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EU countries top index of commitment to development

EU countries claimed 11 of the 12 top places in the Center for Global Development's 2018 Commitment to Development Index. Sweden, Denmark, and Germany are the top three in the annual index by the Washington-based think-tank, which ranks 27 wealthy countries based on their policies on ODA, finance, technology, environment, trade, security, and migration. That marks the first time that a country in the G7 has been placed in the top three, and suggests that Germany, the EU’s economic powerhouse, has emerged as a leading player in the development community. The UK, traditionally one of the EU’s development policy leaders, dropped one place to 7th in the index.

News article – Euractive

The index - CGD

Analytic brief and interactive tool explore EU relations with developing countries

The EU institutions and member states are currently deciding how better to frame their future engagement with middle income countries (MICs) and more advanced developing countries (MADCs). The EU’s 2021-2027 budget negotiations and related programming aim to start a new era of future cooperation. To help inform debate and negotiations, the European Centre for Development Policy and Management (EDCPM) has released an analytical brief and interactive tool supporting an evidence-based, informed, and broad discussion.

Interactive tool - ECDPM

Publication – ECDPM

EU

Italy and EU sign €50 million agreement for projects in Libya

The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and the European Commission have signed an agreement to allocate €50 million (US$55.3) to 24 Libyan municipalities to meet the basic needs of the civilian population, including healthcare, education, water, energy, and small-scale infrastructure. The package aims to improve living conditions and local governance in the municipalities most affected by migration flows, with particular attention to migrants, refugees, and displaced people. €22 million (US$24.3 million) will be channeled through AICS, with the remainder of the package managed by UNDP and UNICEF.

Press release- AICS 

EU Italy

EU Commission president announces new plan to boost investment, job creation in Africa

In his State of the Union speech, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced an 'Africa – Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs’ to promote a substantial increase of private investment in Africa, boost trade, and enhance job creation. During his address, Juncker underlined the need to strengthen business relationships with Africa, arguing that "Africa does not need charity, it needs true and fair partnership.” The initiative aims to boost strategic investment, job creation, and the role of the private sector; invest in people by investing in education and skills; strengthen business and investment; and promote economic integration and trade.

Fact sheet – EU Commission

Q&A - EU Commission

EU

Africa prepares tough negotiations with EU to maintain market access

The EU and African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries have been slow to prepare negotiations for a replacement of their current partnership agreement, the Cotonou Agreement, which expires in 2020. As development actors wait in suspense, the Euractiv news agency reports that African nations are preparing to drive a hard bargain with the EU if it wants to preserve access to trade in African markets. The European Centre for Development Policy and Management (ECDPM) has also published an analysis of the current status of EU-ACP negotiations.

News report - Euractiv

Blog post - ECDPM

EU

Development think tank analyzes EU multi-year budget proposal

The European Centre for Development Policy and Management (ECDPM) has published a quantitative and qualitative brief analyzing possible implications of major changes proposed to the structure and volume of EU external action and development assistance for the 2021-2027 EU budget. Within the proposed new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), preference would be given to regional approaches over global thematic ones, affecting distribution of resources. According to the brief, for the NDICI to have any chance of success, it will "need to balance appropriate oversight with a guarantee of sufficient flexibility while also preserving predictability".

Website – ECDPM

EU

European Commission annual report on development cooperation highlights EU successes

The European Commission has published its annual report on EU development cooperation, which, including contributions by its member states, represented the largest volume of development and humanitarian assistance of any donor in 2016. The report emphasizes the development of a new 'Global Strategy' for a stonger Europe, the Consensus on Development, and European Action Plan. It also highlights results of the Gender Action Plan; programs on sustainable energy and climate change; human rights and good governance; migration and mobility; and capacity building on the security-development nexus.

Publication – EU

EU

European medicine agency stops contracting UK firms

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has decided to cut the UK out of its contracts in preparation for Brexit. All drugs sold in Europe go through a lengthy EMA authorization process before use in health services. In 2016, the UK had the most contracts of all EU member states, serving as lead assessor on 22 applications and joint lead or co-rapporteur on 19 multinational applications. The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) holds 20-30% of all EU assessments; existing contracts with the MHRA are being reallocated to non-UK EU member states.

News article – The Guardian

EU United Kingdom Global health

Italy allows migrants on Diciotti ship to disembark after days at sea

140 migrants on board the Italian coast guard vessel 'Diciotti' have been allowed to disembark in Sicily, after being confined on board for six days amid tensions between Italy and the European Union (EU) over their relocation.

The Italian government, led on this issue by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, refused to let the migrants off the boat until a solution was found. According to the cabinet, the Italian Catholic Church agreed to welcome 100 of them; the remaining 40 would be shared between Ireland and Albania (a non-EU country). 

The long detention of the migrants on board the Diciotti raised strong protests at domestic and international level, including from the UN refugee agency UNHCR, and has led to an investigation into Interior Minister Salvini's role in "illegal confinement, illegal arrest, and abuse of power"  by a prosecutor in Sicily.

News article - Corriere della Sera (in Italian)

News article - ANSA (in English)

EU Global Italy Global health

UK NGOs to be financially protected in the event of a no-deal Brexit

The UK government has announced that it will provide financial assistance to some UK NGOs that have their EU funding terminated in the event of a no-deal Brexit scenario. The EU recently put disclaimers into all of its development assistance contracts with UK NGOs, noting that their contracts would cease in March 2019, when the UK is scheduled to exit the EU, in the event that no deal is secured between the EU and UK member states on their future relationship.

The UK’s financial assurance, part of its wider preparations for a smooth Brexit, currently only applies to UK NGOs receiving core budget from the EU’s humanitarian and civil protection agency (ECHO) and for contracts where there is a UK NGO as the sole or lead contractor. It is also only available for contracts made after the announcement.

News article – Devex

Press release - DFID  

UK government technical note - DFID

EU United Kingdom