EU and global food security: Donor or competitor?


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Brecht Lein, Junior Programme Officer, ECDPM
29 October 2013, Antwerp – UA.

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  • Global food security requires a systemic approach with inputs at different levels of governance. Development cooperation alone cannot do this. The regulatory framework needs to change as well.R&D, research on soil, fertilizing techniques and land degradation often requires research over 20-50 years.Soaring food prices on global markets in 2007-08 sparked a rethink of global food security. The United Nations (UN) High Level Task Force (HLTF) on the Global Food Security Crisis was set up to enhance coordination within the UN; the Global Partnership on Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition (GPAFSN) was launched; and G8 leaders agreed a comprehensive agenda on food security at the Summit in L'Aquila in 2009. Renewed attention to agricultual development, reversing a long-standing neglect of agricuture as a vital economic sector + important new funding. However, neither the urgency nor the willingness to change policies that contribute to the recent crisis. Funding is to low and in times of austerity, commitments don’t always correspond with the actual disbursements. The overwhelming priority is to increase productivity. This is useful in low-income, net-food importing countries but setting these production targets at the global level encourages an expansion in industrial agriculture and the consolidation of land holdings and ignores environmental constraints and equity issues.
  • EU is the most prominent and respected global actor in terms of both funding and policies on food security.Smallholder agricultural development features prominently at the EU’s development agenda and since 2006, the European Commission has committed €1 billion annually to enhance food security and sustainable agriculture across the world (IFPRI, 2013).L’Aquila: 22bln. $ over three years. FSTP: 25% of funding to R&D, 29% to response to food insecurity in exceptional transition situation as well as in fragile and bankrupt states bridge the gap between emergency aid and mid- to long-term development assistance in a selection of 49 of the most affected developing countries over a three- year period from 2009 to 2011. As an instrument for rapid reaction, the FF complemented the Food Security Thematic Programme (2007-2010) and numerous country food security programmes, covered by geographical instruments such as the European Development Fund (EDF), the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) and the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Initiative (ENPI). In terms of recommendations for the future, the evaluation (Dec. 2012) suggests the following:Explore the possibility to convert the EFF into “a permanent stand-by instrument” to respond in time to upcoming and sudden FPCs.Better geographical and sectoral Division of Labour (DoL) with EU MSs and UN organisations
  • Food Security: the EU’s policy on food security focuses on: i) improving smallholder resilience and rural livelihoods; ii) supporting effective governance; iii) supporting regional agriculture and food security policies; and iv) strengthening assistance mechanisms for vulnerable population groups.Nutrition: Reduce the number of children under five years of age who are stunted (low height for age), in line with the Commission’s commitment at the 2012 London Global Hunger Event to support partner countries in their efforts to reduce the number of stunted children under five by at least 7 million by 2025. Reduce the number of children under five years of age who are wasted (low weight for height). The Commission specifies that the EU will contribute to the global target of the World Health Assembly (WHA) of 2012 to reduce and maintain the number of wasted children to less than 5% worldwide.Resilience:Complementing EU emergency responses, the new policy’s aim is to help tackle the root causes of recurrent crises, rather than just addressing their, more costly, consequences. In this sense, resilience building is presented as a fundamental aspect of poverty reduction efforts by working through different angles, most notably food security, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.It took over two years since the Council’s request before the Member States could come to an agreement. A number of policy shifts, such as the Agenda for Change to modernize EU development cooperation and a new focus on food and nutrition security meant that successive draft implementation plans needed updating. Speculations about the reasons for the unusual delay in endorsement also point to a lack of political drive from the Member States.The IP is a reporting and communicating commitment and improvements across the above six priority areas will be presented in a joint report to the Council on a biennial basis from 2014 onwards and ending in 2020. In order to better serve these reporting purposes, a scorecard is foreseen with relevant performance criteria per policy priority.
  • CAP reform: food security concerns used in rationale other concerns and interests dominate the debates and shape the outcomes, while global food security considerations play a very marginal to no role, or the food security rationale used is at odds with the logic of the EU’s own food security policy framework. This is not to blame on the EC, although there as well inter-service coordination could be better aligned toward the food security objectives set out in the relevant development frameworks. The key bottleneck in making sure that the EU’s policy-making, domestically as well internationally and at multilateral for a, lays at the political level. It’s the people we elect for the EP and at home for the council who provide the scope for development-proofing at EU level.
  • After over 20 years of legal and policy commitments as well as political rhetoric, this paper lays out why it is necessary for the EU to get serious and realistic about PCD at the political levelin the area of food security. While many of the considerations noted in this paper are of a technical nature, the four policy processes discussed show there is a real need for political sponsorship and leadership on PCD for food security. Without such strong political drive, there is a distinct lack of scope to promote genuine change toward a more development-friendly EU policy-making and ‘success stories’ will remain small and anecdotal. Boldly stated, the EU will need greater progress on PCD in order to maintain its credibility.
  • EU and global food security: Donor or competitor?

    1. 1. EU and global food security Donor or competitor? Brecht Lein, JPO ECDPM 29 October 2013, Antwerp – UA.
    2. 2. Content • Global food security: a fragile system • The EU as a development actor • Beyond aid: EU policy coherence for food security? • Food for thought: aligning parallel agendas ECDPM Page 2
    3. 3. 1. Global food security: a fragile system Deepening integration Agriculture-Energy-Financial markets… …in a resource constrained world… …made vulnerable by climate change. (Wise, T. 2012) Food price crises of 2007-08  Paradigm shift Away from: 1. Low investment in sustainable country-led small-scale agricultural development 2. Low support for publicly funded (LT) R&D 3. Reliance on international trade to meet domestic food needs (import dependence and declining local production in DCs) 4. Bias toward cash- or flex-crops for export over food production for local markets 5. Increasing land-use for non-food agricultural crops 6. Deregulation of commodity markets and speculation in agricultural products, staple food and land ECDPM Page 3
    4. 4. 2. EU as a development actor • Largest donor globally, incl. €1bln. per annum for FS and agricultural development since 2006 (IFPRI). • Largest L’Aquila pledge (2009, G8). • 1ST responses to crises: € • Food Security Thematic Programme (20072013): focus on R&D, transition situations and fragile states • €1bln Food Facility (2009-2011): bridging emergency aid – MT/LT development, focus on 49 most affected countries (SA&SSA) • A policy priority: MDG1, Consensus for Development (2005), Agenda for Change ECDPM Page 4
    5. 5. Strategic priorities for an EU-wide approach • • • EU Food Security Policy Framework (2010) EU Nutrition Policy Framework (2013) EU Resilience Policy Framework (2013) EU Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan (2013): 1. Improve smallholder resilience and 5. Enhance nutrition, in particular for rural livelihoods mothers, infants and children 2. Support effective governance 6. Enhance coordination between 3. Support regional agriculture and development and humanitarian food and nutrition security policies actors to build resilience and 4. Strengthen social protection promote sustainable food and mechanisms, particularly for nutrition security vulnerable populations ECDPM Page 5
    6. 6. 3. EU beyond aid: policy coherence for food security? • Biggest economy in the world • Largest agro-food importer and 2nd largest exporter • Over ¼ of the total fish caught by EU fishing vessels is caught outside EU waters. • EU market accounts for almost 90% of global biodiesel trade “EU impact on global food security goes beyond development programmes” Globalisation and liberalisation, the end of domestic policies; Economic costs of incoherent policies; Development effectiveness requires coherent policies ECDPM Page 6
    7. 7. PCD at the EU: (1992-2013) • Legal obligation: • • • Treaty of Maastricht (1992): “All EU policies should take into account the EU’s development objectives” Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (2008), Art. 208. Treaty on the EU (2010), Art. 21. • Political commitment: • • • EU Consensus on Development (2005)> 12 priority areas FAC, 2009: target PCD action to 5 priorities: T&F, CC, FS, MG, SC. FAC, 2012: “PCD is essential for the credibility of the EU as a global actor” + “a more evidence-based approach to improve monitoring, implementation and follow-up of PCD action” • Policy: • • ECDPM Agenda for Change: security and migration + “future MFF should reinforce PCD” PCD Work Programme (2010-2013) > PCD progress report 2013 Page 7
    8. 8. In practice: Despite targets in PCD Work Programme (20102013): • CAP reform refuses to monitor impact on developing countries • RED reform, proposed cap on food-based biofuels is set at current consumption levels • CFP reform fails to recognize impact of its internal dimension, EMFF likely to support fleet renewal EU Food Security objectives are hampered by its own policies on other areas. ECDPM Page 8
    9. 9. 4. Aligning parallel agendas • Strengthen the linkages between the development agenda and the PCD agendas on food security. • Clearer PCD food security objectives, targets and indicators. • Broaden the evidence-base of policy impacts on food security. • Give more political weight to development and food security objectives through institutional fine-tuning and PCD standard setting across different policy areas. ECDPM Page 9
    10. 10. Thank you Page 10