Today, the EU’s policies outside the framework of development cooperation have influence on the world’s developing countries to a greater extent than before. Well-focused development policies are thus not in themselves sufficient to achieve progress and prosperity in our partner countries. Therefore, it is necessary to take account of the consequences of other policies to ensure that results and the effect of our development cooperation are not undermined. Policy coherence for development (PCD) is increasingly used as a term for the efforts to ensure that external policies interact and underpin the broader goals of poverty reduction and development.
Promoting this agenda requires strong coordination mechanisms, greater knowledge about the effects of non-development policies on developing countries, a common understanding of the need for collective action, and political prioritisation. It entails greater focus on synergies, common interests and opportunities – in areas where the benefits and results achieved by adopting a PCD approach are clear. Policy coherence for development is a joint responsibility that requires ownership and insight also among those who are not responsible for development policy.
The EU pursues an ambitious policy in the area, where active efforts are made to apply policy coherence for development both internally in the institutions and in the Member States. With Article 208 of the Lisbon Treaty, the Union has also legally committed itself to ensuring that European policies do not affect developing countries in a negative direction.
The Danish efforts in the area of policy coherence for development will follow several tracks. The agenda will be actively pursued in the EU, as policies in this forum have a far greater influence on developing countries than Denmark’s own policies. An active stance will be taken in the EU’s handling of matters within PCD, for example promoting increased discussion in the Council of Ministers, drafting the Commission’s work programmes, ensuring a more systematic inclusion of development considerations in impact assessments of EU legislative proposals, and strengthening local dialogue in partner countries regarding the effects of EU policies. However, the efforts to make a difference at EU level must start at national level, and focus will therefore also be on how the PCD processes are institutionalised in a Danish context. It requires early dialogue and coordination to determine Danish positions in the handling of EU matters that not only encompass the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but also involve other ministries.
In this connection, Denmark’s forthcoming action plan for the work on PCD is central. The action plan formulates and sets out how Denmark is to work with PCD in practice. It sets out selected Danish political priorities, the application of the concept across ministries through use of existing structures, the dialogue with the Folketing (Danish Parliament)’s relevant committees and the generation of greater knowledge in this area. The action plan shall be forward-looking and identify Danish priority areas within the EU’s key focus areas. The Danish priorities will be updated regularly by an assessment of where Denmark can move the agenda, or has particular interests, experience or competencies. Such areas could include the linkage between tax and development; the promotion of developing country integration into the global economy and trade with the EU; food security and resilience; climate change; and the efforts to foster stability and security in fragile states.
In order to pursue this agenda in an effective and coherent way, Denmark depends on its ability to build close alliances with many different parties. This applies not only in different areas within the EU, but also in Denmark, where the cooperation between the different ministries will be a core element.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of DenmarkDanidaAsiatisk Plads 2 DK-1448 Copenhagen K Tel. +45 33 92 00 00Fax +45 32 54 05 email@example.com