How the EU deals with the World – “External Policies”

07/07/2011 at 10:21 am Leave a comment

Following the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009 the EU institutional landscape has undergone a number of changes, some of which very relevant to those of us interested in global justice and development.

Those changes include:

  • The creation of the post of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This new EU foreign policy chief chairs meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council and serves as Vice-President of the Commission. A key element of her work is to ensure coherence between all EU external policies there included development cooperation.
  • The High Representative is supported by the European External Action Service (EEAS), a new EU institution made up of national and EU diplomats and officials from the Commission. The EEAS has responsibility for providing staff for EU Delegations in third countries. The EU Delegations replace the old EC Delegations.

Baroness Catherine Ashton was appointed to the post of High Representative in December 2009 and was tasked with drafting and agreeing a proposal for setting up the new EEAS. This proposal would set out the division of labour between the new EEAS and the European Commission’s institutions dealing with global Development.

The EEAS came into force officially on 1st January 2011. Following a strong lobby by NGOs, and major debates between the European Parliament and the EU member states, the European Commission will now handle the development budget and the Commissioner of Development will be responsible for all levels of the programming cycle of development financing instruments.

At the same time the European Commission has been reviewing its own structures in relation to development and a new Directorate General (DG), DG DevCo, was created on 1 January 2011 by merging DG Development and DG Europe Aid. The new DG comes under the responsibility of the Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs. The organogramme of the new DG was finalised 1st of June 2011.

All this information about institutions, mandates and divisions of labour may not be very exciting, but it is important.

One key message of this blog post is that the EU, by adopting the Lisbon Treaty, gave itself the task of playing a positive role on the global stage, and set itself the goal of ensuring that its “external policies” would help to eradicate extreme poverty. For the EU to be able to do this, it needs the right infrastructure, and it needs to ensure that its (members’) foreign policy interests do not interfere with its own Development and anti-poverty aims.

The other key message is that, thanks to concerted efforts by NGOs and a range of members of the European Parliament (including a good number of Irish MEPs), we now have that infrastructure in place.

Time, therefore, for the EU to show what it will do with its new mandate, institutions and division of labour agreements!



Entry filed under: EU. Tags: , , , , .

The Siem Reap Consensus Horn of Africa faces worst drought in 60 years

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 215 other followers


Dóchas on Twitter

The World's Best News - images

One of the most important graphs. Ever.
Today is World Food Day. A day to celebrate that the days of truly enormous famines are over:
Meet "Chocolate Mamas", producers of chocolate in #Tanzania, creating Tanzanian jobs. While #cocoa is grown in West Africa and Asia, most #chocolate (the finished product) is made in Europe or the USA. Meet Jaki Kweka, who is trying to change that.
By creating protected areas and national parks and by limiting the spread of soy bean cultivation, Brazil has managed to drastically reduce the amount of rain forest being cleared.
Costa Rica, #Afghanistan, China, #India and Albania are all embracing renewable energy sources.
Social change needs empowered citizens, and empowered citizens need occasional encouragement. Great to hear that we're not the only ones who believe in the power of positive news!
50,000 rice farmers in #IvoryCoast are now working with better seeds, improving food security in the West African country. As a result, harvests have increased. Source: World Bank, photo: Jbdodane / CC BY
Sub-Saharan Africa’s first light rail system starts operations. As Ethiopians celebrate their New Year, they also prepare to mark the beginning of operations of a tram system in the #Ethiopian capital #AddisAbaba. Read more:
Going Mobile in #Malawi”. A mobile phone information service established last year to provide timely information to rural poor farmers in a southern African country, has been used nearly half a million times since its launch. Established in Malawi by Gorta-Self Help Africa last year, the ‘321’ voice-activated service provides subscribers to the country’s largest mobile phone network with farm information and advice that they can access at the push of a button. And it’s all free.
10,000 copies of "The World's Best News" were distributed all over #ireland today! See how The Irish Times described our newspaper, and click the link to read all the articles online!

Visitors Map


Dóchas Photos

%d bloggers like this: