OECD urges member states to develop common strategic vision
By Lénaïc Vaudin d’Imécourt | Tuesday 24 April 2012
The EU and its member states need to secure a common strategic vision of their development aid policy and clarify the responsibilities of each institution if they want to achieve greater development impact, according to an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report, published on 24 April.
The OECD report – ‘Review of the development cooperation policies and programmes of the EU’ – acknowledges the significant steps the EU has taken since the last review five years ago to make its aid more effective and give it more clout. “These steps included organisational restructuring, streamlining the financial process, improving coordination and working more with civil society,” the report says.
“Great progress has been made, but each and every EU member will need to yield a bit if the Union is to reach its full potential as a donor,” commented Brian Atwood, chair of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee.
The peer review, led by Japan and Norway over a six-month period, also notes that more progress is needed in a number of areas and urges the EU to clarify the responsibilities of its institutions working on development, lower the administrative burden on developing countries, monitor development results and draw up a coherent approach to working with developing countries emerging from conflict situations.
“Our ambition is to provide more and better aid, which ensures we make a real difference in helping the victims of disasters and crises overcome poverty and achieve sustainable and inclusive growth,” said Commissioners Kristalina Georgieva and Andris Piebalgs, in charge of humanitarian aid and development, respectively. However, they recognised “the need to further improve our work”.
The EU is a major player in official development aid, providing US$ 73.6 billion in 2011, while grants by EU institutions totalled US$ 12.6 billion. But this will not be enough for member states to reach their target of boosting common aid to 0.7% of gross national income by 2015, the OECD warns. “Now, more than ever, with several member states planning to scale down their budgets as a result of the fiscal crunch, the European Council needs to map out how the EU as a whole will meet the 0.7% target,” the report says.
- Build a common strategy with, and among, member states
- Ensure the 2014-2020 financial framework supports its strategic priorities with the appropriate funding and tools
- Ensure EU and member states’ national policies are coherent with their international development goals
- Publicise positive effects of development efforts to garner political and public support
- Further simplify the EU’s complex budget and administrative processes and devolve more authority to its staff in the field