Catherine Ashton previews EU plan for Afghanistan

Catherine Ashton, European Union foreign affairs chief. Photo by: EU

Negotiations are underway for a new development framework that will guide the European Union’s civilian cooperation and assistance with Afghanistan.

This was announced by EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton in a June 12 speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Under the agreement, the European Union will most likely focus its aid on health, agriculture and governance programs as well as the training of Afghanistan’s civilian police, Ashton said.

But Ashton stressed that future EU commitments to Afghanistan will require a “corresponding commitment” from the country’s government to act on the following areas: public financial management, justice, human rights and electoral reform.

“Above all, we will emphasize that the focus must now be on delivering results,” Ashton added, noting that this will require political will from the government as well as efforts to make Afghanistan a more secure place.

Ashton said the European Union will make clear these conditions at a major international conference July 8 in Tokyo, Japan, where the Afghan government is expected to outline its development strategy.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.