European Union statecraft for sustainable development

He argued that sustainable development requires a new kind of statecraft, and the new European Commission has the opportunity to put the EU in the global lead of this effort: “Unless we have a strong Europe and a Europe that understands that when American leadership has collapsed, it is necessary for European leaders to step forward, we won’t be making it”, he told an audience at the Hertie School. 

According to the annual Sustainable Development Report, which estimates each country’s capacity to achieve the SDGs, the globally top-ranked countries are European. “Without question, the quality of life in Europe is the highest quality of life on the planet. It’s also the part of the world that comes closest to achieving the ethos of sustainable development”. Sachs argued that sustainable development at its core means economic prosperity, social inclusion, environmental sustainability and the rule of law. Despite Europe’s practice of importing goods from polluting countries, Sachs acknowledged its intent to comply with the standards of environmental sustainability, but nonetheless called for further SDG alignment among EU member states. 

The new EU Commission has the opportunity to become a global leader of the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement. This comes with the question of how Europe can lead other countries to achieve the SDGs and how Europe affects other countries through global supply chains and other spill-overs. Sachs’ recommendations for the new European Commission under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen included introducing EU-wide strategies to target the “seventeen- dimensional problem” of achieving the SDGs. He emphasized the need for technology-driventransformations for decarbonized means of transportation in air, sea and on land and energy systems. “Europe has a big job to do because where is the goal? The goal is zero by 2050!” This technology puzzle could only be solved by significant investments in research and development, leading to a climate-neutral and circular economy. Sachs highlighted the inherent need for a new investment agenda to cope with the lack of innovation in some regions. Therefore, the EU needs a budget increase with more resources spent on directed research and development, increasinginnovation and thereby the quality of life.

The issues need to be addressed at every level of government, from local to global and require constructive problem-solving. The complexity and timeframe of the issues Sachs outlined require intensive analysis and research, as well as a multidimensional approach that includes both the public and private sectors. Furthermore, Sachs suggested that a Eurostat framework for SDG measurements and indicators should be introduced as a means to monitor the implementation of policies by governments and the alignment of businesses with the SDGs.

He recommended a shift in the European Union’s diplomacy agenda, and challenged Europe to take the lead in the multilateral environment and climate change agreements: “Europe’s leadership is vital to make the world system work”. With respect to Europe’s position as the largest donor in the world, Sachs argues that it needs to scale up its strategy and focus on attaining the geopolitical heft that comes from raising resources for development. Furthermore, he suggested partnerships with key bilateral forums: “Europe’s bilateral relations with other regions will come to be the defining diplomacy”. The European Union should partner with the African Union to endow everyAfrican child with the opportunity for secondary education. He urged Europe to commit to a sustainable Eurasian economy and to further cooperate with MERCOSUR.

Human security in the age of geopolitics, terrorism and new wars

We are living through a period of transition, which is characterized by competing conceptions of power and competing ways of doing security. In contrast to the Cold War and indeed the whole period of modernity, the combination of new wars and the war on terror in places like Syria, DRC, or Yemen is undermining many of the norms and laws of war associated with traditional geo-politics – bombing schools and hospitals, long distance assassination, the use of poison as a weapon or beheadings and sexual slavery – and producing large-scale forced displacement.

Against this background, the Kapuscinski Development Lecture with Professor Mary Kaldor argued that the European Union potentially represents a new form of political authority – a model of global governance in contrast to traditional states like the US, Russia or China. This is illustrated by its security culture as represented by the European Union Global Strategy on foreign and security policy. The Global Strategy aspires to a form of Liberal Peace that is based on human security rather than national security. The evolution of the EU, she argued, depends to a considerable extent on whether the EU adopts a closed-in traditional inside-outside bordered approach to security or alternatively whether it pursues a global human rights-based approach and is able to respond effectively to its crisis-ridden neighborhood. To this end, the promotion of sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions will be of vital importance.

Democracy, Truth and the Perils of Information Age

When: 6th December 2017 at 12:15 am EET / 11:15 am CET (check time around the world).

Where: Assembly Hall of the University of Tartu (Ülikooli 18)

You can join the lecture by:

  • coming to the event in Tartu
  • following livestreaming from the event at kapuscinskilectures.eu
  • asking your questions to Kalensky and Lauristin via Twitter using #KAPTalks hashtag

In today’s world, new digital tools and the global reach of social media platforms have brought along a transformation of lifestyles: we order goods and services by a few clicks in an app, we rely on GPS to take us home, we prefer online sources to newspapers, and we rely on instant messages and social media to keep up with the lives of relatives, colleagues and friends. This requires us to be constantly available online, ready to receive and make sense of endless flows of information. We have come to lead our entire lives online and this has made us vulnerable.

While the perils of information age have been known for a long time, recent debates have focused on the viability of democracy in an age where everyone can easily create and disseminate information on a mass scale. The problem of “post-truth” is aggravated by the borderless world of the internet and the global reach of social media platforms. Democratic societies have limited tools to counter the threats posed by disinformation, lies and propaganda. How to control the spread of disinformation without restricting democratic principles? How to distinguish between trustworthy and non-trustworthy sources of information? How to ensure that people, the supreme sovereign, base their political decisions on information that bears at least some semblance to reality?

Moroccan-EU connection. Migration

When: 13th December 2017 at 2:00 pm CET / 1:00 pm GMT (check time around the world).

Where:Metropolitní univerzita Praha, Dubečská 900/10, Strašnice, 100 31 Praga

You can join the lecture by:

  • coming to the event in Prague
  • following livestreaming from the event at kapuscinskilectures.eu
  • asking your questions to Khadija Elmadmad via Twitter using #KAPTalks hashtag

Morocco has always experienced all types of migration: immigration and emigration, voluntary and forced migration as well as legal and illegal migration. Nowadays, more than 10 percent of Moroccans live abroad. As the vast majority of them reside in European countries and as the Morocco-Spain migration route is slowly becoming one of the main routes used for illegal migration to Europe, the need for cooperation between Morocco and its European counterparts is more urgent than ever before.

All the while, Morocco serves as a transit and immigration country for migrants coming from various parts of the world, mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa and Syria. In 2013 the Moroccan government adopted a new migration policy, which focused on legalizing the status of illegal migrants living in the country and reviewed migration law in order to make it more human and protective for migrants.

All these topics will be touched upon and discussed during a guest lecture of prof. Khadija Elmadmad in which you are cordially invited to participate!

2030 development agenda: from committment to action

Agenda 2030 – from commitment to action: the contribution of a renewed EU development policy

to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

When: 20th April 2016 at 6:00 pm EDT / 10:00 pm GMT (check time around the world).

Where: Faculty House, Presidential Room (3rd floor), 64 Morningside Drive, Columbia University, New York City

You can join the lecture by:

  • coming to the event in New York City
  • following livestreaming from the event at kapuscinskilectures.eu
  • asking your questions to Neven Mimica via Twitter using #KAPTalks hashtag

Register here for the event

[registration]
While continuing to pull our weight as the world’s largest provider of official development assistance, the EU and its Member States need to re-define our ambition as part of a new global partnership to implement the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. A partnership that involves countries at all stages of development in a spirit of shared responsibility for our common future, and one that goes beyond governments, to meaningfully involve all partners – from local authorities to civil society, to the private sector and academia. In designing the future of EU development policy, our ambition should be to do away with traditional interpretations of what does or does not constitute development, and to use instead the real challenges that our partner countries face as the starting point for providing comprehensive solutions.

We need to formulate policies that address poverty and environmental degradation together – not as competing objectives; make sure the benefits of our actions are spread more evenly, helping to address inequalities within and between countries; put the focus on women – not just as beneficiaries, but as drivers of development; and we need to bring development into the policy mix to address the great multifaceted crises of our time: building peaceful and resilient societies, combating climate change, managing refugee and migration flows of unprecedented scale. To succeed, we will have to effectively mobilise all available resources and move beyond just measuring aid, towards a culture of results, transparency, inclusive follow-up and review. By putting its wide array of tools to good use, EU development policy can have a catalytic effect in the implementation of the SDGs worldwide. It can be a game changer.

From crisis to stability

„We live in turbulent times.” With these words Carl Bildt, a former prime minister and foreign minister of Sweden, began his speech entitled „From Crisis to Stability” at the Department of Joumalism and Political Science at the University of Warsaw. The lecture was organised in partnership with the Faculty of Joumalism and Political Science of the University of Warsaw, and the Ronald Reagan Foundation in Poland. The event was held within the European Year for Development 2015 agenda.

In his opening remarks, Carl Bildt expressed that the world today is defined less by globalisation, and more by resurgences in geopolitical aggression and terrorism, which stand as the most significant obstacles to securing peace in the contemporary world. He discussed how conflict in the world is particularly far-reaching, and therefore requires extensive intervention on the part of the United Nations or European Union, efforts which may be diplomatic, military, or political.

Referencing his involvement in mediating a resolution at the close of the Bosnian War in 1995, he detailed the challenges of both preventing war and fostering long-term stability in war-tom regions, citing several examples which illustrate how disagreement within the international community can vastly undermine any peace-making efforts. Recounting these past experiences, MrBildt outlined several important lessons for state-building efforts in the future:

  1. „It is imperative to establish a secure environment very fast.” This goal requires not on1y disarming rival groups, but also compelling them to participate in a peaceful settlement. Intervening governments must be willing to escalate their military presence in the event of further hostilities because, without security, humanitarian workers will not be able to provide aid for the civilian population. These consequences became most obvious following recent wars in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Africa.
  2. „The central challenge is not economic reconstruction, but state building.The framework of a state must already be in place before focusing on projects such as physical reconstruction. Without a political solution, any efforts to rebuild will be for naught. By achieving a negotiated political settlement on the form of the state, there will at least be an opportunity for interested parties to establish cooperative relations.
  3. „To build a state, you need to know what to build.” The decision must be made early in the process, and it must be definitiv In a deeply divided society, state building should involve constitutional protections for all threatened groups, whether ethnic, religious, or otherwise. Competing sides also must be able to compromise in order to achieve a permanent arrangement.
  4. „There must be an early focus on the preconditions for long-term growth.” The future of a fledgling state is predicated onhaving early conditions that would enable economic Sanctions have historically been counterproductive because they drive away the middle class and enable black markets to form. Moreover, sanctions against governments only maketheir societies more economically fragile, more dependent on humanitarian, and more resentful.
  5. „There has to be a benevolent regional env” For a state to become stable, it requires stable regional neighbours that are capable of putting aside their own hostility. Regional governments must recognise the negative consequences if a neighbouring state fails.
  6. „The greater the international support, the easier the process.” Disagreement among foreign governments can serve to galvanise rival groups within a post-war territ Therefore, the UN as a whole, and the Security Council in particular, can avoid prolonged civil conflict by agreeing to a common approach, although this remains an enormous challenge due to the disparate interests within the international community.
  7. „Nation building takes a longer time, and requires more resources, than most initially believe”. Overseeing a state’s initial post-war period requires a vast amount of patience and commitment. Unfortunatelypeace-keepers around the world are limited because of the manrecent conflicts that require their involvement. A much greater volume of personnel are needed not only for security, but also for political and economic development, which further confirms the need for achieving an international consensus in solving these types of crises.

To illustrate the aforementioned points, Carl Bildt named a number of recent examples in which the international community failed to recognise or address the needs of states that had been devastated by war, ranging from Bosnia to Afghanistan, as well as the more recent conflicts in Syria and Libya. He emphasised that the international community must act decisively in order toprevent states from failing because the consequences may be felt anywhere in the world, as we have witnessed from the ongoing terror campaign by ISIL and the accompanying Syrian refugee crisis. He closed the lecture by asserting how urgent issues such as climate change and overpopulation make it even more crucial for governments to take a proactive approach in solving global issues together.

Why refugees need jobs, bank accounts, and insurance

[<a href=”//storify.com/kapulectures/give-refugees-jobs-and-bank-accounts-paul-spiegel-” target=”_blank”>View the story „Give refugees jobs and bank accounts: Paul Spiegel’s #KAPTalks from Berlin” on Storify</a>]

Development assistance in a new world

Extreme poverty has been halved and people have never been richer, healthier or better educated. More than 600 million people have been brought out of poverty in China alone. But average global improvement is of little help for the over one billion people still living in extreme poverty. The world will come together this year at the UN to agree on the complete eradication of extreme poverty by 2030 and a new set of sustainable development goals. For the first time in human history, we have the knowledge and resources to eradicate poverty while preserving the planet.

Most important is policies. We must learn from success and do more of what works. Child mortality has been reduced by two thirds in Ethiopia and that alone has saved more lives per year than the number of people dying in all global wars combined. Schoolchildren in Vietnam are now doing better at school than children in much richer OCD countries. Korea has gone from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the richest in a few generations. Young Koreans are 390 times richer than their grandparents were!  Lithuania has successfully transitioned into a democratic market economy and is now one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. There are so many stories of successful development. We must replicate these successes on a global scale.

Money is also important. Global aid remains stable at record high levels and reached $135 billion last year. Development aid has increased by 66% since 2000. And new donors are adding to this. China is now a major provider of aid. India, Indonesia and Brazil are giving as well as receiving aid. The United Arab Emirates is the most generous country in the world, giving 1.17% of national income to development assistance. Turkey is above the OECD average, hugely generous to Syrian refugees and increased spending by 8% last year. Hungary and Estonia increased development aid more than anyone at 25% and 19% last year. We need more and better aid! But we also need to use aid to mobilize the two biggest sources of development finance in the world: Private investments and tax!

Come and learn more when Erik Solheim, Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, an alliance of the world’s main donors, talk about development aid in a new world.

When: 13th May 2015 at 5:00pm EEST / 4:00pm CET (check time around the world).

Where: International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University, Vokieciu st. 10, Vilnius.

You can join the lecture by:

  • coming to the event in Vilnius
  • following livestreaming from the event at kapuscinskilectures.eu
  • asking your questions to Erik Solheim via Twitter using #KAPTalks hashtag

Register here for the event:
[registration]

New framework for European development policy

‘Think Locally, Act Globally’: A New Framework for European Development Cooperation

Can development cooperation be defended at a time of economic austerity in Europe? The moral imperative remains strong, but contemporary events also illustrate the role of development cooperation in managing global risks and opening opportunities for prosperity and sustainability at home. The 27 Member States of the European Union can act independently or seek leverage through a variety of multilateral organisations, like the UN, the World Bank – or the institutions of the EU itself. What is the comparative advantage of the EU in development cooperation? What must change for us to achieve even greater impact?

The question of development indeed consists of three major dilemmas: How do we reform the development politics and re-frame the development itself? How do we mediate the response at the European level? And lastly, how can we make the case far more influential in countries which share sceptical view on the issues of development. These questions might seem essentially basic, though they provide pivotal opportunities for development policy if solved.

What can we learn from Ryszard Kapuscinski? Simple idea, “Think Locally, Act Globally”. It seems a bit different statement that we are used to, but it carries a strong message. There is no reason why the basic principles of our daily life cannot be implemented into a global perspective. Now, The European Commission is already one year in. How is it doing?

That is an important but specific question, since Andris Piebalgs has circumscribed responsibilities within the domain of development policy. Thus, there are separate Commissioners for trade, climate change, neighbourhood policy and even humanitarian action; as well, of course, as a Commission Vice-President and Council High Representative for external affairs. All have an interest in developing countries.

It is not difficult to imagine a worst-case scenario, in which the new External Action Service would have captured control of development policy and funding, and would be using it to pursue security and foreign policy objectives. The development Commissioner would be left managing implementation of others’ decisions, aided by a time-expired European consensus on development policy and a poorly structured and poorly functioning bureaucracy. Good news. The worst case has been avoided. In fact, there are positive stories to report at the end of the first year.

First, the worst predations of the foreign policy establishment have been dodged. Although the post-Lisbon External Action Service formally has the lead on aid programming, the Development Commissioner has joint authority. In practice, he also has under his control the development expertise on development issues, an area in which the EAS looks to be weak. This is as good an outcome as could have been expected, a victory for common sense, but also the result of good political management.

Second, Andis Piebalgs has begun to put his stamp on EU and EC development policy. The title of the Green Paper he published at the end of 2010, ‘ EU development policy in support of inclusive growth and sustainable development – increasing the impact of EU development policy’, summarises the main themes, and hints at others: growth, the private sector, energy, a focus on results, accountability.

Third, the Commissioner has established a good political foundation for further work. The key themes of the Green Paper resonate with other ministers around the EU Member States, all concerned with demonstrating the impact of aid at a time of fiscal stringency. The growth and private sector themes also resonate with many, including the new Government in the UK.
Fourth, there has been an important decision to restructure the bureaucracy, merging DG Development, which previously dealt with policy, and Europe Aid, which led on implementation. The creation a new ‘DevCo’, under the leadership of Fokion Fotiadis, offers the opportunity of better strategic leadership on policy, and more effective administration.

Fifth, there have been some significant moments on the ground, for example in negotiating a coherent EU response to the Haiti earthquake. The EU offered a coherent position at the MDG Summit in New York in September 2010. There have also been summits with Africa and Asia.

Sixth, the EU’s development programme has been ranked highly in recent comparative evaluations, for example by the Centre for Global Development in Washington. They score development agencies with respect to 30 criteria related to: maximizing efficiency; fostering institutions; reducing burdens; and transparency and learning. The EC scores above the mean on all four of these aggregate measures. That is a far cry from the situation of a few years ago, and far also from the jaundiced public view of EC performance.

Should the record have been even better? Obviously, the development community, this author among them, has expectations which can never be satisfied. The gravity of poverty in the world demands no less. The Commissioner has been in office a whole year, yet poverty still persists!

Realistically, there are certainly some items of unfinished business.

First, the agenda is overloaded with policy papers and consultations. Second, and paradoxically, the policy agenda is incomplete. Third, and again paradoxically, given the range of policy initiatives, the Commission is remarkably poorly staffed in the policy area compared to its peer group among the large international donors. The EC, remember, not the EU as a whole, but the European Commission, disburses more in official development assistance than the World Bank, and about as much as the whole of the United Nations. Its weight and influence in global policy debates falls far behind either the Bank or the UN – even allowing for the innovation of an annual European Development Report. Some argue that the EC should leave the thinking to others, but surely a 10 billion euro aid programme needs to apply to itself the principle of being learning and thinking organisation, even before bringing into the mix other areas like trade.

Fourth, the EC ‘talks the talk’ on cooperation with other regions, but is very unevenly vigorous in ‘walking the walk’. Africa takes pride of place, though doubts remain about whether Europe is as effective a partner, or as preferred a partner, as China. In other regions, Europe needs to accelerate the transition from an aid relationship to a true strategic partnership on global and regional issues. The Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) offers unfulfilled potential in this respect.

Finally, the Commission still struggles with the core question of whether Europe is a forum for cooperation between Member States, with energy focused on setting standards and managing coordination on the ground – or a forum for consolidation, with a greater share of aid passing through the Commission. It is yet another paradox that senior policy-makers use the language of coordination, and express their preference for this way of working, while simultaneously funding the largest channel in the world for ODA.

Here lies the challenge – and the opportunity.

I have argued elsewhere that the Commission should stop playing poker with development policy and reveal its hand. Another way of saying this is that the Commission should stop trying to cover all topics equally, but state its priorities, including those to do with growth, the private sector and energy. Commissioner Piebalgs might be surprised by the extent of support. In any case, it would be good to speed up.

Next, tackle head-on the apparent contradiction between cooperativist thinking and consolidationist behaviour. This may be a high-risk strategy, but is essential to help frame the debate now starting about the Financial Perspectives 2014-2020. At present 20% of EU development spending goes through Brussels. Is this about right? Too large? Too small? How do grants relate to loans, for example through the European Investment Bank? And what can be learned from the experience of creating shock facilities, like V-Flex and the food facility?

Three items on the to-do list for 2011. That doesn’t sound impossible. Ministers of the EU-27 should support this level of ambition and engage in making change happen.

With some EU economies in crisis and others facing unprecedented fiscal retrenchment, the auguries are not favourable for new, large-scale financial contributions. Further, there is little appetite in certain quarters for EU engagement in multilateral initiatives, with some writing of a ‘zero-sum world’ and others of ‘Europe’s Decline and Fall’.

Nevertheless, few leaders would deny that development represents an existential threat to humankind. And all would recognise that tackling the challenge is a matter of politics not technical analysis. That is why leaders themselves need to engage. Development is too important to be left to environment ministers, or even to foreign ministers.

Response to crisis in changing world

The event was open by the Rector of Sofia University Prof. Ivan Ilchev, who underlined the significance of the issue of development for Bulgaria and the world as a whole.

After the opening words Commissioner Georgieva delivered a lecture on the topic: “Influence of the Changing World Over the European Reaction to Crises”. She presented the current trends of economic development around the world with an emphasis on the growing risks of instability fueled by natural and social cataclysms in Middle East, Africa, and some areas in Southeast Asia and Latin America. The Commissioner analyzed the ongoing conflict in Libya as a case study and explained the measures undertaken by the European Union such as:
– Evacuation of the European Citizens,
– Humanitarian operations,
– Coordination mechanisms.

She paid special attention to the increasing number of natural disasters in the world in 2010, mainly connected with climate issues (90%), among which several mega disasters, as well as large-scale industrial accidents. Apart from climate change, the other major factor for the growth of crises worldwide appeared to be the growth of population and the resulting high levels of unemployment. The third outlined factor is growing urbanization.

Complex crises were discussed as well. In response to the complex crises, Georgieva presented a complex model for counteraction based on humanitarian aid networks, uniform system for reaction, complex risk prevention, and aid aimed at development.

Following Mrs. Georgieva, Sir Simon Maxwell made a short outline of the works of Ryszard Kapuscinski. He stressed on contemporary humanitarian risks and their impact. Given the complexity of the interconnected risk factors, Maxwell suggested a global partnership for development based on open and stable trading and financial systems, special attention to the least developed areas especially concerning their debts, access to medications and new technologies. In the framework of such partnership, Europe has a comparative advantage. In conclusion, Sir Maxwell presented the attitudes of European citizens towards the provision of foreign aid and the future benefits for the world from providing aid for sustainable development.
The third speaker, Mr. Andrey Kovachev, MEP, presented the role of Bulgaria in the process of development as well the tasks the country should undertake in that field.

The discussion was led by Prof. Ingrid Shikova, Chair of the European Studies Department. It continued about half an hour, most of the questions had been addressed to Commissioner Georgieva. The first type of questions concerned Lybia, the second type had been by NGOs, working in the field of development, whose representatives proposed help to UNDP. The discussion prolonged and it continued with a lot of interviews given by Commissioner Georgieva.

Development policy towards 2030 – Europe’s role

Prof. Dirk Messner during his lecture explored linkages between global climate change and development. Prof. Messner argued that it would be impossible to solve problems related to poverty and inequality without addressing the issue of climate change successfully. European Union (EU) has assumed global leadership in both tackling climate change and providing development aid to developing countries. However, devising adequate mechanisms of global governance is also necessary in order to achieve development and to reverse climate change.

Prof. Messner began his lecture by looking at four possible scenarios of global governance that may or may not be fostered by the global economic crisis. The first scenario represented re-engineering of the current Western-centric model. The second scenario represented a regression to fragmentation and protectionism. The third scenario prescribed financial regionalism, while the fourth scenario was the most positive in terms of global governance because it apprehended the model of rebalanced multilateralism. Prof. Messner claimed that the success or failure of development cooperation policy and putting a stop to climate change largely depended upon well-functioning multilateral institutions therefore the fourth model was seen as a necessary precondition for developing efficient global governance structures. Also, he argued that it was necessary to remodel global governance structures because the economic balance of power was very likely to turn upside down until mid-21st century.

Prof. Messner highlighted the role of the EU member states in global development cooperation. EU countries can make a difference despite the fact that most of them are small or medium-sized states. 60% of international official development assistance (ODA) is European, and 65% of bilateral donors are Europeans. Development aid is provided mostly because of the existence of enlightened self-interest on the part of European donor countries. Although European countries have already made significant contribution to global development, the time has come to decide between two conceptions of development policy. The first conception foresees a narrow focus on achieving MDGs, and it is largely aimed at helping the poorest of the poor (the bottom billion). The second conception, however, has a broader focus, and development is seen as part of strategies aimed at improving global governance (improvement of socio-economic conditions in developing countries, tackling world problems such as state fragility, insecurity and climate change, strengthening governance capacity of developing countries, facilitating development of relevant international regimes). Prof. Messner was in favor of the second conception of development policy because it was broader in scope and was better suited for meeting the multitude of global challenges (such as sustainable development, clean water, population and resources, democratization, global convergence of IT, transnational organized crime, energy, status of women, etc.) that humanity faces.

Climate change was singled out by Prof. Messner as being by far the most important of many global challenges. It was stressed that without addressing climate change problem it would be difficult to achieve development and meet MDGs. According to Prof. Messner, there are four fundamental prerequisites for development: soil and food, atmosphere and climate stability, energy, water. Although all four fundamentals are essential for development, their accessibility and availability is likely to be seriously eroded with the growing impact of climate change. Models that have been developed by climate scientists indicate that increasing numbers of population in developing countries are likely to face water stress, desertification, droughts, soil degradation and depletion of resources. Models exhibit that it would be difficult to satisfy demands for water, energy and food of the already existing population, but it is almost certain that world’s population will reach the 9 billion mark by mid-century. Largest population increases are expected in those regions that already have food, water, energy, and soil shortages. Climate change would only aggravate such shortages. Thus, it is almost impossible to achieve global development without addressing the problem of climate change.

De-coupling of energy use and development is an ambitious but necessary target, otherwise global warming would exceed the 2°C. Prof. Messner argued that there is little time left for curbing emissions in order to meet this goal (in order to reduce CO2 emissions by half until 2050). Although this is an ambitious goal, the EU countries should assume responsibility for bringing together both developed and developing countries in order to improve global governance, facilitate long-term thinking during policy preparation process, and write development and climate change objectives into decision-making mechanisms. Europe should also push ahead with the global climate change negotiations, build a low carbon economy, advocate for a MDG-plus development agenda, protect global forests and build low carbon partnerships with Africa, China and India.

Prof. Messner emphasized that the current challenges are enormous, but he was optimistic about the possibility of meeting these challenges successfully because threats, risks and vulnerabilities emanating from global challenges are real. Thus, international cooperation should be possible to achieve. Curbing climate change and achieving development is a collective effort that would require life-style change, new conceptions of wealth, radical improvements in terms of carbon and resource efficiency and transition from the era of national governance to the era global governance. In short, the present model of development is not sustainable therefore humanity should complete transition to a different model of development that is sustainable, and Europe has a key role to play in facilitating this process.

Africa: new challenges and opportunities for assistance

After introductory remarks and welcoming words by Mr. Daniel Hanspach (UNDP), Ms Brigitte Luggin (EC) and Ms. Dana Zadrazilova (UEP), Professor Collier, referring to his book “The Bottom Billion”, continued with his, below-summarized account of problems poor countries in Africa have been facing.

About 50 countries basically stagnated from around the 1970s to the new millennium. As a result they diverged from the rest of the mankind. Forty years ago the world was divided into one billion lucky people in rich country and a five billion people in developing countries. Since then the world has fundamentally changed. Most of that five billion have been developing at a pace that has no historical precedent and they have been converging fast with the lucky billion. We are now in the world with one billion at the bottom, one billion at the top and four billion converging. Even though some of the people from the converging four billion are nearly as poor as the bottom billion, there is a fundamental difference and that difference is one word: Hope. Poor people from the bottom billion do not have a credible hope that their children will grow up in a different environment.

The challenge of development is thus to get the bottom billion to catch up with everybody else. The challenge is not to reduce poverty of the bottom billion, the goal has to be to replace divergence by convergence. Convergence means moving from stagnation to really rapid growth. Why should we meet that challenge? It is a mixture of compassion and enlightened self-interest. In a globalized world, having a continent so close to Europe, in which hundreds of millions are living without credible hope, is a potential nightmare.

First, we need some sort of diagnosis why the countries of bottom billion missed out on prosperity. But there is no single diagnosis, there is no big single explanation. Professor Collier sees several major difficulties, so-called traps. One is natural resources. It is a paradox that these countries have very valuable natural resources, but instead of being a platform for prosperity the fight for control over the natural resources has soured the political process and led to stagnation (e.g. oil in Nigeria) or even destruction (e.g. diamonds in Sierra Leone).

Another trap is being landlocked. If you are landlocked, it is your neighbours that matter. If you are landlocked with bad neighbours, that is a nightmare. Look at the neighbourhood of Uganda. Not only the neighbours are not growing enough to provide a market, but Uganda does not even have a reliable access to the sea as Kenyan government has not invested into roads and railways to provide such an access. Uganda is therefore in a lock caused by its neighbours. That denies Uganda a lots of development opportunities. Only one percent of the developing world outside Africa live in countries that are landlocked and do not have valuable resources. In Africa it is about 30 %. It is a historical legacy of dysfunctional political fragmentation. Third trap involves violent conflicts. Civil wars are highly persistent. The main legacy of civil wars is a high risk of another civil war.

There is a very limited scope for international solutions to these problems. Societies in the end have to save themselves. We cannot save Africa, Africa will save Africa. There is a real struggle going on throughout Africa between people fighting for change and people trying to preserve their own self-interests and status quo. We are outsiders, we are marginal players but we have a responsibility to do what we can. One, we should focus down on the real problem. We have limited resources and we should focus on countries that need it most. Secondly, we should broaden the array of policies we use – it is not just about our money. Aid is part of the solution, not part of the problem, but a relatively minor part of the solution. We forget that we have many other policies that affect the development process.

Lot of societies in Africa have to go through similar transformation the Czech Republic did. In addition to money the European Union offered integration into trade when assisting transformation in Eastern Europe. Trade policy, open market is fundamental to shaping the opportunities Africa faces as well. Europe’s scheme for Africa until very recently was the Everything but Arms. This scheme does not compare very well to America’s scheme called the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Nevertheless, now the European policy has been changing.

Trade policy can help Africa to diversify from a narrow range of primary commodities and break into the global markets the way Asia did. It is much harder for Africa to do it than for Asia to do it because Asia is now an established low-wage producer. The growth of Asia was so explosive thanks to producing clusters of manufacturers. Our trade policy can offset the disadvantage of being the pioneer firm in Africa. Once you get producing clusters they can be competitive. Thus Africa needs a privileged access to our markets, privileged vis-à-vis the established low-wage producers. That is what the American scheme has offered even though it works only in one narrow dimension – garments. Trade policy opens or closes off opportunities to get out of the traditional focus on commodities and agriculture.

Countries from Eastern Europe also benefited from rules of political and economic governance set by the European Community. With clear rules the transition process is faster and more secure, and there is less room for policy reversals. Without clear rules of governance the policy improvements in Africa have been slower and more prone to reversal. As a result there has been a much less credible environment. And credibility matters because that brings investments. Aid, plus trade, plus governance, is the minimum package that Europe can use for Africa. The international community, including Europe, should link its assessment of conduct in political election (governance) to its effort in trade policy and aid, i.e. set some minimum conditions of accountability,.

The global crisis has affected Africa through several transition mechanisms, the fastest being the falling commodity prices and falling demand for commodities. As commodity exports were the main source of revenues for African governments, the short-term fall in prices and quantities hit government revenues very hard. That has been supplemented by lower remittances sent back home by Africans working abroad. With contracting labour markets in Europe and America the African immigrants lose their jobs. And now even the aid is falling. This will be to a small extent offset by new entrants of aid (e.g. the Czech Republic or South Korea).

The final hit to Africa has been through investors’ perception of risk. We are witnessing a much heightened aversion to risk. This can be seen mainly on letters of credit (to finance exports) as they dried out specifically for Africa. Africa is perceived as the riskiest region in the world. The legacy effect of the global crisis in Africa will be this risk aversion that might persist for years and might result in reduced investment flows for Africa. Foreign investments to resource extraction will continue but this will lead to increased structural dependence of Africa on resource extraction. Investments for diversification will be very hard to get and fundamental reason for divergence is that Africais not investing enough.

What can the Czech Republic do in all this?According to Professor Collier, the Czech Republic is more important for its voice and perspective than for its money. Experience with transition is the real value of the Czech Republic and through multilateral agencies the Czech Republic can share experience of the process it has been through.

Fruitful discussion that followed included experience and views of Africans from the audience (incl. the Ambassador of South Africa), and such topics as the role of NGOs and the role of China in Africa.

Rethinking development: new role for Europe

The Lecture was preceded by an introductory address by Dr. Michael Frendo MP, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta and current Chairperson of the Maltese Parliament’s Foreign and EU Affairs Select Committee. In this address Dr. Frendo dwelled first on his experience in introducing Malta’s first ever Overseas Development Aid policy as Minister of Foreign Affairs when Malta joined the EU. He explained how prior to EU accession Malta had never had an Overseas Aid policy and in fact was more used to the notion of being an aid recipient rather than a donor.In fact initially there were difficulties in attracting enough support from all the relevant government departments. The phenomenon of illegal migration which began to hit Malta at the time, paradoxically, was a useful instrument to focus attention on the conditions prevailing in the outside world. It also helped all the relevant authorities realise that investing in overseas development was in Malta’s interest. The policy that Dr. Frendo eventually piloted and which became the basis of Malta’s development aid governance was drafted by taking into account Malta’s size and limited resources but also its geographical location and well-established expertise in certain niche araeas such as ICT, education, tourism, water management etc.

Lecture by Simon Maxwell, Senior Research Associate, Overseas Development Institute, London on ‘Rethinking international development: a new role for Europe’. Dr.Maxwell started his lecture by referring to the figure of Ryszard Kapuscinski and his contribution to the telling of ‘the development story’. He then went on to develophis argument in three steps, firstly that we live in a difficult and increasingly complex world, secondly that we need to reframe development cooperation and finally that there is a new role for Europe in the development aid structures. He also added a postscript i.e. that we should not be defeatist because a lot of progress has been achieved over the past decades.

On the ‘new age of uncertainty’, Dr. Maxwell referred to the international community’s struggle to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The situation was not an easy one with a number of geographical areas struggling to reach the goals and certain goals being behind schedule overall. These difficulties are compounded by the recent fuel, food and financial crises which made achieving the MDGs all the more hard. Furthermore other challenges to the international community are already present including climate change, resource scarcity, demographic pressures and rapid urbanization.

In the context of re-framing development cooperation he pointed out that this had to be understood within a framework which recognized development aid as both a moral imperative and a common interest. He then went on to explain the current thinking in development policy on issues ranging from the role of the state and public expenditure to collective action. The emphasis was laid on the importance of maintaining aid volumes, pushing for aid effectiveness, a holistic approach by governments, focusing on fragile states and investing more in multilateralism. It was precisely in the context of multilateralism that the EU had a comparative advantage and should ensure that it used this to its fullest extent. Finally Dr Maxwell stated that the situation was not as bad as is sometimes claimed and a lot of progress has been achieved in many aspects.

The Lecture was followed by a panel discussion with Mr. Alfred Agius (Desk Officer,Development Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairsof Malta), Mr. Vince Caruana (Assistant Lecturer at the Centre for Environmental Education and Research at the University of Malta and Chairperson of SKOP) and Dr. Omar Grech (MEDAC). Mr. Caruana stated that he wished to make a few comments in his capacity as a civil society representative given that he was involved in a Non-Governmental Development Organisation in the run up to Malta’s membership of the EU. He spoke about the main concerns of Maltese NGDOs in contributing to Malta’s ODA policy. Mr. Agius described Malta’s approach to ODA and re-affirmed the Government’s commitment to development cooperation. Dr. Grech emphasized the importance of development education as the bedrock to ensure popular support for development aid.

Solidarity – Made in Poland, Exported by Europe

Commissioner Piebalgs’ lecture, entitled “Solidarity – Made in Poland, Exported by Europe” was focused on the development aid in the context of human solidarity and Kapuscinski’s heritage. Before Mr. Piebalgs moved to the point he presented his reflection on 04/10 tragedy of Smolensk and conveyed condolences.

Commissioner Piebalgs started with the recognition of Polish successful transformation and noticed that solidarity, the one that was born in Poland as a movement of brave people, had a wider meaning and was a core of human willingness to help others in need. Speaking at Kapuscinki’s former university Mr. Piebalgs called over this brilliant journalist, writer and storyteller to demonstrate that it was critical to understand the world and its people. And encouraged to look at things in ways in which we had had not previously contemplated.

Then he evoked refugee camps and the rubble that was once homes, schools and hospitals – consequences of the devastating earthquake which struck Haiti on 12 January. The destruction and the tragedy he saw was immense. Nonetheless it let him realise the decency of mankind and the determination of countries to work together to overcome this humanitarian crisis. Since solidarity is a fundamental part of EU development policy Member States and the Commission – working with the Government of Haiti – united their efforts to make sure that aid was targeted in the most effective way, focusing on results and cutting out waste and duplication. However it was not just about spending money and providing people with food. Development policy, he noticed, must be a catalyst for change and help people in need build a better future. It is about learning from experiences, sharing ideas and understanding opportunities. Thus Poland – country so experienced with transition, democratic and economic reforms – has so much to contribute to Europe’s development policy thinking. Moreover, it could inspire further EU actions towards developing countries. Commissioner Piebalgs emphasized that there was no one-size-fits-all approach and that we have to respect and trust our partners. He also reminded of Nicolas Copernicus, the Polish astronomer who put forward the idea that the earth was not the centre of the universe to illustrate that the development policy, if we expect it to be sustainable, cannot be donor-oriented but must put the recipient in the first place. Considering that our world is interconnected – events and actions such as pandemics in Mexico and pollution from Indian industries affect other parts of the world and the globe as a whole – this policy has to be about long-term response to present-day threats and global challenges at the same time. Many of these, Mr. Piebalgs noticed, had their roots in poverty and under-development. He also observed that development and security were interdependent – there was no development without security and no security without development for every human being. And, even though some may think that eradicating poverty is impossible, we have to endeavour to succeed.

This brought the speaker to the Millennium Development Goals. Commissioner Piebalgs presented some achievements such as significant reduction of tuberculosis incidences, increase of safe drinking water availability, increase of educational institutions and number of students. Nevertheless there is still a large number of victims of HIV/AIDS and other diseases and ca. 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty. Thus a lot has to be done and international community has to redouble its efforts. One of them is EU’s 12-point Action Plan aimed to help developing countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It calls EU countries to increase aid, regardless of today’s economic and financial environment. EU credibility in development policy area is fundamental for trustworthy and successful partnership with developing countries. EU actions in this area need to ensure better value and more effectiveness. In this sense solidarity is the basis of the Action Plan that also affects other EU policies such as trade and migration also work for development. European Union, that accounts for over half of development assistance in the world, calls the rest of international community to undertake actions and get involved in tackling poverty. EU, with its potential and experience, may lead the rest of the world and export to the world the solidarity that was made in Poland. Hopefully forthcoming United Nations Summit in New York will help to achieve this goal.

Last but not least Commissioner Piebalgs emphasized the key role of Poland in the EU in the second half of 2011. Poland will also organize European Development Days in 2011. Mr. Piebalgs wished Poland, inspired with Kapuscinski heritage, would use this opportunity to raise the profile of development. In his opinion it was not too late for making the difference and implementing the Millennium Development Goals.

Solidarity for development

Solidarity – foundation of EU integration

Solidarity is a polish symbol – „Solidarność”. Solidarities’ deep roots in Europe. The beginning of the European integration, continent was in ruins. At the end of the war, physically damaged, destroyed cities, hate were between people and disagreements, indifference, loss of hope. This is what Europe looked like. Europeans understood that after the 2nd World War, without the close cooperation, Europe cannot be rebuilt. Not only in the physical sense, but also mentally.

Community building and cooperation aimed not only to rebuild the Europe which was in ruins, but also to repair mutual relationships and to make sure that such conflict will never happen again. And Europe was rebuilt on the foundations of solidarity. Solidarity means cooperation against the logic of force. This is the European understanding of solidarity. Prosperity and peace based on community to restore dignity of citizens. Dignity of individuals.

Solidarity – as a key rule of EU policy

The history of European integration is also defending common values. Freedom and human rights – we should never forget about it. It is also to provide social security, this after all, dignify life, is also life free of hunger. This is all about solidarity, this is the principal of European policy understood as need to build community, not only the internal community, but also the global community.

The experience of solidarity as the experience of the entire EU

The experience of solidarity as the experience of the entire EU. Our Polish or Central-European experience of solidarity harmonizes with the European experience. This is not only the experience of our democratic transformation, it is the experience within the entire EU after 1989, and we see it today, better than ever. And we also know that our revolution of Solidarity restored again the bright to the word of the solidarity in the EU and it gave this word a new meaning and the recent changes in northern Africa show that it refrains to the European experience of this solidarity, it’s clear.

Solidarity – New committment of „New” EU member states.

Countries such as Tunisia or Egypt would like to draw on of the experience of the transformation in Central Europe and looking for such experience sometimes they approach directly of countries as our but they also approach to EU as I have this experience recently when I visited Tunisia and Egypt in March. As a Pole and as a man of the EU. I spent lot of time there as an official foreign visit in cooper with other such visits. So it means that countries of our region are no longer thought about these new member states. As a Pole a was treated as a as a man of the EU and from an African perspective, there is no difference between those who acceded several years ago and those who acceded 40 years ago. We have a special role and there are no bad associations with us so it all means we have a special commitment, we Poles. And there, in Tahiri square, everyone knew that Poles have a special experience in building community and society. A society based on solidarity. Without solidarity our transformation in Eastern Europe would not have succeeded and today our European Community again founds its response of to northern Africa on solidarity. What is the lesson here? It is now time for member states, such new member states and I begin thinking solidarity not only in terms of receiving (aid which we continue to receive from the richer European countries) but also in terms of providing to others countries of our region are strong advocates of internal European solidarity and you will hear about it soon

Countries of our region are strong advocates of this sort of European solidarity, It’s good, it’s important. It makes our community continue but it is not only about the survival, it is about the global meaning of our community. It is the key matter I want to address. Because problems of Europeans and problems of Poles need often to be solved beyond our continent (the crises which was imported to Europe and also problems with the energy sector, terrorism, and many other problems).

Development Policy – long term investment and long term commitment

Development policy is long term investment and commitment. Development policy fallows not only on the moral commitment because this is obvious. It results from such interest we have. Development policy is an investment in building peace and prosperity in all over the world, investment in democratic values, development policy is our key instrument in relations to less developed countries. It is the way of solving global challenges because we already know today that permanent and long-lasting balance will not be possible without democracy and growing prosperity.

Development Policy – our own interest.

Sustainability is only possible when we provide foundation of democracy and we make it possible for the living conditions to improve. Development policy may and should be such a instrument to achieve those goals. So this is about our own interest not only about normal human commitment, moral commitment. The crises, climate changes, job migration, the afraid of terrorism, all of this we see in Europe today, but today the problems of one region effect directly the situation of other corners of the world and we import many or most of the problems to Europe. We are the largest donor as a community so also I would like also to get other powers to involve to our policy.

Development Policy – unfulfilled commitment.

Act to development policy is also one of the commitments. In 1970s (then we didn’t dream about Solidarity and independent trade unions), EU countries committed to spend 0.7 % of GNP on official development assistance and now it is only Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark and Holland which fulfilled the commitment with EU and 30 years ago. On the European forum we adopted the Millennium Development Goals. These are specific goals, with deadlines. In 2005 few countries have adopted the European consensus on development at that time we were already new member. The consensus was targeted at 0,7% of GNP for development aid is to be reached gradually. Countries which joined the EU in 2004 and 2006 are in worse economic situation so this target is spread for them. By 2010 our development assistance was to reach 0,17 % of GNP and in 2015 this to account 0,33%. These targets are much lower compared with other new members. For them it is 0,51 and 0.7 %. Our commitment is to take into account actual possibilities, but still this is a distant target.

Opportunity for Poland – need for work.

There is an opportunity for Poland because it’s in our interest to invest in this. So on the one hand we have the experience of solidarity and we also understand the importance of ways of development policy and we fill it particularly well in relation to countries which are on the east of Poland which is natural and soon we will take over the presidency in the EU. We also have an unfulfilled commitment to put on pour Polish presidency. If we are to be perceived as a serious partner which has a effect on many decisions of the EU we must only fulfill our commitment but also motivate others, so we are proud of it experience of solidarity. We would like to build the Europe on the foundation of the solidarity, we must live in accordance with solidarity ourselves. It is not only about promoting internal solidarity associated with the EU budget, it is about remembering that our interest, not only the moral commitment is going far beyond the EU and we must make development our top priority. It is not about making of this the top priority but we should not spend the least money from all the EU countries per capita. We must also spend the money well, we need the appropriate legal regulation, coordination on the international level, we need support of politicians, polish politicians and the entire society. This is not about making a development policy the main priority, this it about making solidarity for development and new dimension of Polish activism within the EU. Let us to look for the niche within the development policy the EU, to share the experience of transformation, to mobilize the civil society with collaboration with NGOs, political foundations, universities, medias (well known representative is present here). We need support, huge political or national spirit to make it our great message. This is not a challenge for 6 months of presidency, but our presidency is a good opportunity to begin that. If we can do that, after the Polish presidency something permanent and great will survive. Within the presidency we need to coordinate the operations and working of 27 members states on the summits, this include the development policy. We will propose concrete solutions but our work should not end on the 31th of December.

Prof. Buzek shared his reflection on meeting with Bill Gates in Strasbourg, in the EP in April. He came to EP to promote the Living Proof campaign, this is series of documents and publications showing specific cases, specific people whose lives changed thanks to development aid so they could positively affect the lives of others nearby who also needed assistance. BG is involved in helping them. Someone will say, BG is the billionaire and he is the one of the richest men in the world and he can help but there are millions of us and we can also help. This is what solidarity is about, that together we can do great things, we can change the world together. And if so – how should we decide to not to do this. It is to try just as 31 years ago we tried to win by organizing Solidarity. We had no idea if we will succeed but we did it.

EU partnership with Africa: model lost in translation?

Professor Bach addressed the relationship between the European Union (EU) and Africa. While emerging market countries have recognized the opportunities Africa holds, Bach queried the EU’s appreciation of the strategic importance of Africa. Africa is still too often viewed as a ‘dark continent’, made up of neo-patrimonial, quasi-states which offer few prospects for development. A victim narrative has been constructed whereby Africa is believed to epitomise the pitfalls of globalisation. This has given rise to a moralistic and humanitarian approach to Africa by the EU, which while well-intentioned, has not, arguably, been in the best interests of Africa. Failing to define Europe’s geo-strategic interests in Africa has fostered the impression in EU circles that Africa is a ‘dispensable continent’ when it comes to setting the agenda of world affairs. Bach argued that the EU’s vision of Africa needs to change if Europe does not wish to be sidelined in the future development of Africa.

It is true that in recent years there has been a move by the EU to chart a new course in EU-African relations. The Joint Africa-EU Strategic Partnership (JAES) which was adopted in 2007 following the second Africa-EU Summit in Lisbon, has significantly altered the tone of the dialogue. Bach argued however that the JAES has, up till now, not been very successful. It has suffered from both a lack of funding and weak enforcement capacity. Furthermore, the African Union (AU) – the key organisation for EU-African engagement- suffers from a ‘fallacy of composition’. Its members are often also party to other organisations, treaties and frameworks which at times compete with the stated aims of the AU. Bach therefore called on the countries of the AU to rationalise their membership in order to strengthen the negotiating power of the AU.

When it comes to institutionalising a model for regional integration and cooperation, the EU model has been highly successful. The lure of the benefits of EU membership has spurred on liberalising and democratising reforms and conferred upon the EU project a sense of ownership and legitimacy. It remains to be seen however whether this model can be transposed onto other settings such as Africa in order to serve as a catalyst for development as well as a framework for North-South dialogue. The situation in Africa is for example not analogous to that of Eastern Europe during the time of the EU’s expansion – the weakness of many African states is much greater. Region building in Africa will therefore be as much about state building as anything else.

However, emulation of the EU model for African development and EU-Africa dialogue is not simply a matter of state capacity building. Bach argued that the EU model has been undermined by the contradictory policy orientations of the EU towards Africa. Economic liberalisation and integration in Africa has for instance been undermined by EU protectionist policies and an unwillingness to treat Africa as a single market. Democratisation in Africa meanwhile has largely been sacrificed in favour of enforcement of the status quo. Lastly, the concept of ownership is pursued along narrow security parameters. In the interest of European border control, Africa is expected to regulate its migration outflows, while European peace keeping forces steadily retreat from the continent. In sum, Bach argued that the EU’s strategic partnership with Africa is not simply a model lost in translation; it is a model which has not even ever been implemented.

The choice is not between a ‘no strings attached’ versus a Washington Consensus model of engagement between the EU and Africa. What is needed is a true strategic partnership between the EU and Africa based on a dialogue of equals, articulated in a coherent set of policies. If this does not happen, the provincialisation of Europe rather than the marginalisation of Africa is at stake.

New decade in fight against poverty

Hungary through its transition already gained a lot of experience that it can share with the developing world. Piebalgs also brought up a new Hungarian initiative, the Africa-Europe Challenge as a good example.

Andris Piebalgs emphasized that we need to change our habit of giving the aid only when the country to support is already in a crisis. Also, when an aid is promised, it has to be transferred accordingly, and we cannot deny it because of our difficulties emerging in the meantime.

He was happy that the Hungarian government has agreed to monitor compliance with aid commitments when they hold the EU presidency in 2011.

Piebalgs talked about how aid from EC have helped people around the world. He also brought up numbers to support these successful programs. But, beside the aid, the development policy also has to be smarter by focusing on those areas where we have a real advantage in acting at EU level. Also, it must ensure that every penny we spend has a genuine effect.

For this sustainable and inclusive growth has to be supported in the partner countries as evidence suggests that a 1% increase in GDP will be far more effective in reducing poverty than an equivalent increase in aid. Europe is aiming for the same goal. The EC recently launched our 2020 strategy for inclusive, smart and sustainable growth. The Union’s development policy only mirrors what we want for our own citizens.

He outlined several factors which should be at the heart of our objective of putting high impact aid into practice over the next decade. He emphasized that without good governance, the effects of aid are limited.

Also, since their impact is tremendous, EU, and also international policies on matters such as trade and migration should also support development policy.

He strongly believes that if the Commission and EU Member States coordinate and consult each other on our aid intentions, a much better value for our aid money.

Also, as the developing world is expected to be one of the main drivers of global population growth over the next decades, the challenge this presents in terms of ensuring sustainable development is considerable. Many areas in the developing world represent ideal places to foster renewable energy, whether through hydro, or solar power. By investing in local, competitive, renewable energy, it would be possible to skip a generation in technology terms, and avoid the need to construct expensive power grids, which can account for 50% or more of a typical electricity bill.

Andris Piebalgs closed his speech mentioning that his services are also in the process of producing a consultation paper on modernising development policy which will go online in November later this year. He looks forward to receiving comments and suggestions from across Europe and invited also the audience to take part.

 

Emerging donors – way out of or into the crisis?

What is the role of the European emerging donors in global development cooperation, particularly in times of crisis and budgetary cuts? How countries like Estonia, Latvia, Poland or Slovakia could support developing countries in eradicating poverty? What transition experience can these countries share with nations which go through similar social, economic or political transitions?

Those and other questions were discussed at the Kapuscinski development lecture in Tartu with Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga as the keynote speaker of the event.

„Development aid can effectively reach its aims if and only if both donor and recipient are on the same wavelength” – Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

Europe’s role in development of Africa

The tripod that Africa needs to build combines the correct economic rules and reform, improvement of its institutions and the development of effective implementation capability. One of the main difficulties faced by African governments is to have a good knowledge of their natural resources: a good public geological survey. This will enable the governments to have credibility and knowledge in the negotiating processes with extraction corporations. Today it still happens that the estimate on the resources is given by the corporations, often to the disadvantage of the country.

African opportunity is the industrialisation of its economy- so far it hasn’t done it. Here Collier draws attention to the global manufacturing phenomena by giving a “lecture” on the economics of buttons> two thirds of world’s buttons are made in China in one single town, No comparative advantage can explain this. The synergy effects, deriving from a cluster set-up, where the production chain is developed as well as the economies of scale, make it very difficult for a newcomer to break in the business. Only with gradual increase of wages in Asia, Africa may have a chance with labour intensive sectors. Where EU can help is by keeping open markets and relocate some of its labour intensive business to African countries. EU can help by giving a privileged access in our own markets over the goods coming in from Asia. We do it, but in a patchy way- we should also open the markets to the better of African countries.