Part of the EU’s external action, with security and trade, is development.
EU action in the field of development is based on the European Consensus on Development, signed on 20 December 2005.
At present the FTAO is focusing on a few key issues under the EU’s development policy:
- Role of the private sector for/in development
- Post 2015 Development Framework
- Aid for Trade
- Policy Coherence for Development
The private sector is not a new actor in development cooperation policies or in partner country societies. The change now is that the EU’s new development policy – the Agenda for Change - places a high focus on economic growth as means to deliver development. Therefore, the private sector has become a key actor to meet this objective and the EC has started to explore ways that they can enhance this 'new partnership'.
The Communication states that ‘Corporate social responsibility at international and national level can help avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ on human rights, international social and environmental standards and promote responsible business conduct consistent with internationally recognised instruments. The EU should develop new ways of engaging with the private sector, notably with a view to leveraging private sector activity and resources for delivering public goods.’ It is still unclear how the EC will engage with the private sector.
With the upcoming United Nations High Level meeting in New York September 2013, the global debate on the successor for the Millennium Development Goals, which will expire in 2015, combing with the Sustainable Development Goals has intensified. Around the world inputs and positions on the post-2015 framework are taking shape. This discussion is taking place in the European Union, with the publication of the European Commission’s (EC) Communication ‘A Decent Life for All’ and the positions of the European Parliament and Council to be finalised in May.
Aid for Trade refers to trade–related assistance to developing countries, to increase exports of goods and services, to integrate into the multilateral trading system, and to benefit from liberalised trade and increased market access.
It responds to the fact that developing countries have not been able to sufficiently benefit from trade liberalization in the past. Aid for Trade tries to address supply side constraints, such as inadequate knowledge and implementation of trade rules and policy, and constraints to the development of the private sector, production capacity, infrastructure and human resources.
More information: official website WTO.
The Council of the European Union issued conclusions on Policy Coherence for Development on 17 November 2009. European Union Member States identify Fair Trade as a key example to make trade policy more coherent with development policy. Since this time, PCD has become an important by-word.