The ‘EU Change-makers’ group, consisting of senior policy-makers, researchers and civil-society representatives from European Union (EU) Member States, met at ODI to address the future challenges of EU development cooperation – and especially to help shape the agenda prior to the European Parliament elections in 2014, and the installation of a new European Commission later in the same year.
The discussion focused on where, how and on what the EU could invest its resources and focus cooperation efforts, how it could make the transition from ‘old aid’ to ‘new development’ as well as who it could collaborate with to achieve its goals. The ringing of the changes in 2014, will be important staging posts in delivering new development cooperation in the second half of the decade.
The EU Change-makers agreed:
· Post-2015, the development agenda will change, with poverty reduction still a priority, but accompanied by a greater emphasis on tackling global problems.
· EU development cooperation will need to be transformed to remain relevant.
· Relevance in the future will require high-level skills in brokering global deals, better use of financial instruments, improved partnerships, and effective joining up across policy domains.
· EU Member States have work to do in fixing the role of EU institutions: a classic challenge of collective action.
· The EU Change-makers and the European Think-Tanks Group can help to construct EU-wide consensus.