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CGD in the News

April 16, 2019

'Wise persons' to scrutinize EU development finance (Devex)

From the article:

BRUSSELS — European Union states have given nine economists six months to suggest changes to the bloc’s development financing structure, as the European Investment BankEuropean Commission, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development vie to assert their role in meeting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The mandate for the “High-Level Group of Wise Persons,” agreed last week by European governments, is to set out “the challenges to and opportunities for rationalising” European development finance, particularly the respective roles of EIB and EBRD.

The group will look at what best delivers “development impact,” “the respective strengths and weaknesses of the mandates and instruments of all actors involved,” and “the strategies put forward by the EIB, the EBRD and the Commission to further develop their mandates with a view to enhancing private sector development and sovereign lending, including, as appropriate, in least‑developed and fragile countries.”


In September last year, the commission declared that it wanted to play a leading role in steering investments from European development actors, including national players such as the Agence Française de Développement. That clashed with the vision of EIB President Werner Hoyer, who has said there are “many inefficiencies” in the European development landscape and is pursuing plans for an EIB subsidiary focused on projects outside the EU. Meanwhile, EBRD is now considering a move into sub-Saharan Africa, to be decided at its annual meeting next year.

“Collectively, the EU invests more in developing countries than the rest of the world combined,” said Mikaela Gavas from the Center for Global Development think tank. “But the impact of its investment is mired in a system that is fragmented and uncoordinated and thus unable to meet its full potential of taking a leading role in sustainable development.”

Gavas said the wise persons’ group could propose a division of labor between EIB and EBRD, but the “problem is that the objectives, modes of operating and the expertise of the two banks are very different. There cannot simply be an arbitrary division between lending operations in the public and private sectors, or Europe and Africa.”



February 13, 2019

SDG Knowledge Weekly: Policy Coherence in the EU and Beyond (IISD)

From the article:

This week’s brief summarizes several reports and analyses on policy coherence and interlinkages across the SDG framework in Europe, Asia and Latin America. We also review thought leadership on other forms of means of implementation in Europe, focusing on the EU’s financial architecture and external investment.


The Center for Global Development published a policy paper titled, ‘The EU’s Financial Architecture for External Investment: Progress, Challenges, and Options.’ The authors describe the evolution of the European financial architecture, including blending strategies, guarantees, the External Investment Plan (EIP) launched in 2017, and a proposed investment framework. Noting that the EIP aims to increase the scale, impact and coherence of EU-supported external investment, the paper documents lessons learned during its first year of implementation. The authors call for “greater policy steer to investors;” increasing competition among institutions for investment support; setting clear guidance and fee structures; and standardizing contractual terms, among other recommendations.


January 16, 2019

Aid NGOs warn of disruption as Brexit deal collapses (Devex)

From the article:

Aid experts and NGOs have warned of potential disruption to their work as U.K. lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday night and launched a vote of no confidence in the government.


However, Mikaela Gavas, visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development Europe, told Devex she thinks the U.K. will continue paying its development dues to the EU even in a no-deal scenario.

“The U.K. has said it’s committed to being a ‘good development partner’ and so essentially that means whatever the outcome [of Brexit negotiations] they will honor their commitments to the EDF and the EU budgets,” she said.

“It makes sense for the U.K. to do that because … if they don’t … it will mean less money going to developing countries, a sudden halt in the programs ... For the larger development endeavour, it will have pretty dire consequences.”