EC Archive

  • According to a group of environmentalists, the European Commission has been too slow in advancing earth-friendly policies on agriculture and energy. Ten environmental organisations argue in a scorecard of the EU executive’s performance that the Commission has been too reserved across an array of conservation issues, chemicals regulation and pollution, and in some cases has retreated in the face pressure from lobbyists and EU national governments. “Overall, we’re extremely concerned that the Commission is very behind in the race to create a better environment in Europe,” said Jorgo Riss of Greenpeace, one of the 10 groups involving in grading the Commission. Speaking of agriculture as “the most important delivery mechanism for biodiversity and resource efficiency,” Tony Long of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), saidthat the Commission’s proposals for the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have failed to make the link between farming, land management and biodiversity protection. The report also […]

    EC fails with earth-friendly policy

    According to a group of environmentalists, the European Commission has been too slow in advancing earth-friendly policies on agriculture and energy. Ten environmental organisations argue in a scorecard of the EU executive’s performance that the Commission has been too reserved across an array of conservation issues, chemicals regulation and pollution, and in some cases has retreated in the face pressure from lobbyists and EU national governments. “Overall, we’re extremely concerned that the Commission is very behind in the race to create a better environment in Europe,” said Jorgo Riss of Greenpeace, one of the 10 groups involving in grading the Commission. Speaking of agriculture as “the most important delivery mechanism for biodiversity and resource efficiency,” Tony Long of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), saidthat the Commission’s proposals for the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have failed to make the link between farming, land management and biodiversity protection. The report also […]

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  • With no surprise, at their Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting on 14 May, the EU Member States (MS) welcomed the two communications produced by the EC aiming at reviewing and ‘modernising’ EU development cooperation policy and practice; the Agenda for Change and the Future approach on EU Budget Support. The FAC conclusions on the Agenda for Change are very much aligned with the EC communication especially with regard to the focus on inclusive growth, private sector and blending of loans and grants. In other areas, however, they contain a few additional or slightly differing interesting elements. In particular, the council conclusions go much further than the EC communication in the area of Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). Indeed, in spite of its significance for an agenda based on growth, trade, investments and the role of the private sector, this issue was given very little attention in the EC communication. Thanks […]

    European Commission has launched the new aid programming cycle

    With no surprise, at their Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting on 14 May, the EU Member States (MS) welcomed the two communications produced by the EC aiming at reviewing and ‘modernising’ EU development cooperation policy and practice; the Agenda for Change and the Future approach on EU Budget Support. The FAC conclusions on the Agenda for Change are very much aligned with the EC communication especially with regard to the focus on inclusive growth, private sector and blending of loans and grants. In other areas, however, they contain a few additional or slightly differing interesting elements. In particular, the council conclusions go much further than the EC communication in the area of Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). Indeed, in spite of its significance for an agenda based on growth, trade, investments and the role of the private sector, this issue was given very little attention in the EC communication. Thanks […]

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  • In the EuropeanUnion, donors are working towards modernising development policy and practice,with the aim of ensuring that it becomes more relevant, efficient, andresults-oriented. Political and policy levels currently adapt to the new globalcontext for aid and international cooperation. In November 2011 developmentpartners endorsed a new global framework during the fourth high-level forum onaid effectiveness – the Busan Partnership for Effective DevelopmentCooperation.[1]The Accra Agenda for Action expanded the notion of ownership from ‘government’to ‘country’ ownership.[2]Busan goes one step further with its commitment to “democratic ownership”: itstresses the governance dimensions of development by recognising the criticalrole that parliaments, civil society and local authorities play in promotingdomestic accountability and the need to improve interactions between governmentadministrations, checks and balance institutions and citizens. Busan has underlinedthe importance of ownership and further insisted on the use ofsystems-approaches, with any deviance explained to beneficiary countries. Beyond institutionalchanges affecting development cooperation, the Lisbon Treaty gives increasedprominence to […]

    Future European cooperation instruments

    In the EuropeanUnion, donors are working towards modernising development policy and practice,with the aim of ensuring that it becomes more relevant, efficient, andresults-oriented. Political and policy levels currently adapt to the new globalcontext for aid and international cooperation. In November 2011 developmentpartners endorsed a new global framework during the fourth high-level forum onaid effectiveness – the Busan Partnership for Effective DevelopmentCooperation.[1]The Accra Agenda for Action expanded the notion of ownership from ‘government’to ‘country’ ownership.[2]Busan goes one step further with its commitment to “democratic ownership”: itstresses the governance dimensions of development by recognising the criticalrole that parliaments, civil society and local authorities play in promotingdomestic accountability and the need to improve interactions between governmentadministrations, checks and balance institutions and citizens. Busan has underlinedthe importance of ownership and further insisted on the use ofsystems-approaches, with any deviance explained to beneficiary countries. Beyond institutionalchanges affecting development cooperation, the Lisbon Treaty gives increasedprominence to […]

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  • Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission has launched the Centre for European Union Small and Medium Enterprises (EU SME Centre) in Beijing on 5 November. Funded by the European Commission, this new venture will provide information, advice, training and matchmaking opportunities for European SMEs wishing to export to or invest in the Chinese market. http://tinyurl.com/32pdvo5

    EC opens gateway to China for European small and medium size enterprises

    Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission has launched the Centre for European Union Small and Medium Enterprises (EU SME Centre) in Beijing on 5 November. Funded by the European Commission, this new venture will provide information, advice, training and matchmaking opportunities for European SMEs wishing to export to or invest in the Chinese market. http://tinyurl.com/32pdvo5

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  • Over the past decade, the European Commission has increasingly used general and sector budget support to ACP countries as preferred aid modalities. This choice was motivated by the commitment of donors to make aid more effective. But despite the potential of the new generation of budget support and the so-called ”sector wide approach”, budget support has come under pressure within donors and partner countries for a variety of reasons. Therefore, the European Commission has launched a public consultation (http://ec.europa.eu/development/how/consultation/?action=viewcons&id=5221) to solicit the views of stakeholders. It seeks to find out and socialise what has and hasn’t worked with a view to improving the EC’s approach to budget support. The basis of the consultation is an EC green paper (http://ec.europa.eu/development/how/consultation/?action=viewcons&id=5221) which focuses on: i) political governance and the role of political dialogue; ii) the role of policy dialogue and conditionality and links to performance and results; iii) domestic and mutual accountability; […]

    EC launches public consultation to improve budget support to developing countries

    Over the past decade, the European Commission has increasingly used general and sector budget support to ACP countries as preferred aid modalities. This choice was motivated by the commitment of donors to make aid more effective. But despite the potential of the new generation of budget support and the so-called ”sector wide approach”, budget support has come under pressure within donors and partner countries for a variety of reasons. Therefore, the European Commission has launched a public consultation (http://ec.europa.eu/development/how/consultation/?action=viewcons&id=5221) to solicit the views of stakeholders. It seeks to find out and socialise what has and hasn’t worked with a view to improving the EC’s approach to budget support. The basis of the consultation is an EC green paper (http://ec.europa.eu/development/how/consultation/?action=viewcons&id=5221) which focuses on: i) political governance and the role of political dialogue; ii) the role of policy dialogue and conditionality and links to performance and results; iii) domestic and mutual accountability; […]

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  • The European Commission has published a new document on Aid for Trade. This publication provides a clearer picture of this development assistance strategy. It examines the broad scope of Aid for Trade, explains the key types of Aid for Trade under the themes of ‘‘narrow” Aid for Trade (Trade Related Assistance) and ‘‘Wider” Aid for Trade, emphasizes EU’s strong commitment to Aid for Trade agenda and provides information on EU’s Aid for Trade activities in Africa. http://europafrica.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/memo-09-150_en.pdf

    New information on Aid for Trade from the EC

    The European Commission has published a new document on Aid for Trade. This publication provides a clearer picture of this development assistance strategy. It examines the broad scope of Aid for Trade, explains the key types of Aid for Trade under the themes of ‘‘narrow” Aid for Trade (Trade Related Assistance) and ‘‘Wider” Aid for Trade, emphasizes EU’s strong commitment to Aid for Trade agenda and provides information on EU’s Aid for Trade activities in Africa. http://europafrica.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/memo-09-150_en.pdf

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  • The European Commission disbursed € 8.5 billion in aid during 2007, representing 9% of total Community expenditures, according to the recently released annual report on EC aid. Top regions for EC assistance were Sub-Saharan Africa (33%), Asia (17%), and Europe (16%); and 23% of aid was given through budget support. In its review of the results of the year’s evaluations of EC aid, the report notes several major positive impacts e.g. on the social sectors in India, economic stability in Jordan and Mozambique, the water sector in Jordan, food security in Mozambique, and economic integration in Central America. However, there is a lack of sustainability in implementation strategies, as ensuring ownership by partner country stakeholders receives insufficient attention. Recurrent weaknesses in efficiency are reported to be due to delays in implementation, lack of flexibility and cumbersome procedures which also limit the effectiveness of Commission actions. While the high quality of […]

    Annual report on EC aid reviews progress towards better delivery

    The European Commission disbursed € 8.5 billion in aid during 2007, representing 9% of total Community expenditures, according to the recently released annual report on EC aid. Top regions for EC assistance were Sub-Saharan Africa (33%), Asia (17%), and Europe (16%); and 23% of aid was given through budget support. In its review of the results of the year’s evaluations of EC aid, the report notes several major positive impacts e.g. on the social sectors in India, economic stability in Jordan and Mozambique, the water sector in Jordan, food security in Mozambique, and economic integration in Central America. However, there is a lack of sustainability in implementation strategies, as ensuring ownership by partner country stakeholders receives insufficient attention. Recurrent weaknesses in efficiency are reported to be due to delays in implementation, lack of flexibility and cumbersome procedures which also limit the effectiveness of Commission actions. While the high quality of […]

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  • You are an owner of a small or medium-sized enterprise or self-employed. You invest 15 minutes of your time. You gain a preventive screening of your business that might save you a lot of time and money in the future! This really is an official EC site. http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/entrepreneurship/sme2chance/ewt/self_assessment.cfm

    Vaccinate your business against bad times

    You are an owner of a small or medium-sized enterprise or self-employed. You invest 15 minutes of your time. You gain a preventive screening of your business that might save you a lot of time and money in the future! This really is an official EC site. http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/entrepreneurship/sme2chance/ewt/self_assessment.cfm

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