r google-plus facebook twitter linkedin2 nujij Monitor Nieuwsbrief pdclogo man met tas twitter boek uitroepteken

Verdrag van Lissabon kan ontwikkelingsbeleid EU redden (en)

Met dank overgenomen van EUobserver (EUOBSERVER), gepubliceerd op dinsdag 13 april 2010, 18:15.

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - New institutional arrangements under the EU's Lisbon Treaty could save the bloc's development policy from failure, an expert in the field has said.

"In my view, the reason that European aid policy is currently falling well short, one could say failing, is not because of the policies, it's because of the implementation," UK government advisor and former international director of Christian Aid, Roger Riddell, told EUobserver in an interview on Tuesday (13 April).

However, inclusion of EU development policy in the bloc's nascent external action service (EEAS) and the creation of a European Council president could improve member-state aid co-ordination and help reduce the gap between funding commitments and what is actually delivered, he says.

Recent months have seen EU governments and the European Commission engage in a turf war over who should run the EU's development policy in the future. Until now, the commission has managed the six-year €30 billion fund, but national capitals are keen for the bloc's new high representative, Catherine Ashton, to take greater charge of the policy.

A proposal put forward by Ms Ashton last month suggests her diplomatic service should be in charge of the development budget, controlling how much money a country would get while the commission would manage the implementation of the policy.

The greater role afforded to member states under this arrangement could provide a solution to the policy's current difficulties, says Mr Riddell, together with greater co-ordination of national development budgets to avoid costly duplication of aid efforts.

"If the European Council president and the high representative can get the heads of state around the table, flag up the issues of development, get them to believe they have created a European aid policy, they will then feel committed to implementing it," he says.


Development NGOs have expressed doubts about the new arrangement outlined in Ms Ashton's plan however.

"While the proposals do say that the country allocations, strategies and indicative programmes will be prepared by the EEAS under the direct supervision of the relevant commissioner, this will have to be done in agreement with the high representative," the European NGO Confederation For Relief and Development (CONCORD) said in a March newsletter.

"There is widespread concern that this effectively brings the use of EU development aid under the effective control of the EU's foreign policy interests, which is against the letter and spirit of the Treaty," said the Brussels-based organisation.

The possibility of the EU policy being hijacked for foreign policy goals adds to the already difficult situation created by the recent financial crisis, which has placed severe strain on EU government coffers.

Speaking at an event on Europe's aid policy on Tuesday, EU development commissioner Andris Piebalgs conceded that EU efforts to reach the UN target of 0.7 percent of GNI expenditure on aid by 2015 will be hard to achieve.

With expenditure forecast to reach 0.42 percent this year, reaching the higher target by 2015 will be "a challenge", he said.

Tip. Klik hier om u te abonneren op de RSS-feed van EUobserver

Terug naar boven