CONCORD encourages safeguards to ensure that businesses behave responsibly and the interests of the poorest in developing countries are not compromised.

(Brussels, 13/05/2014) More private firms could financially benefit from EU development aid programmes, according to a European Commission published today ‘A Stronger Role of the Private Sector in Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries.’
CONCORD, the European confederation for Relief and Development, representing over 1,800 NGOs to the European institutions, encourages safeguards to ensure that businesses behave responsibly and the interests of the poorest in developing countries are not compromised.
Commenting on behalf of CONCORD was Ad Ooms, chair of the Taskforce on Private Sector and Development, who said:
“The EU needs to ensure that private European companies operating on the ground do no harm, behave in a sustainable way and pay their fair share of taxes. Economic growth and job creation alone is not enough. Human rights and public interest must be safeguarded when using development aid to leverage private finance, including public private partnerships.”
CONCORD welcomes the positive points in the communication such as support to the informal and microfinance sectors; strengthening medium and small enterprises, empowering women entrepreneurs and workers. To put these good words in action, it will be essential to put the priority on local people, local private sector and local markets.
CONCORD recommends that multi-stakeholder approaches and mechanisms are established to pre-assess, monitor and evaluate private sector initiatives in a transparent way and that intended beneficiaries are centrally involved in these processes.

CONCORD has published a full reaction to the Commision’s proposal. Read it here
Notes to editors
2. 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. (CONCORD Spotlight Report 2013)
3. 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, Daniel.puglisi@concordeurope.org Tel. 32 (0) 2 743 87 77