Diakonia - People change the world

In support of people or business?

A report from CIFCA and APRODEV, where Diakonia is a member, expresses serious concerns regarding the European Union's future development cooperation. Will it be in support of people or business?

Is EU development cooperation leaving its main objective?

The Lisbon Treaty states that the European Union's development cooperation shall have the reduction and eradication of poverty as its main objective.

The organizations behind the report; ALOP, APRODEV, CIDSE and CIFCA, are seriously concerned about the future of EU development cooperation.

In the report the organizations highlight several concerns and gives recommendations, among them:

In order to effectively eradicate poverty it is necessary to have a rights-based approach to development cooperation, an approach which the EU seems to be moving further away from. The structural causes of poverty as well as the state´s obligation to respect, promote and fulfill all human rights, civil and political as well as economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, need to be at the core of EU development cooperation.

The EC proposal presented is based on the assumption that economic growth will reduce poverty. However, research shows that there are no direct links between trade, investment and growth, or between growth and poverty reduction. The EC´s call for inclusive growth fails to provide concrete measures of how to ensure that economic growth will benefit the most vulnerable sectors of society.

Human rights, democracy and governance should be objectives in their own right in EU development cooperation. These issues are mainly addressed as factors influencing a growth friendly environment.

The EC stresses the importance of climate change for development.Development needs to be “climate-proof” and should not contribute negatively to climate change. However, climate change places a new and additional burden on developing countries and there is an urgent need to finance mitigation and adaptation with additional funds to current ODA commitments.