Sommaire: 19 November 2007, Brussels - The Council of the European Union, 2830th General Affairs Council meeting, Conclusion on the annual report 2007 on the European community's development policy and the implementation of external assistance in 2006
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
1. WELCOMES the Commission's Annual Report 2007 on the European Community's Development Policy and the Implementation of External Assistance in 2006, and COMMENDS the Commission on the improvements made with respect to the previous years.
2. RECOGNISES that the Annual Report provides a good basis for donors and the general public to share the results of Community's aid and ENCOURAGES the Commission to continue to prioritize this exercise and to strengthen the technical resources devoted to the implementation of these Conclusions.
3. NOTES positively the presentation of an analytical Executive Summary, including a statement on the Commission's annual objectives, and invites the Commission to make this important communication tool more focused on the objectives of the European Consensus, results linked to them, including key risks and challenges needing particular attention, conclusions and measures to further improve performance. The Commission is also invited to include reflections on its comparative advantages in the implementation of the ten thematic areas mentioned in the second part of the European Consensus.
4. NOTES positively the enhanced reporting on cooperation with international organizations and other donors, notably regarding the United Nations and the World Bank.
5. SUPPORTS the provision in the Annual Report of features articles focusing on important development related issues and WELCOMES this year's inclusion of articles on the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria and on Migration.
6. NOTES that the analysis of the Community's Development Policy is not sufficiently focused on poverty reduction and REITERATES its call for the Commission to continue the work on making a clear link between the description of activities and the results of the development policy objectives as defined in the European Consensus. In this context, TAKES NOTE of the specific section describing the Community's work towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and CALLS on the Commission to further develop this analysis.
7. INVITES the Commission to provide in the future assessments on the reasons behind major changes in the results oriented monitoring system.
8. EMPHAZISES the need to keep a strong poverty eradication focus in all developing countries; NOTES with concern that, while there was an increase in the share of aid going to other low-income countries (LICs), the share of least developed countries (LDCs) decreased; INVITES the Commission to explain the reasons behind this decrease so that they can be addressed; and further INVITES the Commission to remain committed to supporting the pro-poor development of middle-income countries (MICs), especially lower MICs, and to develop its explanation on how development cooperation in these countries contributes to reducing poverty in the context of sustainable development.
9. COMMENDS the Commission on its efforts to reduce the outstanding difference between commitments and payments in 2006.
10. RECALLS the four additional commitments on improving aid delivery made by the EU in relation to the Paris Declaration and SUGGESTS the Commission to report on these four pledges in the next Annual Report1.
11. REQUESTS the Commission to compile and provide to Member States, simultaneously with the annual report, statistical information on contracting partners implementing the financial instruments in partner countries, indicating the countries where these contracting partners originate from.
12. INVITES the Commission to continue improving its Official Development Aid (ODA) reporting, separating figures for the European Development Fund (EDF) and the EU budget, which would allow to conduct comparative analysis with previous reports and the data available from DAC and ENCOURAGES the Commission to provide more statistical data related to the overall population and the poor population in partner countries, including data per capita.
13. INVITES the Commission to structure the geographic section of the next Report taking into account the geographical regions of the External Financial Instruments and the EDF, with separate coverage of OCTs, and CALLS on the Commission to better report on the thematic programs and on how cross cutting issues, e.g. equality between men and women, HIV/AIDS, environment and Human Rights, are being integrated across all external cooperation instruments.
14. ENCOURAGES the Commission to report, where appropriate, for each geographical external instrument (EDF, DCI, ENPI and IPA) on the implementation of the European Consensus donor coordination in relation to the Code of Conduct on Division of Labour and the principles of aid effectiveness.
15. WELCOMES the presentation of the Annual Report 2007 during the month of June and ENCOURAGES the Commission to keep up its efforts to present the Annual Report at the earliest possible date."
1 These commitments are: capacity building assistance will be provided through coordinated programmes and multi-donors arrangements; government-to-government assistance will be channelled through country systems as well as budget support or sector wide approaches; the number of un-coordinated missions will be reduced by 50%; new project implementation units will be avoided.