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10 - EU development policy

Bart Van Vooren
Affiliation:
ALTIUS, Brussels
Ramses A. Wessel
Affiliation:
University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
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Summary

Central issues

  • Development cooperation policy is as old as the European integration project itself. Objectives in this policy area have evolved from associating EEC Member States’ colonies with focus on trade and aid, to a progressively broader development agenda incorporating human rights, sustainable development aspects such as environment and social issues, and most recently links to (common foreign and) security policy.

  • EU development policy can be defined through the three C’s which have been expressly incorporated into the competence-conferring provisions of the TFEU: complementarity, coherence and coordination.

  • Complementarity is laid down generally in Article 208(1) TFEU, and broadly implies that the exercise of EU and Member State competences shall complement and reinforce each other. From the perspective of the nature of the EU’s development competence, it means that EU action does not pre-empt Member State action (Article 4(4) TFEU), thereby making coherence and coordination between these levels crucial.

  • Coherence is also contained in Article 208 TFEU and is composed of three aspects: first, coherence of EU development cooperation with the more general principles and objectives of EU external relations (Article 21 TEU); secondly, poverty reduction as the primary policy objective providing intra-policy focus on how diverse development initiatives cohere to the central goal; thirdly, the obligation to take account of development objectives in other policies which are likely to affect developing countries.

  • Coordination is laid down in Article 210 TFEU, and entails that EU and Member States must proactively collaborate and consult in order to ensure complementarity and coherence of their respective EU development policies. Article 210 TFEU gives the Commission a central role in ensuring coordination of EU and Member State development cooperation initiatives.

  • Type
    Chapter
    Information
    EU External Relations Law
    Text, Cases and Materials
    , pp. 311 - 345
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Print publication year: 2014

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