EU wrapping up post-2015 position

    European Union flags in Helsinki. The overarching framework for post-2015 is among the top items on the agenda of the EU development minister's meeting on May 28 in Brussels. Photo by: Mei Burgin / CC BY

    The European Union is edging closer to its final take on the post-2015 agenda.

    The overarching framework for the period after the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015 is one of the main items on the agenda of the EU development ministers’s meeting on Tuesday in Brussels, where ministers are also expected to approve a larger-than-expected budget for the European Development Fund and to set the tone for action to reduce poverty in the world with the implementation of the Agenda for Change.

    As for the post-2015 agenda, Devex obtained a draft copy of the conclusions to be discussed at the meeting, which aims to agree on the principle that the eradication of poverty and the promotion of sustainable development are intrinsically linked and mutually reinforcing.

    The draft asserts that the two approaches should be integrated into a single overarching framework when the MDGs expire in 2015. The framework should work towards sustainable development to eradicate poverty, including ending extreme poverty in a single generation, and to ensure sustainable prosperity and well-being for all, in addition to addressing the long standing concerns of democracy, human rights, peace and security.

    Here are a few of the most interesting conclusions to be discussed by EU development ministers in Brussels:

    • The inter-related global challenges of eradicating poverty and ensuring sustainable development are of such magnitude and complexity that they require global cooperation and political commitment that can only be addressed through coordinated and coherent action, both within the EU and internationally, as well as the allocation of substantial resources.

    • Reaffirmation of the commitment to implement the Rio+20 outcomes through a range of overarching policies and actions through a strategy for smart, inclusive and sustainable growth that promotes and supports the transition to an inclusive green economy.

    • Pursue efforts toward ending the unsustainable use of natural resources, ecosystem degradation, pollution and climate change, which pose significant threats to humankind.

    • Support all efforts to strengthen the institutional architecture and global governance structure for sustainable development.

    • Urgent implementation of the 10-year Framework of Programs on sustainable consumption and production as adopted at the Rio+20 Conference.

    • Commitment to do everything possible to help achieve the MDGs by 2015.

    • Awareness that although substantial progress has been made overall, particularly on targets such as the reduction of extreme poverty, access to clean drinking water and primary school enrolment, success in other goals, especially in conflict-affected and fragile states as well as in least developed countries and small island developing states, is unevenly distributed.

    • Commitment by EU member states to achieve their individual and collective official development assistance target of 0.7 percent of GNI by 2015.

    • Importance of a strong involvement from civil society and the private sector.

    • The framework, including the goals, should have a focused timeframe, which includes the provision for action in the medium term to 2030 and a vision for the longer term to 2050. Further, the goals should be universal in aspiration and coverage but based on national ownership, individual empowerment and under the responsibility of countries and governments.

    Regarding the next steps to be taken and according to the draft conclusions, EU member states will continue to play an active and constructive role and support convergence “in order to achieve a single overarching post 2015 framework,” as well as developing priority areas and engage in the international processes to defend the EU’s position.

    The European Council will endorse a final text to be submitted to the Council on Environment on June 18 and then to the Council on General Affairs for adoption on 25 June.

    The talks come after two days of intense meetings in Brussels, where European Union foreign ministers also debated on a wide range of topics, from lifting the arms embargo on Syria and the outcome of the recent donor conference for Mali, among other issues, and days before the U.N. High-Level Panel in charge of recommending new goals after the MDGs expire in 2015 is slated to publish their final report submitted to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

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    About the author

    • Carlos Santamaria

      Carlos is a former associate editor for breaking news in Devex's Manila-based news team. He joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE ,and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York, and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.