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A New European Development Policy Statement

Briefing/policy papers

Briefing/policy papers

The November 2000 European Community’s development policy statement (DPS) is under revision. When it came out, it was a landmark in the reform process of the Union’s external relations. The DPS was a key document in putting poverty reduction at the top of the list in international evelopment goals at EC level. However, the policy was written before an international consensus formed around the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). And it does not address the development-security nexus or the particular issue of engaging with ‘fragile states’. Since 2000, the world has changed and so has the EU. Five years on, the DPS therefore suffers from two major shortcomings: First, some currently important issues in development thinking are not covered in the text. And second, the process in 2000 omitted key stakeholders in development policy which resulted in limited ‘ownership’ of the statement beyond certain parts of the Commission, thereby reducing its effectiveness.

For the current review, the Commission has issued a Communication [COM (2005) 311] that outlines its suggestions for a new DPS. This Briefing Paper therefore assesses the Commission’s recommendations in the light of both the new circumstances and an evaluation of the November 2000 development policy statement.

Sven Grimm, Marie-Laure de Bergh and Christian Freres