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Understanding development effectiveness: Concepts, players and tools

09-01-2020

In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more ...

In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more precisely, has led to a global rethinking of how to assess development. High-level forums and stakeholder networks have helped to fine-tune the main principles of development effectiveness and to shift from a donor-recipient relationship to a more cooperative framework. Methods and tools have improved and led to better planning, implementation and appraisal of development projects. The EU has been closely involved in designing and implementing the effectiveness principles. The European Parliament often refers to them, insisting that they must not be sacrificed for the sake of short-term interests. This briefing is an update of a previous edition from April 2017.

A new neighbourhood, development and international cooperation instrument

29-11-2019

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), with a proposed budget of €89.2 billion (in current prices). Parliament adopted its first-reading position in plenary on 27 March 2019. MEPs agreed to accept a single instrument, but called for a stronger role for Parliament ...

In the context of the Commission's proposal for a multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, on 14 June 2018 the Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), with a proposed budget of €89.2 billion (in current prices). Parliament adopted its first-reading position in plenary on 27 March 2019. MEPs agreed to accept a single instrument, but called for a stronger role for Parliament on secondary policy choices, through delegated acts, and for the budget for the instrument to be increased by nearly €4 billion, to €93.154 billion. MEPs also specifically called for an increase in the funds allocated to human rights and democracy activities, the percentage of funding that fulfils the criteria for official development assistance, and funds that support climate and environmental objectives. Moreover, Parliament's amendments include the introduction of gender mainstreaming targets, the earmarking of certain financial allocations, the suspension of assistance in case of human rights violations, and the reduction of the emerging challenges and priorities cushion to €7 billion. The Council adopted a partial mandate on 13 June 2019, and an additional mandate – on the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD+) – on 25 September 2019. Following the committees' decision of 8 October 2019 to enter into interinstitutional negotiations on the basis of Parliament's first-reading position, a first trilogue meeting took place on 23 October 2019. The second is scheduled for 5 December 2019. Fourth edition. The 'Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

A new association of the Overseas Countries and Territories (including Greenland) with the European Union

20-02-2019

On 14 June 2018, in preparation for the new multiannual financial framework (2021 to 2027 MFF), the European Commission published a proposal for a Council decision on the Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories, including Greenland, with the European Union. For Greenland the main source of EU funding is currently the EU budget, while for the other overseas countries and territories, it is the European Development Fund, a financial instrument outside the EU budget. The proposed decision ...

On 14 June 2018, in preparation for the new multiannual financial framework (2021 to 2027 MFF), the European Commission published a proposal for a Council decision on the Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories, including Greenland, with the European Union. For Greenland the main source of EU funding is currently the EU budget, while for the other overseas countries and territories, it is the European Development Fund, a financial instrument outside the EU budget. The proposed decision would bring together the funds for all EU overseas countries and territories under the EU budget, as part of new Heading 6 'Neighbourhood and the world'. The European Parliament, which is only consulted, has adopted its legislative resolution on the proposal, in which it calls for an increase of the proposed budget for 2021-2027, and for better account to be taken of OCTs’ social and environmental circumstances.

State of play of EU-China relations

21-01-2019

EU-China relations are increasingly affected by growing Sino-United States strategic competition. The Trump Administration considers China a strategic competitor to confront, rather than a country with which to engage. The EU, on the contrary, refers to China as a strategic partner and, despite persistent and considerable differences in position in some areas, continues to engage. The United States’ current preference for bi and unilateralism, and withdrawal from multilateral arrangements, which ...

EU-China relations are increasingly affected by growing Sino-United States strategic competition. The Trump Administration considers China a strategic competitor to confront, rather than a country with which to engage. The EU, on the contrary, refers to China as a strategic partner and, despite persistent and considerable differences in position in some areas, continues to engage. The United States’ current preference for bi and unilateralism, and withdrawal from multilateral arrangements, which the EU considers vital elements of a rules-based international order, create openings for China to fill the gap. For the EU, this implies the need to seek issue-based alliances and to strengthen strategic cooperation with China on issues of common interest to reach and uphold multilateral solutions to global and regional challenges. Since 2013, the 2003 EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership has been broadened and deepened in line with the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation. This has led to a high degree of institutionalisation of EU-China ties, with an ever-growing number of dialogue formats that cover political, economic and people-to-people relations, but whose tangible results vary significantly. Notwithstanding the frequency of political exchanges and successful cooperation on key global challenges, such as the nuclear deal with Iran and climate change, the economic pillar has remained the core of the relationship. As China is rapidly climbing the value-added ladder, trade is an area of cooperation where complementarity is shifting fast towards competition. Friction is unavoidable as two fundamentally different economic systems interact, and each side has its own understanding of what 'free' trade, 'fair' trade, 'reciprocity' and a 'level playing field' means. Given the wide diversity of EU Member States' interests and perceptions, which third countries may easily exploit for their own gains, the EU has struggled to come forward with a unified response to China-led initiatives. The European Parliament resolution on the state of play of EU-China relations adopted in September 2018 includes a critical assessment of China's foreign and domestic policies, including human rights, as well as of progress on the implementation of the EU-China strategic partnership.

Outcome of the special European Council (Article 50), 25 November 2018

29-11-2018

EU-27 leaders endorsed the withdrawal agreement and approved the political declaration on future EU-UK relations on 25 November 2018. After last minute statements regarding Gibraltar and clarification on a possible extension to the transition period removed all obstacles. The agreement is due to enter into force on 30 March 2019. President Tajani stressed that the European Parliament ‘welcomes the Political Declaration on the future relationship and regards it as an excellent basis on which to develop ...

EU-27 leaders endorsed the withdrawal agreement and approved the political declaration on future EU-UK relations on 25 November 2018. After last minute statements regarding Gibraltar and clarification on a possible extension to the transition period removed all obstacles. The agreement is due to enter into force on 30 March 2019. President Tajani stressed that the European Parliament ‘welcomes the Political Declaration on the future relationship and regards it as an excellent basis on which to develop [the EU’s] post-Brexit cooperation with the United Kingdom’.

Revision of the Schengen Information System for border checks

18-10-2018

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law-enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states by enabling competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In view of responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges, in December 2016, the European Commission put forward a package of three legislative proposals aimed ...

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law-enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states by enabling competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In view of responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges, in December 2016, the European Commission put forward a package of three legislative proposals aimed at revising the legal framework of the SIS. The proposal on the establishment, operation and use of the SIS in the field of border checks provides for more effective use of fingerprints and facial images in the SIS, and imposes an obligation on the Member States to record all entry bans issued to thirdcountry nationals who have been found staying illegally in their territory. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Costica Dumbrava. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Use of the Schengen Information System for the return of illegally staying third-country nationals

18-10-2018

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states. It does so by enabling competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In view of responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges, in December 2016, the European Commission put forward a package of three legislative ...

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states. It does so by enabling competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In view of responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges, in December 2016, the European Commission put forward a package of three legislative proposals aimed at revising the legal framework of the SIS. The proposal on the use of the SIS for returning illegally staying third-country nationals aims to enhance the enforcement of the EU return policy and to reduce the incentives to irregular migration to the EU. Among other things, the proposal introduces the obligation for Member States to enter all return decisions into the SIS. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Costica Dumbrava. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Revision of the Schengen Information System for law enforcement

18-10-2018

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states. It enables competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on certain categories of wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In December 2016, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals aimed at responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges. One ...

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states. It enables competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on certain categories of wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In December 2016, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals aimed at responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges. One of these proposals is focused on improving and extending the use of the SIS in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. It clarifies procedures, creates new alerts and checks, extends the use of biometrics, and enlarges access for law enforcement authorities. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Costica Dumbrava. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument

10-10-2018

As part of the group of specific IAs accompanying the MFF proposals, this IA provides a detailed overview of the proposed regulation establishing the new NDICI focusing on the main considerations behind the large-scale overhaul of the existing financial framework in the field of EU external policy. The Commission has engaged broadly with a wide range of stakeholders and did a thorough stock-taking through a mid-term review of ten existing instruments. However as alternative options are not elaborated ...

As part of the group of specific IAs accompanying the MFF proposals, this IA provides a detailed overview of the proposed regulation establishing the new NDICI focusing on the main considerations behind the large-scale overhaul of the existing financial framework in the field of EU external policy. The Commission has engaged broadly with a wide range of stakeholders and did a thorough stock-taking through a mid-term review of ten existing instruments. However as alternative options are not elaborated beyond a brief comparison of advantages and risks of merging the existing instruments into a broader one, it remains rather difficult to fully assess the proposed merger of different instruments as the only option available. Finally, a clearer account of how the stakeholder views fed into the analysis and a more thorough response to the scrutiny of the RSB, would have benefited this impact assessment.

Water in Central Asia: An increasingly scarce resource

12-09-2018

While it is rich in fossil fuels and minerals, Central Asia is poor in water. However, water plays a key role in the economies of the five Central Asian countries. In mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, hydroelectricity is already a vital energy resource; new dams could also make it a major export revenue earner. Downstream, river water irrigates the cotton fields of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Heavy water use, particularly in agriculture, is putting water supplies under pressure. Central Asian ...

While it is rich in fossil fuels and minerals, Central Asia is poor in water. However, water plays a key role in the economies of the five Central Asian countries. In mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, hydroelectricity is already a vital energy resource; new dams could also make it a major export revenue earner. Downstream, river water irrigates the cotton fields of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Heavy water use, particularly in agriculture, is putting water supplies under pressure. Central Asian countries have to share limited resources fairly, while balancing the needs of upstream hydroelectricity generation and downstream agriculture. For this reason, cooperation is vital. However, competition for water has often been a source of tensions, particularly between Uzbekistan and its upstream neighbours. The situation has improved recently, now that Uzbekistan's new president has taken a more constructive approach to resolving these regional water-related problems. Water use also has many environmental implications. Soviet engineers succeeded in turning deserts into fertile farmland, but at the expense of the Aral Sea, a formerly huge inland lake that has all but dried up. Intensive agriculture is also polluting the region's rivers and soils. Leaky irrigation infrastructure and unsustainable greening projects are wasting huge amounts of water. In future, more efficient water use and closer cooperation will become increasingly necessary, as population growth and climate change pile pressure on the region's scarce water resources. The EU has made water one of the main priorities of its development aid for the region. Among other things, EU funding supports regional cooperation and improvements to water infrastructure.

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