2019 EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development

2019 EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development


The 2019 EU report on Policy Coherence for Development confirms its key contribution to the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The report takes stock of progress by EU institutions and Member States on Policy Coherence for Development over the period 2015-2018, within the changing global development context following the adoption of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Policy Coherence for Development constitutes a key pillar of the European Union’s efforts to enhance the positive impact of its policies on developing countries, promoting synergies between policies and thereby increasing the effectiveness of its development cooperation.

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said: "Policy Coherence for Development becomes more important than ever in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Formulating sound policies which take into account from the outset the impacts on developing countries is central to the achievement of the new global goals."

The new European Consensus on Development recognises Policy Coherence for Development as a key tool to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. To ensure better alignment with the new political framework, this report is structured around the five Ps of the 2030 Agenda (People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, Partnership).

The report details the tools and mechanisms applied at EU and Member States’ levels to ensure Policy Coherence for Development. It confirms the EU’s leadership role on Policy Coherence for Development, but also notes that it is becoming increasingly challenging for governments to align their national priorities with development cooperation, at a time of unprecedented global challenges, such as climate change and security considerations, with the multilateral system continuously put to the test.

The report highlights progress made and lessons learnt in a number of priority areas. For instance, the EU adopted in 2016 the Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, taking into consideration the needs of developing countries throughout the policy-making process, with a specific focus to addressing root causes such as poverty and insecurity. In the field of ocean governance, the EU Regulation on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing, and the European Strategy on Plastics are important measures which should affect positively a number of coastal communities in developing countries, whose livelihoods depend directly on the sea. In other areas with clear challenges for Policy Coherence for Development, such as in the field of migration, the Commission adopted a number of mitigation measures. The report is enriched with concrete examples reported by Member States.

This report is closely linked to the Reflection Paper "Towards a sustainable Europe by 2030". This reflects the central role of Policy Coherence for Development for the overall EU efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda, requiring systematic inputs and monitoring from a broad range of EU policies, and going far beyond the field of development cooperation.

Besides being a stocktaking report this document also serves as an awareness-raising tool. It comes at an important juncture when the EU is discussing the new Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027, the budget that can deliver concretely on the Sustainable Development Goals prior to the 2030 deadline.



Policy Coherence for Development seeks to minimise the negative impact of relevant EU policies on development objectives in developing countries and to increase synergies between policies. The concept is embedded in the European Treaties: Article 208 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU reads: "The Union shall take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries".

This legal commitment to promote Policy Coherence for Development was reaffirmed at the highest political level by the EU institutions and the EU Member States as recently as June 2017 in the new European Consensus on Development. Since 2007, the Commission has issued five reports on Policy Coherence for Development, the last one dates back to August 2015[1].

The interlinkages of the SDGs and their universality highlight even more than ever the importance of mutually supportive policies that work in synergy and are coherent. Policy Coherence for Development was thus integrated in the overall Commission work on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its focus was broadened beyond the traditional five strategic challenges (trade and finance, climate change, food security, migration and security) to reflect the new dynamics of the SDGs and the requirements of the new European Consensus on Development. New priority areas for Policy Coherence for Development were identified by the Commission services based on the Commission Work Programme 2018-2019.

The Commission has integrated PCD monitoring and reporting in the overall EU follow-up work on the Sustainable Development Goals, and hence this report is closely linked to the Reflection Paper "Towards a sustainable Europe by 2030" (COM(2019) 22), released today.


More information:

Policy Coherence for Development

Press release - Sustainability: Commission presents a reflection paper on a more sustainable Europe by 2030

Reflection paper: Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030

Factsheet: Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030



[1] SWD (2015) 159 final, https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/policy-coherence-for-development-2015-eu-report_en.pdf