European countries must re-think their approach to global problems and work more effectively together on international development, according to the EU-Memorandum “New Challenges, New Beginnings”, which was published today. In the first undertaking of its kind, more than 25 researchers from four of Europe’s leading think-tanks – German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE) and the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) – have joined forces to call for
- New EU leadership in thinking about how development cooperation can help deal with shared global problems.
- EU states to meet their aid promises and improve the targeting and effectiveness of aid spending.
- New efforts to ensure consistency between development and other policies.
- New investment in development partnerships.
- Improved cooperation between Member States, so that the EU works as one.
The Memorandum is timed to coincide with the inauguration of the new European Commission. It argues that new challenges like the global financial crisis and climate change mean that European countries must work together much more than in the past. While calling for a 20 billion Euro gap in aid funding to be filled, the Memorandum also says that aid on its own is not enough: trade, climate, security and migration policy must all be harnessed to the imperative of tackling global poverty.
Speaking in Bonn, Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) said: “Europe has the potential to lead, but too often falls short. Copenhagen was a case in point. The ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and the appointment of a new leadership team provide the opportunity for a new beginning. Let’s hope the opportunity is not missed.”
Speaking in London, Simon Maxwell of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) said:
“Global problems like the financial crisis or climate change can only be tackled if countries work together. Our well-being at home, and our development work internationally both need more effective action at European level.”
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