Foreign Direct Investments flows into developing countries have largely outstripped Official Development Aid1, and attracting private capital flows is increasingly perceived as the new vector for the development of poor countries.
This policy paper reveals that the dominance of the corporate private sector-led approach in both the European Union’s (EU) investment regime and development cooperation framework adversely impacts the food security and the livelihoods of small-scale food producers, women in particular, in developing countries.
• CONCORD recalls that Investment frameworks and agreements promoted and concluded by the EU must be coherent with the EU’s and its member states’ international human rights obligations to ensure that such agreements do not directly or indirectly undermine human rights in other countries. Instead, today, the EU’s current investment regime facilitates and protects corporate grabbing of resources and markets in the Global South with negative impacts on small-scale food producers’ human right to adequate food.
• EU policies and practices impacting on developing countries’ food security must be coherent with the 2010 EU Policy Framework to Assist Developing Countries in Addressing Food Security Challenges, which constitutes the most comprehensive reference on how to address food and nutrition issues in accordance with EU values and vision. Instead, recent communications have introduced internal contradictions into the EU’s cooperation strategy. They risk undermining support for small-scale food producers and exporting an agroindustrial model of farming whose negative impacts are being criticized today, including in Europe itself.
• The EU should rehabilitate and reinforce the role of public sector policies and investment in development. Robust regulatory frameworks need to be put in place within which the various private sector actors must operate, including where the use of Public-Private Partnerships is concerned. These policies and frameworks should protect the rights and food security of the vulnerable and prioritize investment in small-scale producers and domestic Small and Medium-sized enterprises and micro-enterprises since they offer the greatest potential to drive equitable development.