States which have recently acceded to the European Union, such as Lithuania, are involved in development cooperation activities. For countries which not long ago were still receiving aid themselves, this is a completely new field of external policy. Managing development cooperation policy requires very specific know-how and skills, including a knowledge of the methods of implementing this policy and its technical aspects. Newcomers to the EU badly need the support of the old Member States as regards specific experience and training in fields related to the planning, implementation and assessment of development cooperation policy. Hitherto, such specialised direct assistance from the Commission has been lacking, although the new Member States have informed the relevant departments of their needs.
What practical measures will the Commission take to help the new EU Member States to participate fully in development cooperation policy? What share of the Community budget will be allocated to such measures? How will the proposed measures be implemented?