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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

The EU’s New Budget: Europe’s Recovery at The Expense of Its Long- Term Ambitions

After a four day marathon run of negotiations, the 27 Heads of State of the EU reached an agreement on both the Recovery Fund—a large fund to support the post-COVID recovery across the EU—and its new long-term budget and priorities, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027. While leaders across the EU are now hailing the deal as a “win” for their own voters and priorities, inevitably the negotiations were fundamentally driven by domestic interests and priorities, and predictably, international development has suffered as a result of the cuts.

Image of Mikaela Gavas and Simon Maxwell testifying to the House of Lords

Got Brexit Done. What Now for International Development?

“Get Brexit Done” was the Conservative Party’s election-winning slogan last month. Formally, that objective has been achieved. But what does that mean for international development—for aid, humanitarian relief, trade, security, migration, climate change, and beyond? Last week we gave evidence to the House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee on development cooperation after Brexit. Below we sketch out some of our key discussion points.

Pile of Euros. Adobe Stock.

The Wise Persons Group Report on Europe’s Development Finance Architecture: Merger, Acquisition, or Reinvention?

Earlier this month, the long-awaited report on the future of the European financial architecture for development was released. Are the report’s proposals feasible? And crucially, do they offer a magic bullet to the intractable state of the European development finance system? I argue that although some of the proposals go some way towards offering a solution to the current problem, politics will undoubtedly trump logic, and we will—at least in the near future—be left with a stalemate.

European Commission President

The EU Alliance with Africa: Is It Old Wine in New Bottles?

The Alliance aims to deepen economic relations between the two continents by boosting private investment and trade. The Commission is billing the proposals as a “radical shift” in the EU’s approach to development cooperation in Africa that will take the relationship “to the next level.” Implicit in the sound bites is the EU’s ambition to rival the growing influence of China, whose vast programme of investment on the continent has left other donors scrambling to catch up. But is the Alliance actually anything new? And does it have the potential to reposition the EU as Africa’s leading development partner?

A Budget Fit for the Future? Breaking Down the EU’s External Actions Proposals for the Next MFF

After weeks of speculation, the European Commission has published the details of its proposed radical reconfiguration of EU external actions instruments for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). Digging into the details, while value-add is the mantra, what’s missing is a distinctive EU development offer. And while flexibility is key in an increasingly turbulent and uncertain world, it needs to be deployed using clear guidelines and balanced by accountability.

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