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EU: Pool Development Aid to Stamp Out Poverty, Says European Commission
Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2013/jul/17/development-aid-poverty-eu
Source Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Focus: Public Administration Schools, Thematic Website, Institution and HR Management
Country: Europe
Created: Jul 18, 2013

The European commission has adopted a communication proposing that all types of development aid in the post-2015 period be considered as a whole, with resources streamlined according to well-defined policy objectives.

The commission proposes to bind current major international efforts and use all their financial resources in the post-2015 period in "a new, innovative way".

While the EU executive recently focused on what to put in the future development framework, it was turning its attention on how to finance it, said Andris Piebalgs, the development commissioner. The "what" refers to the previous communication on "A decent life for all" by 2030.

Although the emphasis of the financing communication is on developing countries, its approach can be universally applicable, the commission says.

Political thinking recently suggests that the post-2015 UN millennium development goals (MDGs) will apply universally, and not only to the world's poorest countries. The eight MDGs adopted in 2000 have mainly applied to developing countries.

Piebalgs called the newest communication another big step towards putting in place the future post-2015 framework. "In order to make progress in policy, we need to use all available resources and look at new, innovative and reliable ways to fund poverty eradication and achieve long-term sustainable development," he said.

The environment commissioner, Janez Poto─Źnik, said the new commission paper "binds together" the MDGs with the follow-up of the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development into one overarching framework for post-2015. Rio+20 was a world mega-summit held in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, as a 20-year follow-up of a historic UN conference on sustainable development held in the same city.

"We are completing our joint vision today by confirming that we will bring together also the financing tracks for sustainable development and poverty eradication," Poto─Źnik said.

The commission paper examines the different financial resources available – public and private, both at the domestic and international levels (from taxes to grants, private investment or philanthropy).

The commission singles out the following "guiding principles" for post-2015 financing:

• Financing must go hand-in-hand with policy objectives. Money should go where it is most needed, but we also need to use it in an innovative an effective way to ensure the maximum results.

• All financing sources should be considered as a whole, including official development assistance (ODA) for low-income countries.

• Emerging economies and upper middle-income countries can contribute their fair share to assist the poorest and most fragile.

• Different policy goals need to be mutually reinforcing, so every euro spent should aim to reach several policy objectives simultaneously. For instance, better food security is essential for poverty eradication and can be achieved through better preservation of biodiversity and forests, which in turn help to combat climate change.

• Partner countries should be in the driving seat when choosing resource priorities.

The communication also calls for enhanced transparency and mutual accountability at national and global level of all finance to ensure it is used more effectively on sustainable development.

Alexandre Polack, the spokesman for Piebalgs, explained that the philosophy behind the idea of streamlining financing was to make sure countries made sufficient fiscal room to generate public resources. He said this included, for example, the fight against tax evasion and transparency in the extractive industries.

Asked if the initiative was EU-related or had a worldwide scope, Polack said it was a world process. "This communication is about having an EU position into the global world position," he said. The next step in that process, he added, will be the "special event" that will follow from the September UN meeting, which is expected to outline the post-2015 MDG framework.
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