V. European Union

European Year for Development stakeholder event in Brussels

European Union

Through the adoption of the law of 20 April 2014 approving the internal agreement between the Member States of the EU on the financing of EU aid for the period 2014-2020, Luxembourg ratified the instrument establishing the procedures for the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). The EDF is the EU’s main instrument for providing development aid to the 79 ACP countries (a group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states) and to overseas territories. It is laid down in the Cotonou Agreement signed in 2000 between the ACP countries and the European Community and its Member States. The objectives of the 11th EDF are: eradication of poverty, sustainable development and the gradual integration of the ACP states into the global economy. Special treatment should be granted to the least developed countries. Since most of the other Member States also ratified the 11th EDF before the end of 2014, the implementation of the 11th EDF should possibly start during the first half of 2015.

Regarding the ACP countries, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with West Africa was signed by all EU Development ministers during the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in its Development configuration on 12 December 2014. Luxembourg’s development cooperation closely followed the negotiation processof this EPA, since several of its partner countries are involved and since it includes an important development component, which has always been highlighted by Luxembourg. 

In 2014, preparations in view of Luxembourg’s Presidency of the European Council in the first half of 2015 were actively pursued. Talks were held with the two other members of the Presidency Trio of which Luxembourg is part, namely Italy and Latvia, to establish the Trio Programme of the three successive presidencies both in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. 

2015 being a pivotal year in the sector of development , due to the adoption of a new development framework (”Post-2015”) following the expiry of the Millennium Development Goals and the holding of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa during the second semester 2015, a major effort will be indispensable at EU level in terms of coordination as well as in terms of outreach. 2015 has also been designated by the EU as the “European Year for Development”, with the motto “Our world, our dignity, our future”, underlining that the human aspiration and the right to live with dignity do not end at the borders of the European continent. Since Luxembourg holds the EU Presidency in 2015, it will have to play a particular role in this campaign of communication, awareness-raising and involvement of the general public in the development cause.

The post-2015 framework and its means of implementation were among the main subjects discussed in 2014 in the framework of the Development Foreign Affairs Councils. The role, respectively the increased commitment of the private sector in development, as well as the link between migration and development also attracted the attention of the EU Development ministers during 2014. On the basis of a communication adopted by the European Commission on the theme of the private sector, two sets of conclusions were adopted which established the general principles for this type of commitment by the private sector. The main objective is to promote inclusive growth and to create decent jobs through the development of the local private sector in developing countries.

The link between development and migration was one of the priorities of the Italian Presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2014. It considered that, if well managed, this link could contribute to the growth and development both of Southern and Northern countries. 

This issue is obviously linked to policy coherence for development and will be addressed in this context during the Luxembourgish Presidency.