherine Ashton as EU foreign policy chief – Euractiv

 MAY 2014

  • The European Parliament website provides EU-wide election results and country by country results.
  • ‘Juncker, Schulz each insist they have mandate to forge majority’ – The lead candidates of the dominant parties in the European Parliament both insist on their view of how the next Commission president should be appointed – European Voice
  •  ‘Haggling begins over EU president nomination’ – In the meeting among heads of state and government today, Angela Merkel will play a decisive role. But which position is the Chancellor taking to Brussels? And what will become of Martin Schulz? – Euractiv
  •  ‘Jean-Claude Juncker given first shot at top EU commission job’ – Rival European party leaders on Tuesday (27 May) gave centre-right Jean-Claude Juncker first shot at becoming the next European Commission president – EU Observer
  •  ‘EU more than doubles vaccine aid as Gavi launches appeal’ – The EU has pledged an increase to its annual aid budget for vaccines and immunisation programmes from €10 million to €25 million in the 2014-2020 budgetary period, on the day that the Gavi Alliance launches a funding replenishment appeal – Euractiv
  • Tool-Box a Rights-Based Approach, Encompassing All Human Rights for EU Development Cooperation – The Commission recently published a Staff Working Document in response to a request from the Council (Council Conclusions of 25 June 2012 on an “EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy”). This tool-box describes what a Rights Based Approach (RBA) to development is, how to systematically apply a RBA into EU development cooperation, it provides a check-list to be compiled and offers support measures for EU staff in Headquarters and Delegations to support the implementation of this new approach – European Commission
  •  ‘EU fully resumes development cooperation with Madagascar’ – The Council today decided to repeal its decision under Art. 96* of the Cotonou agreement on Madagascar, which had been in force since 2010, following the presidential and general elections held in 2013 – Council Press Release
  • Council Conclusions on the 2013 Report on the Implementation of the EU Plan of Action on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Development 2010-2015 – Council Conclusions
  • ‘An untraditional aid agenda’ – European Voice published an article written by Simon Maxwell, Senior Research Associate at ODI,arguing that the welfare of developing and developed countries will be shaped by action at the global level – European Voice
  • New European Commission Communication on the private sector and development – ‘A Stronger Role of the Private Sector in Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries’ – Communication; Memo; Press release
  • ‘New EU private sector aid criteria under the microscope’ – The European Commission has published the first set of guidelines for involving private sector players in delivering overseas aid, a long-standing practice that has generated controversy with some NGOs for its claimed lack of transparency, accountability and potential for corporate profit-taking – Euractiv
  • ‘After conflict, what?’ – Kristalina Georgieva, the European commissioner for humanitarian aid cited South Sudan and CAR as emergencies which demonstrate that “the world has to be prepared for a very, very long-term investment in building up these countries” – European Voice
  • The EU Development Affairs Council was held today in Brussels. The provisional version of the press release is available here.
  • The European Parliament elections are taking place across the 28 Member States this week between 22-25 May. Results are expected to be known on Sunday evening (25 May).
  • ‘Europe cannot afford to look inwards in 2014’ – Kevin Watkins and Mikaela Gavas from ODI wrote an opinion piece explaining that Europe will only be a key player in tackling global challenges if it adopts an outward-facing approach that is driven by a new ambitious and competent leadership. Their piece draws on the conclusions of the report of an Independent Vision Group on European Development Cooperation, chaired by Baroness Margaret Jay.
  • ‘INFOGRAPHIC: Has the EU become more generous to the developing world?’ – This year’s aid index released by the OECD-DAC shows a 5.2% rise in overseas assistance provided by the 19 EU countries members of this organisation, increasing the bloc’s average to 0.42% of GNI – Euractiv
  • ‘EU pledges further work on ‘resilience’ to climate change’ – The EU commissioners dealing with development cooperation and humanitarian aid have pledged more work on “resilience”, defined as the ability of individuals and communities to recover from shocks and stresses – Euractiv
  • ‘European Court of Auditors’ special report No 17/2013: EU climate finance in the context of external aid’ – The Court’s findings resulted in five recommendations on a road map for scaling-up of climate finance towards the Copenhagen Accord 2020 target, improved transparency and accountability of the EU’s climate finance, reporting on the 20% EU spending target ( EU budget and EDF) on climate-related action, evaluation of the Global Climate Change Alliance and enhanced cooperation on the implementation of the EU Code of Conduct on Division of Labour in the field of climate finance – European Court of Auditors
  • ‘Second EU presidential debate ends with ‘no winner’’ – Hosted by the European University Institute in Florence on 9 May, candidates for the European Commission president left many of the observers in the audience wondering what the real political message of the four contenders actually was – Euractiv
  • ‘NGOs call on election candidates to target tax-dodging multinationals’ – Campaigners called on European parliamentary election candidates to target tax dodging multinational companies and make financial transparency their top priority – Euractiv
  • As of 30 April, EUFOR RCA has taken over responsibility from France’s Operation Sangaris for the security and protection of Bangui Airport – EEAS Press release
  • ‘EU steps up efforts to help refugees fleeing violence in Central African Republic’ – The European Commission is increasing by six million euros its life-saving assistance to help a hundred thousand Central African Republic refugees who have been forced to flee to Cameroon and Chad – European Commission Press release
  • ‘Austria to cut development funds by one-fifth’ – Austria plans to contribute less funds to development cooperation in the coming year, amid breach of promise accusations and talk of an “international shame” among development organisations – Euractiv
  • ‘British aid money invested in gated communities and shopping centres’ – Millions of pounds of British aid money to tackle poverty overseas have been invested in builders of gated communities, shopping centres and luxury property in poor countries, the Guardian newspaper has revealed – Euractiv
  • ‘Factchecking: French development aid dropped in 2013’ – French development aid decreased by almost 10% in 2013, according to the OECD, a surprising drop which runs contrary to governmental declarations – Euractiv
  • ‘Oxfam: German food project ‘ignores subsistence farmers’’– A wide range of NGOs are criticising Germany’s development policy, claiming Berlin is increasingly accommodating the interests of big agricultural companies. Meanwhile, a recent Oxfam report describess devastating effects for smallholders – Euractiv
  • Challenges for the new European Development Commissioner – On 23 April, in cooperation with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) and The Broker, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a seminar on the future of EU development cooperation. The main message of the day was, once again, that while the European Commission has all the potential to play a significant role in development cooperation, the EU member states lack the political will and courage to do so.
  • Europe’s aid experience shows the value of supporting middle-income countries’ – EU aid to its member states has proved highly effective – so why pull the plug on countries such as India and South Africa?

FEBRUARY 2014

  • The press across Europe has been covering the evolution of the situation in Ukraine very closely over the past week. Here are some of the latest updates:
    ‘Ukrainian leadership vote called for European election day’ – Ukraine’s interim leadership pledged to put the country back on course for EU integration now that Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich has been ousted and new elections are called for 25 May, the same day as EU citizens will vote in the European elections. Meanwhile the United States warned Russia against sending in military forces – Euractiv
    ‘Western Ukrainians debunk fears of national split’ – Time and again, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that the Maidan will cause a civil war that will break the country in two. Yanukovych, who is believed to be hiding in eastern Ukraine, said again on Saturday: “I will do everything to protect my country from breakup, to stop bloodshed.”  The warnings are taken seriously by EU countries. The scenario of Ukrainian partition conjures up memories of the Balkan wars in the 1990s – EUobserver
  • ‘EU paves way for resuming direct aid to Zimbabwe’ – The European Union suspended sanctions on eight of Zimbabwe’s most powerful military and political figures on Monday (17 February) and is expected to pave the way for the EU to resume channelling development aid directly to the Zimbabwe government as of 2015 – Euractiv
  •  ‘Weakened centre parties threatened by upsurge in support for Euroscepticism’ – Forecast of 2014-19 European Parliament puts centre-left narrowly ahead according to a Europe-wide forecast of the results of the European Parliament elections (a dedicated website has been set up which will regularly update these forecasts taking into account national polls – PollWatch2014) – European Voice
  •  ‘ECR: ‘Nobody for president’’ – Centre-right group of British Conservatives and allies will not put forward a candidate for European Commission president and say that participating in the process would be to legitimise a federalist vision of a European super-state. He also said the ECR group will not be issuing a pan-European manifesto. Although the group will not field a candidate, its leaders said they will insist they be allowed to take part in the presidential debates – European Voice
  •  ‘Gauck: Germany must play bigger global role, not dominate’ – Germany has no desire to dominate other countries but it needs to leverage its post-war experiences of democracy and prosperity to play a bigger role on the global stage, President Joachim Gauck said – Euractiv
  •  EU–Brazil summit – Today (Monday 24) was being held the 7th EU-Brazil summit since the establishment of the Strategic Partnership in July 2007. This Summit provided the occasion to take stock of the progress in the cooperation on sectorial policies such as competitiveness and investment, research, technology and innovation, transport and infrastructure. Leaders also discussed global challenges such as international cyber policy and internet governance, climate change and energy policies, and sustainable development. The summit also provided an occasion to exchange views on regional issues in Latin America as well as on international security and peace questions such as the situation in Iran, Syria, the Middle East Peace Process and African security – Background note, Fact sheet, Joint statement
  • ‘Development aid for health victim of austerity’ – The economic crisis has significantly affected the part of the development aid budgets allocated to health, except in the UK – Euractiv
  •  ‘New EU support for Senegal to strengthen governance, food security and access to water and sanitation’ – Andris Piebalgs announced €347 million of new EU support to Senegal for the period 2014-2020 during a visit to the country on 12-13 of February – European Commission Press Release
  •  ‘Historic French development law makes aid more transparent, democratic’ – France’s National Assembly adopted a historic bill on Monday night (10 Feb.) that will allow members of parliament to debate policies on international development for the first time, and make French aid more transparent. The text is now with the Senate for discussion – Thomson Reuters Foundation; Euractiv
  •  ‘Daily Mail and UKIP slammed for ‘disgraceful’ attack on overseas aid’ – A campaign by the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the Daily Mail newspaper to divert Britain’s overseas aid budget into domestic flood relief has received a lot of attention, including in European media – Euractiv
  •  ‘Dombrovskis ready to enter EPP race for top EU job’ – Valdis Dombrovskis, the former prime minister of Latvia, is expected to step forward as candidate to represent the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) at this year’s EU Parliament elections. Having turned his country from economic laggard to leader, he may know how to put Europe back on track. Other candidates include Jean-Claude Juncker (Luxembourg) and Michel Barnier (France) – Euractiv; read also ‘‘Baltic candidate’ challenges Juncker for EU top job’ EUObserver
  •  ‘EU elections will be tough again on parties in government, experts say’ – With less than 100 days to go, EurActiv looks at the power balance in Europe and how that could affect the European institutions’ next mandate – Euractiv
  •  ‘Why Europe beckons for Letta’ – Discarded Italian prime minister’s ambiguous political antecedents make him a plausible candidate for European presidencies – European Voice
  •  Switzerland – Following the Swiss referendum on 9 February, in which a narrow majority backed proposals to reintroduce immigration quotas for the European Union, the Commission said it was postponing talks on Swiss participation in both the EU’s €80-billion Horizon 2020 research programme and its €14.7-billion Erasmus+ educational exchange programme – Euractiv
  •  ‘Bosnia unrest ‘a wake-up call’’ – The most extensive social and political unrest in Bosnia since the country’s civil war of 1992-95 is setting alarm bells ringing across the European Union – European Voice
  •  ‘EU dangles carrot to Ukrainians’ – The European Union’s foreign ministers decided on Monday (10 February) not to invoke the threat of sanctions against the Ukrainian authorities, opting instead to hold out the prospect of more generous EU backing in the future – European Voice
  • ‘Sahel crisis: EU gives €142 million in humanitarian aid in 2014’ – The European Commission has announced it will give €142 million in humanitarian funds to the Sahel region of Africa in 2014, which is once again suffering because of a severe food and nutrition crisis this year – European Commission Press Release
  •  ‘French aid transparency more successful in second round’ – After some hurdles, France has relaunched its website dedicated to the transparency of development aid in Mali – Euractiv
  •  ‘EU and UNICEF boost their partnership to improve child and maternal health and to save more children’ – The €320 million in funding agreements is part of the EU’s MDG-initiative and the 10th European Development Fund, which aims to accelerate progress towards meeting the most off-track goals.  UNICEF and the EU, in cooperation with partner countries and civil societies, will scale up interventions that reduce child mortality and strengthen maternal and pre-natal health – European Commission Press release
  •  ‘Commission on brink of major trade deal in Africa’ – African sources have confirmed that technical talks in late January resulted in agreement between the Commission and the 16-country Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) on an economic partnership agreement (EPA) that covers not only trade in goods, but also in services, investment, enforcement and trade-related aid – European Voice
  •  ‘France backs Niger in talks with Areva over uranium mining’ – The French development minister, Pascal Canfin, has called Niamey’s requests “legitimate” in the dispute between Niger and the French industrial giant Areva whose main shareholder is the French government – Euractiv
  • ‘EU readies voluntary conflict minerals scheme’ – The EU’s trade chief will present a voluntary scheme in March aimed at stemming the import of minerals from conflict zones and prevent their use to finance war and strife, EU officials said on 5 February – Euractiv
  • ‘MEPs vie with Van Rompuy for power of initiative on Commission presidency’ – MEPs reacted with alarm to the disclosure by Van Rompuy last week that he was scheduling a meeting of the European Council a mere 48 hours after the results of the European Parliament elections. The current leadership of the Parliament is afraid that the European Council will pre-empt decisions on who should be appointed to the European Union’s top jobs – European Voice
  • ‘High ambitions for foreign affairs role’ – There are three people whose apparent ambition to succeed Catherine Ashton as high representative stands a chance of success. The three known aspirants – Radoslaw Sikorski (from the centre-right, Polish), Frans Timmermans (a Socialist, Dutch) and Miroslav Lajcák (left leaning, Slovakia) – share three things that set them apart from Ashton: they are male, they are foreign ministers, and they are from smaller member states than Ashton, who is British – European Voice
  • ‘Lagarde for president’ – Chances for a new beginning in Europe are rare and should be seized. Unfortunately, Europe’s leaders have not got the message. The names being canvassed for commission president are an uninspiring list of Eurocrats. One person—who is not a declared candidate—would be far better: Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF- The Economist
  • MEPs are set to block a proposal that all final European Parliament Committee votes on legislation be recorded and published following a joint request by the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and centre-left Social Democrats (S&D) blocks reports European Voice. As a result, the vote on the proposal has been postponed – European VoiceEuropean Voice leader
  • ‘Merkel makes U-turn, backs Juncker for Commission job’ – In a surprise U-turn, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly indicated she supports Luxembourg’s former prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, as lead candidate for the European People’s Party (EPP). The EPP is set to officially select their lead candidate at a party convention in Dublin on 6 March, which is also likely to entail a nomination for the Commission presidency following the elections  – Euractiv
  •  ‘Keller and Bové to campaign as Greens’ duo’ – José Bové and Ska Keller will lead the European Green party’s campaign for the EU elections in May, after winning an ‘online primary’ that polled 22,600 people across Europe, the party announced 29 January – Euractiv
  •  ‘Think-tanks call for stronger successor to Barroso’ – The next European Commission risks slipping into inertia if EU leaders do not reform the executive and allow for a stronger president to take charge, Brussels’ think tank chiefs said on Tuesday (28 January) – Euractiv
  •  ‘Germany signals new self-confidence on military operations’ – German President Joachim Gauck has said his country should put aside World War II anxieties and play a bigger military role abroad. He gave the Central African Republic and Mali as examples of overseas crises where use of force is legitimate on moral grounds and in terms of UN mandate – EU Observer

 JANUARY 2014

  • Proposal for a COUNCIL REGULATION amending Council Regulation (EC) No 215/2008 of 18 February 2008 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the 10th European Development Fund for the implementation of the Bridging Facility – Council
  •  ‘It’s (almost) final: EU to slash aid to middle-income countries’ – After more than two years of prolonged and at times contentious negotiations in Brussels, the European Union is now poised to scale back its aid to middle-income countries – Devex
  •  ‘€140 million released to support development in Guinea’ – The European Commission has released almost €140 million to finance five development projects for the Republic of Guinea. Following inclusive and peaceful elections held on 28 September 2013, the European Union was able to resume full cooperation with the country and release the funds from the 10th EDF (European Development Fund) (2008‑2013) – EU Press release
  •  ‘EU Commissioner pledges to align development, farm policies with Africa’ – EU Commissioner Dacian Cioloş called for an elimination of agricultural export refunds in trade with African countries at the International Green Week in Berlin on Thursday 16 January – Euractiv
  •  Communication: ‘A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030’ – The Commission proposes a new reduction target for domestic GHG emissions of 40% compared to 1990 as the centre piece of the EU’s energy and climate policy for 2030. It would be accompanied by a coherent headline target at European level for renewable energy of at least 27% with flexibility for Member States to set national objectives. The question of how best to deliver the optimal energy savings in 2030 will be analysed in greater detail in a review of the Energy Efficiency Directive to be concluded later in 2014 – European Commission
  •  ‘EU sets out ‘walk now, sprint later’ 2030 clean energy vision’ – The European Commission set out its goal on 22 January of a Europe which, by 2030, emits 40% less carbon dioxide than it did in 1990, uses renewables for 27% of its energy, and employs a reserve mechanism to regulate its carbon market – Euractiv
  •  ‘EU ditches plan to regulate on shale gas’ – The European Commission has backed away from tabling new laws to regulate shale gas extraction, choosing to leave national governments in charge on the controversial practice – EUobserver
  •  Decision-makers from around the world met in Davos this week. The event gave place to numerous panel discussions around the four following themes: i. Achieving Inclusive Growth, ii. Embracing Disruptive Innovation, iii. Meeting Society’s New Expectations and iv. Sustaining a World of 9 Billion. The detailed programme is available here. Project Syndicate published a series of blogs which can be found here.
  • ‘Syrian crisis: EU pledges additional funding for humanitarian aid as needs continue to rise’ – The European Commission will pledge an extra €165 million for vital humanitarian assistance and for areas such as education and support to host communities and local societies for 2014 at the International Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait on 15 January. This will bring the total funding since the start of the crisis to over €1.1 billion, including €615 million in life saving humanitarian aid alone – European Commission Press Release
  • EU Humanitarian agency in financial difficulty – The multiplication or amplification of crises in 2013 (Mali, Syria, CAR, Philippines…) had a very direct impact on ECHO’s financial balance. The rumor of a risk of bankruptcy started in early January. In 2013, the organisation had to exceed its annual budget of one billion euros by approximately €300 million. A meeting was held in Brussels, Monday 13 Jan. It has confirmed there is “political will” to consolidate the budget for humanitarian aid, but did not clarify when the deficit of the agency would be filled. It may be necessary to find the resources in other sectors. Or to call on Member States and the Parliament – Le Monde (French) ‘L’agence humanitaire de l’UE en difficulté financière’
  • ‘EU and UN mobilise half a billion dollars to save lives in Central African Republic’ – European Commission press release
  •  ‘Council conclusions on the Central African Republic’ – European Council
  •  ‘Ukraine anti-democracy laws spark violent clashes’ – Protesters clashed with riot police in the Ukrainian capital yesterday (19 January) after tough anti-protest legislation, which the political opposition says paves the way for a police state, was rushed through parliament last week – Euractiv
  • Olli Rehn withdraws his candidacy for European elections – The Belgian Guy Verhofstadt will be “the” candidate of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats group to the President of the European Commission. Olli Rehn, the current Finnish Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, withdrew from the race. He will run for “another important function.” Either the post of High Representative for European diplomacy, or the presidency of the Eurogroup – Le Monde (French)
  • CAR: ‘EU countries provisionally agree African mission’ – EU countries have provisionally agreed to send troops to Bangui airport to protect civilians and distribute aid – EU Observer
  •  GERMANY’S ODA: ‘High official resigns after Germany freezes development funding’ – German MP Sascha Raabe resigned from his post as development spokesman on Tuesday (7 January) after his party agreed to freeze development funds during coalition negotiations. In the end, the yearly increase in development funding was placed at €200 million, an amount Raabe said was barely enough to maintain Germany’s current ODA level – Euractiv
  • FOREIGN COMPANIES &TAXES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: ‘Niger and France reach impasse on uranium talks’ – Negotiations between Niger and the French nuclear energy conglomerate Areva have hardened as the two sides seek to reach an agreement on uranium extraction in the Western African country. Discussions centre on the implementation of Niger’s 2006 mining law that allows Niamey to increase taxes on uranium extraction. Areva refuses to comply with the taxation rules and wants to conserve the fiscal exonerations foreseen by the previous extraction agreement – Euractiv
  •  SOMALIA ANTI-PIRACY FORCE: ‘EU set to extend Somalian anti-piracy force until 2016’ – The EU is poised to prolong the life of Operation Atalanta, a multi-million euro counter-piracy naval force off the coast of Somalia, as part of the bloc’s comprehensive approach to state-building and peace-making in the Horn of Africa. The mandate for the force was due to run out in December 2014 – Euractiv
  •  INTEGRATED MIGRATION POLICY: ‘Athens vows to push for integrated migration policy’ – Greece is making a point to push for a single asylum system and a more coordinated management of illegal migration flows into Europe during its six-month EU presidency – Euractiv
  •  EEAS: ‘How to Breathe New Life into the European External Action Service’ – Carnegie Europe identifies six areas for improvement in order to enhance the role of the EEAS and boost member states’ buy-in – Carnegie Europe
  • EU CLIMATE POLICY: ‘Parliament, Commission set for clash over 2030 clean energy goals’ –The European Parliament voted for three binding energy and climate targets in 2030 on 9 January, audaciously backing a 40% energy savings improvement, but EurActiv understands that a meeting of nine EU commissioners is set to endorse a far weaker text – Euractiv
  • ‘The Year the EU Sets Its Future Course’ – The debate over the long-term direction of the European political experiment will take center stage in 2014. And the choices EU leaders and citizens make for the union’s leadership positions will be the most visible indicators of where the journey is likely to go  – Carnegie Europe
  •  ‘Critical development business questions for 2014’ – This article covers five of the most pressing development issues for the year 2014, one of which is the EU’s differentiated aid policy – Devex
  •  ‘Central African Republic: only concerted international action can prevent an appalling tragedy from spiralling further out of control’ – Statement by Kristalina Georgieva on the situation in CAR – European Commission Memo
  •  ‘Insecure Europe’ – The author reflects on the recent European Council and considers that the economic crisis has made the EU too inward lookingAna Palacio on Project Syndicate

DECEMBER 2013

  • European Council (19-20 Dec. 2013) – The recent European Council, held in Brussels, focused among other things on security and defence as well as the economic and monetary union – Summit conclusions
  • “EU may send mission to central Africa” – The European Union is likely to decide in January 2014 how to support France, the African Union and the United Nations in their efforts to curb the bloodshed in the Central African Republic – European Voice
  •  Meanwhile, in South Sudan, the situation is deteriorating and there are concerns that it could turn into a civil war. There has not been much official reaction from the EU so far; a statement was released by the local EU delegation on 20 December.
  •  ‘EU wary of using development aid to contain migration’ – After the Lampedusa tragedy, several EU leaders have called for development aid to be targeted toward countries, mostly in Africa, which are a major source of illegal immigration. The European Commission admits that there is a link between giving aid and containing migratory flows, whilst insisting that the two tracks are completely separate – Euractiv
  • Council Regulation for the 10th EDF – The European Commission put forward a proposal for an EU Council Regulation amending the current Regulation on the implementation of the 10th EDF European Development Fund under the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement for the implementation of the Bridging Facility between January 2014 and the entry into force of the 11th EDF.
  •  ‘Fresh FTT cash needed for development, climate policies: French minister’ – Europe’s planned financial transaction tax (FTT) would be the best solution to address cash shortages for global development and climate policies, the French deputy minister for development told EurActiv France in an interview – Euractiv
  •  ‘Revised EU trade scheme to help developing countries applies on 1 January 2014’ – The European Union’s rules determining which countries pay less or no duty when exporting to the 28 country trade bloc, and for which products, will change on 1 January 2014 – European Commission Press Release
  •  ‘The Next High Representative and the EEAS’ – This commentary calls for clarifying the relations between the different actors involved in EU foreign policy, strengthening the leadership role of the High Representative within the Commission and integrating central elements such as the European Neighbourhood Policy and the EU Special Representatives in the EEAS – German Institute for International and Security Affairs
  • EU climate finance in the context of external aid – This report published by the European Court of Auditors found that, although climate-related aid has been managed well by the European Commission, cooperation between the Commission and Member States is inadequate.
  •  The EU and Africa: a changing relationship – This European Voice report looks at the economic relationship between the two continents and considers how a sharper focus on trade-based growth on both sides of the Mediterranean has become an element in the burgeoning co-operation on security issues, and touches on the continuing importance of European support for development in the more remote, poorer and more troubled corners of Africa.
  • The EU Foreign Affairs Council discussed development cooperation on 12 December. See the Press release of the Council meeting, Council Conclusions on financing poverty eradication and sustainable development beyond 2015, the Council adoption of the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020 regulation, and Council Conclusions on the report from the Commission on EU support for democratic governance, with a focus on the governance initiative.
  •  ‘Looking Beyond 2013: Are Africa-Europe Relations Still Fit for Purpose?’ – This report of the conference organised by the European Think-Tanks Group on 28 October 2013 provides a summary of the discussions and recommendations made in view of the EU-Africa summit next Spring.
  • ‘EU-Africa trade partnership negotiations stalled’ – The upcoming deadline imposed by the European Commission to revise the EU’s preferential trade agreements with former colonies in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region is raising concern among African countries – Euractiv
  •  ‘French government approves new legal framework for development aid’ – The French government has adopted a draft law outlining development aid policy priorities but failed to clarify how it will be financed – Euractiv
  • Giving with one hand and taking with the other – Europe’s role in tax-related capital flight from developing countries – This report by Eurodad finds that there is a significant discrepancy between tough political rhetoric from the governments surveyed and their actions. This is having a particularly damaging impact on developing countries. A brief of the report is also available.
  • Paving the way for an EU Development and Cooperation Results Framework – This Commission staff working document sets out the processes that are currently being taken forward by the Commission services to deliver against the ‘Agenda for Change’ commitment to strengthen the Commission’s ability to monitor and report operational results achieved through the implementation of EU funded development and cooperation projects and programmes.
  • The EU’s comprehensive approach to external conflict and crises – In this Joint Communication, the EEAS and the Commission set out their common understanding of the EU’s comprehensive approach to external conflict and crises.
  •  ‘Toward a Sui Generis EU Foreign Policy’ – This blog looks at how the EEAS carved a role out for itself as a dialogue facilitator. It argues the EEAS has had mixed results thus far because it was set up in competition to national foreign services. It suggests that the EEAS should instead focus more on medium- and long-term issues, while the member states do the day-to-day job of dealing with events – Carnegie Europe
  • ‘Challenges 2014: Keeping Ashton’s legacy alive – Showing leadership and coherence in EU external relations through 2014’ – This blog foresees two key trends and challenges for the EEAS in 2014: the lack of appetite for legal change before the institutional transition takes effect in 2014 and the member states’ unanimous recognition of the importance of the role of Vice President, and the need for the High Representative to exert this role – ECDPM
  •  ‘Trade facilitation has real costs and dubious gains’ – the figure of $1 trillion gains put forward by WTO’s director when a deal was reached earlier this month receives criticism in a letter published in the Financial Times – FT
  • ‘EU stops work on Ukraine pact, Washington pushes for sanctions’ – The European Commission announced yesterday (15 December) it was halting work on a landmark trade and political pact with Ukraine, meanwhile details emerged of the sanctions the United States and the EU would impose on President Viktor Yanukovich and oligarchs if there was a crackdown on demonstrators – Euractiv
  • ‘The Netherlands vetoes Albania’s EU candidate status’ – The Dutch parliament has voted against a government proposal to grant Albania the status of EU candidate, preventing EU leaders from rubberstamping the proposal during a summit in Brussels on 19-20 December – Euractiv
  • ‘Ashton flies to Kyiv as tensions heighten’ – Ashton is expected in Kyiv for a two-day visit on 10 Dec. and is due to meet both senior government officials, as well as the leaders of the opposition and civil society. But political observers said that tension in Kyiv had reached boiling point and several worst-case scenarios were described as realistic – Euractiv
  • ‘WTO reaches trade reform deal in Bali’ – The World Trade Organization reached its first trade reform deal on 7 December to a roar of approval from nearly 160 ministers on the Indonesian island of Bali who had decided on the agreement, which could add $1 trillion (€730 billion) to the global economy – Euractiv
  • ‘France goes to war in Africa to ‘save lives’ – On 5 Dec., the UN Security Council unanimously backed a joint African-French force of about 4,800 men to stop violence in the Central African Republic, which has intensified after rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in March – EUObserver
  • ‘Leaders pay tribute to Mandela, ‘great light’ has gone out’ – As tributes poured from EU and world leaders, Nelson Mandela was hailed on Thursday evening (5 December) as a hero, a ‘great light’. The man who led the triumphant fight against apartheid in South Africa and became that country’s first black president – Euractiv
  • ‘Ukraine attempts to revive EU deals’ – Ukraine’s President is seeking to revive talks on trade and political deals offered by the European Union just days after he decided not to sign the deals at a summit in Vilnius last week (28-29 November). Yanukovych telephoned José Manuel Barroso on Monday 2 December asking for discussions to resume. Barroso said the EU was willing to talk about implementation of the deals, but would not re-negotiate the terms – European Voice
  • ‘Sustainability will dominate post-2015 development agenda’ – Development ministers from the European Union’s member states will gather in Brussels next Thursday (12 December) to push forward discussion about the international development agenda after 2015. The overarching theme of post-2015 international development policy is likely to be sustainability. The EU envisages anchoring policies on improved living standards and greener economic development models – European Voice
  • ‘Europe Sending Armies to Stop Immigrants’ – The proposal includes options for the interception of population movements towards Europe including an independent maritime operation or the implementation of extra measures within an ongoing Frontex (the EU border agency) operation in the region. All options predict a central role for the CSDP, the key European instrument for dealing with international security crises – Independent European Daily Express
  • ‘EU countries offered €6,000 per head to take in refugees’ – The European Commission is proposing to pay EU countries €6,000 for each UN-registered refugee which they agree to resettle. The idea, announced by the European Commission on Wednesday (4 December), is part of a package designed to stop people dying on sea crossings and being exploited by human traffickers – EUObserver
  • ‘Post 2015: Making Migration Work for Sustainable Development’ – This briefing paper focuses on five key aspects: migrants’ rights as well as living and working conditions; internal migration; environmental change and migration; and low-skilled migration and circular migration – DIE Briefing Paper
  •  ‘The EU’s State Building Contracts: Courageous Assistance to Fragile States, but how effective in the end?’ – State Building Contracts appear to be a smart and flexible response to past criticisms of EC budget support in fragile, transition and conflict-affected environments, but the effectiveness of this form of budget support, which was formalised in 2012, remains to be seen – ECDPM Briefing Note
  • ‘Ready to Fly (Yet?). The European External Action Service: from Fixing Bolts to Taking Off’ – This issue of the “ISPI Studies” series provides a critical review of what has been accomplished thus far, the challenges that the new High Representative is going to face in the near future in terms of the development of the EEAS’s very structure and the prospective enhancement of the Common Foreign and Security Policy – ISPI – Instituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale
  • Empowering Europe’s Future: Governance, Power and Options for the EU in a Changing World – This report analyses trends in power and governance to 2030 – Chatham House and FRIDE Report
  • Development Co-operation Report 2013: Ending Poverty – The Development Co-operation Report (DCR) is the key annual reference document for analysis and statistics on trends in international development co-operation. This year, the DCR explores what needs to be done to achieve rapid and sustainable progress in the global fight to end poverty – OECD

NOVEMBER 2013

  • Council conclusions on the Common Security and Defence Policy – The conclusions state that the EU has a uniquely wide array of policies and tools at its disposal – spanning the diplomatic, security, defence, financial, trade, and development fields. In order to tackle security threats, the EU needs to apply and further develop its comprehensive approach to all phases of the conflict cycle, from early warning and prevention, through management to stabilisation and peace-building – Council of the EU
  • EU Council Regulation on MFF – The regulation laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 was adopted on 25 November – Council of the EU
  • Council conclusions on the contributions to the European Development Fund were agreed setting out the financial contributions to be paid by member states in 2014 and the ceiling for the annual amount of member states contributions for 2015 – Council of the EU Press release
  • ‘It’s not very easy to work with us’ admits EU development chief – EuropeAid’s Klaus Rudischhauser explains that while some may find his organisation bureaucratic, it delivers programmes with real impact – The Guardian
  • More power to the High Representative? A brilliant German idea, or just a “Querelle Byzantine”? – The German coalition’s roadmap stresses the need for granting more power to the HR/VP and to the EEAS. The agreement underlines a few propositions such as the necessity to improve the internal functioning of the EEAS; the need to better link its interactions with the European Commission in matters of foreign policy, trade and development aid; the desirability of enhancing its actions toward preventing and dealing with crisis; and the plan for “further linking [of] civilian and military instruments of the EU [with] improving military capacities for crisis prevention and conflict resolution”. This renewed interest may reveal Germany’s aim of securing the position for one of its nationals – European Public Affairs
  • ‘INFOGRAPHIC: How transparent are aid donors?’ – Only a few aid organisations published large amounts of useful information about their activities, according to the 2013 Aid Transparency Index – Euractiv and Publish What You Fund
  • Special Eurobarometer “EU Development Aid and the Millennium Development Goals” – Tackling poverty in developing countries should be one of the main priorities of the European Union, according to 66% of EU citizens. Seven out of ten people (69%) believe that helping these countries is also good for the EU, benefiting its citizens – Eurobarometer
  • ‘EU-Jordan: €45m to support civil society, media, justice and security sectors’ EU Press release
  • New EU projects on access to health, education and other services for the Ethiopian people’ – A total of eight new agreements of an overall amount of almost €240 million have been announced during a visit by the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) – EU Press release
  • ‘350,000 Kiev citizens take to streets after Yanukovich’s EU U-turn’ –Ukrainian opposition leaders at a pro-Europe rally of about 350,000 people called on 1 December for President Viktor Yanukovich and his government to resign. Violent clashes marred the rally between protesters and riot police – Euractiv
  • ‘EU seeks ‘time for reflection’ after Vilnius summit failure’ – EU diplomats admitted that “time for reflection” was needed after Ukraine declined the opportunity to join the bloc at a two-day ‘Eastern Partnership’ summit in Vilnius that ended on 29 November, highlighting the EU’s weakness against an ever-more assertive Russia – Euractiv
  • ‘European Parliament approves EU’s long-term budget (MFF) 2014-2020’ – On 19 November, the European Parliament approved the EU’s budget for 2014-2020. The budget regulation was approved by 537 votes to 126, with 19 abstentions.  The accompanying Inter-Institutional Agreement was approved by 557 votes to 118, with 11 abstentions – European Parliament press release
  • ‘EU needs fewer commissioners, Netherlands says’ – Frans Timmermans explained that governments should create a division of a and b-level boards for the EU executive. Eight “a-board” members would take the lead on Brussels’ biggest portfolios (e.g. internal market, economic affairs and justice and home affairs) and would be solely responsible for initiating new legislation. Meanwhile, the remaining “b-board members” would take oversight roles and keep their right to vote on new legal proposals – EU Observer
  • ‘Europe tries new recipe to combat hunger in Ethiopia’ – Learning from past crises, the European Commission has changed tack on its approach to food security in the Horn of Africa, focusing on resilience to droughts and supporting diversification in local farming production – Euractiv
  • ‘€90m a year support for Myanmar’ – The European Union may give Myanmar – Burma – up to €90 million a year in its 2014-20 development-aid budget. This would make the country one of the principal recipients of EU support – European Voice
  • ‘Ukraine pulls the plug on EU treaty’ – Ukraine’s Prime Minister ordered in a government decree published on 21 November the “halt of the process of preparing the association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union.” The decree said the decision was taken to “ensure the national security of Ukraine” and to “restore lost trade volumes with the Russian Federation.” Ukraine was due to sign an association and free trade agreement with the EU on 28-29 Nov. at the Eastern Partnership Summit – EU Observer
  • ‘Huge demonstration in Kyiv in support of EU pact’ – In the biggest street demonstrations in Kyiv since the Orange Revolution nine years ago, opposition leaders followed by tens of thousands of Ukrainians called on Yanukovich to go ahead with the signing of a landmark agreement with the European Union on 29 November in Vilnius as originally planned – Euractiv
  •  ‘NGOs walk out of climate talks in Warsaw’ – Over a dozen leading pro-environment NGOs walked out of the United Nations climate change talks in Warsaw on Thursday 21 November saying that a handful of countries, led by Poland, are threatening to derail a future global agreement – EU Observer
  • ‘UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw keeps governments on a track towards 2015 climate agreement’ – After a difficult COP19 where the lack of ambition was denounced by NGOs and some member states, an agreement was reached in the early hours of Sunday 24 Nov. setting a timeline toward the 2015 summit in Paris where a global climate deal is to be reached to replace the Kyoto Protocol – COP 19 Closing press release
  • Central African Republic ‘on the verge of genocide’ – France said that the Central African Republic was “on the verge of genocide” and it expected the United Nations to give Paris and the African Union permission to intervene – Euractiv
  •  Commitment to Development Index – The Center for Global Development’s CDI ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries on policies that affect the more than five billion people living in poorer nations. This year’s ‘winner’ is Denmark – CGD
  • Interview with Pierre Vimont (Executive Secretary-General, EEAS) European Geostrategy
  • ‘Late night deal seals 2014 EU budget’ – The EU institutions reached a political agreement on 12 November on both the Union’s budget for 2014 (€142.6 billion for total commitments and €135.5 billion in payments) and pending amending budgets for 2013. Both the European Parliament and Council must still formally adopt the agreement – Euractiv
  • EU budget 2014: Parliament and Council strike a dealEU Parliament Press Release
  • ‘Strengthening climate diplomacy’ – This article argues that Europe needs to strengthen its capacity for climate diplomacy, that the creation of the EEAS was a missed opportunity in that respect and that steps should be taken to signal a high-level commitment to climate diplomacy and to provide the service with the means to make a valuable contribution to European climate diplomacy – European Voice  
  • ‘EU finalises trade deal with western African states’ – The EU could finalise a trade agreement with West Africa’s 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) within the next three months – Euractiv
  • ‘Ministers to discuss call for EU to equip African armies’ – The defence ministers of the EU member states are to call for the EU to consider equipping African armies, a contentious idea that is likely to trigger a sharp debate within and between the EU’s institutions – European Voice
  • This monster called Europe – Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders form a Eurosceptic alliance ahead of the European Parliament elections next May – The Economist
  • ‘Trade talks set to disrupt Africa-Europe relations’ – This article looks at the negotiations between the European Union and sub-Saharan African countries on Economic Partnership agreements (EPA), their blockages, and possible ways forward: This is Africa
  •  ‘A dangerous blend? The EU’s agenda to ‘blend’ public development finance with private finance’ – Eurodad recommends putting an immediate halt to any further ODA being channelled through European-level blending mechanisms until there is a radical overhaul of the transparency and accountability of the current blending mechanisms; and, a full and independent review of the effectiveness of existing mechanisms focusing on their development impacts: Eurodad
  • The Evolution of Official Development Assistance: Achievements, Criticisms and a Way ForwardThe discussion paper documents the evolution of the ODA concept and proposes a possible new approach to measuring aid effort called Official Development Effort (ODE): Institute for International Integration Studies
  • Concord Financing for Development position paper: Concord
  • EU 2013 Report on Policy Coherence for Development – The report looks at PCD cross-cutting issues and thematic issues (i.e. trade and finance, climate change, food security, migration and security): Commission Staff Working Document
  • ‘EU accounts signed off, but errors persist in all main spending areas’: European Court of Auditors, Press Release
  • European Commission work programme – 2014: European Commission
  •  ‘Parliamentary update No.49’ – This update covers the European Parliament’s joint meeting between the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) in the presence of Chairs of the relevant Committees of national parliaments to discuss the preparations for the December European Council: ISIS Europe (Carnegie Europe also issued a paper on this topic calling for a strong new impetus towards a European global strategy).
  •  ‘Commission pledges €5 billion aid for Sahel’ – The European Commission will allocate specific funds to help tackle instability in the Sahel. Most of the money will come under the European Development Fund between 2014 and 2020. The Commission made the announcement as part of a joint action between the UN, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the African Union: Euractiv
  •  ‘France to cancel more debt for the world’s poorest countries’ – The government is expected to cancel €1.79 billion of HIPC debt in its 2014 budget, this represents a 16% share of France’s total development aid budget for next year (€9.8 billion). The countries involved continue to pay their debt back to France but when the refund is completed, France transfers the corresponding amount back by assigning it to poverty eradication programmes: Euractiv

AUGUST 2013

  • EU development cooperation. Where have we got to? What’s next? EDCSP Conference Report
  • EAS Review 2013: EEAS
  • EEAS should be streamlined, review says: European Voice
  • New EU communication sets out proposal for financing for poverty eradication and sustainable development post-2015: European Commission
  • Brussels proposes pooling world development aid funding: EurActiv
  • EU pledges €100m infrastructure aid as South African summit opens: EurActiv

JULY 2013

  • Media Statement on the UN High Level Panel Report on Post-2015: CONCORD Europe
  • From Purse to Policy to Practice – Six Initiatives to Future-proof EU Development Cooperation for 2014-2020 and Beyond: ECDPM Briefing Note
  • Donors, recipients look at effectiveness of ‘aid for trade’: EurActiv
  • A well-played hand: Irish Presidency praised for getting deals done: European Voice
  • There is merit in the EU fulfilling limited ambitions: European Voice
  • Council conclusions on climate change – An EU strategy on adaptation to climate change: Council of the European Union
  • Ministers back higher foreign aid spending despite EU fiscal woes: EurActiv 
  • EU’s heavy budget file lands on Brussels summit table: EurActiv 
  • Irish clinch deal on EU’s ‘Horizon 2020’ research programme: EurActiv 
  • ‘We will strive to be a trustworthy EU presidency’, says Lithuanian leader: EurActiv
  • Council approves MFF agreement: Council of the European Union
  • Political agreement on EU €960 billion budget: Irish Presidency of the EU
  • EU 2014-2020 budget agreed. This time for real? EurActiv
  • Row over EU budget overshadows deals: European Voice
  • MEPs demand more on 2014-20 budget: European Voice

JUNE 2013

FEBRUARY 2013

JANUARY 2013

NOVEMBER 2012

  • The European Council has become the new centre of political gravity in EU decision-making
  • LSE blog: Uwe Puetter
  • The EU is undermining its own foreign policy by refusing to act as strongly in the diplomatic arena as its competitors
  • LSE blog: Daniel C. Thomas

OCTOBER 2012

  • European Think-Tanks Group report from high-level panel – ‘Confronting Inequality’ – at the European Development Days
  • ETTG: Sian Herbert
  • EU-Africa relations: what’s in store for 2013?
  • ECDPM
  • The European Commission adopted its 2013 Work Programme with focus on trade, targeted action in the neighbourhood, and furthering the MDGs.
  • European Commission
  • Four financial scenarios for the EU international development budget for the next MFF
  • ECDPM
  • From poverty reduction to mutual interests? The debate on differentiation in EU development policy
  • DIE: Svea Koch
  • European Development Days European Think-Tanks Group (ETTG) blog
  • ETTG
  • EU aid briefing
  • BOND
  • The EEAS waiting game: The appointment of heads to the EEAS is going on and on.
  • European Voice
  • European Court of Auditors audit questions sustainability of EU water projects in Africa
  • EurActiv
  • New European Commission Communication on ‘Supporting societies in democratic transition’
  • European Commission
  • The European Commission appoints several new special advisers
  • European Voice

SEPTEMBER 2012

  • Stavros Lambrinidis appointed first EU Special Representative for Human Rights
  • EEAS

AUGUST 2012

  • Commissioner Piebalgs appointed as a member of the High level Panel on post-2015 development agenda
  • European Commission
  • Starting gun sounds for EU Parliament elections 2014
  • EUobserver
  • Irish EU Presidency to push child hunger prevention
  • EUobserver

JULY 2012

  • Cyprus’s movers and shakers: The main players in the Cypriot government
  • European Voice (pasted below)
  • EU Accountability Report 2012 on Financing for Development: Review of progress of the EU and its Member States
  • European Commission
  • Syria puts the EU’s priorities to the test: Budgetary restraint in some areas and not others can lead to big problems.
  • European Voice
  • European Development Aid: How to be more effective without spending more?
  • Notre-Europe
  • Horizon 2025: creative destruction in the aid industry
  • ODI
  • Trade, aid and rural development: EU sugar policy and the experience of Swaziland
  • ECDPM: Ben Richardson
  • The implementation of macro-financial assistance to third countries in 2011
  • European Commission
  • Report of the EP Workshop on Trade and Investment for Development – Brussels, March 2012
  • European Parliament
  • Commission gives €35 million for disaster preparedness programmes in 2012
  • European Commission
  • BBC Hard Talk with Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade
  • BBC
  • Conclusions of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council Meeting
  • Council of the EU
  • EU Priorities for the 67th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
  • Council of the EU
  • EU maintains its leader position in Aid for Trade to developing countries
  • European Commission
  • Providing children with their ‘first right’: new EU project to ensure birth registration
  • European Commission
  • Commitment to close cooperation to tackle crisis and deliver an ambitious long-term EU budget
  • European Commission
  • Cyprus presidency to start collecting wish lists for EU budget
  • EurActiv
  • The future of the EU development budget
  • Bond
  • Finance ministers to work out changes to the eurozone’s rescue funds
  • EU Observer
  • EU Strategic Framework and EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy
  • Council of the EU
  • Draft Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation
  • European Parliament
  • AidWatch Report 2012: Aid We Can – Invest More in Global Development
  • AidWatch
  • NGOs raise concern on quantity and quality of EU aid
  • DevEx
  • Security and development approaches to Central Asia. The EU compared to China and Russia
  • EUCAM
  • Evaluation of European Commission’s cooperation with the Republic of Congo
  • European Commission (FR)
  • Extension of EBRD operations to southern and eastern Mediterranean
  • Council of the EU
  • Senior managers in the European Commission indicate they do not have all EU spending under control
  • European Voice
  • David Cameron says he will consider a referendum on Britain’s future relationship with Europe, but only when the time is right
  • Sunday Telegraph: David Cameron
  • German parliament approves EU bailout fund
  • EurActiv

JUNE 2012

  • ECHO/UNICEF nutrition programme helps hundreds of thousands of children in Niger
  • European Commission
  • Improving the EU’s early warning response systems
  • Saferworld
  • EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-2020) – the negotiating box
  • Council of the EU
  • Rio+20 side event on Sustainable Development Goals and the European Report on Development
  • UN
  • EU27 investment flows with the rest of the world recovered in 2011
  • Eurostat
  • Biofuelling the global food crisis: why the EU must act at the G20
  • ActionAid
  • Debate: Should we re-think which countries get development aid from the EU?
  • Debating Europe
  • MEPs demand robust and flexible budget and reformed revenue system for the EU
  • European Parliament
  • The 2012 DAC Report on Multilateral Aid – emerging findings
  • OECD-DAC
  • European Commission adopts special measure to support Syrian population and refugees
  • European Commission
  • EU denounces Israeli settlement expansion
  • EUobserver
  • Council approves signing of free trade agreement with Colombia and Peru
  • Council of the EU
  • “Discrimination hampers development” – new EU aid package to fight discrimination in developing countries
  • European Commission DevEx
  • Financial assistance to non-EU countries in the area of migration and mobility
  • European Commission

MAY 2012

  • Rethinking Aid for Trade in the context of Innovative Financing
  • ECDPM
  • European Commission allocates €5 million to help flood victims in South America
  • European Commission
  •  ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly: meeting Europe’s global partners
  • European Parliament
  • The CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for trade and development – factsheet
  • European Commission
  • Council Conclusions: ‘The Future Approach to EU Budget Support to Third Countries’
  • Council of the EU
  • World Water Forum 2012: well defined rights are key for allocating water across uses and sectors
  • ERD European Commission
  • Food security: EU supports G8 initiative for a “New Alliance” with partner countries, donors and the private sector
  • European Commission
  • Yemen: the European Commission gives millions more to fight growing hunger crisis
  • European Commission
  • EIB supports upgrade of road infrastructure in Georgia with EUR 170 million
  • European Commission
  • EEAS: High Representative Catherine Ashton appoints 17 new Heads and Deputy Heads of Delegation
  • European Commission
  • Progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals: mid-term review in preparation of the UN high-level meeting in September 2010
  • European Parliament DEVE
  • EU Court of Auditors report finds shortcomings in EC Common External Relations Information System
  • EU Court of Auditors
  • Structuring options for a green economy – what does the ERD say about the ingredients, recipes, and cooks?
  • ERD: Dirk Willem te Velde
  • The Future of Development Cooperation: from Aid to Policy Coherence for Development
  • ECDPM: Niels Keijzer
  • Annual Report on EIB activity in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific, and the overseas territories
  • EIB
  • EU creates new Caribbean and Pacific Investment Facilities to support key investment in infrastructure
  • European Commission
  • Draft Council Conclusions on a renewed EU-Pacific Development Partnership
  • Council of the EU
  • EU’s first Economic Partnership Agreement with an African region goes live
  • European Commission
  • EBRD moves closer to engaging in North Africa, Middle East
  • DevEx
  • UK resumes funding to Malawi
  • DevEx
  • Niccolò Rinaldi: trade “wonderful opportunity” for Arab Spring democracy
  • European Parliament
  • EU – Kenya: New EU support to strengthen food security among vulnerable mothers and children
  • European Commission
  • EU – Nepal: Framework Agreement between European Investment Bank (EIB) and Nepalese Government
  • European Commission
  • Common Foreign and Security Policy structures and instruments after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty
  • EPLO
  • EU funding for peacebuilding: EPLO’s recommendations for reforming the EU’s external co-operation programmes
  • EPLO
  • Delivering results – How Denmark can lead the way for Policy Coherence for Development
  • Concord Denmark
  • MEPs block budget approval for three EU agencies
  • EU Observer
  • European Parliament plans for 2025
  • EurActiv
  • UKIP has increased its share of votes at local elections in England and Wales – averaging 13% of the vote, five points higher than a year ago
  • BBC

APRIL 2012

  • Re-launch of the ETTG report: EU Blending Facilities: Implications for Future Governance Options
  • ETTG
  • European Union (2012), DAC Peer Review: Main Findings and Recommendations
  • OECD-DAC Guardian
  • EU plays down expectations for Rio Earth Summit
  • EurActiv
  • Thematic global evaluation of the European Commission support to decentralisation processes
  • European Commission
  • Why the EU needs a strong set of rules for extractive sector transparency
  • Global Witness
  • Reprogramming EU development cooperation for 2014-2020
  • ECDPM
  • Food Security: A Mapping of European Approaches
  • GPPI: Alexander Gaus
  • Political conditionality in the EU’s development cooperation
  • ECDPM: Jan Vanheukelom
  •  Future EU External Action budget. Focus on Development
  • CONCORD
  • A federal Europe is the only way out of the crisis
  • EurActiv: Jacques Attali
  •  The Howitt Report – paving the way for a EU human rights “czar”
  • EurActiv
  • “Energising Development”: Commission’s new initiative to help achieve energy access for all by 2030
  • European Commission
  • New partnership between EU and UN Women to enhance gender equality worldwide
  • European Commission
  • Commissioner Georgieva warns of possible humanitarian disaster in northern Mali
  • European Commission
  • Commissioner Piebalgs visits Côte d’Ivoire to relaunch political dialogue and reinforce European aid
  • European Commission
  • MEPs achieve progress on energy security, trade and human rights in meeting with EU’s Eastern Partners
  • European Parliament
  • India says EU CO2 law could scupper global climate talks
  • EurActiv
  • Imminent UN reform will force European re-think
  • EurActiv
  • Europe entering age of ‘aid austerity’
  • EUObserver
  • What future for the ACP and the Cotonou Agreement? Preparing for the next steps in the debate
  • ecdpm
  • Billions less for development? Analysing drivers and consequences of possible ‘zero growth’ scenarios for the 11th European Development Fund 2014 – 2020
  • ecdpm: Ulrika Kilnes
  • MEPs to discuss with EU’s Eastern Partners how to cooperate on energy, trade and human rights issues
  • European Parliament
  • Karel De Gucht European Commissioner for Trade EU-ASEAN Trade and Investment 2012 EU-ASEAN Business Summit Phnom Penh April 1, 2012
  • European Commission
  • Martin Schulz calls on the Union for the Mediterranean to support democratic process in Arab Spring countries
  • European Parliament
  • UN expert says EU farm policies ‘impossible to satisfy’
  • EurActiv
  • MEPs question heavy greening of the EU budget
  • EurActiv
  • Feeding the world: A green headache for policymakers
  • EurActiv

MARCH 2012

  • Translating Busan and the EU Agenda for Change into practice
  • ECDPM
  • Trade: Third countries could be excluded from EU tenders unless they offer reciprocal access to their markets.
  • European Voice  EurActiv
  • EU to finance Palestinian water plant
  • EUobserver
  • Efficacy of EU’s ‘green’ CAP reform questioned
  • EurActiv
  • Agriculture. World fertiliser production is expected to soar to keep up with rising food and biofuel output
  • EurActiv
  • Regions commit to green policies ahead of Rio+20
  • EurActiv
  • EU mulls ‘green lawsuits’ against China
  • EurActiv
  • Transatlantic trade deal on the horizon?
  • EurActiv
  • UN official calls EU’s asylum system ‘extremely dysfunctional’
  • EurActiv
  • More or less? A financial analysis of the proposed 11th European Development Fund
  • ecdpm
  • Europe and the Changing Global Order: Implications for the EU-Africa Relations
  • Warwick Uni: GR:EEN
  • Madagascar: Commission launches €1 million emergency funding for victims of cyclones Giovanna and Irina
  • European Commission
  • EU to consider security training mission to Niger
  • EUobserver
  • Priorities for Rio+20: Pathways to a Sustainable Future – Council conclusions
  • Council of the EU
  • Criticism of differentiation: Some nations could see EU water aid run dry
  • EurActiv
  • Over 70 NGOs urge Danish EU Presidency to speed up FT
  • Oxfam blog
  • EU humanitarian assistance to South East Asia continues long after the cameras have left
  • European Commission
  • Global goal to increase the number of people with access to drinking water achieved ahead of time; 32 million people benefited from EU actions on water
  • European Commission
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: the European Commission boosts funding for bringing humanitarian aid to hard-to-reach people in need
  • European Commission
  • The European Commission joins the operations to bring first aid to the victims of Brazzaville explosions
    European Commission
  • Danes see ‘tough negotiations’ at Environment Council
  • EurActiv
  • EU member states to get more money for receiving refugees
  • European Voice
  • EIB Operational Plan 2012-2014
  • EIB
  • Reviewing one of the EU’s foreign policy priorities: the Rights of the Child
  • EEAS
  • EU leaders eye stronger UN role to police the environment
  • EurActiv
  • Commissioner Piebalgs visits Haiti: “The EU keeps delivering on its promises to help Haitians to build a better future”
  • European Commission
  • ACTA: experts reveal how it could affect civil liberties and access to generic medicine
  • European Parliament
  • Palestine’s UN upgrade coming back on EU agenda
  • EUobserver
  • EU Security and Defence news – e-newsletter (Issue 58)
  • EEAS
  • Máire Geoghegan-Quinn European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science “Sharing excellence in science, technology and innovation between Europe, Singapore and the ASEAN region”
  • European Commission
  • LSE launches new Brussels blog – EUROPP
  • LSE blog
  • EU foreign ministers voted on Monday to transfer the presidency of the Union for the Mediterranean from France to the EU’s External Action Service headed by Catherine Ashton.
    Les Echos
  • Special report on water policy
  • EurActiv

FEBRUARY 2012

  • European Commission publishes its second Trade and Investment Barriers Report (describing progress with six strategic economic partners – China, India, Japan, Mercosur, Russia and the US)
  • European Commission European Commission 2
  • Potočnik to test Rio ideas at UNEP forum
  • EurActiv
  • EU Statement – United Nations Security Council: Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa and the Sahel
  • EEAS
  • Commissioner De Gucht visits Moldova and Georgia to open trade negotiations
  • European Commission
  • ERD consultation: Elements for a Post-2015 Global Agenda
  • ECDPM
  • European Commission’s new Scientific Advisory Board for EU development policy was launched in Brussels (including Simon Maxwell and Dirk Messner)
  • European Commission
  • Karel De Gucht European Commissioner for Trade EU-Asian Cooperation in an Era of Transformation Foreign Correspondents’ Club Honk Kong, 16 February 2012
  • European Commission: Karel De Gucht
  • €30 million to feed a million children in the Sahel – the European Commission and World Food Programme join forces to fight the looming food crisis
  • European Commission EurActiv: Georgieva
  • EU foreign service moves into new home
  • EUobserver
  • Trade, Growth & Development: Tailoring trade and investment policy for those countries most in need
  • European Commission
  • EU helps tackle poverty by boosting trade capacity of poorest developing countries
  • EEAS
  • The European Commission’s legislative proposals for financing EU Development Cooperation
  • ODI: Mikaela Gavas
  • Spotlight on the division of labour between the EEAS and DG DEVCO
  • ECDPM
  • Thematic evaluation of the European Commission support to respect of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
  • European Commission
  • Commission still pulls the strings on EU foreign policy
  • EUobserver
  • EU – China Summit EU27 exports to China up by 21% and imports by 5% in the first ten months of 2011
  • Eurostat EEAS factsheet
  • EU head of delegation to Egypt: Europe needs a real partnership with Egypt
  • European Parliament
  • MEPs who have adopted a resolution calling for Member States to stop providing safe havens for the personal fortunes of leaders of authoritarian regimes
  • European Parliament
  • EU plans to increase its presence in Syria: Humanitarian experts could be sent within days
  • European Voice

JANUARY 2012

  • Aid has to be modernised; EU is not pulling out from middle income countries (MICs)
  • Andris Piebalgs blog
  • Declaration on the Establishment of a European Endowment for Democracy
  • Council of EU
  • The EU’s approach to fragility in Guinea Bissau: Between ambition and coherence
  • FRIDE
  • Bill Gates addresses the International Development Committee in the European Parliament
  • BBC Democracy Live
  • EU sees thirsty China as a partner at Rio
  • EurActiv
  • Cameron spurs new WTO strategy and insists the EU should instead negotiate free trade deals with the United States and Africa
  • EurActiv
  • Western powers to end Kosovo supervision
  • EurActiv
  • Higher EU CO2 cut ‘fundamental’ to developing world
  • EurActiv
  • Rebuilding homes for Haitians – Two years on, Europe continues to deliver on its promises to Haiti
  • European Commission
  • Boosting trade, central to African Union summit
  • EEAS
  • European Commission doubles its humanitarian assistance in Sahel, Commissioner Georgieva calls for “smart aid”
  • European Commission
  • Leaked document reveals Rio+20 sustainable development goals
  • EurActiv
  • Ministers identify glitches in EU diplomatic service
  • EUobserver

DECEMBER 2011

  • Impact Assessment: Financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights worldwide
  • European Commission
  • Meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE) on the MFF development instruments, 8 December 2011
  • Council of the EU
  • More Action, Better Service: How to Strengthen the European External Action Service
  • Carnegie Europe
  • Measuring the development impact of loans used for public investment projects
  • ECDPM
  • Helping in emergencies and long-term crises – where the European Commission’s humanitarian aid will go in 2012
  • European Commission
  • The role and the coherence of EU policies in changing the global food, speech by Kristalina Georgieva
  • European Commission
  • EU Security and Defence news – e-newsletter Issue 55 – e-bulletin No. 55
  • EEAS
  • Andris Piebalgs European Commissioner for Development Closing speech 2011 European Development Days
  • European Commission
  • Revision of the EU Civil Protection legislation: towards more effective disaster management
  • European Commission
  • Questioning Old Certainties: Challenges for Africa-EU relations in 2012
  • ECDPM
  • Establishment Agreement signed between the European Union and the Republic of South Sudan
  • EEAS
  • The European Commission renews its assistance for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, supporting vital government functions and refugees
  • European Commission
  • The European Union announces new initiatives to increase transparency and improve coordination in aid delivery
  • European Commission
  • MEPs worried about EU development spending
  • EUobserver
  • EU development cooperation after the Lisbon Treaty: People, institutions and global trends
  • ECDPM
  • Factsheet on the interim Economic Partnership Agreements: WEST AFRICA: IVORY COAST AND GHANA
  • European Commission
  • Decision of the Government of Eritrea to terminate ongoing programmes under the 10th EDF
  • EEAS
  • In partnership with women: empowerment through action
  • EEAS
  • Pushing for climate commitments in Durban
  • EEAS
  • Council conclusions on enlargement and stabilisation and association process
  • Council of the EU
  • EU-Russia Summit (14 December) – latest news
  • EEAS
  • The next European Council (8-9 December) will focus on economic policy, energy and enlargement issues
  • European Council
  • Congolese tensions spill onto streets of Brussels
  • EUobserver
  • The EU and Turkey: steering a safer path through the storms
  • EUobserver
  • EU support for public administration, regional development and energy efficiency in Ukraine
  • European Commission

NOVEMBER 2011

  • Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2011 – Invitation to contribute information
  • EEAS
  • Is there a new impetus on the EU to deal with conflict and fragility in third countries? Part 2: recent policy developments
  • ecdpm
  • Council Decision on the financial contributions to be paid by the Member States to finance the European Development Fund in 2012 and 2013, including the first instalment for 2012
  • Council of the EU
  • EU boosts regional cooperation and border management in the Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia
  • European Commission
  • Europe, G20, and South-South Trade: Insights from European Approaches to Regional Integration in Africa
  • GMF
  • Green space emerges as major CAP controversy
  • EurActiv
  • EU-Chile: Laying the foundations for closer cooperation in disaster management
  • European Commission
  • Commission announces support for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and research projects in Jordan
  • European Commission
  • Sweden urges EU to take control of north Kosovo problem
  • EUobserver
  • EU steps back, as tensions build ahead of Congo elections
  • EUobserver
  • Syria: France recognises Syrian council, proposes military intervention
  • EUobserver
  • EU-US Summit, Washington 28 November 2011
  • EEAS
  • Commissioner Piebalgs on his first visit to Niger: an additional support for development and security in the Sahel
  • European Commission
  • A new EU impetus on conflict and fragility, or more of the same? Part 1: institutions and evaluation
  • ecdpm
  • Aprodev Newsletter Oct 2011
  • Aprodev
  • Brinksmanship on all sides ahead of EU-Ukraine summit
  • EUobserver
  • MEPs push for strong EU role in climate talks
  • EurActiv
  • Additional €1.5 million for most vulnerable drought victims in Afghanistan
  • European Commission
  • EP Agriculture Committee Chair: We need a more flexible and productive CAP
  • European Parliament
  • Study on Legal Instruments and Lessons Learned from the Evaluations Managed by the Joint Evaluation Unit
  • ecdpm
  • EU is latest donor to publish IATI data
  • IATI
  • New Organisational Chart for EEAS
  • EEAS
  • EU HR Ashton visit to Azerbaijan
  • EEAS
  • EU HR Ashton visit to Georgia
  • EEAS
  • EU HR Ashton visit to Armenia
  • EEAS
  • EU HR Ashton meets Deputy PM of Russia
  • EEAS
  • EU preparing to launch visa-free talks with Russia
  • EUobserver
  • Commissioner Piebalgs in Mali to support development and security in the Sahel
  • European Commission
  • EU announces closer working ties with Anna Lindh Foundation through a new joint programme for the revitalisation of Arab civil society
  • European Commission
  • Questioning old certainties: Challenges for Africa-EU relations in 2012
  • ECDPM
  • A new and comprehensive EU approach to the Horn of Africa
  • EEAS
  • Ukraine lowers ambitions for EU summit
  • EUobserver
  • Belarus: EU sanctions causing pain for Lukashenko
  • EUobserver
  • Warlords undermine EU security mission in Congo
  • EUobserver
  • Strasbourg opening: Buzek on natural disasters, Arab spring, Eurogroup debate and human rights
  • European Parliament
  • Spotlight on EU Policy Coherence for Development: New report by Concord
  • Concord
  • 11th Joint Committee EU – Mexico (joint communication)
  • EEAS
  • World in Transition – A Social Contract for Sustainability: New report by the German Advisory Council (WBGU)
  • WBGU
  • EU Common Position for Busan will be adopted in the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 14 November 2011
  • European Commission
  • Tymoshenko makes emotional plea to save EU-Ukraine treaty
  • EUobserver
  • World’s nuclear arsenals growing, think-tank Basic warns
  • EUobserver
  • EPA Negotiations: The honeymoon is over
  • ECDPM
  • EEAS newsletter: EU Security and Defence news
  • EEAS
  • EU – Colombia: main areas of development cooperation
  • EEAS
  • A look at EU support to Libya
  • EEAS
  • Thematic Evaluation of European Commission Support to Conflict Prevention and Peace-building
  • European Commission
  • Press briefing on international conferences on Afghanistan: EU Special Representative for Afghanistan
  • European Council

OCTOBER 2011

  • Post-2013 EU Common Agricultural Policy, Trade and Development: A Review of Legislative Proposals
  • ICTSD
  • MEPs to examine the rules that govern how EU funds are disbursed, including humanitarian funds
  • European Voice
  • Eleventh OLAF Annual Operational Report
  • OLAF
  • Russia opens ‘humanitarian’ base in Serbia
  • EurActiv
  • The British delegation to the UN blocks EU statements to UN committees
    Guardian
  • The EIB and conflict sensitivity
  • EPLO
  • COUNCIL DECISION extending the mandate of the EU Special Representative to the African Union
  • Europa
  • Proposal for a Council Decision on the financial contributions to be paid by the Member States to finance the European Development Fund (the 3rd instalment 2011)
  • Council of the European Union
  • The EU-India summit collapses: learning the right lessons
  • E!Sharp
  • An MEP in Tunis: Women, Islamists do well in election
  • EUobserver
  • EIB and European Commission welcome adoption of new mandate for lending outside the EU
  • EIB
  • The EU and the Arab spring: from munificence to geo-strategy
  • FRIDE
  • Special Issue on Aid for Trade: Interview with WTO DG Pascal Lamy and NEPAD agency CEO Ibrahim Assane Mayaki
  • Trade Negotiations Insights
  • Operationalising the West African EPA Development Programme Moving beyond the paperwork
  • ECDPM
  • Global changes, emerging players and evolving AC P-EU relations: Towards a common agenda for action?
  • ECDPM
  • EU sets conditions for signing up to Kyoto II
  • EurActiv
  • OECD urges EU to reform farm support
  • EurActiv
  • EU Accountability Report 2011 on Financing for Development – Commission staff working paper
  • European Commission
  • Video footage of the Foreign Affairs Council – 10 October 2011
  • European Council
  • EU annual report on human rights and democracy in the world in 2010
  • EEAS
  • Putin unveils counter-EU option for post-Soviet states, the ‘Eurasian Union’
  • EUobserver EurActiv
  • Former US President Carter highlights the need for election observation efforts to promote democracy
  • European Parliament
  • Agenda of High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton – Week of 10 October 2011
  • EEAS
  • Commissioner Piebalgs will launch the proposal on “EU Development Policy: an Agenda for Change”, and a communication on EU budget support on 13 October
  • European Commission
  • EU leaders have promised Belarus President $9 billion if he frees political prisoners and holds free elections.
  • EUobserver
  • Chief EU climate negotiator: In Durban we need to produce a roadmap towards a global legal framework
  • EUobserver
  • Serbian soldiers to participate in EU Missions
  • EurActiv

SEPTEMBER 2011

  • Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel
  • EEAS
  • Draft EU summit declaration calls for the EU’s Eastern Partnership policy to be “strengthened” and made more “visible”
  • EUobserver European Voice
  • EU parliament reminds governments of new budget powers
  • EUobserver
  • BRICS offer help to eurozone with strings attached – they could ask for more voting powers in the IMF
  • EurActiv
  • EU – South Africa Summit 15 Sept: shared views on important global questions
  • European Council
  • EU and Nato sponsor confrontational mission in Kosovo
  • EUobserver
  • Internal bickering set to cost Bosnia €96m in EU funding
  • European Voice
  • The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) launches search for development aid, archiving and ICT experts to work in the EU institutions
  • EU careers online
  • New figures show EU aid is more transparent and effective, but more ambitious reforms could save up to €4 billion yearly
  • European Commission
  • Group of five calls for EU military headquarters
  • EUobserver
  • Member states to outline views on long-term budget on Monday 12 September
  • European Voice
  • EU delegation voices concern about the humanitarian implications of a proposed separation barrier in a village near Bethlehem
  • ReliefWeb

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