Saturday, 31 January 2009

Coordinating EU development cooperation

Both the European Community (European Union) and the individual member states are active in global development cooperation, which raises the need for concerted and coordinated action.

The current Treaty establishing the European Community takes this into account, and the Lisbon Treaty would give the relevant provision added focus.

Further reading is suggested for those who want to dig deeper.



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Current treaty

Article 180 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) provides for coordination and consultation between the European Community (European Union) and the member states on their development aid programmes.

International organisations and conferences, such as the United Nations and its organisations, are important forums, where the EU and the member states are expected to consult and to coordinate their actions.

Here is the wording of the current Article 180 TEC, published in the latest consolidated version of the treaties, OJEU 29.12.2006 C 321 E/126:

Article 180 TEC

1. The Community and the Member States shall coordinate their policies on development cooperation and shall consult each other on their aid programmes, including in international organisations and during international conferences. They may undertake joint action. Member States shall contribute if necessary to the implementation of Community aid programmes.

2. The Commission may take any useful initiative to promote the coordination referred to in
paragraph 1.


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Original Lisbon Treaty

The intergovernmental conference (IGC 2007) amended the TEC ‘in the usual manner’ by inserting amendments, such as in Article 2, point 163 of the original Treaty of Lisbon, OJEU 17.12.2007 C 306/94:


163) An Article 188 F shall be inserted, with the wording of Article 180; it shall be amended as follows:

At the beginning of paragraph 1, the following words shall be inserted: ‘In order to promote the complementarity and efficiency of their action,’.


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Consolidated Lisbon Treaty

The consolidated Lisbon Treaty made Article 188f TFEU (ToL) readable once more. Renumbered Article 210 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), it looks like this (OJEU 9.5.2008 C 115/142):


Article 210 TFEU
(ex Article 180 TEC)

1. In order to promote the complementarity and efficiency of their action, the Union and the Member States shall coordinate their policies on development cooperation and shall consult each other on their aid programmes, including in international organisations and during international conferences. They may undertake joint action. Member States shall contribute if necessary to the implementation of Union aid programmes.

2. The Commission may take any useful initiative to promote the coordination referred to in paragraph 1.


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Lisbon Treaty changes

By the addition of the promotion of the complementarity and efficiency of action, the IGC 2007 gives the coordination and consultation more focus. Hardly a bad idea, given that the EU plus 27 potentially divergent member states are a lot to host for a single developing nation with scarce resources. On international forums, only a united European Union can hope to create effective development strategies with global reach.

Since the powers in development cooperation remain shared in a specific manner between the member states and the EU, according to Article 4(4) TFEU, the Commission is still invited to take any useful initiatives to promote coordination.

The end result is that Article 210 TFEU is the same as Article III-318(1) and (2) of the Constitutional Treaty.


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EuropeAid Annual Report for 2007

EuropeAid (under Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner) manages the Commission’s external aid programmes, and its Annual Report 2008 on the European Community’s development and external assistance policies and their implementation in 2007 (176 pages) was published in the autumn:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/multimedia/publications/documents/annual-reports/europeaid_annual_report_2008_en.pdf



Ralf Grahn