Through Policy Coherence for Development, the EU seeks to take account of development objectives in all of its policies that are likely to affect developing countries. It aims at minimising contradictions and building synergies between different EU policies to benefit developing countries and increase the effectiveness of development cooperation.
Policy Coherence Approach
Policy coherence was first integrated in EU fundamental law in 1992 and further reinforced in the Treaty of Lisbon (Art. 208 TFEU) making the EU a forerunner on the international stage in this area. The political commitment to Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) is embedded in the European Consensus on Development (2006) and was reaffirmed in the Agenda for Change (2011).
Over the years, the EU has gradually strengthened its work on PCD procedures, instruments and mechanisms. In 2005, it agreed to follow up on progress in PCD in twelve policy areas, namely trade, environment, climate change, security, agriculture, fisheries, social dimension of globalisation, employment and decent work, migration, research and innovation, information society, transport and energy (2005 Council Conclusions).
Aiming at a more operational and targeted approach to PCD, the EU decided in 2009 to cover the 12 policy areas mentioned above under five priority challenges for PCD. These include 1) Trade and Finance, 2) Addressing climate change, 3) Ensuring global food security, 4) Making migration work for development, and 5) Strengthening the links and synergies between security and development in the context of a global peace building agenda (2009 Council Conclusions).
The Commission monitors progress on PCD in the EU and its Member States in its biennial EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development. The most recent report was published in August 2015 (EN).
- 2015 EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development (EN)
- 2013 EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development (EN)
- 2011 EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development (EN)
- 2009 EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development (EN)
- 2007 EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development (EN)
Accompanying Council Conclusions:
- 2013 Council Conclusions on Policy Coherence for Development (EN)
- 2012 Council Conclusions on Policy Coherence for Development (EN)
- 2010 Council Conclusions on the Millennium Development Goals for the United Nations High-Level Plenary meeting in New York and beyond (EN)
- 2009 Council Conclusions on Policy Coherence for Development (EN)
The European Parliament nominated a Standing Rapporteur on PCD and has its own biennial reporting exercise since 2010:
Policy Coherence for Development, and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The international reflection on the form and content of a post-2015 framework has further highlighted the key importance of ‘beyond-aid’ issues, including the need for policy coherence. In this context, a workshop on "How to promote Policy Coherence and Policy Coherence for Development approaches in the Post-2015 Framework?" was organised on June 12, 2014. See agenda (EN)
Since 2013, three main Commission Communications and corresponding Council conclusions have underlined policy coherence for development as a key element for the post-2015 development agenda. Continuing international reflection on the form and content of a post-2015 framework has further highlighted the key importance of “beyond-aid” issues, including the need for enhancing policy coherence. The Council reaffirmed that the EU remains fully committed to ensuring PCD as a key contribution to the collective global effort towards sustainable development in the post-2015 context.
Network for Policy Coherence for Development
To further promote Policy Coherence for Development the European Commission meets twice a year with an informal group of PCD contact points from EU Member States to share information on PCD priorities and good practices at the EU level. The EU also promotes discussions about PCD at the international level, in dialogues with partner countries and engagements with the OECD in this area. It coordinates its own work on PCD through Unit A1 in EuropeAid.
The agreed UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development includes a target to "enhance policy coherence for sustainable development" (17.14). The Commission is working towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by the EU through its internal and external policies.