EU and Development cooperation: statements by Louis Michel, Josep Borrell Fontelles and Milenko Ziherl, extracts from the Joint Committee Meeting on the EU and Development Cooperation
End production: 26/06/2008 First transmission: 26/06/2008
A joint Committee meeting with national Parliaments was held on 26 June 2008 in the hemicycle co-organised with the National Assembly of Slovenia. The debate focussed on the "European Union and Development Cooperation" and the meeting was a follow-up to the first joint meeting with National Parliaments on development matters, hosted by the Committee on Development in October 2006. The opening speech was delivered by Louis Michel, Member of the EC in charge of Development and Humanitarian Aid. Statements were made by Josep Borrell Fontelles, Member of the EP, Chair of the Committee on Development, and by Milenko Ziherl, Member of the Slovenian National Assembly.
The European Union is the key player as regards international development aid. Its development cooperation objectives are poverty reduction, sustainable economic and social development, integration into the world economy, the consolidation of democracy and of the rule of law, and respect for human rights. The foundations for these objectives are laid down in the Treaty establishing the European Community. The Union's development policy has developed gradually: it concerned at the outset only the overseas countries and territories associated with the Union and has now been extended to include all developing countries. These policies are one of the pillars of the Union's external relations, affording as it does a solution tailored to the needs of developing countries. The European Union's action in the development cooperation field is based on the principles of effectiveness of aid, coordination between Member States and international players, and consistency of European policies with development objectives. The "European Consensus on Development" defines the general framework for the action of the Union and Member States. In addition, the Union is particularly committed to honouring the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG), for which the Union has put in place various instruments that will also help reinforce the impact of its action.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
|| Exterior view of the European Parliament in Brussels
|| Arrival of Louis Michel, Member of the EC in charge of Development and Humanitarian Aid, and Josep Borrell Fontelles, Member of the EP, Chair of the Committee on Development (2 shots)
|| Louis Michel (in ENGLISH) saying that first of all this meeting is very important because it was a meeting of representatives of the national Parliaments, the European national Parliaments; and it was very important to explain to them that the EC is expecting a lot from their countries, because their countries, their States have promised, the heads of States and governments have promised in 2005 to increase the public amount of finances to help the poor in the world; there is a decrease in 2008 so he is expecting them to help the EC convince their governments to increase their help; this is very important;
saying that he has also explained them that it was really important to channel the money to the poor countries, when it is possible, through what they call budget support; that means giving money to the States, to the poor States, in order to allow them to give services, education, health care, to finance also salaries for teachers and so on; otherwise it is not possible; in a certain sense he tried to explain them that the main issue for development is increasing the consolidating of the States;
saying that there was a good dialogue and they understood his message
|| Josep Borrell Fontelles (in FRENCH) saying that even if they do a lot, it might not be enough; they are still far away from the millennium objectives, the famous 0,7% development aid; there are new conditions, the food crisis, the explosion of the oil prices; they must fulfil their commitments
|| Josep Borrell Fontelles (in FRENCH) saying that they must regularly explain their views to each other; these views are sometimes very different on the aid budget, on the agreements of economic partnerships; the national point of view, especially as there are 27 Member States, is sometimes very different from the point of view of the Community; there are new Members, Members for whom development aid in Africa or Asia is something totally new; because those continents were not in their neighbourhood; so they must encourage the dialog
|| Milenko Ziherl, Member of the Slovenian National Assembly, (in ENGLISH) saying that the situation is very serious; all undeveloped countries are now hit with a new challenge, this is climate change and the need to lower poverty, to halve it; this is very strong and he hopes that after this conference and similar ones they will get a new basement to make their help more efficient and that his country will take its part in it to help the undeveloped countries to fight misery
|| Cutaways (8 shots)