2352nd Council meeting
- DEVELOPMENT -
Brussels, 31 May 2001
Ms Maj-Inger KLINGVALL,Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for International Development Cooperation, Migration and Immigration
IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF EC DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE: IMPLEMENTING THE EC DEVELOPMENT POLICY *
-Improving the effectiveness of EC development assistance - Presidency Conclusions *
-Programme of action : the Community's development policy *
-Report of the Court of Auditors on external aid - Council Conclusions *
-The follow-up of EC development policy - Council Conclusions *
-Transport and sustainable development - Council Resolution *
-Strategy for the integration of environmental considerations into development policy to promote sustainable development - Council Conclusions *
-Preparation for the World Summit on sustainable development (Johannesburg 2002) - Procedural Council Conclusions *
-Building an effective partnership with the United Nations in the fields of development and humanitarian affairs - Council Conclusions *
-Election assistance and observation - Council Conclusions *
CONFLICT PREVENTION AND DEVELOPMENT*
-Conflict prevention and development - Presidency Conclusions *
-Conflict prevention - Council Procedural conclusions *
-Linking relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD) - Council Conclusions *
-Global health fund - Joint Declaration *
-Actions against anti-personnel landmines - Council Common Position *
ANY OTHER BUSINESS*
-Ratification of the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement *
-Information and Communication Technology (ICT) *
ITEMS APPROVED WITHOUT DEBATE*
Fourth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to combat desertification (COP.4)*
Extention of the International Cocoa Agreement, 1993*
Energy Star Programme*
Polyester textured filament yarn (Indonesia, Thailand)*
For further information call 02 285 87 04 - 02 285 63 49
The Governments of the Member States and the European Commission were represented as follows:
Mr Eddy BOUTMANS
State Secretary for Development Cooperation, attached to the Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mrs Anita Bay BUNDEGAARD
Minister for Development Cooperation
Mr M. HOFMANN
Director General at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Mr Dimitrios RALLIS
Deputy Permanent Representative
Mr Miguel Ángel CORTÉS MARTÍN
State Secretary for International Cooperation and Latin America
Mr Charles JOSSELIN
Minister attached to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, with responsibility for Cooperation and the French-speaking World
Ms Liz O'DONNELL
Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs ,with special responsibility for Overseas Development Assistance and Human Rights
Mr Rino SERRI
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Mr Charles GOERENS
Minister for Cooperation, Humanitarian Intervention and Defence, Minister for the Environment
Ms Eveline HERFKENS
Minister for Development Cooperation
Mr. Georg LENNKH
Director General for Development at the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Mr Vasco VALENTE
Mrs Satu HASSI
Minister for the Environment
Ms Maj-Inger KLINGVAL
Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for International Development Cooperation, Migration and Immigration
Ms Gun-Britt ANDERSSON
State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with responsibility for Development Aid and Migration Policy
Sir Nigel SHEINWALD
* * *
Mr Poul NIELSON
IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF EC DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE: IMPLEMENTING THE EC DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Improving the effectiveness of EC development assistance - Presidency Conclusions
"Following the debate on improving the effectiveness of EC development assistance, the Presidency concluded that the Council had noted that:
The EU has a major role to play in reaching the international development targets and
expectations are high. We are now moving in the right direction in order to make a substantial contribution.
- We have a good foundation to stand on, both through the joint Council and Commission development policy statement and through the reforms. We welcome the steps taken by the Commission and the progress made.
- Some things however remain to be done: we need to focus on results, where we must demonstrate impact on poverty reduction. Improved focus on result-orientation, always bearing in mind the international development targets, is an absolute necessity. The gap between commitments and disbursements has to decrease.
- Coherent action is important in order to achieve development targets.
- Presence in the field must be pursued with vigour, with appropriate human resource capacity and decision-making power.
- Further collaboration and co-ordination within the EU and with other donors is required, based on partnership and national plans such as Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP), and through sector programmes.
- Allocation of resources should give priority to poverty reduction.
- Visibility is best achieved by demonstrating good results. We need to enhance the Union's credibility, which to a great extent is an issue of quality and effectiveness.
- The indicators in the Annual Report should:
assess impact of EC assistance in terms of contribution to international development targets, and the overall objective of poverty reduction,
- indicate where improvements have been made in quality and effectiveness of EC development assistance, including integration of horizontal issues and coherence aspects,
- under a result-based approach, show the narrowing of the gap between commitment and disbursement, and
- report on progress in promoting poverty reduction in resource allocation."
Programme of action : the Community's development policy
The Commission presented an updated programme of action to the Council, providing information on actions relating to each main area or theme addressed in the framework of EC Development policy and setting out the results expected and an indicative timetable. This document, as set out in the conclusions on the follow-up of development policy, will be reviewed and amended regularly by the Commission's services and it is intended to become a reference document for annual reviews of progress made and an information and management tool giving a comprehensive overview of the Commission's actions in the area of development.
Report of the Court of Auditors on external aid - Council Conclusions
1. welcomes the Court of Auditor's report focusing on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Commission's systems and procedures for country programming, project preparation and appraisal, and aid management by delegations,
2. notes and agrees with the conclusions and recommendations of the report, including that progress has been made, but there is still scope for improvement and a need to focus on the quality of aid,
3. notes that none of the issues highlighted in the report is new, and refers to its conclusions of May 1999 on the global evaluation of EC aid,
4. welcomes the steps taken or to be taken by the Commission in response - in particular the reform of the management of external assistance. These steps include i.a.:
- the creation of EuropeAid Co-operation Office, in order to address problems due to the splitting of the project cycle;
- setting up an interservice Quality Support Group for the purpose of improving the quality of country strategies;
- harmonisation of the format and content of strategy documents in the different regions as well as greater involvement of partner countries, Member States and other donors in the country strategy process;
- a major deconcentration of responsibilities and resources to the delegations, inter alia in order to overcome the over-centralisation of decision-making,
5. calls on the Commission to pursue the reforms vigorously, but agrees with the Court of Auditors that this will only improve the delivery of aid if accompanied by changes in the Commission’s management culture towards greater flexibility and a result-oriented approach,
6. refers to the Council conclusions of November 2000 on the standard framework on country strategy papers and of January 2001 on guidelines for strengthening operational co-ordination between the Community and the Member States in the field of external assistance as relevant to addressing the problems identified by the Court of Auditors, and emphasises the need to reinforce planning, programming and consultation with partner countries and Member States as well as with other donors,
7. invites the Commission,
- to define further the allocation of responsibilities between headquarters and delegations;
- to ensure the appropriate competence is in place for each post at headquarters and in the field;
- to propose measures for how to ensure closer collaboration between ECHO and delegations in order to improve the linkage between relief, rehabilitation and development;
- to work, together with the budgetary authority, towards a reduced number and differentiation of budget lines;
- to remedy weaknesses analysed by the Court in the description of responsibilities, counterpart contributions, objectives and timing of the financial proposals and agreements;
- to reinforce planning and systematic monitoring throughout the programming cycle, through in particular clarifying objectives, instruments and performance indicators;
- to further clarify the routines for lesson-learning and for operationalising and implementing policies;
- to organise its work, in the context of multi-annual programming, so as to also balance the workload of the committees throughout the year;
8. calls on the Commission to concentrate in particular on operationalising and implementing the joint declaration on the European Community's development policy and to translate the recommendations made by the Court of Auditors into concrete actions and to consider these recommendations in the Programme of Action for implementation of the EC Development Policy,
9. will follow up the progress made by the Commission in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of EC development cooperation and invites the Commission, in its annual report on development cooperation, to inform the Council and the European Parliament of measures taken."
The follow-up of EC development policy - Council Conclusions
The Council conclusions of May 1999 on the results of the evaluation of the European Community's development instruments and programmes followed by the Council resolution on the assessment and future of Community humanitarian activities of May 2000 were a starting point for efforts to improve the effectiveness of EC Development Assistance. In 2000 the Commission initiated a major reform process, part of which is aiming at enhanced effectiveness of EU external action. Council agreed conclusions on improving the effectiveness of the EU’s external action including holding an orientation debate on the effectiveness of EU external action at the beginning of each year, starting in 2001.
The Council welcomes the Action Programme for the EC’s Development Policy of May 2001.
The Council finds that progress is being made. It refers to
the joint statement on EC Development Policy,
its conclusions on the follow-up to the conclusions of 21 May 1999 on the evaluation of the European Community’s development instruments and programmes,
its conclusions on a framework for Country Strategy Papers,
its conclusions on the special Report by the Court of Auditors on the management of the Commission’s external aid programmes.
Priorities for the Future
The Council considers that improving the quality and efficiency of EC development assistance is its core priority for future action in this area, and one to which all aspects of this work should contribute. The Council will continue to look at overall effectiveness and impact, taking stock of progress made and looking forward to the coming year.
The Council considers that the Action Programme and the Annual Development Report, which were both called for in the Council conclusions of May 1999 and which follow from the EC’s Development policy statement, are vital management instruments for follow-up and planning, and therefore calls on the Commission to present:
1. an Annual Report on Community Development Policy by September each year starting in 2001 ( 1). This report containing the latest available data, should:
- contain all aspects covered by the policy statement, i.e. all developing countries and official development assistance
- inform on the results and achievements of Community development policy and assistance
- contain reporting obligations and give a summary of progress in meeting the overall objective of reducing poverty
- inform on progress made in the concentration of assistance into the six priority fields
- inform on progress made concerning the mainstreaming of horizontal aspects such as gender, human rights, the environmental dimension and conflict prevention
- cover impact measured against result indicators, including a synthesis of project score card and evaluation results; co-ordination and complementarity; coherence; and general implementation issues;
- contain qualitative assessments, including weaknesses identified and proposals to correct them as well as result oriented operational conclusions;
- give a perspective on the year to come
- in an annex give details on commitment and disbursement data.
The Council calls on the Commission to present proposals on results indicators to be agreed at the November Council for inclusion in the 2002 Annual report.
The Annual Report should serve as a basis for Council Conclusions in November each year and thus contribute to the orientation debate at the beginning of the following year.
2. a Programme of Action on EC Development Policy to be presented to Council by April each year. This programme of action should:
- be forward-looking;
- deal with the operationalisation of the EC development policy;
- cover all actions required to translate the Community's development policy into reality in all developing countries, including follow-up from the 1999 evaluation conclusions;
- clearly inform on the intended outcome of each action, the target date for completion, and report on progress to date;
- be updated taking into account Council decisions.
The Council will use the programme of Action each year for its follow-up on EC Development Policy."
Transport and sustainable development - Council Resolution
1.1. The joint Council and Commission declaration on EC development policy, adopted on 10th November 2000, stated that the principal aim of the Community's development policy is to reduce poverty with a view to its eventual eradication. The declaration also stated that Community action should be concentrated on six areas, identified on the basis of the added value of Community action and of their contribution to poverty reduction. One of these six areas was cooperation in the transport sector.
1.2 The Council considers that poverty results from a number of economic, social and political causes. Effective transport systems in urban and rural areas are essential in facilitating poverty reduction through both economic and social development and access to basic social services. This involves decentralisation of social and economic services and the promotion of different kinds of public transport which are affordable for the poor.
1.3 Effective transport services and the free flow of transit traffic, facilitates trade and are essential to achieve progress in the integration of developing countries into the world economy and to strengthen regional co-operation, which are important aspects of the Community’s development policy.
1.4 Increased recourse to sectoral support, where the conditions so allow and where subsequent monitoring may be introduced, is likely to lead to more efficient management and a better allocation of resources. Applying the sectoral approach should also ensure better coherence, co-ordination and complementarity between Community and Member States’ policy approaches and financial support to transport.
1.5 The Council stresses that action to promote sustainable transport must take account of environmental concerns, gender issues, as well as health and other social aspects.
1.6 The Council, therefore, welcomes the Commission Communication on "Promoting Sustainable Transport in Development Cooperation" which presents an overall framework enabling transport to contribute effectively to development. The framework outlines the principles and strategy of a sectoral approach for supporting the role of transport in country and regional development strategies.
II. PRINCIPLES OF A SECTORAL APPROACH
2.1. The Council emphasises that the principal aim of a transport sector approach should be to reduce poverty. Sector approaches should be coherent with national plans for reducing poverty, be linked to the budget process and agreed macro-economic policies of partner countries, and have a clear process of prioritisation with a sound balance between maintenance and investment, emphasising the maintenance of existing infrastructure. It should be based on the principles that transport systems meet stakeholders needs (including the different needs of women and men), are safe, affordable, efficient, and seek to minimise the negative impact on the environment. The transport sector approach is valid for all transport modes and systems – roads, railways, ports and airports and the linkage between them – as well as the services facilitating movement of goods and people.
2.2. The Council recognises the primary role of the partner countries in co-ordinating donor inputs and bringing together the public and private sectors and civil society for developing and implementing sound transport policies, strategies and activities.
2.3. The Council calls on the Community to work together with Member States, other donors and international partners to identify their comparative advantages in the transport sector, mobilise the necessary expertise and co-ordinate their work in support of national and regional transport sector programmes. In this regard the Council underlines the importance of the Council conclusions of November 2000 on a standard framework for country strategy papers and the Council conclusions of January 2001 on strengthening operational co-ordination:
III. PRIORITIES FOR ACTION
3.1. The Community and the Member States share with the developing countries a co-responsibility for reaching a common goal of sustainable transport. Achieving this common goal demands political commitment to reform and stakeholder ownership of affordable transport strategies. These strategies must contribute to poverty eradication andbe economically, financially and institutionally sustainable, as well as environmentally sound, safe and socially aware.
3.2. To ensure economic sustainability, the Council underlines the importance of a prioritisation of budgetary resources based on sound economic analysis, and a rational pricing of services that promotes fair competition.
3.3. For achieving financial sustainability, the Council recommends that the Community and Member states should promote transport systems and services which operate according to sound commercial practices. The Council recognises that sustainability and efficiency in the provision of transport infrastructure and services may require cost-recovery, commercialisation and, where viable, privatisation, while providing affordable services for the lower paid and the poor. The Council, therefore, emphasises the importance of encouraging partner governments to establish regulatory frameworks and to grant autonomy to operators of road transport, railways, ports and airports. Furthermore, managing roads at the appropriate level of partner government should be promoted. Where possible, the privatisation of construction and maintenance, as well as maintenance of roads by local communities should be encouraged.
3.4. Institutional sustainability depends on adapting the role of the public sector towards planning, regulation and monitoring. Increasing efficiency demands the forging of partnerships with civil society and the private sector and involving them in management and operations. This entails both training and education as well as strengthening the capacity of transport operators, authorities and agencies, inter alia by improving legal and regulatory frameworks and monitoring capacity.
3.5. To ensure environmental sustainability, the Council stresses the importance of coherence between transport strategies and national strategies and plans for sustainable development. Transport strategies and programmes, particularly where they involve regulation of transport operations or construction of major new infrastructure, must take full account of environmental aspects and include measures to minimise environmental impact at local and global (e.g. climate change) levels.
3.6. The Council emphasises the health and social dimension of transport and stresses that transport must be safe and provide mobility, equitable services and opportunities for men and women, particularly the poor. It recommends campaigns to increase public awareness of transport safety as well as the effective enforcement of safety rules. Furthermore, it recommends that the Community and Member States encourage partner countries to integrate awareness and action against HIV/AIDS in all their transport sector plans.
3.7. The Council emphasises the need to specifically promote the mobility of the poorest segments of the population, and to improve the frequency and affordability of public transport services. It stresses that action at a local level based on a participatory approach should be encouraged.
3.8. The Council recognises the importance of intermediate and non-motorised transport, which are a major mode of mobility for low-income, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. These modes also keep vehicle emissions low. It highlights the importance of measures to increase the attractiveness, use and affordability of non-motorised transport.
3.9 The Community and the Member States should support the formulation or updating of sustainable transport policies in developing countries, as well as the elaboration and implementation of national and regional transport sector programmes with a priority accorded to sustainable maintenance and efficient utilisation of existing transport infrastructure and services. They should support activities aimed at co-operation between regional organisations, as well as increasing the reliability and safety of road, rail, maritime and air transport.
3.10 The Council agrees that financing should be provided in the framework of sectoral programmes, which will facilitate improved monitoring, simplify sector management and lead to a more transparent as well as better allocation of resources.
4.1. The Council calls on the Commission to follow up the implementation of this resolution by improving the co-ordination of Community policies affecting the transport sector, by regular monitoring (based on appropriate benchmarks and indicators), by including the transport sector support in its programme of evaluations, and by reporting on results and impact in its Annual Report."
Strategy for the integration of environmental considerations into development policy to promote sustainable development - Council Conclusions
1.1 This strategy is a response to the invitation by the Cardiff and Vienna European Councils in which the Council was requested to submit strategies on the integration of environment into nine different sectors to promote sustainable development. One of the sectors chosen was development co-operation. In this regard the Council recalls its report to the Helsinki European Council which asked the Council "Development" to submit a comprehensive strategy to be forwarded to the Göteborg European Council in June 2001.
1.2 The Council underlines the importance of the Rio Summit in 1992 where developing and developed countries adopted Agenda 21, as well as the five year follow-up to Rio, that called for all countries to have National Strategies for Sustainable Development (NSSD) in place by 2002. The Council recognises the links and synergies between the EU preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 and the strategy to integrate environmental considerations into EC development co-operation. It also emphasises the importance of early ratification of and subsequent compliance with the 1997 Kyoto protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
1.3 Development is sustainable when it is economically efficient, politically democratic and pluralistic, socially equitable and environmentally sound. The Council underlines the importance of integrating environmental considerations into the definition and implementation of all Community policies and activities on economic and development co-operation, in accordance with the EC Treaty (in particular Articles 2, 3, 6, 177 and 178).
1.4 The Council, therefore, warmly welcomes the Commission working paper "Integrating the environment into EC economic and development co-operation". The Council particularly welcomes the Operational Framework and the timetable for the implementation of concrete activities.
2.1 The principal aim of EC development policy is to reduce poverty with a view to its eventual eradication.( 2) This objective entails support for economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development, promotion of the integration of the developing countries into the world economy and a determination to combat inequity. Concern for the environment should be mainstreamed into all EC development co-operation efforts and in particular into the six priority themes identified in the EC Development Policy Statement.
2.2 EC development co-operation should support partner countries to effectively reverse the current trends in the loss of environmental resources. This would include sound management of natural resources improving the health and livelihood of poor people and reducing their vulnerability.
2.3 In pursuing these objectives, account should be taken of the agreed principles of complementarity, coherence and co-ordination within the Community and with other donors.
3. PRIORITY ACTIONS
3.1 The Community should give priority to the following actions in its support for the effective integration of environmental concerns into the partner countries' own responses to local, national, regional and global priority issues.
3.2 Enhanced policy dialogue with partner countries on environmental issues and particularly on the complex and context-specific linkages between poverty and the environment should contribute to more effective policies aimed at fostering sustainable development. This dialogue should involve government agencies, civil society (including the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)) and directly affected stakeholders, in particular women, children and indigenous peoples. The policy dialogue should also include relevant international partners.
3.3 Special emphasis should be given to strengthening the capacities of partner countries' institutions in order to participate in multilateral fora dealing with the environment and to implement multilateral agreements (MEAs), such as the United Nations conventions on Climate Change (FCCC), on Biodiversity (CBD) and to Combat Desertification (CCD) in the context of pursuing sustainable development.
3.4 The Council emphasises the need for consistency and agrees that both the Commission and the Council have a responsibility to avoid potentially adverse economic, social and environmental impacts on developing countries of certain other Community policies, e.g. agriculture, fisheries, energy, transport, internal market or trade.
3.5 In the context of global sustainable development, the Council stresses the importance of the Community and Member States meeting their obligations and international commitments, taking into account the objectives approved in the context of the United Nations and other international organisations concerned, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
3.6 Environmental considerations should be systematically incorporated into the preparation of all strategic plans and programmes of EC development co-operation, in particular Country Strategy Papers as well as indicative programmes, structural adjustment programmes and sector-wide reform and support programmes. In-depth policy analyses and strategic environmental assessments should be used to this end.
3.7 EC development co-operation strategies and programmes should be based on and support partner countries' priorities and plans such as poverty reduction strategies, national development strategies and environmental action plans, when available.
3.8 To enable effective processes for sustainable development it is crucial that national strategies integrate long-term issues of sustainability. The EU has an important role to play in supporting such integration. In this respect the OECD/DAC guidelines "Strategies for Sustainable Development: Practical Guidance for Development Co-operation" provide useful recommendations.
3.9 Partner countries' integration efforts should be increasingly supported by strengthening the environmental awareness and management capacities of governments and civil society including the private sector, NGOs and local communities.
3.10 The Council endorses the Operational Framework outlined in the Commission’s working document on the integration of the environment into EC economic and development policies and encourages its implementation. The Council urges the Commission fully to include these activities in its Programme of Action on EC development co-operation.
3.11 The environmental procedures of EC development co-operation should be more effectively streamlined and institutionalised and should include mechanisms for effective feed-back of results and experience. The draft revised EC environmental manual will be an important instrument to this effect and should be finalised and applied by 2003. It should be compatible with other EC co-operation guidelines.
3.12 The environmental management system of EC economic and development co-operation should be developed following the principles of internationally acknowledged standards, such as EMAS( 3) and ISO 14000( 4). Exchange of information and experience on the application of environmental management systems in development co-operation should be further developed between the Commission and the Member States.
3.13 In addition, procedures for effective stakeholder participation should be developed and environmental information made more easily accessible to the public. Public access to environmental screening results and the summaries of Strategic Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Assessments is particularly important.
Mainstreaming environmental considerations into the six priority themes for EC development co-operation
3.14 To achieve mainstreaming, Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) should be used systematically particularly during the preparation of structural and sectoral programmes and for major new infrastructures. Equally Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be used systematically at the project level. Partner countries' capacity to undertake such assessments and to act on their results should be supported.
3.15 Trade can be an engine for sustainable growth and development and is thus a key to poverty reduction. The impact of trade liberalisation should be assessed in advance through the use of specific assessment tools particularly Sustainability Impact Assessments (SIA) so as to enable the design of policy measures to promote the integration of the environment. Special consideration could be given in this regard to the early liberalisation of import measures for environmentally friendly products and techniques.
3.16 The potential of regional co-operation to address environmental issues should be pursued, e.g. on the management of regional and transboundary natural resources such as the atmosphere, river basins, the marine environment and biodiversity.
3.17 The EC's support for structural reforms provides opportunities for, and should be enhanced through, the improvement of environmental management. In the context of the promotion of equitable access to social services, sustainable water management and the provision of clean water benefits human health, poverty reduction and the environment.
3.18 The Council underlines the need for consistency between transport strategies and plans for sustainable development. All activities in the transport sector should take full account of environmental aspects and include measures to minimise impact at local and global level.
3.19 The Council calls on the Commission to promote the mainstreaming of environment into sectoral programmes on integrated rural development. These provide important opportunities to reverse the loss of the productive base for rural and urban livelihoods caused by inter alia deforestation, unsustainable water use, desertification and soil fertility loss. Special efforts should be taken to develop policies that take the role (including in decision-making) and the needs of women into account.
3.20 The Council stresses the importance of good governance and the rule of law, including the effective implementation of environmental legislation. The Council calls on the Commission to support the provision of access to information to stakeholders and opportunities for them to participate in decisions relevant to the environment. In this context, providing access to information and support to the media can be instrumental in raising awareness. Equally support to environmental NGOs can promote awareness and debate of sustainability issues. Further, support for capacity building and technical assistance in the area of environmental management needs to be an integral element of EC programmes.
Indicators and monitoring
3.21 The Council will monitor the progress of the integration of environmental concerns into EC development co-operation. The sustainable development indicators developed by the OECD Development Assistance Committee should be used as preliminary indicators to monitor the impact of EC co-operation programmes and policies. The Council calls on the Commission to use internationally agreed environmental indicators, such as those developed by the OECD/DAC for country reviews and reporting, and to continue to support international efforts further to develop sustainable development indicators.
3.22 Furthermore, the Council urges the Commission to use and develop further the performance criteria presented in its working document, inter alia, on the use of the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) Help Desk, training programmes, adequate environmental integration into the country programmes, terms of reference, the screening and follow-up of SEA and EIA, as well as feed-back of the results of project evaluation.
3.23 A uniform system of accounting for environmental expenditure is called for. The Council supports the improvement of the Commission’s provision of information on environmental performance including a marker system of accounting for contributions towards international environmental agreements.
3.24 The Community should promote the strengthening of research and technology at the international, regional and national level in order to improve environmental monitoring and statistics.
3.25 The Council calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase information exchange both in the field and in capitals with regard to environmental activities including evaluation and analyses. Furthermore, closer co-operation between the Commission and Member States in partner countries should be pursued so that the Commission and Member States share expertise on integrating the environment into development co-operation.
3.26 The Council invites the Commission to explore further the possibilities for increased co-operation with Member States, international actors and the UN, in particular with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on environment and sustainable development, in order to strengthen the multilateral institutional framework and foster greater consistency in the implementation of international agreements on the environment.
4.1 The Council calls on the Commission to include in its annual report on Community development policy the steps that have been taken to integrate the environment into development co-operation based on the specific objectives, targets and indicators and on its operational framework. It will review this strategy on the integration of the environment into EC development co-operation on a regular basis, starting in 2004.
4.2 Given the importance of integrating the environment into the Union's external relations, this should form part of the annual orientation debates in order to give due consideration to environmental concerns.
4.3 The capacity of the Commission services required for effective environmental integration, both in Brussels and in the delegations, should be ensured through the allocation of appropriate human resources as well as, training, knowledge-sharing and the proper use of feedback. This may require consideration of the most appropriate structures in the Commission services to ensure that all cross-cutting issues can be effectively integrated into Community programmes.
4.4 The Council looks forward to the Commission's planned in-depth environmental evaluation of the EC's aid portfolio covering the period 1996 - 2000, making full use of available indicators."
Preparation for the World Summit on sustainable development (Johannesburg 2002) - Procedural Council Conclusions
"1. The Council recalls its Conclusions of 8 March 2001 which provided a first guidance for the EU's preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to be held in Johannesburg in September 2002. The Council stresses that active participation by, and close-co-operation between, the Community and the Member States will highlight the importance of the Conference and help contribute to a successful outcome. In this context, the international development targets should be highlighted, in particular the targets, by the year 2015, to halve poverty and reverse the current trend of environmental degradation.
2. The Council notes the progress made so far in preparing for the WSSD and the information provided by the Presidency on further steps in view of discussions to be held by the Environment Council and at the Göteborg European Council in June 2001. It notes the Commission communication "A sustainable Europe for a better world : a European Union strategy for sustainable development - The Commission's proposal to the Gothenburg European Council".
The Council recalls the high-level exchange of views on WSSD in April 2001 at the CSD 9, which emphasised the important linkages between poverty reduction and sound management of natural resources. The Council, furthermore, welcomes progress made at the first preparatory committee for the WSSD.
The Council underscores the importance of creating the spirit of a global partnership for sustainable development, including through the active involvement of major groups.
The Council notes that other major international conferences should provide important inputs for the WSSD. They include the Financing for Development Conference in Mexico in 2002 and the Global Environmental Facility Replenishment negotiations in early 2002 as well as the new WTO round.
At its meeting in November 2001 the Council will take stock of progress made and consider further contributions to the EU preparations for the WSSD, including means of implementation."
Building an effective partnership with the United Nations in the fields of development and humanitarian affairs - Council Conclusions
1.1 In the Joint Declaration on the "European Community’s Development Policy"( 5), the Council and the Commission emphasised the need for improved dialogue and closer co-operation between the European Community (EC) and other actors involved with development co-operation, such as the United Nations (UN) and the Bretton Woods Institutions, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
1.2 The Council recalls that the European Court of Auditors( 6) has called for the establishment of a more comprehensive relationship between the EC and the UN based on a regulatory framework of appropriate detail.
1.3 In addition to the co-operation between the individual Member States and the UN, the Council recognises that the relationship between the Community and the UN in the areas of development co-operation and humanitarian affairs could be improved. This involves the more effective and pragmatic use of already existing mechanisms for dialogue and co-operation and, as necessary, the creation of new and innovative ones.
1.4 The Council recognises that the purpose of closer co-operation between the EC and the UN should be to improve the effectiveness of development co-operation and humanitarian aid, thereby strengthening the EC's contribution to poverty reduction and human security.
1.5 The Council, therefore, welcomes the Commission’s Communication on "Building an effective partnership with the United Nations in the field of Development and Humanitarian Affairs". The Council supports the overall thrust of the Communication and emphasises the need for continued work at all levels to foster improved co-operation between the EC and the UN.
2. The Scope for building an Effective Partnership between the Community and the United Nations
2.1 The Council agrees that poverty in its multiple aspects is at the root of many conflicts and situations which require global action. It notes that the UN system provides a unique framework to address the global challenges confronting the international community. The Council recognises that the UN, due to its unique global mandate, has a strong legitimacy and specific operational strengths.
2.2 The Council recalls the Community's long experience in the field of development and humanitarian affairs. It emphasises the importance of enhancing dialogue to build a strategic partnership between the Community and the UN in order to tackle development challenges and humanitarian crises.
3. Political will and a more programmatic approach to co-operation
3.1 The political will expressed by these conclusions will be a prerequisite for the EC and the UN to engage more constructively and effectively in mutually beneficial co-operation, on the policy and operational levels, at field level and at headquarters, and for dealing with the difficulties arising from the cultural/corporate differences between the organisations.
3.2 The Council recognises the obstacles identified by the Commission to the development of a desired more programmatic co-operation between the Community and the UN. Improved and closer co-operation requires, for both the EC and the UN, a more flexible and pragmatic implementation of existing rules, standards and procedures.
4. Enabling more flexible support and predictable funding
4.1 The Council recognises the importance of a more predictable and sustained funding for the UN agencies, both in the development and the humanitarian field, such as the provision of programme rather than project funding. In this regard the Council recognises that organisations with a humanitarian mandate, due to the very nature of their work, are especially dependent upon flexible funding modalities. The Council, therefore, supports the efforts towards finding effective mechanisms for the provision of such financing.
4.2 The Council supports the Commission's proposals on financing programmes identified jointly with a UN organisation, covering a wide geographical area or a whole sector, and on co-financing, with other donors, programmes managed by a UN organisation, generally without earmarking of the funds. Such support should be given in accordance with applicable comitology procedures.
4.3 The Council shares the Commission's view that some parts of the present Financial Regulation represent obstacles to effective co-operation between the EC and the UN. It notes that the revision of the Financial Regulation provides an important opportunity to improve the programmatic approach of EC financing for UN activities and urges a rapid decision on the matter. Pending a revised Financial Regulation, the Council calls for a more flexible approach within the present regulation.
4.4 The Council supports the Commission's on-going efforts to reach a revised EC/UN Framework Agreement including provisions on auditing and verification more conducive to realising the objectives set out in these conclusions.
5. Finding synergy between EC policy priorities with the core capacities in the UN
5.1 The Council agrees that co-operation with the UN should take place on a selective basis, taking account of the specific mandates of the UN agencies, funds and programmes. The co-operation should be an evolving process where UN strategic partners should be reviewed, over time, in relation to performance and results.
5.2 The EC Development Policy focuses its co-operation activities on six core areas identified on the basis of added value of Community action, while mainstreaming cross-cutting concerns such as human rights, gender and environment. Pursuing complementarity, this should be reflected in the selection of areas of co-operation with the UN system, including in the choice of strategic partners.
5.3 The Council supports the modalities proposed by the Commission for building a strategic partnership between the EC and the UN. The Council agrees that the first step is to conduct a thorough analysis of possible partners in the UN system, considering their strengths and weaknesses also exchanging experiences with Member States in this regard. Transparent selection criteria such as operational capacity, ability to focus on particular comparative advantages and efficiency as well as the partner’s track record on accountability, are fundamental for such analysis, as is the commitment to make an effective contribution to the international development targets. These criteria should be backed by verifiable indicators.
5.4 In the humanitarian field, the choice of UN partners and the extent of co-operation with them should be linked to their comparative advantage emanating from universally recognised mandates, their operational performance and, ultimately, their overall ability to efficiently and effectively address the needs of affected populations in accordance with international humanitarian law.
5.5 Priority-setting and finding the right partners and areas for EC-UN co-operation require the use of well functioning planning instruments. In this regard the Council welcomes the Commission’s use of the newly introduced Country Strategy Framework as the main instruments for guiding, managing and reviewing EC programmes. The Council agrees with the Commission that the country strategy papers should be developed on the basis of, and making the best use of, existing frameworks and processes, such as the Common Country Assessment/UN Development Assistance Framework (CCA/UNDAF), Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP), and Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP).
6. Co-ordination, co-operation, representation
6.1 The Council believes that building an effective partnership with the UN in the fields of Development and Humanitarian Affairs is an important step towards increased co-operation, coherence and complementarity.
6.2 The Council, while recognising that the Commission already is a permanent member of the EU troika, takes the view that a more active EC involvement in UN activities should also be followed by a review of alternatives to increase the EC input into relevant structures of the UN. In UN policy fora it is also important that the Community and its Member States are consistent in statements and whenever possible speak with one voice.
6.3 The Council welcomes the Commission’s intention to strengthen its capacity to participate in the deliberations of the governing bodies of UN funds, programmes and humanitarian bodies, where increased EC/UN co-operation results in any of these organisations becoming a strategic partner of the EC. This is with a view to increasing the impact and effectiveness of both the EC and UN policy in the field of development and humanitarian affairs.
6.4 The Council recalls its guidelines for strengthening operational co-ordination between the Community, represented by the Commission, and the Member States in the field of external assistance. It believes that improved complementarity and co-ordination in the field between the UN, EC and Member States representatives, other implementing partners in particular associating NGOs where appropriate, would contribute to building a more effective partnership.
7.1 The Council recognises the need for the EC and the UN to continue their work for necessary change so as to create an enabling environment conducive to improved EC-UN co-operation.
7.2 The Council calls on the Commission to continue its work on improving and further developing the relationship with the UN in Development and Humanitarian Affairs. It also calls on the Commission to implement the recommendations set out in these Conclusions and keep the Council regularly informed and to include in its annual report on Community development policy steps taken as well as achievements in this regard."
The Netherlands delegation raised the question of fisheries policy and poverty, emphasising that, in line with the joint policy statement of the Council and the Commission adopted at the session of the (Development) Council of November 2000, efforts must be made to ensure that community development policy objectives are taken into account in the formulation and implementation of other policies affecting the developing countries. The Presidency recalled that a specific discussion on the issue of fisheries policy and poverty was scheduled in the relevant working group before the end of the current Presidency.
Election assistance and observation - Council Conclusions
1. Genuine elections are an essential step in the democratisation process. They pre-suppose the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The free expression of the political will of the people by a secret and equal vote, through a universal, fair, transparent and participatory election process represents a cornerstone of an inclusive and sustainable democracy.
2. Hence, the Council recalls the objectives of the European Union to support the development and consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, as stated in Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union, and Article 177(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community. The Council emphasises its commitment as outlined in, inter alia, Article 1 of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, to contributing to peace and security and to promoting a stable, and democratic political environment.
3. Following the 1998 "Guidelines for EU Policy on Election Observation", the 1999 EU "Guidelines on Common Criteria for the Selection of Election Observers" as well as the EC Regulations No 975/1999 and 976/1999 and the joint Council and Commission Declaration on EC development policy of 10 November 2000, the Council welcomes the Commission Communication on EU Election Assistance and Observation (COM(2000) 191 final), with the objective of contributing to a coherent framework for EU policy in this field.
PRINCIPLES FOR ELECTION SUPPORT
4. The Community and Member States share with third countries a common goal of sustainable democracy. Achieving this demands political commitment from all parties concerned. Therefore, the Council underlines the importance of an early dialogue with the national authorities, and that consistency must be ensured between election support, the Country Strategy for each partner country, and the objectives of the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
5. The EU is itself a project for democracy, development and peace. The Council stresses that the EU's presence at elections in third countries is a political statement and represents a commitment to these values. Its support, whether in terms of election assistance or election observation, may contribute to increasing the confidence of the electorate in the election process, reduce the possibility of fraud, and present the opportunity to make recommendations for improving election systems in a spirit of partnership. With due regard being paid to the underlying long-term political processes that manifest themselves in the election, such support might also contribute to conflict prevention.
6. Effective European Union support for elections requires a coherent approach through the mutually reinforcing use of both EC and CFSP instruments. This is in line with the requirement set out in Article 3 TEU, which requires consistency of the EU´s foreign policy as a whole. Election support is an important element of the EU´s overall contribution to democratisation and sustainable development in third countries, as pursued both through long-term development assistance, and the EU´s political dialogue. The effectiveness of electoral assistance programmes and observation missions will be considerably increased if they are backed up by clear messages expressed through the European Union´s political dialogue with the government. This is true both before, during and after the election process.
7. Decisions to send EU electoral observation missions, and exploratory assessment missions, should be preceded by a thorough assessment by the Council of the political situation in the country, the potential effect of EU electoral observation on both the future democratic situation in the country and the EU´s relationship with it, and the availability of resources and relative priority of each mission to be undertaken. The Council should follow the progress of the observation mission closely and draw on the findings of the report of the EU observation mission and the EU Heads of Mission to reach conclusions on the election process and the implications for the EU´s future relations with the country. It should ensure that, wherever appropriate, the findings and recommendations of the mission are followed up in the political dialogue and subsequent assistance programmes.
8. The Community competence with regard to election support is not exclusive. Therefore, Member States can continue to provide election support bilaterally or through contributions to the activities of international organisations, notwithstanding any actions by the EU. They shall nevertheless ensure that such national action is coherent with the political positions taken by the Council with regard to a specific electoral process. In addition, the Council may take other action with respect to elections under Title V of the Treaty on European Union, in so far as such action pursues the objectives of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and is in conformity with art 47 TEU.
9. The Council finds it constructive to differentiate election support between election assistance and election observation. The underlying analysis with respect to size, scope and source of funding is similar for both activities. However, the need for co-ordination and the time limits vary considerably. Therefore, the EU needs to develop different, but complementary, approaches.
COOPERATION AND COORDINATION
10. The Council recalls the importance it attaches to the close coordination between the Commission, the Council, the European Parliament and Member States in the pre-election assessment and analysis of the political context.
11. The Council calls on the Commission to work together with Member States and other donors and international partners, such as the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who lead on election monitoring in the OSCE region, the Council of Europe and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) to develop policy, to mobilise the necessary expertise and to co-ordinate election support, where possible within the framework of national strategies. The EU should, wherever possible, observe elections jointly with other international actors in order to contribute to a coherent international approach and to facilitate the organisational efforts by the third country, in respect of observers’ independence. The Council undertakes to enhance such co-ordination and notes that the Commission intends to do the same.
FRAMEWORK FOR FUTURE ACTIONS
12. The Council welcomes the Commission's intention to enhance the co-ordination and effectiveness of the actions carried out in the framework of election support. To this end, it welcomes the Commission's efforts to streamline and render more efficient the organisation of election support as well as the proposal for an election focal point.
13. The Council believes that a thorough analysis of each election and every observation mission, as well as assistance specially adapted to the situation, will increase the effectiveness and sustainability of activities in this area.
14. The Council particularly welcomes the introduction of comprehensive technical exploratory assessment missions to be undertaken by the Commission. The Council also welcomes the practice to invite Member States to second election experts to participate in such missions. The exploratory missions should carry out an assessment of the pre-election situation in the light of international standards and provide information to assist with the decision on whether and how to support an election process. The competent Council bodies and the Heads of Mission in the country concerned must be involved in the assessment by the exploratory missions.
15. The Council and the Commission should therefore coordinate closely at all stages of planning and execution of an individual election observation mission, so as to ensure the full consistency of the Union´s external actions. In addition, the Council agrees with the Commission on the importance of coordinating planning and prioritisation. This is necessary to ensure that the programming of election observation and assistance is in line with the EU´s foreign policy priorities, and reflects the need to focus on a limited number of operations. The Council welcomes the Commission´s intention to consult the competent Council bodies at the beginning of each year on the basis of a calendar of forthcoming elections. The Council will seek to establish jointly with the Commission a list of elections in which EU intervention is considered a priority. The list will also be discussed with the European Parliament. These priorities should be kept under regular review throughout the year to ensure that political developments, as evaluated by the competent Council bodies on a case by case basis, are taken into account.
EU ELECTION ASSISTANCE
16. Elections are events in long-term processes. EU support should be integrated into Country Strategies and begin well in advance of an election so as to contribute to the creation of the conditions necessary for the election to meet international standards. These efforts should continue after the election, in order to assist the authorities of the country concerned to identify any possible shortcomings and address them. The EU should take full account of experience gained from past election support in designing its programmes. It should apply a systematic lessons-learnt approach.
17. Specific actions should include, inter alia:
- Institutional capacity-building with regard to organising future elections including assistance in support of regulatory framework agreements for political parties and election finance;
- Training and education of local staff;
- Awareness campaigns for the rights of the individual to vote (especially targeted towards women, minorities and vulnerable groups);
- Setting up of election sites;
- Support to domestic civil society organisations active in the election field;
- Support for the media.
EU ELECTION OBSERVATION
18. Decisions on deployment of EU election observation missions should follow a thorough discussion in the appropriate geographical working groups of the Council, and, whenever possible, should take into account the views of the European parliament. The decision to send an EU election observation mission should be based on the EU´s main concerns and the findings of an exploratory assessment mission. An early dialogue with the national authorities must accompany the exploratory mission and standard terms of reference for the observation mission, containing essential and non-negotiable requirements for a sound and professional observation, will be presented to the country concerned.
19. The decisions to observe an election process must, furthermore, be consistent with EU priorities. They should take into account international standards and the findings of the exploratory assessment mission. The Council stresses that it is not necessary or desirable for the EU to observe systematically all elections in third countries.
20. The Council encourages the Commission to provide appropriate training for observers and follow-up on creating adequate instruments, including framework agreements, in support of the implementation of EU election observation missions in order to allow a timely response, particularly in urgent situations, to provide accelerated and simplified decision-making and recruitment procedures and to ensure effective feedback for analysis.
21. The practice of appointing an experienced member of the European Parliament as the Chief Observer of an EU election mission should be encouraged.
ASSESSMENT BY OBSERVATION MISSIONS
22. EU election observation missions should always reach an independent assessment of the election process and its outcome on the basis of internationally recognised standards and good practices. The assessment of the elections should always, and only, be presented by the EU Chief Observer or by the head of the international lead organisation and transmitted to the Commission, Council and the European Parliament. Under no circumstances may preliminary results be delivered beforehand.
23. The Council emphasises that the reports by the Heads of Mission on the election process form an important contribution to the analysis by the Council’s bodies of the political situation resulting from the elections.
24. The Council invites the Commission to further develop its policy on long-term and short-term observers and on integrating election observation with election assistance more generally, bearing in mind the overall aim of supporting democratisation as well as respect for and promotion of human rights. In this context the Council urges the Commission to develop impact indicators.
25. The Council's preparatory bodies will continue to examine this issue in order to identify further means of increasing the co-ordination, effectiveness, impact and visibility of EU election assistance and observation actions.
26. The Council agrees that it is necessary to monitor the implementation, impact and efficiency of Community actions in the election context. The Commission will undertake a thorough overall evaluation of EU election support within three years."
CONFLICT PREVENTION AND DEVELOPMENT
Conflict prevention and development - Presidency Conclusions
"Following the debate on conflict prevention and development, the Presidency concluded that the Council had made the following points:
- Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of conflict. Conflict prevention and poverty-reduction efforts are mutually reinforcing. This is evident for instance through the importance of conflict prevention measures in post conflict situations.
- The added value of development programmes in conflict prevention is their ability to analyse the structural causes of conflict and instability and long-term development needs and priorities. The role of development co-operation is conflict prevention rather than crisis management.
- We must also remember that the responsibility for resolving conflicts rests with the parties concerned.
- In principle we have adequate mechanisms for conflict prevention, including early warning, analysis and reaction. Now the key is putting these to effective use.
- Conflict prevention analysis should be incorporated to Country Strategy Papers and steer both development programmes and CFSP activities.
- The regional dimension is often important in conflict prevention. The knowledge and experience of the EU can be of particular relevance here.
- We should co-operate and co-ordinate with other organisations in order to obtain best results and complementary action.
- It is important to build national capacity to prevent and resolve conflicts. Our contribution could include support to democratic institutions, judicial systems and the security sector. Support must also be granted for democratisation, demobilisation and reintegration programmes, and civil society.
- This entails, by definition, close and cross-pillar co-operation, thus co-operation between the Commission, the Council and the Member States. This must be based on an extensive exchange of information at capital level and locally in the field.
- Cotonou-type instruments could be developed for use in other regions.
- The next Council should adopt operational conclusions for improved co-operation with some conflict affected ACP countries."
Conflict prevention - Council Procedural conclusions
- recalls its joint declaration with the Commission on the European Community's Development Policy, which highlighted the multi-dimensional nature of poverty and called for systematic attention to conflict prevention and crisis management;
- notes that poverty, and the exclusion which it creates, is one of the root causes of conflict and that violent conflict is a major cause of poverty;
notes that the Commission's communication is a key contribution to the overarching ambitions to improve EU capabilities for conflict prevention. The Council's response to the Communication will be incorporated within the European Programme for the Prevention of Violent Conflicts, which is expected to be endorsed by the European Council at its forthcoming meeting in Göteborg."
Linking relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD) - Council Conclusions
1.1 The joint Council and Commission declaration on EC development policy of November 2000 stated that the principal aim of the Community's development policy is to reduce poverty with a view to its eventual eradication. The declaration emphasised that the link between development co-operation and humanitarian aid is a matter of cardinal importance for the efficiency of EC assistance, determining as it does the capacity of the Union to tailor its co-operation to the changing needs of countries beset by conflict and/or natural disaster.
1.2. The Council recalls its Resolution on the Assessment and Future of Community Humanitarian Activities of May 2000, its Conclusions on Country Strategy Papers of November 2000, and on Operational Co-ordination of January 2001.
1.3 Humanitarian assistance and development co-operation differs in both purpose and mandate. The notion of gaps between humanitarian assistance and long-term development co-operation has led to a discourse on a need to link relief, rehabilitation and development.
1.4 In this context the Council recognises that violent conflict is one of the causes of the need for assistance. It recalls the ongoing efforts to further strengthen the EU capacity for conflict prevention and to that end the Council welcomes the development of a comprehensive European Programme for the prevention of violent conflicts, to be endorsed by the Göteborg Summit in June 2001.
1.5 The Council recalls that the basic rationale for LRRD is still valid but that the changing institutional environment and increasing international consensus on better co-ordination of aid instruments necessitate a reassessment of EU-policies. The Council, therefore, welcomes the Commission Communication on Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development, which presents a reassessment of EC policy towards this issue.
2. FRAMEWORK FOR A LINKAGE APPROACH
2.1 In linking relief, rehabilitation and development the broader economic, social and political context has to be considered. The Council emphasises that the existing weaknesses in the linkage are primarily related to the complexity of the situations to be addressed, as well as to the difficulties in combining and tailoring short-term and long-term initiatives. These weaknesses should also be seen as a consequence of insufficient co-ordination of available resources and instruments. Therefore a higher level of preparedness is needed, with the purpose of securing a timely involvement of relevant actors as well as identifying an appropriate mix of supporting activities in conflict or crisis situations. Since humanitarian assistance should be phased out, appropriate longer term instruments have to be mobilised in a timely fashion.
2.2 The Council recognises that
- Limited capacity to cope with and vulnerability to natural disasters are significantly linked to poverty and lack of development. The main challenge is to identify causes behind vulnerability, to identify and take appropriate disaster-preparedness measures, to build institutional and technical capacity as well as strengthened response mechanisms in developing countries so as to prevent and handle such disasters.
- In situations resulting from violent conflict the focus should be placed on humanitarian assistance and conflict management and resolution measures. In post-conflict situations, priority should be given to providing means at all levels for reconciliation, reconstruction and conflict prevention through supporting mechanisms which can prevent conflicts from re-escalating and by targeting factors leading to conflicts. Where possible, a long-term perspective should be developed.
- In structural and other types of crises, such as during transitional phases when political, economic and social conditions are seriously deteriorating, or in countries characterised by the absence of organised government and the rule of law, international assistance should focus on institution and capacity building (including in social sectors) and broad based growth as well as support for democratic development and strengthening the rule of law and human rights. When humanitarian assistance is phased out and the EC is committed to continue its assistance, appropriate longer term instruments have to be mobilised in a timely fashion.
3.1 The Council recognises that an efficient intervention in crisis situations implies the acceptance of political risks and a higher degree of "technical" risks in the implementation of co-operation and highlights four areas of importance for an improved linkage between relief, rehabilitation and development:
- country strategy papers;
- decision-making procedures;
- tools, instruments and resources; and
- international co-ordination and implementing partners.
Country Strategy Papers
3.2 While allowing for a long-term perspective to guide assistance, Country Strategy Papers (CSP) provide a framework within which flexibility is possible. The Council therefore welcomes the Commission's intention to make the linkage issue an integral part of the CSP, where appropriate. CSP are being used to set out EU policy and to programme EC assistance. For the countries concerned, they should also aim at mitigating the effects of natural disasters and conflicts as well as to reduce vulnerability. They should, wherever possible, provide a framework for preparing for disasters and preventing conflicts as well as for supporting the transition from the emergency to the development phase.
3.3 Furthermore, the Council welcomes the Commission’s initiative to develop, if necessary, an addendum to the CSP in situations of crises with the purpose of adapting it to changing circumstances, thus taking into consideration the diversity in needs and opportunities characterising crisis situations. The addendum to the CSP should include inter alia information on other donors’ interventions and define strategic orientations, objectives and priorities for moving to a post-crisis situation.
3.4 Vulnerability analysis should permeate both humanitarian and development programmes, whether in the context of peace or conflict or in relation to natural disasters.
3.5 The Council:
- recognises the Commission's intention to integrate conflict prevention, vulnerability analysis and disaster preparedness in the CSPs, since these are important parts of a linkage approach. It encourages the Commission to develop, in co-operation with other international and bilateral organisations with experience in this area, suitable indicators for country vulnerability including Early Warning Systems and integrating these when establishing CSPs;
- finds that given the devastating effects on and the vulnerability of women and children in crisis situations, particular consideration should from the outset of the CSP process be given to gender issues and child rights;
- encourages the Commission to show flexibility in developing the country strategy addendum taking especially into account the complexity inherent in possible co-operation with government entities in conflict or post-conflict situations; and
- supports the Commission's intention to clarify phase-out criteria for emergency/humanitarian assistance on the basis of country specific conditions. These criteria should be agreed upon at the outset as part of planning of humanitarian assistance and be reflected in the addendum to the CSP.
Decision making procedures
3.6 The Council recognises the obstacles for an efficient response identified by the Commission and agrees that increased flexibility and speed are prerequisites for efficient and effective decision-making. It recognises that accelerated procedures for the adoption of any addendum to the CSP and the attached work programme may imply changed consultation and decision-making procedures.
3.7 The Council welcomes the intention by the Commission to propose simplified and more flexible decision-making procedures to be applied when the addendum to the CSP and the attached work programme have been elaborated. In this context, the Council stresses the need for joint assessment and common diagnosis as well as the importance of the de-concentration of decision-making and the deployment of staff to delegations.
3.8 The Council:
- calls for coherent, flexible decision making and the rapid implementation of EC assistance and expects that these aspects will be enhanced by the on-going reform of Community external assistance; and
- supports and encourages the Commission to initiate joint meetings between the Humanitarian Aid Committee and the geographical committees and, as appropriate, other relevant committees on
Tools, instruments and resources
3.9 The Council confirms that existing instruments have the potential to provide sufficient scope for comprehensive Community support. The challenge is first and foremost to strengthen the efficiency and complementarity of existing Community instruments. In this regard, the Council emphasises that ECHO should cover the period between emergency/relief and short-term rehabilitation and phase out, on the basis of its exit strategy, in favour of other instruments as soon as possible. With regard to an entrance strategy of these other instruments, ECHO should retain a flexible, case by case approach to prolong its support where a hand-over in the post-emergency phase is not easily possible.
3.10 The problems related to the management of external aid and the appropriate mobilisation of resources are caused inter alia by the number of different instruments and budget lines.
3.11 The Council:
- supports the Commission's intention to conduct reviews of relevant geographical and thematic regulations;
- reaffirms the importance of providing a framework that enables the Commission to act more efficiently by improving the flexibility and complementarity of various instruments, in particular by rationalising and reducing the number of budget lines and regulations; and
- calls on the Commission to put in its strategy for evaluation and lessons learned particular emphasis on problems associated with LRRD. The evaluations dealing with countries for which LRRD is an issue should focus on both implementation and results achieved in the field, and examine the internal procedures and efficiency of the Commission and its partners.
Co-ordination and implementing partners
3.12 Coordination is key to overcoming the problems associated with LRRD. The Council emphasises complementarity and operational co-ordination both between the Commission and Member States and co-ordination with international actors, especially the United Nations (UN), the Bretton Woods Institutions as well as with the Red Cross family.
3.13 Increased participation of national actors in the coordination and consultation mechanisms in the implementation of the different instruments should be promoted as effective coordination at all levels is essential to ensure maximum impact in the country concerned.
3.14 The identification of implementing partners at an early stage should be encouraged so as to enable timely and complementary implementation. The Council agrees with the Commission that priority should, when appropriate, be given to implementing organisations that have competence in both the humanitarian and the development field. The Council agrees with the Commission that a broadening of implementing partners, including relevant UN organisations, may be required.
3.15 Increased effectiveness through international co-ordination relates specifically to the importance of participating in and strengthening already existing mechanisms, such as the Friends of Approach. International and local NGOs should be associated with discussions of strategic orientations and participate in coordination mechanisms.
3.16 The Council:
- calls on the Commission and Member States to enhance their participation in already existing mechanisms for co-ordination; and
- welcomes the Commission's efforts to maintain and further improve interaction between ECHO support offices and Commission delegations and invites the Commission to continue to explore the possibilities for closer associating ECHO field representatives with its delegations.
4. FOLLOW UP
The Council calls on the Commission to report on follow up and implementation of these Conclusions in its Annual report on Community development policy focusing on results, impacts and lessons learned. "
Global health fund - Joint Declaration
"The Council and the Commission note with concern the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases on human suffering and on economic and social development, and hence also on poverty reduction efforts. The proposal by the UN Secretary General to establish a global HIV/AIDS and Health Fund is therefore fully welcomed. The Commission and Member States will explore how best to develop this initiative.
The Council and Commission believe that the fund should tackle the three major communicable diseases: HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. It is emphasised that contributions to the fund should be additional to existing resources. Equally important is burden sharing between OECD countries and between the public and private sectors. The governance of the Fund should be light and should ensure full ownership by all stakeholders and accountability. Finance should be used to support implementation of partner-countries’ own health strategies and rely on efficient existing channels where at all possible to decrease transaction costs. Activities supported by the fund must be focused on the delivery of health outcomes, and should therefore include prevention and access to care and treatment, as well as capacity-strengthening actions.
Recalling the recent Council Resolution on a programme for action on accelerated action on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in the context of poverty reduction, the necessity of lower prices of medicines for the poorest is emphasised. Agreement on a global tiered pricing system will be important for the successful operation of the proposed Fund. The Commission and the Member States are committed to contribute constructively in the further preparation of the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on HIV/AIDS to secure its successful outcome.
Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director–General of the WHO, addressed the Ministers on the severity of HIV/AIDS as a development issue."
Actions against anti-personnel landmines - Council Common Position
The Council adopted a Common Position with a view to the adoption of a European Parliament and Council Regulation concerning action against anti-personnel landmines.
The objective of this proposal is to reinforce the Community's mine actions in response to international requirements under the Ottawa Convention on the one hand, and at the same time to strengthen the consistency and effectiveness of these actions as the Community's internal obligation.
In its Common Position, although the Council largely follows the approach and objectives of the Commission proposal and supports several amendments proposed by the Parliament, it considers it necessary to make a number of changes to both the substance and the wording of some articles in the proposed regulation.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
At the request of the Danish and French delegations, the Commission reported to the Council on the state of its considerations on the issue of co-development and migration. The Commission indicated that in this regard, its priority was to improve the effectiveness of EU development assistance, thereby directly addressing the root cause of poverty and that it did not envisage any new studies on the issue of co-development.
Ratification of the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement
Commissioner NIELSON drew the Council's attention to the political importance of a rapid ratification of the Cotonou Agreement. He announced the Commission's intention of producing a "scoreboard" on progress in the ratification by all signatories from 1 July 2001.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Commissioner NIELSON informed the Council that his Institution is currently preparing a Communication on the impact of ICT and the risk of marginalisation that might result for developing countries. This communication is expected to indicate inter-alia: how to play a supportive role to current international initiatives in the field of ICT and development and how to use ICT as a tool in a cost effective way within the priority areas and cross-cutting themes defined in the joint statement on EC development policy of November 2000.
ITEMS APPROVED WITHOUT DEBATE
Fourth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to combat desertification (COP.4)
The Council took note of a depository notification on the adoption of the fifth regional implementation annex for Central and Eastern Europe (Annex V), as an amendment to the Convention, to combat desertification.
This notification follows the decision taken at the fourth UN Conference of the Parties to the "Convention to combat desertification" (CCD COP.4) that took place from 11 to 22 December 2000 in Bonn, Germany.
Extention of the International Cocoa Agreement, 1993
The Council authorised the Commission to indicate at the 23rd special session of the International Cocoa Council on 4-6 June 2001 in London that, ad referendum and in principle, the Community would be in favour of a two-year extension of the current International Cocoa Agreement, which expires on 30 September 2001.
Energy Star Programme
The Council adopted its common position with a view to adopting a regulation on a Community energy efficiency programme for office equipment (Energy Star).
This draft regulation aims at implementing the Agreement between the United States and the European Community on the co-ordination of labelling programmes for office equipment and establishing a Community voluntary energy labelling programme (the "Energy Star Programme"). The main objectives of this regulation are to introduce in the Community the Energy Star Logo, to describe the rules for its use, and to establish the general rules and procedures for the Community Energy Star labelling programme.
Polyester textured filament yarn (Indonesia, Thailand)
The Council amended Regulation (EC) Nş 2160/96 which imposes a definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of polyester textured filament yarn originating, inter alia, in Thailand.
The rate of the definitive anti-dumping duty applicable to the net, free-at-Community-frontier price, before duty, will therefore be as follows:
Taric additional code
– PT Panasia Indosyntec (formerly: PT Hadtex Indosyntec)
– PT Polysindo Eka Perkasa
– PT Susilia Indah Synthetic Fibres Industries
The duties will not apply to imports which are produced and exported by the Indonesian company PT Indo Rama Synthetics (Taric additional Code 8885).
Taric additional code
– Tuntex (Thailand) PLC
– Sunflag (Thailand) Ltd
( 1)To be presented exceptionally in 2001 by 10 October.
( 2)EC Development Policy Statement of 10 November 2000
( 3)Eco-management and audit system
( 4)International Standardisation Organisation, Standard on Environmental Management
( 5)doc. 13458/00, Joint declaration with the Commission of 10 November 2000
( 6)doc. 6366/97 (OJ C 143, 12.5.1997, p. 1). Special Report 2/97 of the Court of Auditors concerning humanitarian aid from the EU between 1992 and 1995.