in: European Parliament Directorate-General for External Policies (ed.), EU policy coherence for development: the challenge of sustainability (Workshop), 22-35
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development strongly emphasises the need for concerted and multi-level policy responses to global development challenges, including those related to security. Reorienting Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implies a conceptual and practical shift from business as usual, with development policies formulated, implemented and evaluated by donors on a standalone basis. Rather, PCD needs to adopt a problem-driven approach, where development outcomes defined and pursued by developing countries are in focus.
Current conceptual understandings of PCD tend to try to measure the impacts of different policies on the effectiveness of aid programmes. This approach is mostly a donor-oriented concept that ring-fences development aid and treats other policies as potential threats.
What is needed is a more ambitious conceptualisation of PCD which considers the interaction of all policies relevant in a given context, with a view to the achievement of overriding development objectives. This implies that policy coherence is best served when actors responsible for policymaking in various domains engage in a process of designing and implementing comprehensive policy frameworks with strategic objectives in mind, and that both the objectives themselves and the policymaking and implementation processes by which they are pursued support rather than undermine each other.
The EU has started to move towards this kind of approach in its handling of the security-development nexus. This paper shows that while progress has been made, particularly since the Lisbon Treaty, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Two areas are highlighted: the EU’s comprehensive approach to country-level engagements in fragile and conflict-affected countries, and the question of securitisation and the EU’s new emergency trust fund for migration in Africa.