Procedure : 2011/2145(INI)
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Document selected : A7-0313/2011

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CRE 24/10/2011 - 23

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CRE 25/10/2011 - 8.16
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28 September 2011
PE 469.694v02-00 A7-0313/2011

on the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness


Committee on Development

Rapporteur: Cristian Dan Preda



on the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness


The European Parliament,

–    having regard to the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000,

–    having regard to the 2005 European Consensus on Development(1),

–    having regard to the European Union Code of Conduct on Complementarity and the Division of Labour in Development Policy(2),

–    having regard to its resolution of 28 September 2006 on ‘more and better cooperation: the 2006 EU aid effectiveness package’(3),

–    having regard to its resolution of 22 May 2008 on the follow-up to the Paris Declaration of 2005 on Aid Effectiveness(4),

–    having regard to the Conclusions of the General Affairs and External Relations Council of 17 November 2009 on an Operational Framework on Aid Effectiveness(5),

–    having regard to the Conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council (Development Ministers) of 14 June 2010 on Cross-country Division of Labour(6), which makes a number of additions and changes to the Operational Framework on Aid Effectiveness,

–    having regard to the Conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council (Development Ministers) of 9 December 2010 on ‘Mutual Accountability and Transparency: A Fourth Chapter for the EU Operational Framework on Aid Effectiveness(7),

–    having regard to the consolidated text of the Operational Framework on Aid Effectiveness adopted by the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union on 11 January 2011(8),

–    having regard to the Budapest Declaration on the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea (2011), adopted at the 21st session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Budapest,

–    having regard to the Dili Declaration of 10 April 2010, which concerns peace-building and state-building,

–    having regard to the Bogotá Statement of 26 March 2010, which concerns the implementation of the principles of the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) in the context of South-South cooperation,

–    having regard to the ‘Tunis Consensus: Targeting Effective Development’ of 4 and 5 November 2010, which is an African agenda for development effectiveness,

–    having regard to the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) report on aid effectiveness, which is a progress report on the implementation of the June 2009 Paris Declaration,

–    having regard to the Commission report of October 2009 entitled ‘Aid Effectiveness Agenda: Benefits of a European Approach’(9),

–    having regard to the Commission staff working document entitled ‘EU Plan of Action on Gender Equality and Women´s Empowerment in Development 2010-2015’ (SEC(2010)0265), and to the Council Conclusions of 14 June 2010 on the Millennium Development Goals, which endorse the relevant EU action plan,

–    having regard to the Commission’s final report of March 2011 entitled ‘Joint Multiannual Programming’(10),

–    having regard to the Commission communication of April 2011 entitled ‘Enhancing EU Accountability on Financing for Development towards the EU Official Development Assistance Peer Review’ (COM(2011)0218),

–    having regard to the initiative launched by the Commission in March 2010 entitled ‘Structured Dialogue: for an efficient partnership in development’, which seeks to identify practical ways of ensuring more effective involvement of civil society organisations and local authorities in European cooperation,

–    having regard to the ‘Final Report on the Evaluation of the Paris Declaration: Phase 2’, published in May 2011,

–    having regard to its resolution of 15 March 2007 on local authorities and development cooperation(11),

–    having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–    having regard to the report of the Committee on Development (A7-0313/2011),

A.  whereas the Fourth High Level Forum on aid effectiveness (HLF-4) is expected to map out future commitments aimed at making development aid more effective, and to help develop a new international aid architecture in the run-up to the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and beyond;

B.   whereas the principles set out in the Paris Declaration focus primarily on the mechanisms of aid delivery rather than on the framing of effective development policy; whereas the Accra Agenda for Action on Aid Effectiveness (AAA) has been hampered by several factors: the financial crisis, a reduction in the level of official development assistance (ODA), changes in the policies of some donors, who wish to see more short-term results´, and the emergence of new public and private donors who are not members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and whose approach is not governed by consensual cooperation standards;

C.  whereas an increasing proportion of total ODA comes from emerging countries which are not members of the OECD;

D.  whereas recent monitoring studies and assessments have shown that recipient countries have done more than donor countries to implement the commitments set out in the Paris Declaration and the AAA;

E.   whereas former high level conferences failed to produce the necessary political pressure or a legally binding framework and whereas implementation of the Paris Declaration has failed to produce the anticipated reduction in aid fragmentation, with too many operations still lacking transparency, for example with regard to conditionalities;

F.   whereas transparency and accountability – both between the governments of donor and recipient countries and between the state and society – are prerequisites for aid effectiveness; whereas donors and partner countries agreed in the AAA to provide detailed information on current and future aid flows in good time to enable developing countries to draw up their budgets and audit their accounts more accurately; whereas, likewise, it remains crucial for donor countries to support the strengthening of the institution of parliament and the involvement of local authorities and civil society organisations, so as to anchor development policy firmly in the democratic process;

G.  whereas the EU and its Member States contribute more than half of global ODA and therefore play an important role in the aid effectiveness programme;

H.  whereas it is important, in the run-up to the fourth Forum, to remind donor countries of their commitment to devote 0.7% of their GNP/GNI to development aid by 2015, to include a significant gender equality component in all policies and practices in the context of their relations with developing countries, to define ODA more rigorously and to uphold the principles laid down in the AAA, which remain valid, and whereas there is a need to move beyond ODA in order to build partnerships aimed at supporting the emergence of a vision of development that is owned and driven by the countries themselves;

I.    whereas the development aid landscape is constantly evolving, and whereas aid effectiveness mechanisms should better reflect the emergence of new donors;

J.    whereas all forms of development funding, including innovative financing mechanisms such as the financial transaction tax and the global funds for health and education, must embody and put into practice the principles of the Paris Declaration;

K.  whereas the Tunis Consensus, an African agenda for development, calls for attention to be refocused from aid effectiveness to the broader agenda of development effectiveness; whereas the six elements identified as being crucial for Africa in terms of development effectiveness are: building capable states, developing democratic accountability, promoting South-South cooperation, thinking and acting regionally, embracing new development partners, and outgrowing aid dependence;

1.   Stresses the need for the EU to adopt an ambitious position at HLF-4 with a view to making a substantial contribution to deepening and fully implementing its aid effectiveness commitments; hopes, in view of the importance of aid effectiveness in terms of improving quality of life, reducing poverty in recipient countries and achieving the MDGs, that the EU will send high-level representatives to Busan;

2.   Points out that one of the prerequisites in order to fulfil the ‘aid effectiveness agenda’ is to embrace fully the principle of ‘democratic ownership’, which means that development strategies must be driven by the countries themselves and reflect a commitment on the part of all national stakeholders;

3.   Notes that the governments of developing countries have not left their parliaments and civil societies the necessary room for manoeuvre to allow genuine ownership; urges the EU to strengthen the commitments set out in the Paris Declaration and the AAA by promoting democratic ownership of development policies, planning and measures through full engagement with, and accountability to, all development stakeholders;

4.   Believes that HLF-4 will be a success if it results in a strong commitment to aid effectiveness, reflected in clear and measureable objectives with a precise timetable for their realisation; mindful of the implementation deficits of the Paris Declaration and AAA, underlines the importance of development ‘ownership’ following a bottom-up approach,  of  non-fragmentation of aid and, as well as of  setting up strong, effective and independent follow-up enforcement mechanisms, involving parliaments and civil society at both national and international level; takes the view that, if it is to be effective, aid should be considered and evaluated in terms of its concrete contribution towards achieving development goals and not only in term of inputs;

5.   Points out that aid effectiveness requires poor countries to be able to mobilise domestic revenues; urges the EU once again, therefore, to make the fight against tax havens and tax evasion its utmost priority, while also promoting alternative sources of development finance, for example through the introduction of a financial transaction tax; likewise, urges the EU to give developing countries more help with tax reforms, thereby supporting the establishment of effective, efficient, fair and sustainable tax systems, which should have the effect of reducing poverty and aid dependency;

6.   Calls on donor and recipient countries to take immediate action to honour their commitments under the Paris Declaration and the AAA, the only obstacles to which are political will, bureaucracy and high transaction costs, for instance as regards the untying of aid, aid predictability, conditionality and transparency; emphasises, in particular, the need to put into practice the commitment made in the AAA whereby, in the context of bilateral cooperation between governments, donors undertake to draw first and foremost on their national systems, and to make aid flows more predictable; also urges donor countries to give priority to local and regional public procurement;

7.   Points out that aid should serve as a lever for inclusive, sustainable growth in order to reduce poverty and aid dependency and facilitate job creation, taking into account the individual characteristics of each country while strengthening aid effectiveness in those countries whose need is greatest; also notes that aid should be regarded as a temporary measure aimed at fostering self-sustainable growth in developing countries, rather than as a long-term solution;

8    Stresses that such growth is being hampered by certain procurement practices on the part of donors, which disregard the local economy; urges donors, therefore, to give preference to local and regional procurement, thereby enhancing local economic performance;

9.   Points out that development aid is not in itself enough to eradicate poverty and that it should address its causes, rather than its symptoms; emphasizes the need for more effective aid as part of a development process which seeks to create, in recipient countries, strong, environmentally friendly economies in which access to basic social services is guaranteed for everyone and, ultimately, to reduce dependence on aid; stresses, in that connection, the importance of creating a climate conducive to decent work creation, entrepreneurship and innovation in recipient countries; encourages donors to exploit local economic capacities as a matter of priority and to take active steps to strengthen them;

10. Calls for more effective international coordination of cross-country aid distribution in order to address the problem of ‘aid darlings’ and ‘aid orphans’; stresses that the aim to increase the impact of aid and to get more results/value for money should not lead to a risk-averse development policy which only focuses on ‘easy countries’; insists that poverty eradication and needs must remain the crucial criteria for the allocation of development aid;

11. Underlines the importance of a differentiated approach to aid effectiveness, taking into account the level of development of the receiving countries (least developed, fragile and middle-income) and their specific needs; highlights that, given the high number of fragile states and the fact that they are the furthest away from achieving the MDGs, accounting for 75 % of the deficit, it is important that special attention is given to this issue;

12. Stresses that the involvement of local authorities and civil society organisations in development policies is essential in order to achieve the MDGs and ensure good governance; notes that, although the AAA recognises them as ‘development actors in their own right’, many civil society organisations are faced with policies and practices that are undermining their role as development actors; calls, more broadly, on donors and partner countries to place the emphasis on greater recognition of the involvement of parliaments, local authorities and civil society, and on more transparent use of national systems;

13. Points out that financial aid is not in itself enough to guarantee sustainable development and that local government and the domestic private sector must play a major part in implementing MDG-related projects; emphasises the role played by private undertakings, such as small and medium enterprises, in wealth creation and the responsibility of States to guarantee stability and the rule of law; stresses, in that connection, the importance of good governance in recipient countries;

14. Stresses that indicators of good governance – some of which remain highly controversial – should also be the subject of debate, given their value in determining the quality of the participatory approaches necessary for democratic ownership;

15. Calls on partner governments to value and step up efforts towards decentralisation (political, administrative and fiscal) and to enhance coordination between local and national development planning processes by contributing to complementarity and specialisation, with due regard for local autonomy;

16. Calls on donor countries to coordinate and harmonise their efforts more effectively, to streamline their procedures and to work towards closer cooperation with private donors;

17. Urges that South-South and triangular cooperation be encouraged and promoted as forms of aid that help to improve quality and effectiveness and contribute to the exchange of knowledge and to capacity-building;

18. Points out that all governments – donor and recipient – are bound by human rights obligations; stresses that these commitments, along with accountability under international human rights law, are crucial in order to ensure effective development; urges the EU, therefore, to advocate in Busan for the introduction of binding measures which will ensure that aid provision complies with human rights agreements;

19. Stresses the importance of striking a balance between the need to meet certain political and tax conditions and approaches based on performance indicators, so as to ensure that strict political and performance requirements do not deter partner country governments from implementing their own policies – and even experimenting with new, more adventurous approaches – rather than simply following donors’ prescriptions;

20. Welcomes the adoption of the EU Code of Conduct on the Division of Labour in Development Policy and stresses that its principles have not been fully implemented to date owing to a lack of political will, which is preventing optimum use of European aid and undermining the EU’s ability to be a driving force in the division of labour in the context of the fourth Forum;

21. Calls on the EU to speed up the Fast Track Initiative on Division of Labour – in particular as regards concentration by sector – by means of reorganisation and joint programming, and to encourage the use of national systems in an effort to fulfil the undertaking given in the Paris Declaration to make greater use of aid delivery mechanisms based on ownership, inter alia through budget support;

22. Welcomes the Commission initiative outlined in the Green Paper on budget support, which seeks primarily to promote local development in partner countries, and calls for budget support eligibility criteria to be tightened up so as to prevent departures from agreed approaches and the misuse of this type of aid, with due account being taken of factors such as a country’s corruption index rating;

23. Stresses the leading role of national parliaments in the new aid architecture, and the need to help them boost their law-making capacity and promote the necessary changes to enable them to scrutinise all development-related expenditure;

24. Calls on national parliaments to adopt country strategy documents and annual budgets in consultation with civil society and local authorities in advance of any political dialogue with donors, so as to give full weight to democratic scrutiny;

25. Recalls, in this connection, the undertaking given in the Operational Framework on Aid Effectiveness(12) adopted by the Council of the European Union, which is aimed at ensuring that financial aid provided by EU donors is subject to democratic scrutiny as part of the processes implemented by partner countries;

26. Draws attention to the important role played by supreme audit institutions in assisting national parliaments in their task of scrutinising development-related expenditure and promoting aid effectiveness;

27. Points out the danger of adopting a highly technical approach to aid effectiveness; stresses the need to place greater emphasis on indicators showing the impact of aid on development and on how effectively it contributes to eradicating poverty, promoting gender equality, reducing inequalities and creating wealth; believes that closer involvement of public and private development actors and the absorption of lessons learned from the implementation of the commitments made in the Paris Declaration and the AAA will help to improve the aid effectiveness programme;

28. Calls on the EU to review its policies on division of labour so as to ensure that horizontal issues such as human rights, social inclusion, gender equality, citizenship and climate change are not overlooked;

29. Emphasises that aid transparency is essential in order to ensure both ownership and aid effectiveness; calls, therefore, on the Commission and Member States to adopt an ambitious stance on aid transparency by promoting at international level mechanisms that seek to establish global standards in this area, such as the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI); calls on the Member States that have not yet done so to sign up and implement the IATI;

30. Maintains that it is important clearly to assess the potential risks associated with greater private-sector involvement, and that clear criteria for supporting private-sector projects should therefore be defined, while at the same time developing sound impact assessment mechanisms in order to ensure that private-sector investment is sustainable and consistent with agreed international development goals and does not mean a return to tied aid;

31. Considers gender equality to be a priority in the shaping of development policies, and consequently calls for it to be fully integrated into the aid effectiveness agenda, and for women’s organisations to play an active part in all development processes;

32. Stresses that the HLF-4 should also lay the foundations for a more inclusive global partnership for development, by involving emerging donors more closely, in particular those countries whose approach is not governed by the global norms on aid effectiveness; calls on the EU to take a leading role in this respect in order to ensure that aid from such countries is in accordance with agreed international principles in terms of official development assistance; takes the view that this should not lead to any watering down of aid effectiveness and the basic principles underpinning it;

33. Maintains that, in view of its role in exercising democratic scrutiny, Parliament should continue to be involved in the ongoing recasting of the aid effectiveness programme, including through appropriate participation in the Busan meeting;

34. Calls on the EU and its Member States to continue to give consideration to the quality of aid and to promote an international agenda which focuses on development;

35. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.


OJ C 46, 24.2.2006.


Council Conclusions 9558/07, 15.5.2007.


OJ C 306E, 15.12.2006, p. 373.


OJ C 279E, 19.11.2009, p. 100.


Doc. 15912/09.


Doc. 11081/10.


Doc. 17769/10.


Doc. 18239/10.


Project No 2008/170204 – Version 1.


Project No 2010/250763 – Version 1.


OJ C 301E, 13.12.2007, p. 249.


General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, Consolidated Text 18239/10.


Date adopted





Result of final vote







Members present for the final vote

Thijs Berman, Michael Cashman, Corina Creţu, Véronique De Keyser, Charles Goerens, Catherine Grèze, András Gyürk, Filip Kaczmarek, Franziska Keller, Bill Newton Dunn, Maurice Ponga, Birgit Schnieber-Jastram, Michèle Striffler, Alf Svensson, Eleni Theocharous

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Santiago Fisas Ayxela, Martin Kastler, Cristian Dan Preda, Judith Sargentini

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

María Irigoyen Pérez, Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler

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