The EU Foreign Service is not doing enough to meet development objectives

Read the CONCORD position on the EEAS here

(Brussels, 21/03/2013) The European Union’s foreign policy arm, the European External Action Service (EEAS) is failing to incorporate development concerns since its launch two years ago, shows a new review published today by CONCORD, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs.

The review comes as Germany and 13 other EU countries want the EEAS to have greater powers over European development policy.

3 opportunities for the EEAS to improve:

Don’t let security objectives overlook long term development

The service’s mandate includes coordinating some €11billion of EU aid funds with the European Commission.

“EU development policy for poor countries should be first and foremost about poverty eradication. Yet security and financial concerns overshadow the EEAS’s mandate, putting development and humanitarian concerns as an add on. Aid is meant to eradicate poverty, protect civilians and address inequalities; it should not be for political ends. The result is a foreign policy that fails to truly put development objectives at its core,” says Natalia Alonso, Head of Oxfam EU office.

Stand up for civil society organizations

“There’s clear evidence of alarming increases in the number of developing country governments employing restrictive actions and policies, including the adoption of new laws, to curtail the activities of NGOs and restrict their space. The EU’s delegations on the ground can have a key role to play in supporting local civil society and they should engage on it up front,” says Ulrich Post, chairman of the Association of German Development NGOs (VENRO).

Be more coherent

“We fear that the EEAS fails to grasp what Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), accepted by the EU as key to achieving development, actually is. The purpose of PCD is to prevent policies outside of development such as security impacting negatively upon development and undoing the EU’s own good work,” says Philippe Jahshan, Co-chair of CONCORD’s policy forum and of French Development and Relief NGO Coordination Sud.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  1. The review outlines that the EEAS and the European Commission’s DG DEVCO should assume their respective roles as set down in the agreement of 2010 maintaining joint decision making on pro-gramming, with the overall lead from the Develop¬ment Commissioner on strategic analyses, planning and budgetary and operational powers;

Media contacts:
CONCORD Communications officer, Daniel Puglisi on +32 2 743 87 77 +32 2 743 87 77,
Daniel.Puglisi@concordeurope.org