EU Common Position for Busan Forum Fails to Impress Development NGOs

The European Union flag. Photo by: R/DV/RS / CC BY

The Council for the European Union endorsed on Monday (Nov. 14) the EU common position for the upcoming forum in Busan, South Korea, that emphasizes the need for inclusive development and a reaffirmation of aid effectiveness principles.

“The Busan Forum should be a turning point for strengthening aid as a catalyst for effective delivery of development results and seek a new consensus on an inclusive development partnership. Looking beyond aid, Busan should also seek ways to enhance domestic resources mobilization in partner countries thereby helping to reduce aid dependency as a long-term,” the EU position reads.

The position, which outlines eight priorities the EU and its member states should pursue in negotiations in Busan, is based on recommendations made by the European Commission in September.

These priorities and consequent EU commitments, however, do not impress EU development groups in the region, which accuse the bloc of being on the backseat, if not absent, on important aid effectiveness issues.

“Why be the world’s biggest aid donor and take a back seat in the debate? We are very disappointed to see the EU watering down its commitments to improve development aid for the sake of cosying up to emerging donors like China. Rather than taking a lead, the EU is heading to Busan behaving like an observer,” Gideon Rabinowitz, chair of CONCORD AidWatch, a European coalition of development NGOs monitoring the EU’s performance on aid, said in statement sent to Devex.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed 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.