Friday, 26 September 2014

Event at the Commission - Our Collective Interest: Europe’s Problems need Global Solutions

Lunch-time Conference – External Cooperation Info Point

10 October 1pm-2.30pm
European Commission
Rue de la Loi, 43

The European Think Tanks Group published a major report addressed to the new leadership of the European Union entitled Our Collective Interest: Why Europe’s Problems need Global Solutions and Global Problems need European Action. The report puts forward recommendations for the EU’s engagement in 5 areas – trade and international finance; environmental sustainability; peace and security; democracy and human rights; and, poverty and inequality – and proposes organisational and structural changes to enhance the EU’s performance.

Introduction: Mr. Gaspar Frontini, Head of Unit, DEVCO A1, International Development Dialogue

Presentation: Mr. James Mackie, Senior Adviser EU Development Policy, ECDPM

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

ETTG Presents to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament

The ETTG presented the report on EU global action, entitled Our Collective Interest: Why Europe’s problems need global solutions and global problems need European action to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on Monday 1st of September 2014. Kevin Watkins, Executive Director at the Overseas Development Institute made the presentation and it was live streamed here

Chairman, Elmar Brock said that MEPs should use our report to prepare for the Parliament's upcoming confirmation hearing with the European Commission Vice-President/EUHigh Representative for Foreign Affairs.

Vice-Chair of the European Parliament's Development Committee, Paavo VÄYRYNEN, called for a joint report to be prepared by the Development and Foreign Affairs Committee on the EU's global challenges. Elmar Brok supported this.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Watch back: Reconciling Values and Interests: A new vision for global development

Senior EU officials attending Wednesday’s launch (recording available) of the European Think Tanks Group’s report “Our Collective Interest: Why Europe’s problems need global solutions and global problems need European action” agreed with the report’s call for more integrated, comprehensive EU global action.

The European Commission Director General for Development and Cooperation said the new Commission structure, adopted on the same day, seeks to address this issue through clusters of Commissioners responsible for specific policy areas, such as development, who will work closely together and under the guidance of the EC Vice-President/EU High Representative (a recommendation of the ETTG report). 

The Director for Multilateral Relations and Global Issues at the European External Action Service said the report reflects his own view that the EU has to overcome silo thinking, draw on all its available tools (policies, finance, etc) and speak with one voice to have a role on the global stage. The Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs said the new EC organigramme is the best way of organising the institution and will provide synergy effects.

We have two recordings available - the first above is in higher quality. The second below is of the entire meeting, with questions from the floor, from our livestream that was on the day.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Watch live 10th September: Reconciling EU interests and values: A new vision for global development

Do Europe’s new leaders recognise the need for a new global strategy that links internal and external action? How can Europe’s policymakers ensure there will be a greater commitment to collective action at EU level? Is there a readiness to connect new ways of working with new systems and processes? How can the EU’s leadership be strengthened across policy areas and institutions? Does the European Think Tanks Group’s 2014 report Our Collective Interest: Why Europe's problems need global solutions and global problems need European action offer the sort of answers needed? 

These questions will be discussed at the Friends of Europe event in Brussels on the 10th of September. If you can't make it then, tune into the livestream.


Monday, 1 September 2014

Our Collective Interest: Why Europe’s problems need global solutions and global problems need European action

In 2010, the European Think Tanks Group published a report addressed to a new leadership in the European Union (EU). In 2014, welcoming a new team of European leaders, we again call attention to the importance of a global perspective in European policy-making. This report is issued in the name of our four institutions (Overseas Development Institute, ECDPMGerman Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik and FRIDE) and of the 26 authors who have contributed to the text. It calls for a new understanding of the EU’s global role, and in particular, a new approach to international development.

Press release: The EU should look outwards or risk further instability - warn leading European think tanks

The key message is that the EU’s ambitions for its own citizens – for prosperity, peace and environmental sustainability – cannot be divorced from its global responsibilities and opportunities. As the title of the report suggests, Europe’s problems need global solutions, and global problems need European action. A shared collective effort is in our common interest.

Seen from within Europe, the rest of the world is a vital source of raw materials, manufactured products, markets, innovation and cultural enrichment. It can also be a source of environmental degradation and insecurity. The EU can only benefit if the rest of the world, and developing countries in particular, pursue a path of successful sustainable development.

Seen from the outside, the EU is a source of goods and services, of technology, of aid, and of inclusive and accountable political and social models. At its best, the EU can offer technical, institutional and financial contributions to global public good. However, it can also be a factor in financial and political instability.

We identify five global challenges which will shape the future of the EU and the world, and in relation to which the EU’s performance as a global actor can be judged. These are:
  • The world economy. Is the world economy becoming more equitable, resilient and democratic? Is the EU contributing to better and more inclusive trade and finance regimes, which allow for full participation by all? 
  • Environmental sustainability. Is the world set on a more sustainable path, in which the EU is playing its 
part internally and externally, especially with regard to climate change and the necessity of a green 
  • Peace and security. Is the world becoming more peaceful and secure? And is the EU contributing to the prevention of violent conflict and to peaceful societies? 
  • Democracy and human rights. Is the world better governed and more democratic? Is there greater 
respect for human rights around the world? And is the EU acting effectively to understand and support 
democratic political change? 
  • Poverty and inequality. Have poverty and inequality declined? And is the EU acting effectively to understand and tackle the drivers of poverty and inequality?