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New Challenges, New Beginnings: Next steps in European development cooperation

Research reports

Written by Mikaela Gavas, Jodie Keane, Simon Maxwell, Leo Peskett, Andrew Shepherd, Chris Stevens

The ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, and the arrival in Brussels of a new leadership team, together provide an opportunity to re-invigorate European collaboration and collective action in the realm of international development.

New Challenges, New Beginnings is the result of a collaboration between 25 researchers from four of Europe’s leading think-tanks on international development. It stems from a shared commitment to European development cooperation, and a sense of urgency about the need to rethink policy for new and challenging times. 

A new Europe, facing new challenges, will be tested in many fields and sectors. The authors assess the task of reaching the Millennium Development Goals, and rethinking the goals for the period beyond 2015. They make the case for joined-up thinking across the institutions and policies of the EU, emphasising the importance of Policy Coherence for Development. And they examine specific policy areas – trade, state/peace-building, climate change, migration, finance, and the private sector. They lay out an agenda for partnership with developing countries, and examine how actors in the EU system can work better together.

The report makes the case for five priorities:

  • New EU leadership in thinking about how development cooperation can help deal with shared global problems.
  • EU states to meet their aid promises and improve the targeting and effectiveness of aid spending.
  • New efforts to ensure coherence between development and other policies.
  • Providing new life to development partnerships.
  • Improved cooperation between Member States, so that the EU really does work as one.
European Think-Tanks group