1. The 10th European Development Fund implementation
For the 10th EDF to enter into force, the Council has to adopt both an implementing regulation and a financial regulation according to different procedures. A financial regulation for the 10th EDF is now being prepared by the European Commission services which will seek to harmonize it as much as possible with the EC budget financial regulation. It will be discussed and negotiated next year to enter into force at the beginning of 2008 and has to be jointly approved by ACP countries. The financial regulation as well as its translation into practice will have key repercussions on the implementation of the 10th EDF and its effectiveness. ACP countries should thus carefully follow these negotiations and involve practioners. Different documents also need to be ratified for the 10th EDF to enter into force and 10th EDF funds to become available for ACP partners.
EC budget financial regulation
EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council on 7 November approved a draft regulation aimed at amending regulation on the financial regulation applicable to the EU’s general budget. The draft will be forwarded to the European Parliament with a view to a conciliation on the text before its adoption by the Council. The Council suggests that the conciliation meeting be held in the margins of the Ecofin Council ‘s meeting on 21 November.
EC Proposal for a revised EC budget financial regulation. COM (2006) 213
10th EDF implementing regulation
Proposal for a council regulation on the implementation of the 10th European Development Fund
This proposal covers the programming and decision-making procedures. It reflects the principles adopted by the Council and the Parliament through the new Development Cooperation Instrument. Major changes compared to the 9th EDF include: an enhanced focus by the EDF management committee on strategic issues, the establishment of a framework for co-financing that will be further elaborated in the financial regulation, special management procedures for the Peace Facility, increased possibilities for regional co-operation including between the ACPs and outermost regions, the introduction of a programming of the intra-ACP envelope and the emphasis of the principle of coordination between the Member States and other donors.
10th EDF ratification process
Note of the European Commission to the Council on the 10th EDF ratification process.
This note highlights the ratification procedure that has to be respected for the 10th EDF to enter into force. Because of its intra-governmental nature, the revision of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, the revision of the internal agreement and the financial protocol have to be ratified by all EU Member States and two thirds of ACP countries. For the 9th EDF, it took two years and half. If it were to be the case again, 10th EDF funds could only start to be committed at the beginning of 2009. As explained in the note, 9th EDF funds are expected to be fully committed by the end of 2007, which is the date of the sunset clause by which 9th EDF funds can no longer be committed. The ratification process of the 10th EDF is thus key for ACP countries: if it is not ratified by the end of next year, they would risk to have a “funding gap”.
Eurostep seminar on the programming of the 10th EDF: echos of the programming process
EC Officials, some ACP ambassadors and various European and ACP NSAs representatives participated in the seminar on the 8 of November 2006. Issues such as the insufficient involvement on Non State Actors, the speedy process, the insufficient transparency of programming process on certain aspects (such as what was the exact involvement of Non State Actors in the programming process in each country) and the insufficient allocation of resources to social sectors were raised by NSAs. ACP ambassadors were quite concerned with the issue of the predictability of the EC cooperation with ACP countries, with the delays required to ratify EDF 10 financial protocol and the indicators that have been chosen to assess the progress of ACP countries in their fight against poverty as well as on governance. The EC officials have reiterated the principles of the programming process and the political objectives it should serve (Paris Declaration, European consensus, etc…) and has confirmed that CSPs are expected to be examined by the EDF Committee during the first semester 2007. Four case studies on 10th EDF programming in Cameroon, Burundi, Zambia and Benin were presented as well as an overall paper drawing lessons on the programming of the 10th EDF.
For more information on the seminar, please contact Eurostep: www.eurostep.org
2. Negotiation of Instruments of EC External Aid: Agreement over the Development Cooperation Instrument
The overall amount for the External Assistance ‘Heading 4’ of the European Commission Budget is € 48.46 billion of which just over € 6 billion would be spent in the first year, 2007, and then gradually rising over the 7 years to € 8 billion by 2013. The EC Budget and the EDF are the two sources of Community funding for developing countries.
The main outlines of the new budget are relatively simple. There are 4 geographic budget lines or instruments: corresponding to the developing countries (the DCI or Development Cooperation Instrument), a second for the potential future members of the EU (the IPA or Instrument for Pre-Accession), a third for neighbouring countries not expected to become EU members (the ENPI or European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument) and finally a fourth for cooperation with industrialised countries. There are then 4 other budget instruments dubbed ‘horizontal’ and dealing with four major areas of EU external assistance on a global basis: these are Macroeconomic Assistance, the EIDHR (European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights), the Stability Instrument and the Humanitarian Aid Instrument of which the first and the last already existed in the previous budget. One final feature is the continuation of 5 development programmes which will now be part of the two geographic instruments that include developing countries, the DCI and the ENPI, and will also be available for the large group of developing countries for which funds are still been kept outside the EU Budget, that is the ACP Group that are funded out of the separate EDF. These 5 programmes cover: Non-State Actors; Food Security, Human & Social Development, Environment and Asylum & Migration. The one other important instrument that is not included in the above description because it is not spent by the EC but by the Council Secretariat is the Common and Foreign Security Policy which covers EU expenditure on foreign policy and security – aside from the African Peace Facility – initiatives.
Council (GAERC) agreement on Development Cooperation Instrument
A political agreement was reached at the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on the Development Cooperation Instrument.
Draft recommendation for second reading on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation
Council (GAERC) agreement on Stability Instrument
EU Council approves EUR 2 billion financing instrument for the promotion of stability under the EU’s external relations policy
Council (GAERC) agreement on European neighbourhood and partnership instrument
World Economy and Development: “The EU’s New Financial Instrument for Development: Real improvements but some dilutions”
This article discusses the establishment of the DCI and encourages civil society to continue to monitor the implementation of European aid to ensure that its promises are realised.
3. EU Development cooperation policy
EU General Affairs and External Relations Council Conclusions on the effectiveness of development aid and on Policy Coherence for development
The October 2006 GAERC has focused on the increase of aid effectiveness, defining a series of principles guiding the development action of the European Union, focusing especially on translating complementarity into practice. It has also defined a series of measures allowing development concerns to be better taken into consideration in the Council decision-making process.
EU General Affairs and External Relations Council Conclusions on the annual report 2006 on the European Community’s Development Policy and the Implementation of External Assistance in 2005
The Council notices results especially in a strengthened partnership approach. The council further makes suggestions on how to improve the 2007 annual report, and specifically calls for greater focus on coherence.
Joint Evaluation on Coordination and Complementarity of Country Strategy Papers with National Development Priorities.
This study examines the role which the Country Strategy Papers and similar policy documents of the EC and the equivalent of EU Member States play in improving coordination and complementarity between EC and MS. The study also assesses country ownership of development policies and cooperation strategies. It shows that while the Country Strategy Papers have proved to be useful instruments in the process of decentralisation, they have, in general, not contributed substantially to improved alignment, coordination or complementarity. Whereas the majority of the Country Strategy Papers can still be characterised as relatively inflexible and dominated by headquarters, this study reports that some donors are moving towards more flexible and strategic joint planning arrangements.
Germany to focus G8 on Africa investment
When it takes on the presidency of the G8 next year Germany proposes to build ‘reforming partnerships’ with well-governed African states. The agenda differs from that of Britain’s in focusing not on increased funding but rather on encouraging good governance.
Source: EU-Africa e-alert – No. 3 / November 2006