In November 2016, the European Commission proposed a new European Consensus on Development (COM, 2016a), governing all the international development work of the European Union (EU) and the Member States. This policy brief provides a summary and an analysis of the EU’s proposal and sets out a series of options for EU Member States and Members of the European Parliament as they begin negotiations on the text.
This policy brief argues that the proposal works as a primer on contemporary development problems, consistent with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. However, it does not work as a strategy in the true meaning of the term.
If Member States and the European Parliament wish this document to be a strategy, then there are three priority areas where more detail is needed:
comparative advantage and the respective roles of the Commission and Member States
thematic, sectoral and geographical priorities, with analysis of what this means for lower priority topics
policy coherence, including implications for the architecture of European Union instruments.
The European Union should prioritise action on fragile states and global public goods, including climate change.