The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) welcomes the recently adopted EU Consensus on Development’s acknowledgment of effective development cooperation principles of transparency, mutual accountability, focus on results, and country ownership. We also acknowledge the importance it gave to poverty elimination, respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law including human rights, political dialogue and gender equality. CPDE also recognises EU’s commitment to mobilise 0.7% of Gross National Income as Official Development Assistance (ODA). The Consensus’ policy directions; however, appear to run contrary to the achievement of UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030), reducing all these to mere rhetoric.
It is commendable that in particular development challenges, EU recognizes the need for integrated, holistic and rights-based approaches but it does not do so on the issues of migration and conflicts in fragile states. By stating that “In the context of development cooperation, the EU and its Member States can also engage with security actors to build their capacity for ensuring sustainable development objectives, in particular the achievement of peaceful and inclusive societies”1, it backtracks to EU Consensus in 2005 of a security-based solution ranging from military education to counter-terror activities.
Further, the Consensus’ statement that EU members must “contribute to Security Sector Reform” that will lead to the “establishment of effective democratic control and accountability, improvements to human security, sustainable development and poverty eradication” 2 invites the use of ODA to solve its internal security and migration concerns. CPDE believes that development policy and cooperation should be directed at rectifying the underlying causes of migration. The security approach on migration, often formulated as “safe, orderly, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people”3 does not provide a sustainable solution and must be transformed to a security-based and remittance-driven, to one based on human and labor rights. Further, the EU should also take into account the impacts of their neoliberal policies in developingcountries that contribute to social tensions and migration, both regular and irregular4.