EU Unveils Agenda for Change in Development Assistance

13 October 2011: The European Commission has unveiled its "Agenda for Change" in EU Development policy as well as a new policy for EU budget support that aim to ensure  development aid provides the maximum impact on poverty reduction.

The sectors on which future EU spending will concentrate include: good governance, namely the respect of human rights and democracy, gender equality, the role of civil society and the fight against corruption; social protection, health and education; support for favorable business environments and deeper regional integration; and sustainable agriculture and clean energy with a view to helping to provide safeguards against external shocks and turn the challenges of food security and climate change into opportunities for growth.

According to the Communication ‘Increasing the impact of EU Development Policy: an Agenda for Change,' in the agricultural sector, the EU will support sustainable practices, including the safeguarding of ecosystem services, giving priority to locally-developed practices, and focus on smallholder agriculture and rural livelihoods. In the energy sector, the EU is expected to offer technology and expertise as well as development funding, focusing on three main challenges: price volatility and energy security; climate change, including access to low-carbon technologies; and access to secure, affordable, clean and sustainable energy services. In both sectors, the EU is expected to support capacity development and technology transfer, including in climate adaptation and mitigation strategies.

In order to generate more resources, the EU will explore innovative ways of financing development, like the blending of grants and loans. The Commission will also encourage the EU and its member States to jointly prepare strategies and programmes to increase aid effectiveness. As a significant share of EU aid is delivered in the form of budgetary support, financial transfers to government budgets in developing countries will be coupled with policy dialogue, performance assessment and capacity building. [EU Press Release] [EU Memo] [Publication: Commission Communication on Increasing the Impact of EU Development Policy: an Agenda for Change] [Publication: Commission Communication the Future Approach to the EU Budget Support to Third Countries]