The European Union, alongside its Members, is the biggest global donor for development. It should also be the most efficient
by Roxana Lazarescu
With the adoption of the Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) during the plenary session in Strasbourg today, the European Parliament re-set the political ground for more efficient spending on development aid. The EU and its Member States (together making Team Europe), are the world’s leading donor, providing 43% of global Official Development Assistance. It also needs clearer means to make sure all the money is spent efficiently and other policy areas don’t impede the principal goals of development policy.
The Renew Europe Group insisted on the need for clear goals of the PCD and warned that the lack of clear definitions greatly impacts its implementation. We proposed that EU delegations and Member States’ missions in partner countries play an important part in ensuring the PCD.
We advocated for establishing an EU platform, to allow for better coordination between the relevant European Institutions, the UN, the OECD, the World Bank. All good practice should also include the involvement of private actors such as business groups, also NGOs and CSOs.
MEP Jan-Christoph Oetjen (Freie Demokratische Partei, Germany), Renew Europe shadow rapporteur on the Policy Coherence for Development, says:
‘Policy Coherence for Development is already enshrined in the treaties. With this report we seek to ensure that it is not just on a piece of paper, but will also become one of the European Parliaments top priorities. We need to develop EU policies that are coherent, progressive and most of all in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. As the biggest donor of development funding, the EU can do much more to ensure that its external policies align with its commitments and responsibilities. Much of this work already starts at home but also extends to our close cooperation with our partner countries. This is not a controversial or political fight. What this report sets out to do is to ensure that with the right investment, coordination and visibility of our work, by the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council we have the perfect recipe for policy coherence for development.’
The concept of policy coherence for development (PCD), was introduced in the Maastricht treaty in 1992 and was reinforced in the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. Initially, there were 5 strategic challenges: trade and finance, climate change, food security, migration and security.
Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU states:
“The Union shall take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries”.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) including its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, was adopted by the United Nations in 2015. It is a plan to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development worldwide.