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International organisations

United Nations

  • contributing to UN conferences and other high-level events.
  • contributing to UN forums (UN General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC functional commissions, executive boards of UN Funds and programmes)
  • following up major UN conferences (millennium summit, financing for development, sustainable development, financial crisis, trade and development)
  • coordinating action under strategic partnership agreements with selected UN agencies, programmes and funds.

 Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD)and its Development Assistance Committee (DAC)

  • permanent dialogue and coordination with relevant OECD bodies
  • discussing development issues with other OECD donor countries
  • preparing for and following up on high/senior-level DAC meetings
  • coordinating with OECD Development Centre and other OECD-linked development bodies
  • promoting implementation of the Paris declaration on aid effectivenessof 2005
  • improving dialogue between the OECD and non-member governments, private and non-governmental bodies in the Global Forum for Development (GFD)
  • contributing to the DAC "inreach" and outreach strategy – non-DAC donors
  • taking part in DAC peer reviews

International financing institutions (IFIs)

( World Bank, International Monetary FundAfrican Development Bankand other regional development banks)

  • ensuring EU voice in discussions on aid effectiveness, donor coordination and innovative development financing.
  • organising annual visit of World Bank's European executive directorsto the European institutions in Brussels
  • coordinating spring and annual meetings of the joint World Bank/IMF development committeeand discussing trade and global environmental issues, as well as development
  • coordinating and merging the ‘Limelette process’ and the 'Tunis process'.
  • following up on the African economic outlook(AEO): ensuring the financial contribution for the AEO to the AfDB and help choosing the main content in the AEO as well as disseminating the documents.


The Commission is a G8 member, represented at meetings by its president. On development, the Commission takes part in talks between negotiators representing G8 leaders (sherpas), and between “sous-sherpa” negotiators dealing with foreign and financial affairs. Work consists of:


  • drafting summit statements for endorsement by leaders at the summit
  • assessing action taken on previous G8 commitments
  • providing information on EU activities, initiatives and strategies
  • more concretely, following up implementation of the Gleneagles action plan of 2005

Aiming for more cooperation on millennium development commitments, poverty eradication, aid effectiveness, tools, resources and policy approaches, debt sustainability and coherence in aid policy.


The Commission is a G-20 member. Following the Toronto G-20 Summit (June 2010), a development working group, reporting directly to Sherpas, was established. In this context, the Commission is actively participating at both the working level (G-20 Developing Working Group) as well as at Sherpas' level, with the aim to promote development oriented goals. Work consists of:

  • drafting summit statements for endorsement by leaders at the summit
  • providing information on EU activities, initiatives and strategies
  • raising awareness about the need to monitor previous G-20 commitments of relevance to development.

Other international groupings

The Commission also works with groups of countries united by linguistic or historical ties:

  • Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie(OIF – French-speaking countries).

    The 2006 OIF-European Commission agreement identifies areas suitable for cooperation, including democracy, human rights, conflict prevention, crisis management, cultural and linguistic diversity, education, economic and social development and information technology
  • Commonwealth(English-speaking countries) – cooperation focuses on government and democracy building in Africa
  • Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (CPLP – Portuguese language community – African PALOPcountries (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe) plus Timor-Leste.

    In 2007, agreements for more joint action were signed separately with both the CPLP and with PALOP & Timor-Leste.

More on EU membership of international organisations

EU treaties office

Last update: 31/07/2012 | Top