The Government is carrying out a review of the balance of competences between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The balance of competences review will give us an informed and objective analysis of where the EU helps and where it hampers, providing a comprehensive analysis of what the EU means for this country.
DFID is leading on the report on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, and will contribute to the report on foreign policy, both running from autumn 2012 – summer 2013.
We are now in the Call for Evidence stage for the Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Report.
We are looking for objective, factual information about the impact or effect of the competence in your area of expertise.
For clarification, when we refer to EU ‘competence’ we mean the power to act in particular areas conferred on the EU by the EU Treaties. The ‘balance of competences’ means how these powers are distributed between the UK and the EU. In the field of development cooperation and humanitarian aid the EU has ‘shared parallel competence’, which means that the EU has competence to carry out activities and conduct a common policy, but the exercise of that competence does not prevent Member States from exercising theirs.
As a business you may be particularly interested in the area of development assistance for trade, known as ‘Aid for Trade’ (AfT). AfT can include help in building new infrastructure, and improving ports or customs facilities. AfT is part of the EU’s overall Official Development Assistance (ODA). The EU and Member States combined accounted for around 32% of total AfT flows in 2010, €8.2 billion from Member States and €2.5 billion from the EU. The EU and Member States also work closely with the WTO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to deliver effective, results-orientated AfT.
Also of interest to you may be the principle of ‘policy coherence for development’ (PCD), introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. PCD requires the EU to take account of the objectives of development cooperation in other policies it implements that are likely to affect developing countries. This means that the EU focus on development is wider than the sum of its development programmes; all its policies with an external impact need to take into consideration development priorities before they are implemented. You could perhaps examine how in your view both trade and development policy could work better to boost wealth creation and reduce poverty in developing countries.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the review is asked to send their written views by 1 March 2013 to ba*****************@df**.ukor fill in the online survey. You can also write to us at: Europe Department, Department for International Development, 22 Whitehall, London SW1A 2EG.
Find out more about the Balance of Competencies review on the Europe Department web page (which includes a briefing note on how to submit evidence), and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s web pages.
If you have any questions please email us at ba*****************@df**.uk.