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EU Launches Consultation on Future Development Policy

10 November 2010: The European Commission has launched a public consultation, open to EU and partner countries, on the future of EU development policy, which aims to "collect views" on advancing progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and beyond, in the face of economic, food and environmental crises.

The Commission proposes four main areas for debate: the impact of EU aid; the facilitation of more inclusive growth; the promotion of sustainable development; and durable results in agriculture and food security. Following the public consultation, the Commission will table a proposed "Modernized EU Development policy" in 2011. The consultation is based on a Green Paper, prepared by the Commission, on how to adapt EU development policy to the needs of developing countries and the added value of EU action. On promoting sustainable development as a driver for progress, the Commission notes that development based on the green economy must be seen not only as a burden, but as a significant driver for opportunities. The Green Paper reflects on ways to ensure that sustainable development is at the core of both development and climate change policies, so as to guarantee that action to combat climate change also improves the growth potential of the world's poorest citizens. The Commission also points to access to energy as a prerequisite to meet most MDGs. It highlights that Africa has vast untapped renewable energy potential, which could be used to ensure millions of people access to electricity. It also discusses the appropriate use of combined climate, biodiversity and development funds, coming from grants and loans or blending of both.

On achieving durable results in the area of agriculture and food security, the Commission notes that experience demonstrates that agricultural reform and the capacity to feed a country's population comprise a precondition for wider development and poverty reduction. The Green Paper proposes making agriculture and food security a test case for the EU's capacity to deliver high-impact cooperation and to promote inclusive and green growth by concentrating its efforts on ensuring that where assistance is granted, the whole chain of production is taken into consideration. [EU Press Release] [Consultation Website] [The Green Paper]