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Policy Coherence

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End of an era
Since 2008, Fair Politics has been ranking the efforts of EU politicians for coherency and fair politics. Every time MEPs pay attention to Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) with actions, such as parliamentary questions, reports, opinions and their amendments, they were rewarded with points through the Fair Politics monitoring system. The Member of Parliament who earns the most points at the end of the parliamentary year was awarded with the famous ‘Fair Politician of the Year’ Award. - 11-11-2016

Lola Sánchez Caldentey fairest MEP of 2015-2016
Lola Sánchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL) won the ‘Fair Politician of the Year’ Award 2015-2016. Among the 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), Sánchez Caldentey paid the most attention to Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) and put the most effort into enhancing Fair Politics. She focused on themes such as TTIP, tax evasion and corporate social responsibility.  - 08-07-2016

116 amendments to improve food security
Linda McAvan (S&D), chair of the Committee on Development, wrote a draft opinion on the next steps towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular the re-quired EU commitment on nutrition and food security. Colleagues tabled 116 amendments to enhance global food security. - 06-07-2016

EU financing for sustainable development
The European Commission will present a review of the functioning of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) soon. The MFF sets the limits for the annual general budgets of the EU and determines how much in total and how much for different areas of activity the EU could use each year. In 2016, the Commission will present  its fifth multiannual financial plan, leading to many draft opinions within European Parliament Committees, including the Committee on Development (DEVE). Paul Rübig makes two suggestions to make sure development funds are really spend on development objectives. - 29-06-2016

Policy coherence should be cornerstone EU policies
‘Policy Coherence for Development is a topic which is very important, but complex and poorly understood’, starts Cristian Dan Preda, standing rapporteur for PCD, the plenary debate of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the 6th of June 2016. During this session, the European Parliament discussed the biannual PCD report of the European Parliament. Many Members of Parliament  supported the report, while MEP Lola Sánchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL) and Linda McAvan (S&D) urged to take action and make sure PCD does not remain a piper tiger.  - 29-06-2016

‘EU migration policies should support development policies’
The European Parliament’s Committee on Development calls for more attention for Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) in the European Union’s migration policies. A number of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) believe that the EU’s migration policies should not interfere with its development policies, for example regarding safe countries regulations, humanitarian aid and the costs of hosting refugees within the EU. - 28-06-2016

Vacature Fair Politics stagiair(e)s
De Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS) wil dat zowel Nederlandse als Europese parlementariërs weten wat de effecten van besluiten op hun beleidsterrein betekenen voor de positie van ontwikkelingslanden. Het doel is dat politici beleidsbeslissingen nemen, waarbij de belangen van ontwikkelingslanden worden meegewogen.  - 08-06-2016

Uitreiking Fair Politician of the Year Award 2015/2016
Het is bijna zover: op donderdag 23 juni 2016 roept Fair Politics de jaarlijkse ‘Fair Politician of the Year’ Award uit! Wij overhandigen de felbegeerde trofee aan het Kamerlid dat zich dit politieke jaar het meest heeft ingezet voor eerlijk beleid dat de belangen van ontwikkelingslanden niet ondermijnt, maar juist ten goede komt.  - 08-06-2016

More coherence within the UN to ensure sustainable development
In September 2016, the United Nations General Assembly will gather for its  71st session. Because of its enhanced observer status, the EU can submit proposals and amendments to the UN General Assembly. Hence, the European Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE) made recommendations to the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) about the role of the UN to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  - 28-04-2016

Sustainable trade agreements: time for legally binding mechanisms
Member of the European Parliament Tiziana Beghin (EFD) sees sustainability as a core element of the EU’s future trade strategy. Beghin calls for legally binding sustainable development chapters in all EU trade and investment agreements, which should also be enforceable. - 12-04-2016

PCD expert Evert-Jan Brouwer: 2030 Agenda an opportunity for PCD
More than 200 amendments from various European Parliamentary Committees focus on enhancing Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), therefore we interviewed Evert-Jan Brouwer, expert on Policy Coherence for Development at EU level, about the current state of play regarding fair policies towards developing countries. Evert-Jan Brouwer is member of the Steering Committee for Sustainable Development and Policy Coherence of CONCORD, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, and political advisor of the Dutch NGO Woord en Daad.  - 06-04-2016

European Parliament insists on more fair policies
A large number of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) has called on the European Commission to take action on fair tax systems, trade agreements and mineral sourcing. In addition to this, MEP Seb Dance (S&D) highlights the importance of Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) in the process of establishing an EU common list of safe countries of origin for asylum seekers. - 04-04-2016

Developing countries’ interest in EU’s migration approach
In the context of the ongoing migration issue, the EU is currently working on an EU approach to migration. The Parliamentarian  Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) received an impressive amount of 1247 amendments to the report. With their amendments  Patrizia Toia (S&D), Ignazio Corrao (EFDD) and Laura Ferrara (EFDD) emphasize that the EU’s migration approach should be according to the concept of Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD). - 23-03-2016

'Nature is making a cry for help'
In 2011, the EU adopted an ambitious strategy setting out targets and actions to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU by 2020. Mark Demesmaeker (ECR), member of the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), has published report on the mid-term review of the European Unions (EU) biodiversity strategy. His main conclusion: ‘Nature is making  a cry for help’. - 22-03-2016

Towards a fair EU Global Strategy
The European Commission is working on a plan to coordinate all foreign policy efforts of the 28 EU Member States, called the Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy. In February 2016, the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs submitted no less than 232 amendments to a resolution on the Global Strategy. Meanwhile, the European Parliament’s Committee on Development has emphasized that Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) must not be forgotten in the new agenda. - 15-03-2016

Save The Date! Ready for Change? conference on 19 May 2016
Register now for the ‘Ready for Change? Global Goals at home and abroad!' conference! - 15-03-2016

141 amendements to achieve more fair EU policies
An impressive amount of 141 amendments were submitted by many MEPs for the parliamentary reaction on the EU Commissions’ report on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). Initiator of the responding report, Standing Rapporteur for PCD, Cristian Dan Preda (EPP),  argued that the European Commission needs to increase its efforts to develop more coherent EU policies and listed five priority areas that need special attention: migration, trade and finance, food security, climate change and security. Fair Politics gives an overview of the most ambitious amendments. - 14-03-2016

Attention for human rights and the abuse of EU development funds
Marina Albiol Guzmán (GUE/NGL), member of the European Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE), wrote a draft opinion for the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) on human rights and migration in third countries. She makes a wide scope of suggestions, including counteracting the negative effects of EU trade policies in developing countries and ending all instrumentalisation of development aid to finance migration policies. - 08-03-2016

‘Policy Coherence for Development should be a priority for the European Union'
‘Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) should be a priority for the European Union’, according to MEP Preda, standing rapporteur for PCD. On 17 February 2016, the European Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE) discussed PCD extensively in the context of the draft report on the EU 2015 Report on Policy Coherence for Development of Preda. - 02-03-2016

Harvest a better Europe: Stop the agricultural export subsidies
Stefan Eck (GUE/NGL), Anja Hazekamp (GUE/NGL) and Lidia Senra Rodríguez (GUE/NGL), members of the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), complimented the draft opinion on food security and nutrition with their amendment  on European agricultural export subsidies. They urge that the EU to dissolve its agricultural export subsidies. - 02-03-2016

Fair European policies: is the Commission active enough?
In August 2015, the European Commission published its bi-annual progress report on realising fair European policies for developing countries. According to Cristian Dan Preda, Standing Rapporteur on Policy Coherence for Development, more progress needs to be made on developing fair and coherent European policies. This has been stressed by Fair Politics for a number of years now. To move forward on the issue, Preda organized a workshop on coherent EU policies on 16 February 2016, which was also attended by Fair Politics. - 24-02-2016

MEPs Sánchez Caldentey and Preda: it’s time for more action on EU policy coherence
Standing Rapporteur for Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) MEP Cristian Dan Preda (EPP) and MEP Lola Sánchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL) think the European Commission needs to step up its efforts to develop more coherent EU policies, for example in the fields of agriculture, energy and trade. The MEPs have said this in their draft opinions on the EU 2015 Report on Policy Coherence for Development. - 15-02-2016

Coherence for migration and security. And what about development?
This is the title of the new Spotlight Policy Paper of the CONCORD Migration and Development Task Force (MDTF).  In 2015, CONCORD published a series of well-focused policy papers to raise the awareness of EU political leaders and citizens on the need to apply changes to some European domestic and external policies in order to eradicate global poverty. The fifth, and last Policy Paper ‘Coherence for migration and security- and what about development?’ is on the migration-development nexus related EU policies and the extent to which they have resulted in effective Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). It was launched on the 20th of January in Brussels and Fair Politics was present. The main question remains: Is the European external migration policy coherent with European development objectives? - 03-02-2016

MEP Hayes demands for a fairer EU security policy
How can Europe’s security be guaranteed? The European Parliament Committee of Foreign Affairs (AFET) wrote the answer in a draft report on ‘the EU in a changing global environment –  a more connected, contested and complex world’. Within this report the AFET recommends approaches and measures which aim to improve the security of European states and citizens. MEP Hayes (EPP) calls for including Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) in his report. - 03-02-2016

MEP Anderson asks for Commission’s plans for the second Nutrition for Growth Summit
The EU pledged to donate EUR 3.5 billion at the first Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2013 to fight malnutrition. The aim is to reduce chronic malnutrition by 7 million people by 2015. However, Anderson notes that the budget spent on fighting malnutrition is too low and more resources are needed to tackle malnutrition sufficiently. Therefore, Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL) asked the Commission about their plans for  the second Nutrition for Growth Summit in August 2016. - 03-02-2016

Free movement for all!
MEP Lambert (Greens/EFA) is in favour of an easy accessible Europe for everyone who wants to come and a serious supporter of improving circular migration. She proposed a new amendment in the ‘Draft opinion the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration’.  - 03-02-2016

COP21: real change or diplomatic success?
On November 30th, the 21st yearly United Nations (UN) climate conference was opened in Paris: the so-called COP21 (Conference of Parties). It means that all parties that signed the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), the climate agreement of the UN, took part in the conference. On December 12 –surprisingly quick- a new binding climate treaty was signed by the 195 present parties.  - 12-01-2016

The European Parliament (EP) presents research report on migration policy
In October 2015 an extensive research on the external migration policy of the European Union (EU) called ‘EU cooperation with third countries in the field of migration’ was launched, on request of the committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs (LIBE). Fair Politics is happy to see the report shows similar observations to our own impact study on the Mobility Partnerships (MPs).  - 09-12-2015

COP21: a chance to put climate mitigation high on the new world agenda, particularly for poorer countries
Today the 21st world-wide conference on climate change and finance will start in Paris. This international political response to climate change will for the first time in over 20 years aim to achieve a legally binding agreement on climate. What are the main issues on the agenda and are the world leaders willing to help developing countries adapt the effects of climate change?   - 30-11-2015

The Council of the European Union (EU) gives attention to the mobilization of climate finance and action in, particularly, developing countries
The Council of the EU has reaffirmed the commitment of the EU and its Member States to scale up the mobilization of climate finance by the implementation of mitigation actions and transparency. This is of particular importance for capacity building in developing countries, that are, more than developed countries, affected by climate change. - 25-11-2015

CONCORD speaks out on PCD during Development committee meeting in the European Parliament
During the meeting of the committee on development (DEVE) on the 9th of November, Isabelle Brachet had the opportunity to speak – on behalf of CONORD – in the context of the first exchange of views on the upcoming EP report on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD).  - 16-11-2015

Draft opinion Development committee calls for better criteria for preserving biodiversity in developing countries
On the 15th of October the Development (DEVE) committee asked the environment  (ENVI) committee of the European Parliament to incorporate different criteria regarding biodiversity in its motion for a resolution, and emphasized the importance of biodiversity in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).   - 11-11-2015

Blinkevičiūtė encourages the Commission to improve external action on migration
Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D) questions the way immigration policy has been carried out by the European Union (EU). - 11-11-2015

MEP Dalli (S&D) asks the EU to accomplish to commitments on climate change protection for developing countries
Miriam Dalli (S&D) wonders whether the European Union (EU) stands by its pledges on financing for adaptation and mitigation on climate change in developing countries.  - 11-11-2015

CONCORD presents PCD spotlight papers, prior to FAC meeting
Prior to the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting on the 26th of October, CONCORD took the opportunity to present two of its latest papers in the spotlight on PCD series; on a better regulation package, and to what extent EU Member States have pursued Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) at national level.  - 09-11-2015

OECD presents report policy coherence for development
In this year’s report the focus lies on the post-2015 development agenda, that was just accepted by 193 UN-member states during the UN summit. The report introduces the concept of Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD). The international community, including the OECD, recognizes the need for policy instruments, approaches and working methods to achieve, or at least contribute, to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).  - 13-10-2015

The European Commission releases 2015 report on Policy Coherence for Development
On the 3rd of August 2015, in the midst of the summer recess, the European Commission published its biannual policy report on Policy Coherence for Development. Fair Politics has scrutinized the report and will remark on some of its rather disappointing contents. - 23-09-2015

Draft opinion DEVE committee on migration calls on Commission to respect principles of PCD
The images of refugees reaching the European shores have left no-one untouched and the need for the EU to act is urgent. The LIBE committee is preparing to release an own-initiative report “on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration.” In the lead to this report being published, several committees have released their draft opinion. - 21-09-2015

EU investment regime has negative impact on right to food, says new CONCORD paper
Corrective action is needed to to put collective interests and public goods back at the center of EU policies and actions. This is the conclusion of the third PCD spotlight paper of 2015, published by CONCORD. - 16-09-2015

Praia Conference “More Mobility for Development!”
On the 30th of June FMS – Fair Politics launched the new impact study in Praia during a one day conference which we co-organized with the Ministry of Communities of Cape Verde and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Back in February Linde Kee van Stokkum conducted her research in Cape Verde on the implications of the EU – Cape Verde mobility partnership. After having presented the study in Brussels and The Hague a week earlier we now traveled back to Cape Verde to present and discuss our research findings there! - 15-07-2015

Lola Sánchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL) is Fair Politician of the Year 2014-2015!
On Wednesday 24th of June, Fair Politics awarded the most Fair Politicians of each political group in the European Parliament. The event took place in a crowded room, with many MEP's present who were curious to know who would be this year's winner. The award ceremony concludes a yearlong monitoring of the European Parliament on activities of policy coherence for development (PCD). - 25-06-2015

More Mobility for Development! Fair Politics launches impact study on migration and development
Mobility works for development! On Monday the 22nd of June Fair Politics presented its new impact study 'More mobility for Development! Policy Coherence for Development in practice: making the EU Mobility Partnership a tool for development in Cape Verde.' The launch of the impact study took place in the European Parliament and was chaired by MEP Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, member of the DEVE and LIBE committee). - 24-06-2015

Fair Politics announces the European Fair Politician of the Year!
Every year, Fair Politics awards a Member of the European Parliament with the title Fair Politician of the Year. On Wednesday the 24th of June at 15.30, the winner will be announced at the award ceremony in the European Parliament. - 19-06-2015

More Mobility for Development! Launch of impact study
Every two years, Fair Politics conducts an impact study to research the real-life impact of European Union policy in a developing country, and to signal incoherencies. This year, we tackle the subject of migration and development in the context of the EU Mobility Partnership with Cape Verde. Is the Mobility Partnership a tool for development? - 11-06-2015

European Parliament briefing on Policy Coherence for Development: still some way to go!
In May, the European Parliament Research Service published a briefing on policy coherence for development and its state of play in the European Union. In this briefing, policy coherence is defined as ‘absence of a contradiction between policies’, and is an important challenge, especially for complex institutions such as the EU. - 10-06-2015

MEP Barbara Lochbihler asks about land grabbing in Cambodia
MEP Barbara Lochbihler (Greens/EFA) asked a question to the Commission about the issue of land grabbing in Cambodia, which occurs often. In particular Economic Land Concessions (ELCs), which is a preferential treatment of the Cambodian sugar industry that benefits from the Everything But Arms initiative, an EU policy of trade preferences. - 01-06-2015

MEP Lola Sánchez Caldentey asks for PCD to be included in EU migration policy
In her question, Lola Sánchez-Caldentey refers to the joint DEVE/LIBE exchange of views on the root causes of migration, that was held on 1st of April 2015. - 01-06-2015

MEP Caldentey asks the Commission about the relationship between coherence of development policies and investment agreements
MEP Lola Sanchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL) has tabled a question to the Commission on the relationship between development policies and trade and investment agreements. - 20-05-2015

Appropriate policies contribute to finance for development, says new report
On Monday the 4th of May, the new European Report on Development (ERD) was launched in Brussels. The report ‘Combining finance and policies to implement a transformative post-2015 development agenda’ calls for a completely new approach to finance for development. This includes more policy coherence and appropriate policies, to make finance for development work. - 20-05-2015

Financing for Development and the Road to Addis Ababa
The Post-2015 development agenda is a process to help define the future of a global development framework, led by the United Nations. It will result in the Sustainable Development Goals that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals. Part of this process, is the discussion on financing for development. This will be the central topic of the third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, in July 2015. - 04-05-2015

MEP’s ask questions about migration and trade policies
The approach of the EU towards migration is much in the news at the moment, following the recent tragedies in the Mediterranean sea. In May, the European Commission will present its new Agenda on Migration. A group of MEP’s from the political group S&D has asked a question about the coordination of European migration and trade policies in the context of trade negotiations with Southern Mediterranean partners. - 04-05-2015

EU Ombudsman speaks out on the obligation of the Commission to conduct human rights impact assessment in trade agreements
The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR) filed a complaint, following the Commission’s refusal to to take human rights into account in negotiations for trade and investment agreements with Vietnam. In her draft recommendation, adopted on the 26th of March 2015, EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly concluded the complaint was well-funded, stating that “the Commission should carry out, without further delay, a human rights impact assessment on the matter.” - 22-04-2015

CONCORD urges the European Parliament not to ratify the EPA with West Africa
CONCORD, the European NGO confederation for relief and development has published its first PCD Spotlight paper of 2015, on the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and West Africa. The central question: who benefits? - 22-04-2015

MEPs ask questions about EU import of goods derived from illegal deforestation
On the 17th of march, NGO Fern published a report on the EU’s role in illegal tropical deforestation. The study indicates that in order to meet European demand for meat, leather, palm oil and soy, the EU imports goods grown in deforested areas. Fern now shows these deforestations were mostly illegal. We discussed this report before, you can read more here. - 22-04-2015

FERN report claims illegal import of agricultural products by EU member states stimulates deforestation in developing countries
A recently published report by Fern, a green NGO, claims that the EU is one of the world’s largest importers of agricultural products that are linked to illegal deforestation. According to the report, EU member states imported soy, leather, beef and palm oil worth over 6 billion euro in 2012. These products are claimed to be from tropical forests turned into agricultural land. - 13-04-2015

MEP Stier asks question about human rights based approach of EEAS delegations.
MEP Ivo Davor Stier (EPP) asked a question for written answer directed towards the Vice-President/High Representative Frederica Mogherini. The European Union committed itself towards a Rights-Based Approach (RBA) for development cooperation in 2012, following the adoption of the Agenda for Change and the EU Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy, Stier writes. - 13-04-2015

Coherence monitor launched in The Netherlands
On the 23rd of March, Partos (The Dutch NGO confederation), Foundation Max van der Stoel and Woord en Daad organised a conference on policy coherence for development. Here, the new report Let’s Walk the Talk Together; the state of affairs of policy coherence for development was presented to the Dutch Minister for International Trade and Development Cooperation Mrs Ploumen. - 26-03-2015

PCD rapporteurs in the ACP–EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
The DEVE committee of the European Parliament released on the 27th of January its ‘report on the work of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly’, with a motion for an European Parliament Resolution. The final report includes an amendment about PCD, tabled by MEP Louis-Joseph Manscour (S&D). - 11-03-2015

Need for better dialogue between EU delegations and local civil society, especially when it concerns Policy Coherence for Development.
The European Union has 139 delegations operating all over the world that are representing the European Union. Following the Lisbon Treaty, the European External Action Service (EEAS) is responsible for running these delegations, who play a key role in presenting, implementing and explaining EU’s foreign policies.[1] - 09-03-2015

Isabella Lövin advocates PCD during UN General Assembly meeting
Isabella Lövin is the Swedish minister for International Development and Cooperation. During an event of the United Nations on the post-2015 agenda and a new climate agreement she spoke of the importance of Policy Coherence for Development in the implementation of the new post-2105 development agenda. She said: - 02-03-2015

MEPs Michel and Bayet draw attention to the impact of climate change on developing countries
At the Lima Climate Conference (COP 20), which took place from 1 to 12 December 2014 in Lima, Peru, representatives from the 192 countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) aimed to negotiate the terms of a binding set of climate change targets, to be finalised and adopted at the COP 21 conference in Paris in 2015. However, the countries remain among others divided on the level of contributions to the Green Climate Fund, which is established to help developing countries reduce their CO2 emissions and adapt to climate change. - 16-12-2014

MEP Sánchez Caldentey asks questions about PCD and major trade treaties
In June 2013, the first round of talks between the EU and the US on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement started. The aim of the free trade agreement is to create economic growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic by removing trade barriers. Besides TTIP, other major trade treaties are currently being negotiated, such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the General Agreement on Trade in Services. Up until now, an important topic is so far left out of the debate: the effects of these trade treaties for the rest of the world, more specifically, for developing and emerging economies. - 16-12-2014

Mobility Partnerships: promoting migration and development?
For a large number of years, the idea that migration and development policies are positively interrelated is widely acknowledged. Since 2005, the European Commission has been keen on promoting and integrating coherence between both policy areas. This because labour migration has a key role to play in driving European economic development in the long term. But also because migration and mobility can function as powerful tools to stimulate development in developing countries. Among European policy makers, these positive linkages between migration and development are nicely called the migration-development nexus, which became one of the five Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) priorities of the European Commission. - 16-12-2014

PCD in the amendments of the draft report on the post-2015 global development framework
On the 1st of October, the draft report on the European Union and the global development framework after 2015 was published by the Development Committee in the European Parliament. After thoroughly having scrutinised the report, Fair Politics came to the conclusion that Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) was quite underexposed in the draft report. Luckily, a considerable number of MEPs tabled amendments to the draft report, thereby addressing this lack of PCD, as it should be one of the priority areas according to Fair Politics. - 03-12-2014

MEP Balčytis asks questions about trade in conflict minerals
The current legislative proposal on conflict minerals, which is being discussed within the European Parliament and Commission at present, aims to break the link between the extraction of minerals and the financing of armed conflicts. - 18-11-2014

European Parliament asks questions about Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)
The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and several African states encourages African countries to open up to 83% of their markets to European imports. Also, tariffs and fees are planned to be gradually eliminated. In exchange, African states receive customs-free access to the European market. The Commission has indicated that, together with development aid, the EPA could help partner countries to create jobs and increase political dialogue with the EU. 1 - 18-11-2014

MEP Valenciano Martínez-Orozco draws attention to Mediterranean refugee crisis
Last year the Lampedusa disaster startled everyone: 366 refugees did not survive the disaster. However, despite the disaster, more and more immigrants want to reach European shores. Refugee Agency UNHCR calculated that during the first nine months of 2014, 165,000 persons were fished out of the sea. Meanwhile, the number of humanitarian tragedies in which illegal African immigrants die along the coasts of southern Europe continue to appear in the news. - 18-11-2014

A new PCD standing rapporteur and the PCD agenda in the European Parliament
Now that the new European Commission has been installed and will start their work on the 1st of November, the European Parliament is also able to return to its daily work. In addition to the latest developments surrounding the installation of the new EC, a new PCD standing rapporteur has been appointed, namely the Romanian MEP Cristian Dan Preda (EPP). - 29-10-2014

What about PCD in the hearings and promises of the Commissioners designate?
On October 7th the last hearing with Commissioner designate vice-president for better regulation Frans Timmermans took place, during which he credibly convinced the European Parliament (EP) that he got what it takes to become Junckers’ right hand. But the Commission portfolios are all but settled, since the EP withheld confirmation from five nominees. This is most likely going to result in a re-shuffling of portfolios. - 08-10-2014

How Fair are the Commissioners designate? And how well prepared are they for their portfolio?
We are about to find out during the public hearings in the European Parliament which will be taking place from September 30th until October 7th. During these hearings the Commissioners designate will be scrutinised by MEPs on their knowledge in relation to their portfolios and their stances with regard to important upcoming policy issues. In this article we will shortly examine the Commissioners designate who will be playing an important part in EU Foreign Affairs policy. - 24-09-2014

We need common solutions for our common problems
This month the European Think Tanks Group, consisting of four development institutions, published a report calling for a new understanding of the global role of the European Union and a new approach to international development. The report comes timely considering the new European Parliament just installed before summer and the new Commissioners who will be starting their jobs this November; how can they make sure that the EU will become more efficient and effective when it comes to tackling global challenges? - 23-09-2014

Uranium mining in Africa has dangerous impact on local population
Last month WISE (World Information Service on Energy) published a report on uranium mining and its effects on the local population in Tanzania, Cameroon, and Mali. Last week they have invited a delegation from these countries to present the report to various Dutch NGOs and politicians and to speak about the impact of uranium mining. Therefore they also visited the Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS). Some of the main conclusions: “We need to benefit from our own resources.” And, “Uranium mining must not pollute our environment.” - 19-05-2014

Migrant’s rights important for development
Migration and development are highly interdependent processes. International migrants can end up contributing to both their country of resettlement and their country of origin. In the development process, it is important that people’s productivity, creativity and choices are broadened, and that opportunities are created. To harness the development potential of migration and to contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction it is important that migrants are not hampered by a lack of rights. - 09-05-2014

European Parliament asks questions about illegal logging in Cameroon
Illegal logging and global trade in illegal timber are widely recognized as key threats to forests, biodiversity and development worldwide. The European Union is a major world consumer of illegally logged timber and therefore plays a key role in the protection of biodiversity and the fight against illegal logging.  - 08-05-2014

What do we expect from the next EU Commissioner?
With the upcoming EU elections, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a meeting on the future of EU development cooperation, with the main question ‘What do we expect from the next EU Commissioner?’ - 29-04-2014

Vacature FairPolitics stagiair(e) Brussel
De Foundation Max van der Stoel is op zoek naar een stagiair(e) voor het Europese politieke lobbyprogramma Fair Politics - 11-04-2014

Launch ‘FairKiezingswijzer’
In the run-up to the European elections Fair Politics launches its annual Elecion barometer on the 22nd of April. The 'FairKiezingswijzer' is an election barometer in which the different Dutch parties are compared in how ‘fair’ their European manifesto's are. Which party ranks highest in considering the interests of developing countries? - 11-04-2014

MEP Silvestris asks question about economic growth and widening of the gap with the poorest countries
Member of Parliament Sergio Silvestris (EPP) filed a parliamentary question to draw the Commission’s attention to the widening economic gap between the more advanced economies and developing countries. He stated that we are coming out of the crisis, and growth is gradually becoming stronger around the world, but that the situation is still somewhat patchy. - 10-04-2014

PCD report of Goerens unanimously adopted by the European Parliament
On March 3rd the DEVE committee of the European Parliament unanimously adopted the report of PCD standing rapporteur Charles Goerens (ALDE) about Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). The report was later adopted by the European Parliament as a whole on the 13th of March. - 10-04-2014

Conference on Migration and Development: “Development potential of migration impaired by discriminatory European policies”
On the 4th of April, the Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE) held its kick-off conference. The conference aimed to contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics and consequences of transnational migration and mobility in a European and global context. - 10-04-2014

CONCORD PCD SEMINAR: “PCD needs the commitment of non-development actors”
It’s not all about aid. EU policies can have serious impacts on developing countries. From cheap subsidised exports that local food producers can’t compete with, to EU companies eating up precious natural resources. It’s often a case of giving with one hand and taking with the other. This is what is meant by ‘Policy Coherence for Development’, which was the focus of the seminar. - 09-04-2014

Political Foundations and development cooperation: launch of profile paper
On March 18th the workgroup Development Assistance of the European Network of Political foundations (ENoP), of which the Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS) is a member, launched its profile paper “Political Foundations: Development Cooperation between State and Society.” Fair Politics was also present. In cooperation with the Austrian organization IUFE (Institut für Umwelt – Friede – Entwicklung) the profile paper was presented at the Austrian Parliament in Vienna, where besides the members of the ENoP workgroup Development Assistance, several Austrian politicians and NGOs were present. - 08-04-2014

PCD at the OECD: "what we now need is action!"
In the beginning of March, the 7th OECD National Focal Points meeting on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) took place in Paris. Fair Politics was also present. OECD member countries discussed the role PCD can play in the changing global context and how it can support the current Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 agenda. In three panels ‘the what’, ‘the who’, and ‘the how’ were discussed. - 26-03-2014

MEP Borghezio asks questions about child labour in Turkey
MEP Mario Borghezio (NI) drew the Commission’s attention on various studies conducted by various Turkish organisations on the violation of children’s rights. - 20-03-2014

MEP Aylward asks questions about human rights commitments in EU trade agreements with Colombia
MEP Liam Aylward (ALDE) asked questions about human rights commitments in EU trade agreements with third countries. He referred to the trade agreements between the EU, Peru and Colombia, which came in to force in August 2013. He especially pointed to the human rights situation in Colombia. - 20-03-2014

MEPs file amendments on Policy Coherence for Development Report
Norbert Neuser and Patrice Tirolien of the S&D, asked the Commission – in their amendment – to ensure regular ex-post assessments of the development impact of key policies as requested by the Council.  So far impact assessments on development policies are only executed in advance, and ex-post impact assessments are mostly lacking. - 18-02-2014

MEP Bielan draws attention to bad conditions facing migrant workers in the Persian Gulf
MEP Adam Bielan (ECR) filed a parliamentary question about conditions facing workers in Qatar. In his question he drew attention to a Human Rights Report which stated that people employed on construction sites, especially those working on facilities for the 2022 World Cup, are working in unhealthy, life-threatening conditions. This is clear from the high mortality rate among these workers. - 15-02-2014

MEP Agnès Le Brun (EPP) asks questions about EUs human rights standards in their commercial policy
MEP Agnès Le Brun (EPP) asked questions about human rights in the EUs commercial policy. The reason for asking questions was the environmental damage in Paraguay caused by the Brazilian company Yaguarete Pora, which imports beef into the EU. - 20-01-2014

MEP Rossi (EPP) asks questions about oil companies in Nigeria and ProSavana Project
MEP Oreste Rossi (EPP) asks question about European oil companies who are alleged of falsifying documents about oil leaks in the Niger Delta. These leaks where very harmful for the local population. Rossi wants to know about possible involvement of European economic and political involvement. He also asks questions about risks of land-grabbing in the EU-sponsored ProSavana Project - 20-01-2014

MEPs ask questions about human rights clause in the FTA with Peru and Colombia
MEPs Franziska Keller and Barbara Lochbihler (Greens/EFA) asked questions about human rights abuses in Colombia in relation to the human rights clause in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and Peru & Colombia. - 20-01-2014

MEPs amend draft report highlighting the impact of illicit money flows on development
In the draft report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs & Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs about the proposal for a regulation on information accompanying transfers of funds an important amendment was made. This amendment pays attention to the negative consequences of illicit money flows on development. - 20-01-2014

MEP Jürgen Klute (GUE/NGL) fights financial crimes with more transparency
MEP Jürgen Klute amended the draft report of Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs & Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs asking more transparency about capital flows and taxation in trade agreements. - 20-01-2014

Policy Coherence for Development: Many new developments!
After the launch of the CONCORD PCD Spotlight Report in September much has been happening around PCD in various institutions of the European Union. The biennial progress report of the European Commission was launched, there was an exchange of views in the European Parliament on PCD, a conference on PCD was organised by Foundation Max van der Stoel in co-operation with the European Network of Politcal Foundations (ENoP) and Council Conclusions on PCD have been adopted! - 17-12-2013

Motions for Resolutions and amendments drafted in order to create a development-friendly WTO-agreement at the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference.
MEPs on behalf of the Greens/EFA-group, the GUE/NGL-group as well as the Committee on International Trade drafted a motion for a resolution about the Doha Development Agenda and the Ninth Ministerial WTO Conference that took place in Bali from the 3rd until the 6th of December. In these motions for resolutions much attention was paid to the need for a development-friendly agreement that would really help creating sustainable development among the poorest countries in the world. - 17-12-2013

ECDPM study shows that European non aid policies are not coherent to the objective of global food security
The European Union plays a leading role when it comes to tackling global hunger and malnutrition through EU aid and development programs. But what about EU non-aid policies, do they contribute to global food security? The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) conducted a study on how commitments and institutional mechanisms for PCD have supported its development objectives in the area of global food security. - 25-11-2013

MEPs want to guarantee trade preferences for least-developed countries
Several MEPs in the DEVE Committee amended the draft opinion of Judith Sargentini about opening up public procurement markets. In these amendments they highlight the situation of Least-Developed Countries (LDCs) and the importance of the Generalised Scheme of Preference (GSP) these countries have when it comes to trade with the EU. - 19-11-2013

MEP Tarabella (S&D) expresses his concerns about food speculation
MEP Marc Tarabella (S&D) raises attention to the dangers of food speculation in his question towards the European Commission. He wants to stop food speculation, because it has major negative implications for people all around the world, especially in developing countries. - 19-11-2013

MEP Rossi asks questions about land grabbing by companies
MEP Oreste Rossi (EPP) asked question to the Commission about land grabbing activities in the developing world by companies. Rossi gives several examples of land grabbing activities by companies in Brazil, Cambodia, Mali, Zambia and Malawi. Often multinationals (also those who are based in Europe) are involved in these land grabbing activities through their supply chain. Rossi asks the Commission how they think about a ‘zero tolerance’ policy requiring companies to be transparent and reveal the countries and producers from which they obtain their raw materials. - 19-11-2013

MEP Liam Aylward (ALDE) addresses negative impacts of EBAs in Cambodia
MEP Liam Aylward (ALDE) asked questions to the Commission about land grabbing in Cambodia as a consequence of the Everything but Arms (EBA) Initiative between the EU and Cambodia. - 19-11-2013

ENoP conference on PCD: Making political choices!
Yesterday on November the 12th our conference on Policy Coherence for Development; Making political choices took place. The conference was organized in cooperation with the European Network of Political foundations (ENoP), of which the Foundation Max van der Stoel is a member. - 13-11-2013

Exchange of views on PCD in the European Parliament!
On Tuesday the 5th of November the topic of PCD was on the agenda of the Development committee in the European Parliament. - 06-11-2013

November 12th: Conference on PCD: Making political choices!
On Tuesday the 12th of November, the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP) organises a conference in Brussels about Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). - 29-10-2013

EIB loans should support Policy Coherence for Development
Ivailo Kalfin (S&D) and Helga Trüpel (Greens/EFA) amended the draft report of the Committee on Budgets regarding investment losses of the European Investment Bank (EIB) under financing operations supporting investments projects outside the Union. Here they highlight the responsibility the EIB has to comply with EU development policy and plead for more transparency. - 28-10-2013

Policy Coherence for Development in the post-2015 Development Agenda
Currently the post-2015 Development Agenda is in the international spotlight. This post-2015 framework is the successor of the well-known Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). - 17-10-2013

MEP Sargentini states that the Commissions Regulation about public procurement contradicts the principle of PCD
In the draft opinion about the restriction of access of EU public procurement market for developing countries from the Committee on Development, by MEP Sargentini, attention is put to the effects the Regulation will have on developing countries. - 16-10-2013

How seeds legislation can influence poor people’s lives
The European Commission ‘Plant reproductive Material law’ raises resistance in environmental NGOs as well as in developing countries. In this new proposal the European Commission proposes that only seeds that conform DUS-guidelines (Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability) can be registered by the EU.  - 16-10-2013

Questions about trade and development ‘PCD’ by MEP Beňová
Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D) addresses Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) in her question towards the Commission. She sets the link between trade and development policy. - 25-09-2013

S&D MEPs ask questions about negative effects for development regarding Everything But Arms Agreement with Cambodia
MEPs Linda McAvan, David Martin & Michael Cashman (S&D) asked questions to the Commission about human rights abuses in Cambodia, relating to the EUs Everything But Arms Agreement with Cambodia. - 25-09-2013

Amendment of MEPs supports PCD regarding imports of rice from Bangladesh
MEPs amended the draft report on a regulation on imports of rice originating in Bangladesh. In these amendments they pay attention to the importance of coherent policy. - 25-09-2013

MEP Jadot puts attention to PCD regarding trade from goods, derived from the processing of agricultural products
MEP Yannick Jadot (Greens/EFA) amended the draft opinion of Albert Deß (EPP) of the Committee on International Trade on trade arrangements applicable to certain goods derived from the processing of agricultural products. In the draft opinion it is stated that the trade regime for processed agricultural products should be in line with the Lisbon Treaty and Unions obligations regarding reduction or phasing out of import duties and export subsidies as well as opening and adaptation of tarrif quotas, arising from the WTO and bilateral agreements. MEP Jadot amended this draft opinion positively with attention to PCD. - 25-09-2013

MEP Creţu introduces PCD as instrument in Road Maps
In the draft report of Corina Creţu (S&D) on Europe’s engagement in support of sustainable development she pleads for PCD to be an instrument in Road Maps (RMs) drafted by the Commission in order to engage with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in developing countries. - 25-09-2013

Green MEPs want policy coherence for development in EU-ASEAN relationship
MEPs Eva Joly and Bart Staes (Greens/EFA) have amended the draft opinion of Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D) of the Committee on Development on the future of EU-ASEAN relations. In the amendments they pay attention to Policy Coherence for Development regarding Free Trade Agreements and long term development. They also address the impact European policy has on issues as land-grabbing. - 25-09-2013

The Real Impact of EU Policies on the Poor, the Launch of Concord’s Spotlight Report on Policy Coherence for Development
Yesterday CONCORD (the European confederation of NGOs) launched its Spotlight Report on PCD. This Report is published every two years, as an alternative to the EC’s biennial PCD progress report. - 19-09-2013

What’s on the agenda for this fall?
With last week’s State of the Union of the President of the Commission , mr. Barroso, the parliamentary year of the European Union was officially opened. A year in which elections will take place in May, but before that, there are a lot of remaining topics on the agenda. On this agenda are also several important topics regarding Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), which Fair Politics EU will focus on. - 16-09-2013

Judith Sargentini: 'I won!'
MEP Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA) wins the Fair Politician of the Year Award! The announcement was made yesterday during the official ceremony in the European Parliament, where several MEPs and others who were interested were gathered. Among all 754 MEPs, Sargentini put most efforts into making EU policies more fair towards developing countries. - 26-06-2013

The Evert Vermeer Foundation will become Foundation Max van der Stoel
On the 21st of June 2013 the Evert Vermeer Foundation and the Alfred Mozer Foundation will merge into a new foundation named after former PvdA (Dutch Labour Party) Minister of Foreign Affairs and OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Max van der Stoel (1924-2011). The Fair Politics programme of the Evert Vermeer Foundation will continue under its same name within the new Foundation Max van der Stoel. Like its predecessors, the new foundation will pursue the ideals of Democratisation, Development and Dialogue. - 06-06-2013

OECD released PCD report
The OECD released their PCD report: Better Policies for Development. In Focus: Policy Coherence for Development and Global Food Security. In this report, the OECD shows that coherent policies are necessary for achieving global food security, since this challenge is related to many fields: development and poverty, but also trade and environment. Our contribution to the report can be found on page 67! - 06-06-2013

Who will become the Fair Politician of the Year 12/13?
After an exciting competition, we are ready to announce this years Fair Politician of the Year! On the 25th of June the price will be rewarded to the Member of Parliament (MEP) who has shown the most effort to make EU policies more coherent and fair. - 06-06-2013

New websites!
A new foundation and new websites! Besides the new website of the Foundation, the Fair Politics website will also be renewed. Currently we are working hard on a better website, which will be more user-friendly, the cases will be shortened to keep things clear and in-depth information will be provided by links to background information and regular updates. - 06-06-2013

Vacature Fair Politics stagair(e)
De Evert Vermeer Stichting (EVS) wil dat beleidsmakers en politici in Den Haag en in Brussel zich realiseren welke impact hun besluiten hebben op mensen in ontwikkelingslanden. Politici en beleidsmakers moeten dus beslissingen nemen waarbij de belangen van ontwikkelingslanden worden meegewogen. - 14-05-2013

Romeva asks the Commission about food speculation
MEP Raül Romeva i Rueda (Greens/EFA) asked the Commission about Spanish banks which contribute to speculation on food prices. This speculation causes fluctuations in food prices which affects poor populations. - 23-04-2013

The EU Parliament votes on CAP reform
On the 13th of March, the European Parliament voted on the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reform for the first time. Many of the hundreds of amendments were not adopted, which means, among other things, there will not be a monitoring system to assess the external impact in developing countries. - 23-04-2013

Keller wants an EBA investigation in Cambodia
Human rights abuses as a result of land concessions seem to escalate in Cambodia. Franziska Keller (Greens/EFA) therefore wants the Commission to investigate the Everything But Arms (EBA) preferences on agricultural products from Cambodia. - 23-04-2013

MEP Cashman sees room for improvement in ACP-EU Partnership Agreements
The EU needs to take a more development-friendly and human-rights based approach in future international negotiations, taking into account the human development of the citizens of these countries. Your Rapporteur believes that such an approach will be mutually beneficial. - 21-03-2013

Amendments for more coherency on trade and investment-driven growth for developing countries
In November 2012, Tokia Saïfi (EPP) wrote a Draft Report on trade and investment-driven growth for developing countries. Several members of the INTA committee made amendments on this report, striving for more coherent trade policies. - 21-03-2013

Monitor update
A lot has happened since our last newsletter came out in December! The same names appear in the top 3 of our Fair Politics monitor, but in December, the positions were shared with others. Some of the MEPs continued to strive for PCD, where others seem to be somewhat quiet. - 06-03-2013

MEP Sánchez Presedo concerned about the rights of local landowners in developing countries
Antolín Sánchez Presedo (S&D) addresses different issues regarding buying arable land in the poorest development countries. He says that this raises questions about sustainability, the abuses and ethics of some large-scale sales of arable land in developing countries, and the protection of landowners rights. Questions also arise regarding the production strategies, competence, approach to food security and environmental protection measures of the economically strongest Member State countries and businesses in relation to the weakest. - 25-02-2013

MEP Dancila asks questions about preventing deforestation.
MEP Vasilica Viorica Dancila (S&D) is concerned about deforestation, which ''causes and effects (...) are diverse and dependent on the socioeconomic conditions specific to each climate zone''. - 11-02-2013

Amendments to draft opinion on advancing development through trade
Other members of the INTA committee have made valuable amendments to the draft opinion from rapporteur Tokia Saïfi on 'advancing development through trade'. With their amendments they address EU policies which often have negative effects on the development of other countries. Furthermore, they pay attention to sustainability, human rights protection and social norms. They are all rewarded with one point. - 29-01-2013

MEP Meyer and MEP Matera ask questions on EU and climate change
MEP Barbara Matera (EPP) notes that according to the annual report of the OECD the global market is developing in a way that will inevitably lead to climate change. The effects are especially detrimental for the poorest and most disadvantaged countries. MEP Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL) refers to the Doha Conference and blames the lack of political will for the failure to sign an international agreement. Both ask questions to the Commission on upcoming EU activity with regards to climate change. - 22-01-2013

MEP Schnieber-Jastram recognizes importance of EEAS for PCD
MEP Birgit Schnieber-Jastram (EPP) has drafted the opinion of the DEVE committee on the Foreign Affairs committee's report on the 2013 review of the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service (EEAS). In the opinion she includes PCD. - 22-01-2013

MEP Tirolien drafts report on financing EU cooperation for ACP states 2014-2020
MEP Patrice Tirolien (S&D) has drafted, on behalf of the DEVE committee, a report "on the preparation of the multiannual financial framework regarding the financing of EU cooperation for African, Caribbean and Pacific States and Overseas Countries and Territories for the 2014-2020 period (11th European Development Fund)". In it he discusses European development aid and the functioning of it. Although he could have given a stronger role to PCD, he makes a valuable contribution. - 22-01-2013

Amendments to MEP Svenssons draft opinion on trade, investment and development
MEPs Philippe Boulland (EPP), Jean Roatta (EPP), Norbert Neuser (S&D), Eva Joly and Judith Sargentini (both Greens/EFA) have made some valuable amendments to the draft opinion of MEP Alf Svensson (EPP) on trade and investment-driven growth for developing countries. They all agree on the importance of sustainable trade and investment. - 15-01-2013

The EU publishes Annual Report on arms trade 2011
In December the EU published in its Official Journal, the Annual Report "defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment". It discusses arms trade of the EU members states with non-member states in 2011. - 15-01-2013

Who will be the Fair Politician of 2012-2013?
What has happened the past few months in the European Parliament with regards to Policy Coherence for Development? Who has earned points in our monitor? Who is leading the list? Who will walk into the footsteps of MEP Lövin, our Fair Politician of 2011-2012? - 19-12-2012

Fair Politics wish list
Today, Fair Politics sent its Christmas wish list to 100 MEPs. We hope that all MEPs will make them their New Years resolutions. - 18-12-2012

MEP Svensson's draft report contributes to PCD
MEP Alf Svensson (EPP) has drafted the report of the DEVE-committee on advancing development through trade. In it he addresses many points how the EU can make its trade policies more in light with its development objectives. - 05-12-2012

MEP Grèze asks for binding CSR obligations in draft opinion
MEP Grèze (Greens/EFA) has drafted the DEVE opinions on CSR addressed to the Employment and Legal Affairs committees. In both opinions she recognizes the importance of CSR for Policy Coherence for Development and she stresses to move to binding obligations. - 20-11-2012

Fair Politics at the Africaday
Last Saturday, November 17th, the yearly Africaday took place in Amsterdam. It was a beautiful day with interesting debates, delicious food and good music. Fair Politics was present as well. At our stand, visitors could participate in the Fair Politics quiz. They were rewarded with the one and only Fair Politics-bag and they could win fair prices. Also politicians were challenged to participate and to win the Fair Politician of the Day-title. More than forty visitors and four politicians filled in our questionnaire. Ria Pluymaekers was the Fair Visitor of the Day! She had all answers right! Nienke and Emmie won the second and third price. To all three, congratulations and many thanks for your participation! Four members of the Dutch Parliament, Bram van Ojik, Ingrid de Caluwe, Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, Desirée Bonis and Jasper van Dijk, participated as well. Bram van Ojik did best and was the Fair Politician of the Africaday! Thank you all for participating! - 20-11-2012

MEP Berman asks question on Cameroonian banana sector
MEP Thijs Berman (S&D) asks his question in relation to the country strategy for Cameroon currently drafted by the Commission. In his question he asks if banana workers unions are among the stakeholders consulted, and, if not, why not. - 20-11-2012

27-9-2012 MEP Grzyb writes draft opinions on CSR
MEP Andrzej Grzyb (EPP) has drafted the opinions of the Foreign Affairs-committee on CSR. The opinions are directed to the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Legal Affairs-committee. - 20-11-2012

MEP Howitt calls for ambitious EU legislation on CSR
MEP Richard Howitt (S&D) calls in his draft opinion on behalf of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs for "an ambitious proposal which places the EU at the heart of the many current international initiatives on mandatory corporate sustainability reporting and which is fully in line with the objective of making Integrated Reporting, as currently developed by the IIRC, the global norm by the end of the decade." - 20-11-2012

MEP Brantner asks for more coherent agreements
MEP Brantner (Greens/EFA) asks for more coherent and effective agreements in her amendment to draft report written in reaction to the annual report on Common Foreign and Security Policy by the Council. - 31-10-2012

PCD report adopted by European Parliament
On September 18th the DEVE committee of the European Parliament unanimously adopted the report of PCD standing rapporteur Birgit Schnieber-Jastram (EPP) about Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). Last week, the report was also adopted by the whole European Parliament. - 29-10-2012

Who will be the Fair Politician of 2012-2013?
Every year Fair Politics awards a member of the European Parliament with the Fair Politician of the Year award. In the past parliamentary year MEP Isabella Lövin won this award. A new parliamentary year has now started and thus new chances to become the Fair Politician of the Year. The monitor is running and almost 100 points have been awarded so far. - 29-10-2012

Brantner includes PCD in AFET report
MEP Brantner (Greens/EFA) includes PCD in her amendment to the draft report by MEP Mauro on the Partnership instrument for cooperation with third countries. - 29-10-2012

MEP Lange writes draft opinion on CSR
Fair Politics welcomes the draft opinion written by MEP Bernd Lange (S&D) of the INTA committee. - 25-10-2012

The Single CMO regulation and PCD
01-09-2012 MEPs Westlund, Kadenbach, Simpson, Schaldemose and Prendergast (S&D) raise awareness on PCD and food security. - 25-10-2012

Amendments of AGRI-committee include PCD
In may 2012 rapporteur Giovanni La Via presented his draft report on the on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy in the AGRI-committee. Fair Politics is happy to observe that members of the AGRI-committee have taken notice of the term PCD and have included the concept in their amendments. - 25-10-2012

MEPs Schnieber-Jastram and Mitchell call for a stronger regulatory framework for commodity derivative markets
20-6-2012 MEPs Schnieber-Jastram and Mitchell (EPP) claim in their amendment to a draft opinion of the DEVE committee that a regulatory framework with regards to the commodity derivative markets is necessary in order to ensure Policy Coherence for Development. - 08-10-2012

CAP reform and Policy Coherence for Development
21-6-2012 DEVE committee wants CAP regulations to be in line with article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). - 08-10-2012

Food security and Policy Coherence for Development
18-9-2012 MEP Staes (Greens/EFA) and MEP Guerrero Salom (S&D) link food security and policy coherence for development. - 08-10-2012

Fair Politician of the Year 2012-2013
Every year Fair Politics awards a member of the European Parliament with the Fair Politician of the Year award. In the past parliamentary year MEP Isabella Lövin won this award. A new parliamentary year has now started and thus new chances to become this years Fair Politician. - 01-10-2012

DEVE committee adopts Berman-report
Yesterday, DEVE voted on the draft report, written by MEP Thijs Berman (S&D) on the establishment of a financing instrument for development cooperation. The final report was adopted unanimously. - 19-09-2012

EP's report on Policy Coherence for Development
Today the European Parliament will vote on Birgit Schnieber-Jastrams draft report on Policy Coherence for Development. In the draft, Schnieber-Jastram stresses the importance of PCD, but also points to new opportunities and critical issues. - 18-09-2012

MEP Murphy asks for more coherence in Multiannual Financial Framework
MEP Murphy (GUE/NGL) makes amendments to the draft opinion of the INTA-committee on the Multiannual Financial Framework for the years 2014-2020. - 07-09-2012

Amendment of MEP Cortés Lastra adopted
The Committee on Development (DEVE) adopts amendment of MEP Cortés Lastra (S&D). As a result, DEVE underlines in her opinion for the committee on Budget (BUGD) that Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) must function as a key principle in the Multiannual Financial Framework negotiations. - 04-09-2012

MEP Svensson links PCD to human rights
MEP Alf Svensson (EPP) links Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) to Human Rights. - 01-09-2012

The European Parliament and the Agenda for Change
In July 2012 MEP Goerens presented the report of the European Parliament in response the Commissions communication Increasing the impact of EU Development Policy: an Agenda for Change. The communication laid down the way to make the EUs development policy more effective. Policy Coherence for Development was also mentioned as one of the tools. While the Goerens draft report lacked attention to Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), PCD is included in he final version. - 01-09-2012

Isabella Lövin (Greens) is Fair Politician of the Year!
Member of European Parliament Isabella Lövin of the Greens/EFA has won this year’s Fair Politician of the Year award for her efforts to make the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy more fair towards developing countries! - 20-06-2012

Who will become the Fair Politician of the Year 11/12?
After an exciting competition, we are ready to announce this year’s Fair Politician of the Year! On the 20th of June the price will be rewarded to the Member of Parliament (MEP) who has shown the most effort to make EU policies more coherent and fair. - 19-06-2012

Who will become the Fair Politician of the Year 2012?!
This year’s competition for the Fair Politician of the Year is as exciting as ever and everything is still possible! So far, MEPs Maurice Ponga from the EPP and Judith Sargentini from the Greens/EFA both take the lead in the running towards becoming Fair Politician of the Year. But there are still more than two months left for the competition so who will go home with the trophy? Will it be mr. Ponga, ms. Sargentini or will the standing rapporteur on PCD, ms. Birgit Schnieber Jastram, pull back from behind?  - 04-04-2012

Policy Coherence for Development: 2012 and beyond?
The European Commission published its second report on PCD this year. The report counts over a 100 pages and assesses the efforts to implement PCD of the EU and its member states. Unfortunately the Commission opted for a more low key launch than was the case with the previous edition, and it will not be discussed in Parliament as such. - 04-04-2012

Stage “Fair Politics” in Brussel
De Evert Vermeer Stichting (EVS) wil dat beleidsmakers en politici in Den Haag en in Brussel zich realiseren welke impact hun besluiten hebben op mensen in ontwikkelingslanden. Politici en beleidsmakers moeten dus beslissingen nemen waarbij de belangen van ontwikkelingslanden worden meegewogen. - 03-04-2012

MEP Silvestris: hinder local growth developing countries needs to stop
Roughly 60% of the contracts that are put out to tender development cooperation are awarded to companies from the same country that finances the development initiative. In absolute terms, donors get back some USD 29 billion. This occurs as invitations to tender tend to indirectly favour global companies or companies from the donor country, in terms of language, access to information or participation requirements. The result is that entrepreneurial activity and local employment in developing countries are hindered. - 27-03-2012


On Tuesday March 6 2012 Fair Politics launched the impact study  the EU Raw Materials policy and mining in Rwanda’ in the European Parliament.  At this launch the findings of the research, Rwanda’s experiences with mineral certification and its efforts to add value to its mineral export were discussed. Our hosts for the day were MEP Judith Merkies (S&D, Committee on Industry, Energy and Research) and Franziska Keller (Greens/EFA, Development Committee). Birgit Schnieber Jastram (EPP, Development Committee) the PCD rapporteur in the EP was supposed to co-host the launch but unfortunately she was ill and could not attend. Mister Augustin Bida from Rwanda was our special guest at the launch. He is the executive secretary of the Rwandan federation of mining cooperatives (FECOMIRWA). The European Commission, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and many NGO’s were represented. All these different institutions and organisations came together at this launch to create more awareness for the necessity of Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), with a special focus on the EU Raw Materials policy in Rwanda. - 22-02-2012

DEVE: Involve development issues in EU BRICS relationships
The DEVE committee has written an opinion on the EU foreign policy towards the BRICS and other emerging powers, in which a strong call is made to take into account the impact on development. - 31-01-2012

Shell's involvement in armed conflict addressed by MEP Désir
According to a report from the British NGO Platform, the Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell has actively fuelled conflict and violence in Nigeria. Shell would have paid nearly 120.000 euro to armed groups, causing hundreds of people fleeing their homes, getting tortured or executed. - 30-01-2012

Preference erosion in ACP countries questioned by MEPs
In order to promote and facilitate socioeconomic development in developing countries through sustainable economic growth, the European Union grants tariff preferences to trading partners in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The Generalised System of Preference (GSP) allows such preferential treatment of developing countries as an exemption of WTO rules that aim for equal treatment of imports from all WTO member countries. - 12-01-2012

Two-tier trade agreements questioned by MEP Bearder
In a written question to the Commission, MEP Catherine Bearder (ALDE) addresses the issue of the two-tier trade system in recently signed free trade agreements (FTAs). Referring to the Lisobn Treaty, she criticises the fact that environmental and human rights provisions are not part of the main body of the FTAs. This means that there is no real enforcement mechanism nor subject to dispute-settlement machinery and that it seems less important than the commercial chapters. - 11-01-2012

New website and ranking design
The past few month we have been working on our renewed website. We are glad to be able to present to you now the final result; The Fair Politics website brings more information about our activities, ranking system and Policy Coherence for Development regarding different topics in EU legislation. With this new website we hope to make it easier for you to get an overview of what is going on regarding PCD. Furthermore we also provide background information about PCD and PCD-related issues on this site. Explore our new site here! - 01-01-2012

INTA adopts report on Trade and Investment Barriers
- 28-11-2011

Privatisation of water resources incoherent with MDGs according to MEP Mélenchon
Under the pressure of the World Bank, the IMF and the European Commission, there has been a world wide increase of privatising water recourses. The aim was to encourage sustainable development, mainly in developing countries, and to have the costs increasingly covered. However, as a consequence the prices of safe water access have risen, since water has been turned from a public good into a commodity in countries where water resources have been privatized. Due to this, many people in developing countries have decreased or no access to safe drinking water. - 28-11-2011

The Big Banana Movie
Multinational corporations in developing countries can make or break the development and sustainability in the area. In the EU, politicians, decision-makers and consumers can influence the way corporations behave in developing countries. This was one of the conclusions drawn from the public screening of the documentary The Big Banana Movie, on October 19th at the European Parliament, organised by the Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network (AEFN). The film was banned in Cameroon on the 26th of April this year. - 28-11-2011

Blog: Jasper in Rwanda!
Bourbon Café, Kigali hotspot for muzungus and Rwandans alike, is a great place to drink good coffee and eat overpriced and not so good food (the free wi-fi somewhat makes up for it, so do the speakers blasting Jody Bernal). Im waiting for two energetic young guys from a local film school to arrive and discuss a short documentary were making about mining here in Rwanda. Theyre going to an artisanal mine tomorrow run by a cooperative. They will shoot the goings-on at the mine and interview the workers. We hope it will give you and European policymakers an idea of the way the metals on which we so heavily depend are produced. Yesterday I met with the executive secretary of the federation of mining cooperatives in Rwanda, and he had some interesting things to say. The complete lack of equipment is a major problem in upgrading production, and he was very enthusiastic about the idea of a new loan from the European Investment Bank, something they had received in the past. Right now they have to export a lot of their metals unrefined, which means they get a lower price for it than if they had the equipment to refine it to a higher grade. - 15-11-2011

CONCORD launches its 2nd spotlight report on PCD
The European Unions still fails to meet its Lisbon Treaty obligation to take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries (Art 208 Lisbon). The EU therefore seriously undermines human rights of people living in developing countries. This is one of the conclusions of the new report on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) that was launched on 7 November by CONCORD, the confederation of European development NGOs. The report uncovers incoherencies between EU development objectives and other policies, coming at an important time as the EU currently reforms its agricultural, trade and development policies. Besides we are expecting the release of the 3rd biannual EU progress report on PCD, and the 2nd report of the European Parliament on PCD. - 10-11-2011

Launch Impact Study Rwanda!
In 2010 Fair Politics carried out its first impact study in Ghana. We looked at the effects of the EPAs, European migration policies and illegal logging on the local development. - 10-11-2011

The challenge of food security
Food security is a main challenge the world is facing nowadays. It is a complex problem with many factors contributing to it, which means that there is not a clear-cut solution to it. However, action needs to be undertaken. In the run up to the reform of the EUs Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a public hearing on food security in developing countries was held in the Development Committee of the European Parliament on the 4th of October. Topics on the agenda were speculation on food prices, land grabbing, the CAP reform and the EU development cooperation. - 19-10-2011

DEVE report: Assisting developing countries in addressing food security
On behalf of the DEVE committee, Gabriele Zimmer (GUE/NL), wrote the report: EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security. The achievements towards the MDG hunger target have shown to be insufficient. The number of hungry people, estimated by the FAO, has decreased after 2009, but is still greater than in 2008; food prices have been indicated as a factor leading to food insecurity. In this report some important calls are made, some of which are listed here: - 11-10-2011

MEP Imbrasas questions the rise in food prices
Since the UNs Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) started to measure food prices in 1990, the food prices have not been as high as today. Particularly poor people, both in developed and developing countries, suffer from the recent rise in food prices. Food security is a major challenge for the EU, as the first MDG to which the EU committed itself is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. - 10-10-2011

MEPs ask questions on the humanitarian emergency in the Mediterranean Sea
In the aftermath of the unrest in North-Africa, thousands of people have tried to flee to Europe by boats. Hundreds of them got shipwrecked in the Mediterranean Sea and are now dead or missing. - 10-10-2011

The battle for the Fair Politician of the Year 2011-2012 has started!
The summer is over and everybody has returned to Brussels. The new parliamentarian year has started. Of course this year, Fair Politics will again keep a close eye on the MEPs in their battle to become the Fair Politician of the Year. All parliamentary questions, reports, opinions and their amendments will be monitored. Every time MEPs pay attention to Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), they will be rewarded a point in our monitoring system. The MEP with most points, will be titled the Fair Politician of the Year 2011-2012! We challenge all MEPs to keep fighting for more Policy Coherence for Development. This will give development a real chance.ll - 19-09-2011

MEP Catherine Grèze wins the Fair Politician of the Year Award.
Yesterday (June 29th) Fair Politics awarded the most ‘Fair Politicians’ of each political group in the European Parliament. The top three of each political group was invited and a total of eight MEPs were able to join us, for which we are very grateful. MEP Thijs Berman (S&D) welcomed this year’s nominees as the very first time winner of the Fair Politician Award in 2008. - 30-06-2011

Fair Politician of the Year Award ceremony Next week!
Coming Wednesday the 29th of June, the award ceremony for the Fair Politician of the Year will take place! The top 3 from each political group is invited to join the ceremony to find out, who has won most points in each of the political groups and which group and politician is this Year’s ultimate winner. - 22-06-2011

MEP Tarabella questions the Commission on the privatisation of the coffee industry
The main source of income for Burundi is coffee production, covering 80% of its export revenues. The state of Burundi entirely controlled the coffee industry for many years until 1997. From then on the ownership was handed over to the coffee growers, enhanced by the World Bank. This privatisation excluded all Burundian companies from bidding in public procurement procedures, meaning that all coffee has to be sold unprocessed passing all their property rights on further down the chain where they are being snapped by foreign multinationals. - 01-06-2011

Opinion DEVE on the external dimension of social policy
On behalf of the DEVE committee Catherine Grèze (Greens/EFA) wrote an opinion on the report: on the external dimension of social policy, promoting labour and social standards and the European Corporate Social Responsibility by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL). In this opinion Grèze expresses the disappointment that the social provision of EU preferential trade agreements are presented as objectives to be achieved rather than legal commitments to be enforced; as the core labour standards (CLS) and ILO are essential to achieve the MDGs. Next to this, Grèze deplores the fact that FTAs contain few references to social standards, and urges the EU to incorporate a social clause into all EU external trade agreements, including those coming from the WTO. Also, MEP Grèze insists that trade negotiations pursued within the WTO must not jeopardise social development. - 01-06-2011

Who will become the Fair Politician of this parliamentary year?
The Parliamentary year is not over yet, so everyone is still in the race to become the most Fair Politician of the parliamentary year 2010/2011! The Groups that are currently leading are the S&D and the EPP closely followed by the Greens, GUE/NGL and ALDE. Which MEPs are leading the race will be kept a secret until the end of June, to encourage all MEPs to keep on asking questions, writing amendments, opinions and reports in which they raise Policy Coherence for Development. There are still almost two months to go before the granting of the award, so still plenty of time to keep up the good work on PCD issues! - 12-05-2011

Will the CAP towards 2020: meet the food, natural resources and territorial challenges of the future?!
On behalf of the DEVE committee, MEP Arsenis (S&D) wrote an opinion in which he points out the concerns on the negative impact of CAP on developing countries. They regret that the Commissions communication on the CAP towards 2020 does not mention such impacts and calls for the new CAP to include the principle of do no harm to developing countries as a core objective. They call for the post-2013 CAP to eliminate all export subsidies and to decouple direct payments from production, so as to create a level playing field between EU and developing countries agricultural products. - 12-05-2011

CFFA request transparency on Fisheries agreements from the Commission
The Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements (CFFA), to which also the Evert Vermeer Foundation belongs, send a letter to the Commission requesting for access to all reports held by the European Commission on fisheries access partnerships and fisheries partnership agreements with third countries. - 23-03-2011

Successful student proposal
Last Monday, the 28th of February, the winning group of the Student Symposium, World of Plenty organized by the EVS last November, came to our office in Brussels to present their proposal. The symposium provided different master classes on the topics: water, food, land, energy, biodiversity, minerals and finance. The winning group, which was on renewable energy, won a trip to the European Parliament to present their ideas to MEPs Thijs Berman (S&D) and Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA) who were very enthusiastic about the ideas and seemed willing to cooperate. - 04-03-2011

FTA negotiations India pose threat for migrants and patients, according to MEPs Falbr and Smith
The European Commission is negotating a Free Trade Agremeent (FTA) with India. There have been several MEPs who already expressed concerns about these talks in the past. Recently MEP Richard Falbr (S&D) asked the Commission in a written question if India is insisting to include Mode 4 in the FTA. Mode 4 is part of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). This would create a new way for temporary labour migrants coming from third countries as part of trade agreements instead of immigration policies. It could be argued that this would create a chance for migrants, yet they would not be protected by the International Labour Organisations conventions. Moreover Falbr is wondering if the talks between India en the EU are done in secrecy, and only made public after an agreement is reached. - 24-01-2011

ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly calls for PCD
Between November 30th and December 4th Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) met with parliamentarians form African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Resolutions on free and independent media, on technology transfer, new technologies and technical capacity building with regard to climate change, on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), on food security, and on the security problem in the Sahel-Saharan region were adopted in the 20th session. - 12-01-2011

European Parliament annoyed by delay in GSP reform
The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is being discussed by the European Commission and the European Parliament, because the current scheme will end on 31st of December 2011. The Commission is preparing a new legislative proposal, however the policymaking process is expected to finish in the summer of 2012. In order to overcome this gap between the two agreements, the Commission proposed to extend the current GSP and GSP+ scheme. - 12-01-2011

MEP Rossi on combating poverty
Fair Politics has already reported on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) summit that took place in September. It became clear that it will be difficult to attain all goals by 2015, even though additional funds were raised. MEP Oreste Rossi (EFD) raised the question what the Council is doing to promote joint action among Member States to combat poverty. But more importanly Rossi mentions that not only the amount of money is important, but also how it is going to be spend and how aid can be  more effective. - 25-11-2010

Tsoukalas wonders what the EU is doing about e-waste
We are using more electrical and electronic equipment than ever, and often the devises need to be replaced after a year or two. How to recycle e-waste is an increasing world wide problem, since some components in the old equipment are made of raw materials that could be re-used. Today the raw materials reserves are decreasing, while the demand continues to grow. That is why the European Union designed policies to increase recycling of e-waste in Member States. - 23-11-2010

Ashton: ‘there should be no conflicts of interests’
Finally after many requests Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy made it to the Development Committee (DEVE) meeting in the European Parliament last Monday. She was there to have an exchange of views with the members of the DEVE committee on her role in relation to development cooperation as high representative and head of the newly constructed European External Action Service (EEAS). - 15-11-2010

European Parliament opens debate on CAP reform: round 1
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), one of the most important EU policies as it concerns about 40% of the EUs budget is due to be reformed in 2013. If there is one topic that is bound to generate emotional discussions, it is the CAP. Everybody remembers the farmers who spilt their milk in the parks of Brussels in 2009, demanding support for the dropped market prices. - 10-11-2010

MEP Nirj Deva on GDP and beyond
Following a Communication of the  European Commission, which aimed to complement the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and to provide more comprehensive information to support policy decisions, the European Parliament (EP) has been discussing how to measure growth and moreover development this last fall. This is a discussion which Fair Politics welcomes and recognises. Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) enhances development and makes development cooperation work better, but it remains difficult to prove that a change in European policy improves the situation in a developing country. To measure development and all the different indicators that are influencing this, there is need for a comprehensive measurement system. - 10-11-2010

The European Parliament on human rights and social and environmental standards in international trade agreements
Policy Coherence for Development strives for more coherence of European policies in order to have a positive impact on development. This means that while creating new policies, every Committee in the Parliament and every Directorate General within the Commission should pay attention to development. The International Trade Committee tried to achieve this goal by writing a report on human rights and social and environmental standards in international trade agreements. They attempted to point out what the most important provisions should be. It goes without saying that the Development Committee wrote an opinion about this topic. On behalf of his colleagues in this Committee, Filip Kaczmarek (EPP) pointed out what the most important standards are. - 10-11-2010

The EP on CSR in International Trade Agreements
The topic of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was raised in the 1990s when scandals of horrible working conditions in plants owned by Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in developing countries made headlines in the media. Companies causing these scandals saw the negative impact on their revenues and quickly adopted CSR programmes. In the following years many small and big companies were to follow, yet too often the working conditions have not improved. - 21-10-2010

MEP Guerrero Salom concerned about food security
Millennium Development Goal (MDG) one, is aimed at ending hunger and poverty worldwide. Today 925 million people do not have enough to eat. The food crisis of 2007-2008 only emphasized the importance of this first goal, and demonstrated how easily progress can evaporate when market prices start to rise. In order to fight this problem the Commission has installed a fund for a rapid EU response when this occurs again. This is only one example of how the EU is committed to the MDGs. - 18-10-2010

MEP van Dalen asks Commission about child labour and development charter in FTA with India
The Commission is currently conducting negotiations with India on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). MEP van Dalen asked what measures will be undertaken in order to combat child labour. The European Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs has also expressed its concerns in relation to child labour in India, stating that more than 200 million children are still working in India. According to van Dalen the Commission has the duty to come up with a proper response for these concerns. - 18-10-2010

PCD is going global! MDG summit outcome refers to the importance of PCD!
Two weeks ago the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) summit took place in New York. The world leaders came together to discuss the progress made towards attaining the MDGs. It became clear that although some progress has been made, still a lot has to be done in order to achieve the goals by 2015. Fair Politics believes that a key issue is the fact that Western donors still give with one hand, but then take it back again with the other. That is why we have been advocating Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) for several years. We are happy to report that PCD was mentioned in the final outcome of the MDG summit. PCD is going global! - 07-10-2010

MEP Liam Aylward asks Commission about child labour in small and medium size enterprises
Many European enterprises buy or have their goods manufactured in developing countries. Unfortunately, there are still factories there which use children as cheap labour. The European enterprises do either business with local factories themselves or there is a middleman involved. Sometimes these companies do not know under which working conditions their products are being made. However, sometimes they do know. MEP Liam Aylward (ALDE) asked the Commission what they are doing to ensure small and medium size enterprises do not get involved with forced child labour. Protecting childrens rights is a key goal of the EUs  external policy. If the Commission is lacking to act against companies using child labour, this would be an incoherence of European policy.   - 22-09-2010

MEP Seán Kelly asks about the expiration of the GSP in trade
To end poverty; that is Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number one. The EU has committed itself to the MDGs. Moreover the Lisbon treaty states that the goal of the European development policy is to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty world wide. One of the ways the EU is trying to do this is through the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) in trade. 176 developing countries can export their products to the EU without import tariffs being enforced by the EU, and vice versa. Although we recognize this system is not the best optimum, free trade without restrictions, is important. Otherwise we will take with one hand, what has been giving, via aid, with the other. - 22-09-2010

MEP Georgios Papastamkos raises concerns about the impact of the GSP and EBA initiative on agricultural sectors in developing countries
MEP  Georgios Papastamkos (EPP) raised concerns in his question to the commission about the Generalized System for Preferences (GSP) and the Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative to encourage trade with development countries. Papastamkos is worried about the effects of these policies on the agricultural sectors of the developing countries, since the EU is the largest importer of agricultural good. Food security is high on the political agendas, and moreover the EU should encourage the exporting countries to enforce an equal distribution of the revenue to the local producers. - 21-09-2010

MEP Michèle Striffler asks the Council about the link between the loss of biodiversity and poverty
Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Michèle Striffler (EPP) asked the Council, on behalf of the Committee on Development, what the policy responses will be to the loss of biodiversity as a new challenge to alleviate poverty in the light of the upcoming International Day for Biological Diversity. She specifically points towards Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) when it comes to poverty reduction and economic sectoral activities. - 21-09-2010

MEP Griffin asks Commission about Mode 4 in trade negotiations with India
Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Nick Griffin (NI) asked a question to the European Commission whether in the trade negotiations with India the Mode 4 has been discussed. This is part of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and specifies the movement of persons across borders for the purpose of supplying services. This would create a new way for temporary labour migrants coming from third countries as part of trade agreements instead of immigration policies. Nick Griffin points out that if Mode 4 has been discussed, this has been done in secrecy and the question is raised why. Moreover, he asked what the consequences will be for the labourers and their rights under this new policy. - 21-09-2010

Who will be the Fair Politician in 2010-2011?
The summer is over and everybody has returned to Brussels. A new parliamentarian year has begun. For MEPs that means one thing: the competition for the ‘Fair Politician of the Year’ has started again. Last year Franziska Keller was the lucky winner. Also throughout this year, Fair Politics will monitor all parliamentary questions, reports, opinions and their amendments, in order to see whether Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) is being raised. The politician who pays the most attention to PCD will be rewarded with this prestigious title. We challenge all MEPs to renew their focus on PCD. This will not only benefit the EU policies, but also give development a real chance.  - 08-09-2010

Ghana’s traders, lumberjacks and fortune hunters!
This is the title to our impact study on Ghana, presenting an analysis of Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) in Practice: The impact of European policies on development in Ghana. - 30-06-2010

Debating the Future of the CAP
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is momentarily under review because it will be reformed in 2013. The Civil Society, Member States, the Commission and the European Parliament therefore try to get as much of their opinions on the matter heard. MEP George Lyon (ALDE) member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development was responsible for drafting up an own initiative report on the Future of the Common Agricultural Policy. Although his draft was well written with concerns for growing world population, food security, financial crisis, growing oil prices, climate change and unfair trade, it was hardly critical on the negative effect the CAP has had on developing countries and their agricultural sectors. Many amendments on the other hand give hope that the report will lead to more EU Policy Coherence for Development. - 22-06-2010

The Parliament Discusses Climate Change
In the post-Copenhagen months the European Parliament heavily discussed the White Paper on Adapting to Climate Change: Towards a European Framework for Action by the European Commission. The Environment, Public Health and Food Security (ENVI) committee was responsible for reporting on the reactions of the parliament with opinions from the committees on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), Fisheries, Legal Affairs, Regional Development and Transport and Tourism. Although developing countries are and will be the biggest victims of climate change and have been the least responsible for its causes, little attention was given to them in the process. - 21-06-2010

PCD in Colombia FTA negotiations
With the adoption of the Report on EU Policy Coherence for Development in the plenary session mid may, the Parliament officially asks the Comission to include legally binding social and enviromental standards systematically in trade agreements negotiated by the EU, in order to promote the objective of trade working for development. In this context Marc Tarabella (S&D) asks the Council whether the social and enviromental standards have been assessed in the talks with Colombia concerning a free trade agreement.   The EU has dedicated itself to eradicating poverty in its Development Policy and therefore must ensure that other policies do not counteract any efforts to fight poverty. Trade agreements are notorious for being incoherent with the development policy, due to some side effects like unemployment, collapse of local industry and unfair competition.   Tarabella is aknowledged as a Fair Politician for bringing Policy Coherence for Development to the attention of the Council and for his efforts to make EU policies more fair. - 21-06-2010

ECON: Promoting Good Governance in Tax Matters
In February a Report on Promoting Good Governance in Tax Matters by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, was adopted. Improving tax governance is extremely important for development efforts. Tax revenue has proven to be the most predictable, sustainable and safe source of financing for development. Yet developing countries loose up to seven times the amount of the total development aid in illicit financial flows, tax evasion and avoidance. Leonardo Domenici (S&D), rapporteur of the report, introduces the sense of urgency to promote good governance in tax matters in his draft, but focuses on issues within the EU itself and fails to mention the effect of translucent banking and taxing systems have on developing countries. - 21-06-2010

EU Policy Coherence for MDGs
The parliamentary report by MEP Michael Cashman (S&D) on progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): mid-term review in preparation of the UN high-level meeting in September 2010 was adopted in Plenary on the 15th of June, 2010. In this report the DEVE Committee highlights that policy coherence for development (PCD) is one of the tools for making progress towards the MDGs. - 21-06-2010

Fair Politics in Senegal
On may the 18th and 19th Fair Politics was represented at a conference in Dakar, Senegal. The conference was organized by the Gabriel Peri Fondation of France in cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung of Germany, on the theme; The Global Crisis in Africa: what are the changes? Tuesday morning on the 18th, the conference was opened by Amath Dansokho, General Secretary of PIT-Senegal. Suzan Cornelissen, policy officer Fair Politics of the Evert Vermeer Foundation delivered a speech during the first panel discussion, concerning Policy Coherence for Development in the light of the crises. - 09-06-2010

Ghana Impact Study Presentation and Fair Politics Awards...
Fair Politics at the European Parliament on the 29th of June, 2010 - 07-06-2010

Motion for a resolution on PCD adopted in plenary!
On the 18th of May, at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the MEPs voted on Franziska Keller’s (Greens/EFA) report on PCD. The votes on the report as a whole and the separate articles were close calls, with only a few votes deciding the majority. The ECR and the EPP voted against the report, but in the end the report (motion for a Resolution) was adopted. - 31-05-2010

MEP Tannock Concerned about E-Waste
Electronic waste, is a growing problem for developing countries. Computers, washing machines, televisions and other electronic equipment that can no longer be used in Europe are shipped to developing countries (mainly West Africa) as second hand technology or illegally. European e-waste finds its way to open ground dumpsites where people, including children, make a living by removing and selling the very small amounts of raw materials such as copper, without appropriate protection. As a result, hundreds of people experience dramatic health problems and the surrounding land contains highly toxic materials such as high concentrations of lead. Charles Tannock (ECR), on the basis of a BBC television report, is concerned for the populations in Ghana, a destination for large amounts of e-waste. - 26-05-2010

DEVE Submits Amendments on PCD Report
On the 26th of April the DEVE Committee came together to vote on the Amendments submitted by the different members of European Parliament (MEPs) to the Report on EU Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) and the 'Official Development Assistance plus (ODA+) Concept.' Although there were 120 amendments to the report that Franziska Keller drafted as rapporteur, most amendments concerned rephrasing and additional concrete examples of incoherence, making the report stronger. A long list of MEPs contributed to those improvement. - 20-05-2010

MEP Arif Reminds Commission of Article 12 at JPA
Article 12 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement is an article on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). It states that ACP countries can consult the European Commission if policies of the EU affect the development objectives or ACP countries or development policy of the EU itself. Although there are many examples where this incoherence is the case, there has only been one case of consultations. The promotion, explanation and transparency of this article is therefore necessary. - 27-04-2010

EU Paving the way to UN MDG Summit
In 2000 at the UN Millennium Summit, 189 countries signed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to be met by 2015. The eight goals, believed to be achievable and realistic, with measurable targets, were set to motivate the world to come together to combat poverty. The member states of the United Nation will come together in New York coming September, as 10 years have passed, to discuss the progress that has been made and agree which actions will need to be taken to ensure that the Goals are met. The European Union, representing the large majority of the global aid flows, has a special responsibility, to take up a leading role at the 2010 Summit and  rescue these goals. - 31-03-2010

The Second Revision of the Cotonou Agreement
The Cotonou Agreement which was signed in June 2000, between the African, Carribean and Pacific (ACP) Countries (most of them former colonies of Europe) introduced some radical changes in the past ACP-EU cooperation. The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) were one of those changes. Within these partnership agreements there are incoherencies with the EU development policy that are harming the development process of third countries (see case study). Article 95 of the Agreements states that the agreements itself needs to be reviewed every five years. Therefore the European institutions, including the parliament have been giving their opinions on the matter. Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Eva Joly, chairwoman of the Development Committee (DEVE), was responsible for drafting the report titled "the second revision of the Partnership Agreement ACP-EU." - 29-03-2010

MEP Guerrero Salom Drafts Report on the Effects of the Financial Crisis
Developing countries are not the root or cause of the financial crisis, yet the effects of it have shown to be devastating for the poorer countries. It has become an economic, social, development and humanitarian crisis. Every field of activity has been effected. Unemployment levels have increased, there has been more migration and therefore brain drain, drop in prices of raw materials, decrease in development finance, greater debts and especially a drop in trade. The EU has increased its trade restrictions to protect its own market and has cut back on all development efforts. Within the Development Committee (DEVE) of the European Parliament, an own initiative report was taken up on this subject, with Enrique Guerrero Salom as rapporteur. - 29-03-2010

EU Trade Policy towards Developing Countries
On the 16th of March 2010, the Commissioner for International Trade; Karel de Gucht opened the conference on the European Union’s Trade Policy towards Developing Countries. The objective of this conference was to informally and publicly discuss how to EU’s trade policies, like the General System of Preferences (GSP), can promote further regional trade agreements with developing countries and encourage sustainable development. Fair Politics welcomed the initiative of DG trade to organise such a conference, however finds that civil society and the ACP countries were underrepresented. - 24-03-2010

Who will become the Fair Politician of the Year?
Who will be the Fair Politician of the Year? Since the beginning of the parliamentary year a scoreboard has been kept of the contributions made by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), in relation to one of our cases or PCD in general. Thus far, the competition is incredibly exciting. The Greens/EFA political group has made the most effort up to now, with the S&D group not so far behind them. In June, at the end of the first parliamentary year of this term, the scoreboard will be checked again and the Fair Politician of the Year will be awarded during a ceremony at the European Parliament. - 10-03-2010

MEPs Submit Amendments to INTA Opinion on PCD
On the 2nd of February the amendments on the INTA Draft Opinion on EU Policy Coherence for Development and the Official Development Assistance plus concept by Joe Higgins were due. On the 23rd of February, these amendments were voted on. All in all the amendments were a reflection of the never ending debate on neoliberalism and the international capitalist system within the committee on international trade; the EPP and the ECR versus the Greens and S&D. Some really good amendments were written, with references to incoherences that Fair Politics has also tackled like TRIPS and access to medicines, biofuels, agricultural subsidies, migration issues and partnership agreements with ACP countries. Despite this, some of these amendments were not adopted and amendments that were less progressive towards PCD, were. - 09-03-2010

The Upcoming Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Spain
From the 27th of March to the 1st of April, 2010, the elected representatives of the European Community, the Members of the European Parliament (MEP), and the elected representatives of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states will come together for the 19th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) in Tenerife, Spain. Topics like Haiti, southern Sudan, sustainable energy and water, migration, health care (Malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis) and the effects of climate change on ACP economies are on the agenda. Fair Politics hopes MEPs will ask relevant questions about incoherence between the EU policies and development objectives and that the JPA will result in progress toward a more Fair Political relationship between the ACP and EU countries. - 08-03-2010

MEP Guerrero Salom asks about Illicit Financial Flows
MEP Enrique Guerrero Salom expresses his concerns for the illicit financial flows that come from developing countries. He quotes the World Bank, stating that about 500 to 800 billion dollars in illicit finances flow comes from developing countries, which drain hard currency reserves, increases inflation and reduces tax revenues that undercut the opportunities that developing countries have to develop. - 08-03-2010

ACP-EU JPA Question by MEP Joly on Illicit Financial Flow
The EUs policies on tax has made the taxes incredibly difficult to follow and transparency is hardly in place. Multinational corporations find loop wholes to avoid taxes and secrecies of banks make tax evasion a possibility. Not only are taxes escaping the EU or its member states because of this, but also illicit financial flows from developing countries are a reality. Tax income for developing countries are extremely important for the development, especially in terms of social welfare, security and the protection of human rights in general. - 04-03-2010

ACP-EU JPA Question by MEP Klass on Subsidies
Christa Klass (EPP) raises her concern on the future of the EU dairy sector as well as EU subsidies for European farmers obstructing the development of agricultural structures in the poorer countries. - 04-03-2010

ACP-EU JPA Question by MEP Rivasi on Subsidies
Although not part of one of the Fair Politics case studies, Michele Rivasi (Greens/EFA) raises a legitimate question concerning milk export subsidies and the incoherence between the alleviation of poverty and the commercial interest that is causing poverty in African Countries. - 04-03-2010

Keller Presents her Own-Initiative Report on PCD
In the meeting of the Committee on Development of the European Parliament on the 22nd of February 2010, Franziska Keller, from the political group of the Green (Greens/EFA), presented her own-initiative report on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) and the Official Development Assistance plus (ODA+) concept. For her efforts to enhance PCD, as presented in the draft report, Ska Keller is in the race to become the Fair Politician of the parliamentary year! - 01-03-2010

New Development Commissioner Piebalgs Strongly Commits Himself to PCD
New Development Commissioner Piebalgs strongly commits himself to PCD During the past few weeks all of the hearings of the Commissioners designate took place. During these hearings the Commissioners were targeted with questions in relation to their field of work by the MEPs from the different committee’s in the European Parliament. In many hearings of relevance to Development, the issue of PCD or a particular case in relation to PCD was raised. - 04-02-2010

A Special Day for PCD: INTA Draft Opinion
In the meeting of the European Parliaments Committee on International Trade (INTA) that took place Wednesday the 27th of January 2010, Policy Coherence for Development  was on the Agenda. This was without a doubt a special occasion for Fair Politics, because the INTA Committee had never discussed the subject this seriously before. - 28-01-2010

Ehrenhauser asks critical questions concerning raw materials & development (funds)
MEP Martin Ehrenhauser (NI) asks the Commission for clarification of the use of European Development Funds in investment projects of the European Investment Bank in developing countries mining sector. - 25-11-2009

PCD made it to the Parliament!
On Monday afternoon, as a last item on the agenda, over 1,5 hour of the DEVE Committee meeting was scheduled for discussing Policy Coherence for Development. The Committee is working on an own initiative report on the issue and presented the working document. Mrs. Keller, who is the rapporteur in this, explained the document that contains quite some critique to the Commission’s report that was said to be ‘vague’ and too positive. - 19-11-2009

Spotlight on Policy Coherence: Report launched by CONCORD
On Wednesday the 14th of October CONCORD organised a media launch to present its first report on Policy Coherence for Development. The report - to which Fair Politics has also contributed - explains how CONCORD has a different approach to PCD that involves a more Southern and rights-based perspective, a multi-dimensional approach with many interlinkages between the different policy areas (instead of the two-dimensional often used by the Commission) and the importance of looking at financial regulation and taxation. - 16-10-2009

How coherent is the EU in the 'race for raw materials'? Find out on the 17th of November!
On the 17th of November 2009 Fair Politics is organising an Expert Meeting in the European Parliament on the Raw Materials Initiative. Because of the potential strong effects of this strategy paper on developing countries and incoherencies with EU development policies and commitment, we feel it is important to create awareness and debate on the issue with both our new case study and this meeting. - 16-10-2009

MEPs concerned about Uzbeki children
Different MEPs from parties such as the ECR, ALDE and S&D have raised the issue of forced child labour that is used by the Uzbeki government in order to provide for harvest of their cotton each year. While this led to a call for boycott by the World Fair Trade Organisation, the EU the biggest single destination for Uzbek cotton continued importing the product under the preferential system. Graham Watson (ALDE) particularly highlights the incoherence of this by referring to the commitments the Commission made to eradicating child labour at a global level. We would like to thank Bill Newton Dunn (ALDE), Roger Helmer (ECR), Graham Watson (ALDE), Claude Moraes (S&D) and Charles Tannock (ECR) for raising this issue. - 24-09-2009

Greens concerned about Zimbabwean diamonds
Whereas Zimbabwe - like the EU - is party in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) for rough diamonds that is to prevent trade in wrong diamonds, strong human rights violations in its diamond fields have been reported. Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA) is asking the Commission whether they should not be pushing for suspension of Zimbabwe from the KCPS and/or halt trade in Zimbabwean diamonds in the EU. For raising this incoherent and unfair issue in her question, we hereby monitor Sargentini as Fair Politician. - 24-09-2009

The crisis does not only affect us...
While Europe is facing and trying to mitigate the consequences of the global financial and economic crisis, we tend to forget that there are many countries in the developing world that are much less responsible, yet much more vulnerable and affected by the crisis. On behalf of the Committee on Development, MEP Eva Joly, highlights this issue to the Commission in a question that was taken to the plenary session in Strassburg this week. - 24-09-2009

A new approach to Policy Coherence for Development
(Please see further updates on the process below) - 17-09-2009

Swedish presidency hopeful on coherence for development, but also on trade?
In the second half of 2009 it is Sweden who will preside the Council of the European Union. On their website and in the work programme for the Swedish Presidency of the EU they highlight several priority issues and discuss these further. Fair Politics took a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Swedish statements in relation to (the effects on) developing countries and policy coherence for development. - 16-09-2009

The EU Coherence programme at the Development Days 2008
- 30-06-2009

Report puts policy coherence in the spotlight
Since Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) was made a policy making priority by the Council in 2005, the European Commission has put in place an ambitious framework for promoting the better fine-tuning of its policies with respect to their impact on developing countries. A first EU PCD report, assessing progress made since 2005 in both the EU institutions and the Member States, was published in September 2007. Now that the second one is due in 2009, CONCORD is presenting an alternative PCD Report.  -

EU reintroduces subsidies on dairy products
Just last week the European Commission decided to reintroduce export subsidies on dairy products. According to the EUs Agriculture Commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, the current measures are being taken because European exporters are no longer able to compete. Moreover, Boel argues that this situation is aggravated by the already existing difficultiesas a result of the financial credit crisis.   -

Louis Michel proposes to introduce PCD training for Commissioners
On 31 March 2009, one of the last meetings of the Development Committee of the European Parliament in its current composition took place. The Commissioner for development, Mr Louis Michel,  was present at the meeting to exchange views with the MEPs and together look back at the past five years of his term as Commissioner. Even though Mr. Michel will probably take a seat next to the MEPs after the elections for the EP in June, he still had some ideas for the future, especially for the next Commissioner for Development.          -

The Coherence King 2009
On December 10th, 2008, the EU Coherence Programme - predecessor of Fair Politics -organized the EU Coherence Awards Ceremony, at the European Parliament. All MEPs who had earned a coherence star in the past few years were invited to come to the ceremony to receive their prize. As in every award ceremony, there can only be one winner, the winner of the EU Coherence Awards, MEP Thijs Berman, was proclaimed; Coherence King 2009. -

Policy incoherence is costly for our tax payers and for the poor!
According to Mr Mario Amano, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD, during  a High-Level Conference on Policy Coherence for Development and Migration, the effects of policies that undermine development are felt by both developing countries and European tax payers. Incoherent polices are ineffective policies. Making sure that policies are mutually reinforcing, therefore, is in our own interest, too. -

MEP Hannu Takkula addresses incoherencies in several EU policies.
03 December 2008 -