Report of Friends of Europe Debate: “After Lisbon: Streamlining EU development cooperation”

Friends of Europe website. The Development Policy Forum (DPF) met on 27th April 2010 to discuss the effect of the Lisbon treaty on EU development cooperation. The treaty, which came into force on 1st December 2009, provided for a shake-up in European structures, with the creation of two new posts of President of the European Council and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Particularly significant for development cooperation are plans to establish a European External Action Service (EEAS). Although interinstitutional wrangling has led to delays in getting the new diplomatic corps up and running, panellist Poul Skytte Christoffersen, Special Advisor to the High Representative Catherine Ashton, told participants he expected to see it in operation by autumn 2010, although the general consensus is that the process will take a year.

EU ministers have now reached agreement on the EEAS, although it is expected to face further difficulties in getting through parliament. While the organisation and functioning of the EEAS can be agreed upon by EU member states in the Council, it involves a revision of staff and financial regulations, which require the approval of the European Parliament. The main political groups say there is too much member state influence over the service, while MEPs in the development.

Download the full report.

The Development Policy Forum (DPF) is a partnership between Friends of Europe, the World Bank, the UN, France’s Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), with the support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and in association with the European Commission Directorate General for Development and Relations with ACP States. Also, for this debate, in cooperation with the European Think-Tanks Group.

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