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Dev Days Rudishhauser

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Development assistance is definitely a win-win situation for Europe. Countries which have a better developed economy, where people are coming out of poverty and become economic actors, these countries become more interesting for us as economic partner, as trading partner and so it's also in the European interest. Leaving aside the economic side there is also the question of migration, there's the question of terrorism, the question of drugs. All these can be threats to Europe, so it's again in the European interest that other countries do better because then they can also fight these threats. The whole world is gearing up to discussions in New York about the post-2015 development framework, which is to bring together a follow up to the Millennium Development Goals, which is the main development agenda, and the Rio+20 discussions which is about deciding targets and goals for a sustainable development path for the whole planet. And the two things should come together because it's clear there's not going to be development without a sustainability element. Otherwise we're just going to deplete the planet's resources even quicker. And so this year's subject is clearly what would we like to see in this framework. So we have to answer the question what is going to be the development angle for poor countries, the poverty reduction angle? How do we marry that with a sustainability agenda? How can we protect the planet's resources, but still give the poor people access to a better life? Quite a number of EU member states, like also some third countries, find it difficult to maintain or even increase the level of official development assistance they provide. Indeed, there are severe cuts in some countries in Europe who face difficulties in general, as you said. The good news, however, is that in the negotiations about the new multi-annual framework for the EU, 2014 to 2020, external spending and development assistance have not been cut as all other policy areas have been. So that's a clear signal that the member states still believe that EU development assistance is important, is in the EU's interest, and therefore they have agreed not to cut it as they have for other policy areas. This is indeed a strong call for us and for our member states to make sure that for every euro of development assistance we spend, we get the best possible results and impact in our partner countries. So we have to become more efficient, more joined up, more clearly results oriented. So basically what we want to do is with the same amount of money achieve more. This is the challenge for the coming 6 or 7 years and we are working very actively on this. For example, by doing the programming of aid together with member states. We call this joint programming and it will result in a clearer division of labour at the country level in a clearer distribution of tasks to different donors. And obviously each donor can then focus on less subjects, less areas, but achieve a greater impact by concentrating the funds on less areas knowing that other donors will address the issues in other areas.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 40 seconds
Country: Belgium
Language: English
Producer: EurActiv
Director: EurActiv
Views: 58
Posted by: evanlamos on Jan 8, 2014

Dev Days Rudishhauser

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