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The new European Consensus on Development – EU and Member States sign joint strategy to eradicate poverty

The European Union and its Member States signed today a strategic blueprint, outlining the future of European development policy. This “New European Consensus on Development” represents a new collective vision and plan of action to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development.

The jointly developed strategy, in the form of a Joint Statement, was signed today during the annual two-day European Development Days by the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, on behalf of the Council and Member States, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini.

The new European Consensus on Development constitutes a comprehensive common framework for European development cooperation. For the first time, it applies in its entirety to all European Union Institutions and all Member States, which commit to work more closely together.

The new Consensus strongly reaffirms that poverty eradication remains the primary objective of European development policy. It fully integrates the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. In doing so, it aligns European development action with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is also a cross-cutting dimension for the EU Global Strategy.

European leaders committed to three areas:

  • They recognise the strong interlinkages between the different elements of such action. This includes development and peace and security, humanitarian aid, migration, environment and climate, as well as cross cutting-elements, such as: youth; gender equality; mobility and migration; sustainable energy and climate change; investment and trade; good governance, democracy, the rule of law and human rights; innovative engagement with more advanced developing countries; and mobilising and using domestic resources.
  • The new Consensus furthermore takes a comprehensive approach to means of implementation, combining traditional development aid with other resources, as well as sound policies and a strengthened approach to policy coherence, recalling that EU development cooperation always has to be seen in the context of Europe’s partner countries’ own efforts. The Consensus provides the basis for the EU and its Member States to engage in more innovative forms of development financing, leveraging private sector investments and mobilising additional domestic resources for development.
  • The EU and its Member States will create better-tailored partnerships with a broader range of stakeholders, including civil society, and partner countries at all stages of development. They will further improve their implementation on the ground by working better together and taking into account their respective comparative advantages.

Background

Europe is a global leader in development, being the world’s biggest provider of Official Development Assistance. The new European Consensus on Development was agreed jointly by all European Institutions and all EU Member States in an open and transparent manner, also in consultation with other partners. It is the EU’s response to today’s global trends and challenges, aligning EU external action to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 2030 Agenda was adopted by the international community in September 2015, and includes at its core the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and associated targets, which run to 2030. Along with the other international summits and conferences held in 2015 in Addis Ababa and in Paris, the international community has an ambitious new frame for all countries to work together on shared challenges. For the first time, the SDGs are universally applicable to all countries and the EU is committed to be a frontrunner in implementing them.

On 22 November 2016, the European Commission proposed its ideas for a strategic approach for achieving sustainable development in Europe and around the world, including a Commission proposal for a new Consensus. Since then the European Parliament, the Council under the Maltese Presidency, and the Commission have engaged in an intensive series of inter-institutional discussions aimed at agreeing to a new collective vision for development policy which responds to the 2030 Agenda and other global challenges.

Europe is a frontrunner when it comes to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda, through external and other policies.

For more information:

A Joint Statement by the Council and the representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission: A new European Consensus on development: Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development