The European Development Cooperation (EDC) 2010 project aims at discussing the challenges to the EU simultaneously in the UK and in other countries across Europe, so as to identify the common ground of the development community in Europe - and thereby putting into practice the idea of 'policy code-sharing' within Europe.
European development cooperation has undergone significant change since the late 1990s, but a new wave of change is on the horizon. A complex timetable of decisions can be seen stretching through the rest of the decade. The issues range from: the relationship between foreign policy and development, through the impact of enlargement and the future of EU-ACP relations, to questions about the role of EU Commissioners and the structure of the Commission.
The timetable includes the following:
- the inter-governmental conference on the Future of Europe,
- the culmination of the current enlargement process,
- the European elections in 2004, the appointment of a new Commission,
- the next Financial Perspectives negotiation, to set the European budget, and
- a variety of trade- and aid-related processes, globally and with different regional groupings.
How can this multiplicity of activities, this pot pourri of issues and complications, be held together? By means, we suggest of a coherent vision of the future.
The EDC 2010 project has identified two main drivers of change with respect to European development cooperation. The first is the degree of commitment to Europe, the second the commitment to poverty reduction. The interaction of these two gives four possible European futures: at one extreme, a strong commitment both to coherent European action and to poverty reduction; at the other, a weak commitment to both Europe and poverty reduction; and, in between, two intermediate positions.
Senior Research Associate