Roundtable at DG Development, 17 January

The first in a series of roundtables took place on Thursday 17 January at the European Commission’s Directorate-General Development (DG DEV). Around 15 officials attended, including Director-General Stefano Manservisi and Deputy Director-General Bernard Petit. The participants’ numerous and wide-ranging comments, many of which touched on challenges identified in the Discussion Note, reflected a high level of interest on the part of DG DEV to remain involved in WECA and its outcomes.

During the roundtable, it was pointed out that the sheer scale of today’s poverty challenges requires coordinated action. The EU can improve its impact, its credibility and its influence in the international scene by acting increasingly as one. The federating role of the EC is of crucial importance in this process, but it is often ignored or downplayed. Participants stressed that the EC should therefore not solely be seen and assessed as the EU’s ’28th donor’ (i.e. the equivalent of a Member State).

The EC faces a substantial challenge to communicate its achievements to the many different stakeholders in its development cooperation. Some participants felt that the EC’s donor performance is scrutinised much more closely than that of others. Yet at the same time, the different interests of its numerous stakeholders may prevent the EC from being seen as a top performer compared to other donors. This is complicated further by the fact that the concept of poverty, as well as views on the reasons and means to eradicate it, are rapidly changing.

Roundtable report – .doc | .pdf
List of participants – .doc | .pdf
Short note (from DG DEV) on EC Budget Support – .doc | .pdf