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The European Union's contribution to global development: in search of greater policy coherence


Specific challenge: Development policy represents one of the key areas of activity of EU external relations. In order to further enhance the impact of its actions in this policy domain, the European Union, in particular the European Consensus on Development, has, since the mid-2000s repeatedly emphasized the need for greater ""policy coherence for development"" (PCD). By referring to this concept, strengthened by Article 208 of the Lisbon Treaty, theUnion recognizes that non-development policies can have significant effects on third countries, contributing to or undermining its development policy objectives. To minimize contradictions and build synergies between development and non-development policies, the EU increasingly strives to take greater account of developing country needs and interests in the five global challenge areas of the PCD work programme: trade and finance, climate change, global food security, migration and security, as addressed in the 2011 and 2013 Policy Coherence Reports[1]. In cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the EU has also been among the key promoters of PCD on a global scale. The idea that greater policy coherence is needed to advance global development policy objectives is also expected to play a key role in the debate on a future post-2015 development agenda. This was underlined by the Council Conclusions of May 2012 that encouraged the Commission to develop a more evidence-based approach to further improve monitoring, implementation and follow-up.[2]

Scope: Research should adopt a comprehensive perspective on EU policies and regulations and their impact on developing countries, analysing the intended and unintended consequences of both development and of non-development policies' impact on developing countries. It should, on the one hand, look into EU and EU member state development policy in various regions of the world, investigating where appropriate, to what extent and why these have proven to be effective or not. On the other hand, EU and EU member state non-development policies with a bearing for development in third countries should be closely scrutinized. Finally, the influence and policies of more recent development actors should be analysed in order to situate the European position into a global context. In this context the increasing South-South cooperation in development policies should be taken into account. Based on these analyses, a methodology should be developed for measuring progress on policy coherence for development including elaborating suitable baselines, target and indicators. Case studies on EU policies vis-à-vis developing countries from different world regions, with specific emphasis on Least Developed Countries, are needed and where appropriate meaningful comparisons are encouraged. Factors (e.g. actors/institutions, procedures, structures) that enable or hinder coherence for EU development policy should be identified at both the EU and developing country levels. Research should take into due account the cooperation on science and innovation for development pursued under the FP7 International Cooperation programme.

The participation of international partners in proposals submitted to this call is strongly encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Research on policy coherence for development in the European Union is expected to significantly advance the understanding of the bases for effective EU development policy and of the successful integration of developmental concerns into other EU policy areas. The development of a methodology for measuring costs and benefits of such coherence will, moreover, allow for identifying baselines, indicators and/or assessment criteria and targets for a continuous monitoring of PCD progress in EU policies in the medium and long term. Research will also lead to policy relevant insights, most importantly the identification of policy options on how the EU can enhance the effectiveness of its combined development and non-development policies so as to ensure greater impacts. Findings for the EU could be extrapolated to other development actors, such as the OECD, and could thus feed a global debate on the notion of policy coherence for development.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions

[1] EU 2011 & 2013 Policy Coherence Reports, Commission Staff Working Documents SEC(2011) 1627 final 15.12.2011 & SEC(2013) 456 final 31.10.2013