Press Release of 2 June 2010
Earlier this year, four of Europe’s leading think-tanks – German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE) and the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) – joined forces to build the “European Think-Tanks Group”. In the first undertaking of its kind, more than 25 researchers published a collaborative report “New Challenges, New Beginnings”, calling for new impetus to tackle today's global challenges.
Now the European Think-Tanks Group has published the Policy Brief “Development-proofing the European External Action Service”.
On 26 April 2010, the General Affairs Council agreed a framework for the European External Action Service (EEAS) which makes reference to international development, in particular the focus on poverty reduction enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty. The framework gives the new EU diplomatic service a role in shaping strategy and in programming development cooperation for all regions of the world. It also grants a supervisory and oversight role to the Development Commissioner.
The Policy Brief “Development-proofing the European External Action Service” takes the blueprint on the EEAS agreed by the General Affairs Council as a starting point, builds on the four key priorities set out in the European Think Tanks Group Open Letter of 5 May 2010 and offers a set of proposals that address some of the ‘how’ questions in the implementation phase. In implementing the agreement reached, speed is now of the essence. A crowded timetable of international processes lies ahead, including the G8 and G20, the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, and the Cancun meeting on climate change. There are four key points:
- Equip the EEAS to support the High Representative and the Development Commissioner in promoting the coherence of all EU policies with development objectives;
- Ensure development principles inform the programming of aid;
- Enable the EEAS to facilitate EU donor coordination;
- Ensure both the EEAS and DG Development have the necessary capacity and expertise for strategic thinking on development issues.
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