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Sharing eu experiences in the management of transition processes

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European Parliament, Development Committee, 18 December 2013
Geert Laporte, Deputy Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management

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Sharing eu experiences in the management of transition processes

  1. 1. Sharing EU experiences in the management of transition processes European Parliament, Development Committee, 18 December 2013 Geert Laporte, Deputy Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management
  2. 2. Structure of presentation 1. What is ECDPM? 2. The new Post 2015 global development agenda 3. Risk of one sided perspective on structural transformation 4. EU building blocks in support of transition processes 5. Implementation challenges Page 2
  3. 3. ECDPM 1. Independent “think and do tank” on European international cooperation with particular focus on EU-Africa and EUACP 2. Non-partisan facilitation of dialogue 3. Practical and policy relevant analysis 4. Strong networks of expertise and partnerships Page 3
  4. 4. Post MDG/2015 Global Development Agenda •Focus on “structural transformation” •Country-led reforms largely based on mobilising domestic resources (“beyond aid”) •“Inclusive growth” and “inclusive development” as new buzz words in development jargon •A more political approach to development Page 4
  5. 5. Risk of one-sided interpretation of structural transformation • In many African formal declarations: exclusive focus on economic growth • Assumption that growth will automatically lead to redistribution of wealth and development while inequality is growing • Showcases of “developmental states” with strong economic growth but with authoritarian political regimes Page 5
  6. 6. Is democratisation part of the structural transformation agenda? • • • • Democratisation= EU core value in its external action… …but… democratic transition does not automatically lead to democratic consolidation Many developing countries adopt the formal attributes of democracy (elections, some political space for opposition, etc) but … …with major democratic deficits (low levels of political participation, abuse of the law, etc) Page 6
  7. 7. The political nature of inclusive development & transition • • • Christine Lagarde (IMF): “A more equal distribution of income allows for more economic stability, more sustained economic growth and healthier societies with stronger bonds of cohesion and trust.” World Economic Forum: “Economic disparity is a major global risk for the next years” Inclusive development/structural transformation/ transition IS NOT A TECHNOCRATIC EXERCISE BUT HIGHLY POLITICAL! Page 7
  8. 8. Can the EU play a useful role in transition processes in developing countries? • Wealth of transition experiences of (Eastern) European countries • October 2012 Communication on EU support for sustainable change in transition countries Page 8
  9. 9. EU building blocks in support of transition processes 1)Transformation must be country led 2)EU transition focus= inclusiveness, governance, institution building, rule of law, economic and social development, conflict prevention, peace building and security etc 3)Responding to the needs of partner societies: involvement of all relevant stakeholders, knowledge sharing, coordination, etc Sophisticated policies but major implementation challenges! Page 9
  10. 10. Implementation challenges (1) Start from specific country realities 1)Transition is a domestic process: need to embed support in local realities and dynamics of change 2)Avoid normative approaches: focus on what is desirable and feasible instead of dreaming up “ideal world” 3)Avoid supply driven approaches (“copying” of European models) 4)Look beyond the formal expressions of transition and reforms (eg Mali as “donor darling”) Page 10
  11. 11. Implementation challenges (2) Look for smart incentives 1)Reforms cannot be bought by external agencies with development aid! 2)Systematically assess the political economy of the reform processes (interests, power relations, and incentives of the various domestic actors to change…) Page 11
  12. 12. Implementation challenge (3) Innovate ways to exchange knowledge 1)EU and member states can share a wealth of lessons of experience with transition 2)Translate interesting EU reform experiences into developing countries realities 3)Further refine EU’s “comparative advantage” as social inclusiveness (attractive to developing countries) Page 12
  13. 13. Thank you! www.ecdpm.org gl@ecdpm.org Page 13

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