CONCORD comment on the EU-Africa summit, 2-3 April 2014.

(Brussels, 3 April 2014) African countries are still on the receiving end of unfair EU policies, especially in trade, tax and agriculture, says CONCORD, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, as government leaders from both continents meet for a summit in Brussels over 2-3 April.
Commenting was Karine Sohet, CONCORD member, speaker at the summit on 3 April:
“The EU is the world’s biggest aid donor to African countries. Yet at the same time it supports development and humanitarian projects, several of its flagship policies cause harm overseas. EU-Africa relations are still built on an unfair relationship that needs change. Unfortunately the summit missed the opportunity to make any agreements on agriculture and climate change.”
The impact of EU policies abroad
CONCORD’s report on the impact of EU policies overseas ‘Spotlight on EU Policy Coherence for Development’, shows that:
  • At least $859bn was lost from developing countries in 2010 alone through illicit financial flows. This is 13 times the amount the EU spent on development aid in 2012.
  • The EU regulatory framework on taxation and how EU companies report on their operations in developing countries is not stringent enough to counter this. As a result, the EU is not respecting its commitment to Policy Coherence for Development, a Lisbon Treaty obligation that aims to make sure EU policies do not undermine development objectives.
  • Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are clear cases of power imbalances and liable to jeopardize the food security and livelihoods of poor people and farmers in developing countries.
 The imposed EU deadline for signing the EPAs by October 2014, puts African parties under pressure without indicating how further trade liberalisation will be geared to foster development.
Civil society and human rights
“Human rights and support for civil society must be at the center of the EU-Africa relations, including through the development of a Joint Framework and Action Plan on Democracy and Human Rights committing continental institutions as well as their Member States on concrete actions,” continued Sohet.
CONCORD calls for the EU-Africa partnership to be truly people centered and involve civil society in dialogue and in implementation of the joint strategy.
What is CONCORD? CONCORD is the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development. Its 28 national associations, 17 international networks and 2 associate member represent 1,800 NGOs which are supported by millions of citizens across Europe.
Media contact ; CONCORD Communications Officer Daniel Puglisi, Tel. 32 (0) 2 743 87 77