The committees of the European Parliament play a critical role in ensuring the effectiveness of EU policy during both the development of legislation and policy and its subsequent implementation. The Committee on Foreign Affairs (Affaires étrangères, AFET) is one of the 20 Committees of the European Parliament and is, among others, responsible for the Common Foreign Security Policy (CFSP) and the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). Ecologic Institute was leading a consortium of six institutes given a framework contract to provide the European Parliament’s Foreign Policy Committees with independent expert advice on a range of issues relating to developmental and environmental policy. During the course of this project, standard briefings, ad-hoc briefings, studies and workshops were conducted.
New Options for Strengthening Standards on Social and Environmental Responsibilities of Corporations and their Implementation
The negative external effects of profit orientated businesses on the environment and society have become increasingly visible following the financial crisis, and are most extreme in developing countries where high corruption rates often impede meaningful enforcement of existing legislation and where compensation measures for adversely affected groups rarely exist. This study provides an overview on the current initiatives on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the international level as well as specific approaches developed by NGOs and the private sector. The strengths and weaknesses of the implementation of CSR are analyzed both in general and more specifically in a case study on the mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The study ends with suggestions for future policy action to enhance CSR as a complementing tool to legislation for a range of economic, social and environmental challenges.
A Human Rights and Poverty Review: EU Action in Addressing Caste-Based Discrimination
Caste-based discrimination is a serious human rights violation, negatively affecting political, economic, social, cultural and civil rights of approximately 260 million people worldwide. This briefing [pdf, 690 KB, English] of Ecologic Institute for the European Parliament aims to assess to what extent the EU has integrated the fight against caste-based discrimination in its external relations. Light is shed on the specific situations in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Yemen and the European Union's actions to address caste-based discrimination in these countries. Based on the analysis, the briefing elaborates recommendations on how the EU can mainstream the fight against caste-based discrimination into policies, strategies and programmes as well as dialogues with caste-affected countries.
The Impact of Biotechnology on Developing Countries
In this briefing [pdf, 750 KB, English], Timo Kaphengst and Lucy Smith (both at Ecologic Institute) summarise the advantages and disadvantages of the increasing share of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in developing countries. The accrued benefits and/or disadvantages vary widely across the reviewed countries and depend on the national and international governance structures of each country. On the one hand, GM crops can increase export revenues; on the other hand, developing countries' resulting dependency on Western biotechnology companies could grow and threaten local farmers, especially the small ones. Moreover, GMOs are leading to a reduction in biodiversity. In light of this, the authors recommend that GM crops no longer be promoted in developing countries.
Climate Change Financing: The Concept of Additionality
Industrialised countries have committed themselves to providing USD 100 billion of "new and additional" financing annually by the year 2020 to support developing countries in their efforts to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects. But what does "new and additional" mean? Where do development projects end and where do climate change measures start? These questions are tackled by Irene Knoke (Südwind Institut) in a study [pdf, 750 KB, English] for the European Parliament. Matthias Duwe (Ecologic Institute) lent his expertise on the subject for a peer review of the paper.
Blending Grants and Loans in Light of the New DCI
The European Commission proposed to introduce loan and grant blending facilities into the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI). Blending facilities link EU (or Member States’) grants with loans from Banks and other agencies. They have succeeded in leveraging a considerable amount of development finance from development banks and other financiers but are not appropriate for addressing some kinds of development problems, e.g., extreme poverty. The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), together with the Südwind Institut, conducted the study Blending grants and loans for financing the EU’s development policy in the light of the commission’s proposal for a development cooperation instrument (DCI) for 2014-2020 [pdf, 869 KB, English]. The authors express the concerns that the increasing size and number of loans might reduce the incentive for donors to opt for non-interest-bearing grants and that taking up loans can put indebted counties at risk. However, if used correctly, blending facilities in the DCI can be beneficial. To this end, it is important that they complement, not substitute, traditional development financing.
Strengthening LRRD in the EU's Financing Instruments
Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD) tries to harmonize short-term relief and long-term development by coordinating political and financial mechanisms. LLRD is considered a Humanitarian Aid Instrument. Aside from those, the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) is committed to LRRD less systematically. The study Strengthening the link between relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD) in the EU’s financing instruments for development and humanitarian aid under the MFF 2014-2020 [pdf, 1.1 MB, English], which was conducted by Südwind Institut and Groupe URD, shows that a funding gap lies within the grey area between relief and development. To help bridge this gap, the authors provide suggestions to the EU regarding the legal basis of LRRD, its financing, and the approach in general.
Criteria for Differentiation and Methods for Phasing Out EU's Development Cooperation in Light of the Commission's Proposal for a Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) for 2014-2020
In accordance with the Development Cooperation Instrument for the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, the European Commission aims to concentrate ODA in the regions where it is needed the most. To identify these regions, the national per capita income is foreseen as a central criterion. In the study Criteria for differentiation and methods for phasing out EU’s development cooperation in the light of the commission’s proposal for a development cooperation instrument (DCI) for 2014-2020 [pdf, 859 KB, English], conducted by the European Studies University Institute, a need for more differentiation is identified: The majority of the extremely poor live in middle-income countries (MICs) with high levels of inequality. These are precisely those that are in danger of losing access to EU aid.
A Coherent EU Strategy for the Sahel
The study A coherent EU strategy for the Sahel [pdf, 2.1 MB, English, French] was conducted by the Institute for European Studies. It analyzes the challenges facing the Sahel region - which can be seen as Europe’s southern geopolitical border - and evaluates the 2011 EU "Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel" [pdf, 81 KB, English]. The authors confirm the diagnosis and support the lines of action the strategy envisages but also highlight that the EU’s Sahel strategy has not thus far lived up to its expectations.
The Role of BRICS in the Developing World
With this study, researchers from Südwind Institut (project lead) and Ecologic Institute inform the European Parliament about how the five emerging economies known collectively as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are emerging as development assistance donors and potential partners in the developing world. The authors discuss how south-south cooperation is becoming more significant and what challenges it poses to the EU's ODA agenda. Finally, the study The Role of BRICS in the Developing World [pdf, 1.2 MB, English] provides a series of recommendations for European policy makers.
Impact of EU Bioenergy Policy on Developing Countries
In order to meet its renewable energy targets by 2020, the EU is likely to increase its demand for biomass, not only for biofuel crops but also for woody biomass. A significant portion of this biomass will likely come from developing countries, particularly those in west and central Africa, as well as Latin American countries. This demand can have significant negative impacts in these developing regions, including environmental degradation and threats to food security. In the brief Impact of EU Bioenergy Policy on Developing Countries [pdf, 1.4 MB, English] for the European Parliament, researchers at Ecologic Institute analyze some of those main impacts, focusing particularly on woody biomass.
Gendercide: The Missing Women
Considerably larger male than female populations in some countries in Asia as well as in Europe have led to concerns in the European Parliament about the discrimination of young girls leading to sex selective practices such as neglect, sex selective abortions or even infanticide. Thus, the study Gendercide: The Missing Women [pdf, 885 KB, English, French] by the Overseas Development Institute, UK (project lead) and Ecologic Institute provides the European Parliament with an overview of the causes, current trends, consequences and policy challenges of sex selective practices focusing particularly on China and India. It provides some recommendations for the European Parliament as to how to address this challenge.
Intellectual Property Rights and Fighting Poverty
Genetic resources, in the form of seed, are the basis for agriculture and thus world food security. Equally, genetic resources in the form of medicinal plants and the associated knowledge are an important input for new pharmaceuticals. Traditionally, food crops and medicinal plants have been developed by local and indigenous communities and farmers all over the world. In recent decades, research institutions and private companies have, however, taken an increasing interest in genetic resources; in parallel, legal frameworks on intellectual property rights (IPR) have been expanded to afford stronger IPR protection for seed and pharmaceuticals. The study Intellectual Property Rights and Fighting Poverty [pdf, 1 MB, English] was commissioned by the European Parliament and is carried out by the Institute for European Studies (Brussels) and the Ecologic Institute.
Access to Energy in Developing Countries
Despite the continuous international efforts to reduce energy poverty, about 2.7 billion people do not have access to modern energy services in the developing countries. The study Access to Energy in Developing Countries [pdf, 1.2 MB, English] analyses the current situation, outlines the main challenges but also provides best practice examples how the challenges can be met.
A New European Union Development Cooperation Policy with Latin America
The study A New European Union Development Cooperation Policy with Latin America [pdf, 3.2 MB, Spanish, German, French, English] was conducted by Südwind Institut. It contains an analysis of the key principles of the EU's development cooperation policy towards Latin America. It touches i.a. upon regional integration, cohesion policy and South-South cooperation.
What Perspectives for Stability and Democracy in Pakistan
The briefing [pdf, 1.42 MB, English] summarises the results of the workshop "What Perspectives for Stability and Democracy in Pakistan" that was organized by Ecologic Institute. The aim of the workshop was to provide a clearer picture of the situation in Pakistan through an overview of the recent democratic developments and the socio-economc situation, an analysis of the interaction between the different players, and proposals for ways in which the EU can contribute to its democracy.
Implementing the EU Concept on Mediation: Learning from the Cases of Sudan and the Great Lakes
The ad-hoc briefing Implementing the EU Concept on Mediation: Learning from the Cases of Sudan and the Great Lakes [pdf, 294 KB, English] conducted by Chatham House concludes that the European Union can play an important role in mediation efforts to prevent or end conflict, but that to do so most effectively it needs to become more coherent and flexible in its approach. As importantly, the EU needs to develop a broader awareness of the motivations and strengths it brings to mediation efforts.
Increasing the Impact of EU Development Policy
The briefing Increasing the Impact of EU Development Policy [pdf, 725 KB, English], conducted by Südwind Institut and Ecologic Institute, is a contribution to the recently launched consultation process on the Green Paper "EU Development Policy in Support of Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development - Increasing the Impact of EU Development Policy" COM(2010) 629 final). It provides evidencebased answers to selected questions raised in the Green Paper.
An Assessment of the Balancing of the EU Development Objectives with Other Policies and Priorities
The study An Assessment of the Balancing of the EU Development Objectives with other Policies and Priorities [pdf, 1.2 MB, English] was conducted by Institute for European Studies, Ecologic Institute and Südwind Institut. The study provides a critical assessment of the coherence between the EU's development policies and its other policies fields. Detailed conclusions are outlined for trade, agriculture, climate change and migration policies.
An Assessment of the Effects of Land Ownership and Land Grab on Development - with a Particular Focus on Small Holdings and Rural Areas
The briefing An Assessment of the Effects of Land Ownership and Land Grab on Development - with a Particular Focus on Small Holdings and Rural Areas [pdf, 811 KB, English, French], conducted by Ecologic Institute, examines how access to land affects development and poverty eradication in developing countries. The authors discuss the assumption that land ownership increases productivity and provide an overview of land reforms and large-scale land acquisitions in developing countries.
The Future of EU Budget Support in Developing Countries
The Briefing on The Future of EU Budget Support in Developing Countries [pdf, 546 KB, English], conducted by Südwind Institute, is a contribution to the recently launched consultation process on the future of EU budget support to third countries (COM(2010) 586 final). It provides evidence-based answers to the twenty questions outlined in the green paper.
An Inventory of Existing Mechanisms to Comply with Aid Commitments by Member States
The standard briefing An Inventory of Existing Mechanisms to Comply with Aid Commitments by Member States [pdf, 801 KB, English], conducted by Südwind Institute, assesses the commitments made by EU Member States to achieve the 0.7% Official Development Assistance (ODA) / GNI target by 2015. The paper analyses the mechanisms that countries have established and their effectiveness to reach ODA targets. To meet the 0.7% target by 2015, the EU, and in particular the European Parliament, should continue to urge Member States to stick to their commitments.
The Effect of Oil Companies' Activities on the Environment, Health and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
The study The Effect of Oil Companies' Activities on the Environment, Health and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa [pdf, 1.4 MB, English] is conducted by Chatham House. Negative impacts of the oil industry are a major concern in sub-Saharan Africa threatening not only the health of local communities, but also the livelihoods they depend on. The study examines the impacts of the oil industry current measures to mitigate these impacts. It offers possible solutions that could be put forward by different stakeholders, including the EU and the European Parliament. The study focuses in particular on Nigeria and Angola and is supplemented by insights from other countries.
The Rationale for a Financial Transaction Tax
The study The Rationale for a Financial Transaction Tax [pdf, 1 MB, English], conducted by Südwind Institute, highlights the benefits of a financial transaction tax (FTT). The FTT is viewed as the most suitable instrument to help to achieve two objectives: (i) stabilize the markets and (ii) raise funds for domestic fiscal consolidation as well as global challenges such as climate change and poverty eradication.
Potential Use of Radioactively Contaminated Mining Materials in the Construction of Residential Homes from Open Pit Uranium Mines in Gabon and Niger
The study Potential Use of Radioactively Contaminated Mining Materials in the Construction of Residential Homes from Open Pit Uranium Mines in Gabon and Niger [pdf, 1.9 MB, English, French], again conducted by Ecologic Institute, analyses the practices concerning the exploration of uranium in Gabon and Niger, with a particular focus on the health of the people working in and living near the mines, as well as on the environmental and labour conditions in which the companies operate.
International Trade Policy in the Context of Climate Change Imperatives
The standard briefing International Trade Policy in the Context of Climate Change Imperatives [pdf, 602 KB, English], a policy paper written by Ecologic Institute, sheds light on the most important aspects of the relationship between trade and climate change policies. The policy paper investigates which trade-related policies should be adopted to combat climate change and reviews the compatibility of those measures with the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
A Snapshot of the Banana Trade: Who Gets What?
The ad-hoc briefing A Snapshot of the Banana Trade: Who Gets What? [pdf, 1.2 MB, English], undertaken by Südwind Institut, succinctly describes the international trade in Bananas through an analysis of flows of both produce and capital, from production in Latin America, Caribbean and Africa to distribution points in America and Europe. It illustrates the factors determining trade policies, the main stakeholders and nodes in the value chain for bananas as well as their impact on labour conditions and livelihoods in exporting countries.
Discrimination and Development Assistance
The ad-hoc briefing Discrimination and Development Assistance [pdf, 810 KB, English, French], undertaken by Südwind Institut, assesses the anti-discrimination policy of European development cooperation. In this study, the key questions are whether development aid is delivered fairly to all without discrimination and to what extent European development policies contribute to combating discrimination of marginalised groups.
Monitoring Budget Support in Developing Countries
The study Monitoring Budget Support in Developing Countries [pdf, 1.3 MB, English, French], undertaken by Südwind Institut, examines the role and effectiveness of the national parliament and its organs in monitoring the use of budget support in three case countries. It is based on personal interviews with the relevant representatives of the European Commission, executive and legislative branches of the governments in the selected countries and with relevant representatives of civil society.
A Comparative Evaluation of Public-Private and Public-Public Partnerships for Urban Water Services in ACP Countries
The study A Comparative Evaluation of Public-Private and Public-Public Partnerships for Urban Water Services in ACP Countries [pdf, 1 MB, English], conducted by the Overseas Development Institute and Ecologic Institute, provides an evaluation of different partnership approaches in water policy. It is based on a literature review of published and unpublished research (econometric analyses, case studies and review papers), and an in-depth examination of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and Public-Public Partnerships (PuPs) in Ghana and South Africa.
Millennium Development Goals and Beyond 2015, a Strong EU Engagement
The study [pdf, 1.4 MB, English], compiled by by Dr. Pedro Morazán (Südwind e.V.), Arno Behrens and Monica Alessi (CEPS) and Heiner Janus (DIE), deals with the EU engagement in the post-2015 development agenda and the future of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The MDGs, adopted in 2002, have been important instruments in streamlining and coordinating international development action. They are up for review in 2015 and this report highlights the importance of a considerable rethinking of the focus of the targets and development strategies. As one of the key actors, the EU has an important role to play in defining a new post-2015 framework. The study urges the European Parliament to use its own-initiative report on the post-2015 development framework to encourage the EU as a whole to ensure a bottom-up approach; this should apply at the national level in both developed and developing countries – and include a broad participation of the marginalised in particular.
Feasibility of Social Protection Schemes in Developing Countries
Social protection can play a key role in reducing poverty and inequality. Increased social protection coverage in developing countries has been achieved in recent years, but due to a low participation in the formal economy and the types of risks encountered by the poor, the further expansion of social insurance remains a challenge.
The study [pdf, 620 KB, English], carried out by Francesca Bastagli (Overseas Development Institute) and coordinated by the Ecologic Institute, gives an overview of social protection, coverage and equity in developing countries. It looks at social protection objectives and instruments and points out the reasons for low coverage and redistribution, mainly concerning financial resources, policy design and implementation details and political economy factors. It examines the potential role the private sector could play in social protection provision. It closes with an overview of international efforts to promote social protection and the role of the EU development cooperation. The author claims that since social protection lies at the heart of the European social model; the EU should therefore use its experience to support the efforts of governments of developing countries in promoting social protection.
EU Development Cooperation in Fragile States: Challenges and Opportunities
The study [pdf, 800 KB, English], carried out by Mikaela Gavas, Fiona Davies, Alastair McKechnie and Elize Hefer (Overseas Development Institute) and Oli Brown (Chatham House) and coordinated by the Ecologic Institute, analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the current EU engagement in fragile states, in particular its support to conflict prevention and in periods of transition. It examines the instruments and methods implemented by the EU to address the problems of fragile states and if they are suited to the objectives of prioritizing prevention and supporting transition. Using the examples of South Sudan and Afghanistan, the study also takes a look at the operational challenges at country-level. The authors point out the main weaknesses that are especially due to the organizational arrangements of the EU and exacerbate its performance compared to other international actors. The study concludes with a number of recommendations and calls for a better organizational and financial coherence and a 'whole-of-EU'-approach.