The European Commission has released its 2019 report into policy coherence for international development, charting its contribution to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As the EU works to boost the potential positive effects of its policies on developing nations, the new report investigates the progress made by Member States on policy coherence. In order to align with prevailing political frameworks, the report is structured around the 2030 Agenda’s “five Ps” – people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.
The concept of policy coherence aims to curtail the negative impact on developing countries of EU and Member State policies by building synergy between policies. According to Article 208 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU: “The Union shall take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries.”
The EU’s 2019 report affirms the bloc’s role as a global leader in policy coherence and acknowledges the growing challenges of aligning national development priorities between Member States as governments strive to address pressing international matters, such as climate change and national security issues; while considering their greater impact on the needs of developing countries. The 2016 Action Plan Against Wildlife Trafficking, for example, had to be implemented with consideration of issues of poverty and livelihood; while maritime regulations on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and marine plastic pollution needed to take into account the effects on coastal communities.
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 EU’s commitment to policy coherence for development is legally enshrined in the European Consensus on Development, last updated in 2017. This is the fifth comprehensive report on the EU’s progress on policy coherence since 2007.