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Procedure : 2007/2594(RSP)
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Document selected : B6-0310/2007

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PV 11/07/2007 - 21
CRE 11/07/2007 - 21

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PV 12/07/2007 - 6.14
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Thursday, 12 July 2007 - Strasbourg Final edition
Democratic scrutiny under the DCI

European Parliament resolution of 12 July 2007 on the democratic scrutiny of the implementation of the financing instrument for development cooperation (DCI)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas Parliament has launched a process of democratic scrutiny of the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation(1) (DCI),

B.   whereas, according to Article 2(1) of the DCI, the overarching objective of cooperation under that instrument shall be "the eradication of poverty in partner countries", including "pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals"(MDGs),

C.   whereas Parliament adopted three resolutions(2) pursuant to Rule 81 of its Rules of Procedure, signalling to the Commission that in Parliament's view it had exceeded its implementing powers in a number of draft Commission decisions establishing strategy papers,

D.   whereas the conclusions of Parliament's scrutiny of the Commission's draft country, regional and thematic strategy papers were sent to the Commission in the form of a cover letter(3) , highlighting Parliament's main horizontal concerns and with more than 150 pages summarising Parliament's assessment of the individual strategy papers and requesting the Commission to supply specific information on individual cases,

E.   whereas the Commission's reply was received in the form of a letter of 26 March 2007 from Commissioners Ferrero-Waldner and Michel to the Committee on Development, to be considered as a "consolidated response to both […] the letter and the resolution"(4) ,

F.   whereas the Commissioners state that the MDGs cannot be achieved by a focus on basic services alone, at the same time reaffirming their commitment to achieving the objective of 20% of assistance under DCI country programmes being allocated by 2009 to basic and secondary education and basic health,

G.   whereas the Commission further affirms that cooperation in the field of higher education will in itself contribute to forming a national professional cadre capable of managing and generating the necessary policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development,

H.   whereas the Commission states that it is considering how to improve the process of consultation with the different stakeholders and points out that in the drawing up of the annual action programmes a gender impact assessment will be made of the measures proposed when relevant,

I.   whereas mainstreaming of cross-cutting issues – promotion of human rights, gender equality, democracy, good governance, the rights of the child, of disabled people and of indigenous people, environmental sustainability and combating HIV/AIDS – must be undertaken in all programmes,

J.   whereas Article 25(1)b of the DCI states that the financing may take the form of budget support "if the partner country's management of public spending is sufficiently transparent", and that the Commission shall "support efforts of partner countries to develop parliamentary control and audit capacities",

1.  Appreciates the letter of 26 March 2007 from Commissioners Ferrero-Waldner and Michel to the Committee on Development but regrets that it does not give a concrete response to the specific questions raised in Parliament's own letter and that so far no response has been received to the specific questions contained in Parliament's conclusions on individual strategy papers;

2.  Urges the Commission to pursue poverty eradication and the achievement of the MDGs, in particular by a strong focus on basic health and basic education; stresses that, for countries where these are not included as focal sectors, the Commission must provide detailed information on other donors" activities, showing how the partner country is on its way to achieving the MDGs by 2015;

3.  Regrets that the country strategy papers do not allocate a sufficient part of the resources to the DCI's overarching goal of poverty eradication and the achievement of the MDGs; regrets in particular that it is totally unclear how the EU will reach the "benchmark of 20% of its allocated assistance under country programmes covered by the DCI [to] be dedicated to basic and secondary education and basic health" by 2009; urges the Commission to indicate in detail how it is honouring this commitment and whether in this respect instructions have been issued to desk officers and delegations and a specific statistical basis established;

4.  Recognises the importance of certain non-development activities such as enhancing the EU's visibility abroad, and aspects of higher education, regional integration, trade and civil aviation, as they can have positive effects on relations between the EU and its partner countries, but recalls that the DCI is a specific instrument for development with a legal requirement for all funding under its geographical programmes and at least 90% of the funding under its thematic programmes to be eligible as Official Development Assistance (ODA) according to the criteria of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; notes that non-ODA activities should be financed from other sources;

5.  Calls on the Commission to provide detailed information on the MDG impact of all activities planned under the DCI; requests the Commission to indicate, in order of priority, which criteria it used for the allocation of funds between the DCI geographical programmes, as well as the criteria for establishing strategy papers for some countries and regions and not for others;

6.  Values and supports the Commission's efforts on division of labour and donor coordination, but notes the need for an overall view of all donors" activities and therefore calls on the Commission to provide Parliament with a detailed and up-to-date "donor matrix" for each country and region;

7.  Requests the Commission to inform Parliament of how it is planning to ensure proper and effective consultation with all stakeholders at all stages of the programming process, in particular when it intends to introduce new activities;

8.  Regrets that cross-cutting issues are not clearly mainstreamed in the strategy papers and indicative programmes and therefore urges the Commission to include them in a truly horizontal way in its annual action programmes and to provide clear mainstreaming benchmarks and/or impact indicators on the planned activities;

9.  Urges the Commission strictly to apply the eligibility criteria for budget support, particularly refraining from such actions in countries where transparency in public spending cannot be assured; requests the Commission also to provide supplementary information to Parliament, particularly on how, in all countries benefiting from budget support, it is implementing the legal requirement under Article 25(1)(b) of the DCI to "support efforts of partner countries to develop parliamentary control and audit capacities";

10.  Calls on the Commission to send Parliament all information on the geographic and thematic programmes, along with the full list of the members of the DCI committee; requests the Commission to forward systematically and immediately to the members of the DCI committee all the conclusions of Parliament's scrutiny in their full versions;

11.  Expects the Commission to address Parliament's concerns, expressed in the conclusions of its scrutiny of the Strategy Papers, and to fully implement Parliament's recommendations and requests in the annual action plans;

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States and the members of the DCI committee.

(1) OJ L 378, 27.12.2006, p. 41.
(2) Resolution of 15 February 2007 on the draft Commission decisions establishing Country Strategy Papers and Indicative Programmes for Malaysia, Brazil and Pakistan (P6_TA(2007)0045); Resolution of 7 June 2007 on the draft Commission decision establishing Regional Strategy Papers and Regional Indicative Programmes for Mercosur and Latin America (P6_TA(2007)0233); Resolution of 21 June 2007 on the draft Commission decision establishing a Regional Strategy Document 2007-2013 and a Multiannual Indicative Programme for Asia (P6_TA(2007)0280).
(3) Letter D (2007) 303749 of 5 March 2007 from the Chair of the Committee on Development, Josep Borrell Fontelles, to Commissioners Ferrero-Waldner and Michel (registered as comitology document no. CMT-2007-1709 - annex registered as comitology document no. CMT-2007-1709-2).
(4) Letter A (2007) 5238 of 26 March 2007 from Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner to the Chair of the Committee on Development, Josep Borrell Fontelles (registered as comitology document no. CMT-2007-1709-3).

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