"Growing instability and violence are products of poverty, the absence of the rule of law, corruption and conflict-ridden electoral politics. We need to adapt the EU's external actions, including development policy, to be able to address this new context", said Davor Ivo Stier MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the Development Committee of the European Parliament, during today's debate with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, on the role of development cooperation within EU external action.
Stier called for a renewed development policy based on a 'more for more' approach which depends on the level of commitment from both the EU and Africa: "For the moment, we are not consistently applying the conditionality principle in our development cooperation. EU Member States need to start fulfilling their financial commitments, whilst our African partners need to start committing and delivering on democratisation, good governance, rule of law and human rights. This is in line with the rights-based approach to external action that was adopted by the Council. It is time to start implementing this approach in a more assertive way", insisted Stier.
He also called for a more focused development policy: "We need to agree on our priorities because if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. The Parliament agreed in its Resolution on the 'EU and the Global Development Framework after 2015' that the recently-adopted Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace and justice needs to be at the very heart of our development financing efforts. We expect that both the European Commission and the Member States will take this into account when it comes to development programming", continued Stier.
In this regard, Stier expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that the European Development Fund Committee, chaired by the European Commission, recently unanimously adopted the National Indicative Programme for Eritrea. "The Development Committee formally rejected the Commission's proposal as the programme does not focus at all on human rights issues and democratic governance. The EPP Group asks Vice-President Mogherini and the European Commissioner for International Aid and Development Cooperation, Neven Mimica, to reconsider this decision at the College of Commissioners in December", concluded Stier.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 216 Members from 27 Member States
The EU is the world’s largest development aid donor, providing more than 50% of assistance worldwide.