Latest documents

Some of these documents might not be available in your language, so another language version will be suggested automatically. These are shown by an icon representing the suggested language version. (e.g.: FR ).

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - February 2021

At a Glance
Summary : The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The use of pesticides in developing countries and their impact on health and the right to food

08-01-2021 PE 653.622 DEVE
Study
Summary : This study provides a broad perspective on the main trends regarding the use of pesticides in developing countries and their impacts on human health and food security. Information is provided on the challenges of controlling these hazardous substances, along with the extent to which pesticides banned within the European Union (EU) are exported to third countries. The analysis assesses the factors behind the continuation of these exports, along with the rising demand for better controls. Recommendations are intended to improve the ability for all people, including future generations, to have access to healthy food in line with United Nations declarations. These recommendations include collaborating with the Rotterdam Convention to strengthen capacity building programmes and the use of the knowledge base maintained by the Convention; supporting collaboration among developing countries to strengthen pesticide risk regulation; explore options to make regulatory risk data more transparent and accessible; strengthen research and education in alternatives to pesticides; stop all exports of crop protection products banned in the EU; only allow the export of severely restricted pesticides if these are regulated accordingly and used properly in the importing country; and support the re-evaluation of pesticide registrations in developing countries to be in line with FAO/WHO Code of Conduct.
Authors : Swagata SARKAR, Juliana DIAS BERNARDES GIL, James KEELEY, Niklas MÖHRING, Kees JANSEN

Cash for development? The use of microcredits and cash transfers as development tools

17-12-2020 PE 653.624 DEVE
Study
Summary : Microcredits and cash transfers are two distinct tools, but they both target poor households and individuals with cash alike. This report provides details of the latest advances in these cash-for-development tools at a time when the EU is reshaping its development finance tools for the 2021-27 period. Through a literature review, our study provides the current state of knowledge on microcredits and cash transfers. It then considers current EU support for these modalities and assesses this support in light of the main findings and conclusions drawn from the literature. Research reveals much evidence confirming cash-for-development tools’ contributions to poverty reduction. Furthermore, it identifies a second layer of positive economic effects resulting from their use that can be of value when determining responses to the Covid-19 crisis. Moreover, even though microfinance and cash transfers have undergone exponential growth in recent decades, their use remains very limited at EU Institution level. The report recommends that a broader and more systematic use of cash-for-development tools should be explored by EU Institutions, albeit framed within broader programming and context analysis.
Authors : Aitor PEREZ, Nicolas AYENSA, Maricruz LACALLE

Intra-African Migration

28-10-2020 PE 603.514 DEVE
Study
Summary : This study provides a broad perspective of the main trends in intra-African migration, emphasising its regional variations and complex drivers. The analysis is focussed on mapping and describing the structures – routes, hubs, settlements and sites of migration within the continent – as well as identifying the relevant infrastructures that facilitate these movements – ranging from road, railway and transportation networks to social connectivities and brokerage. The analysis not only of spaces and flows, but also of infrastructure within these networks shows that there is a multiplicity of interrelations, interconnections and interdependences that need to be captured and understood in order to address both the potential and problems for intra-African migration. By grasping the ‘big picture’ of intra-African migration, policies and activities generated by both the African Union and the European Union will be capable of providing comprehensively integrated and tailored responses. Recommendations are directed towards: improving knowledge of the many structures and infrastructures, along with their articulations and functioning; identifying the negative and positive aspects of migration conducive to sustainable development; and addressing the present Africa-Europe polarisation of views through diplomacy and monitoring.
Authors : Cristina UDELSMANN RODRIGUES, Jesper BJARNESEN

Commitments made at the hearings of the Commissioners-designate - von der Leyen Commission 2019-2024

At a Glance
Summary : This document provides links to all Briefings produced by the Policy Departments of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies and of the Directorate-General for External Policies of the European Parliament, with salient points and essential commitments made by the Vice-Presidents and Commissioners-designates at their respective hearings before the European Parliament, in September-November 2019 and in October 2020. For an exhaustive list of all commitments made and positions taken by the candidates, the full verbatim report of each public hearing is available on the dedicated hearings website of the European Parliament, as are the written questions and answers.

Commitments made at the hearing of Valdis Dombrovskis Commissioner for Trade

Briefing
Summary : The Commission Executive Vice-President/Commissioner-designate, Valdis Dombrovskis, appeared before the European Parliament on 02 October 2020 to answer questions put by MEPs from the Committee on International Trade, in association with the Committees on Foreign Affairs, on Economic and Monetary Affairs, on Development and on Budgets. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to his portfolio as Trade Commissioner, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: - A level playing field for all; - Strengthening Europe’s global leadership; - Trade for sustainable development and climate action
Authors : Mario DAMEN, WOLFGANG IGLER

EU development cooperation and ethical certification schemes: impact, transparency and traceability

15-07-2020 PE 603.487 DEVE
Study
Summary : ‘Transparency’, ‘Traceability’, ‘Sustainable standards’, ‘good agricultural practices’ and ‘zero-deforestation’ are all fine terms which [alongside many others] have emerged in connection with the cocoa sector’s certification process. But does the reality of this process justify using such terms? Our initial conclusions in this study, based on an analysis of existing research over recent years, revealed that a considerable number of investigations had been commissioned by the certification schemes themselves. Key findings presented by the various studies all conveyed a positive tone. However, on closer inspection we felt that smallholders covered by the programmes were ‘following party lines’ rather than speaking freely. This suspicion was well-founded. Having built up trust in the villages during several years of field-work, we eventually gained access to exclusive data held by the cooperatives and certification programmes. We have used this evidence in order to draw a comparison between the virtual world portrayed by certification schemes’ narrative and the real world being faced by cocoa producers. Certification schemes claim that they give a sense of trust within the value chain, particularly in regard to produce traceability. They also claim to assist farmers, by way of training, various inputs (fertilisers etc.) and credit schemes. In reality, these ‘advantages’ are not visible at farm level. Budgets prepared by cooperatives to justify the use of premiums reflect structural flaws in certification and access to information. Serious questions arise surrounding deforestation, child labour and the payment of premiums. Social investment is minimal and consumers’ perception diverges from the reality. In conclusion, we make a number of key proposals and suggestions based on stakeholders’ complaints and recommendations.
Authors : Enrique URIBE LEITZ, François RUF

The use of development funds for de-risking private investment: how effective is it in delivering development?

07-05-2020 PE 603.486 DEVE
Study
Summary : The use of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to mobilise private finance is increasingly seen as essential to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Numerous development agencies have set up diverse de-risking initiatives to attract private investment to development projects and the EU is planning to scale up blending support in the near future. Such measures have reportedly been successful in raising private finance and in improving development outcomes, but there are concerns with this approach. Private shareholders may receive funds at the expense of sectors and regions where they are most needed. Funds remain insufficient to plug the SDG funding gap. Blending can create longer-term risks for development agencies and costs for recipient governments. Traditional evaluations often do not capture the full impact of such policies. Furthermore, there is an opportunity cost to using ODA in this way and blending may promote the perspective of financial investors over development outcomes.
Authors : Kate BAYLISS, Bruno BONIZZI, Ourania DIMAKOU, Christina LASKARIDIS, Farwa SIAL, Elisa VAN WAEYENBERGE
Summary : This document is a compilation of all Briefings produced by the Policy Departments of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies and of the Directorate-General for External Policies of the European Parliament, with salient points and essential commitments made by the Vice-Presidents and Commissioners-designates at their respective hearings before the European Parliament, in September-November 2019 and in October 2020. For an exhaustive list of all commitments made and positions taken by the candidates, the full verbatim report of each public hearing is available on the dedicated hearings website of the European Parliament, as are the written questions and answers.

Commitments made at the hearing of Jutta URPILAINEN, Commissioner-designate - International Partnerships

22-11-2019 PE 639.309 DEVE
Briefing
Summary : The Commissioner-designate, Jutta Urpilainen, appeared before the European Parliament on 01 October 2019 to answer MEPs’ questions. During the hearing, she made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to her portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to her by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: Building sustainable partnerships.
Authors : FLAVIA BERNARDINI

Commitments made at the hearing of Janez LENARČIČ, Commissioner-designate - Crisis Management

22-11-2019 PE 639.310 DEVE
Briefing
Summary : The commissioner-designate, Janez Lenarčič, appeared before the European Parliament on 02 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committee on Development, in association with the Committee on Environment. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, including: European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid.
Authors : Gonzalo URBINA TREVIÑO