‘Humanity will not enjoy security without development, it will not enjoy development without security, and it will not enjoy either without respect for human rights.’ In Larger Freedom, United Nations, 2005
The European Commission is refocusing its efforts to increase aid impact, concentrate on fewer sectors and focus on countries most in need. In October 2011, EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, presented the ‘Agenda for Change’ of EU development policy and a new policy for EU budget support.
More attention will be given to a country’s record on democratic governance, particularly regarding human rights and gender – moving the EU from ‘aid effectiveness’ to ‘development effectiveness’.
Human rights must be ‘deeply rooted’ in the EU’s approach to development, according to Commissioner Piebalgs. ‘[This] is not a romantic vision of development or human rights. It is a pragmatic vision. It is about developing smart conditionality. It is about concretely responding to the new standards that are emerging.’
The Commissioner, addressing the European Parliament’s inter-parliamentary committee meeting with national parliaments in October 2011, pointed to the lessons learned from recent events in Northern Africa. ‘Human rights, democracy and good governance will be given greater weight in determining the ways and means of providing assistance,’ he said.
Already, the EU’s five-year-old European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), has made a significant difference and important progress in consolidating democracy by supporting pro-democracy activists and defenders around the world, often operating where cooperation with government authorities is suspended and without the host country’s consent.
A multidimensional approach
Commissioner Piebalgs called for a multidimensional approach to addressing human rights violations: political dialogue, sanctions, and financial and technical cooperation to promote the human rights agenda. A crosscutting issue is the coherence of EU development actions.
EDD11 was held in Warsaw, Poland, 15-16 December 2011. The theme was ‘Development and Democracy’. www.eudevdays.eu
High-Level Panels at EDD 11
Panels which focused on Human Rights and Development
Agenda for Change – Human Rights
The human rights-based approach to development - Experience from
the right to adequate housing
Preventing another Famine in the Horn of Africa
Migration, Development and Human Rights – Changing Paradigm in EU Development Policy
Read EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs’ speech to the European Parliament
Learn more about the EU’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights
Watch EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs’ video messages
Read the European Commission’s Communication on EU Development Policy: An Agenda for Change
Read the Agenda for Change press release
Read the UN Report, In Larger Freedom – Towards Security, Development and Human Rights for All