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European Union Making Development Co-operation in Partner Countries More Effective


No 181-E

Today in Brussels the development ministers of the European Union discussed the implementation of the new development co-operation policy “Agenda for Change” and confirmed the European Union’s common approach to the UN Millennium Development Goals after the year 2015.

Estonia would like for the European Union to have a common development co-operation policy that is effective and geared towards results, according to Estonia’s permanent Representative to the EU Matti Maasikas, who represented Estonia at the meeting. “One of the main updates in the new development co-operation strategy is the close co-ordination of the activities of donor countries and the joint planning of development co-operation among them. This helps the aid given in partner countries to be more effective,” he added.

Maasikas stated that Estonia’s priorities coincide with the goals of the “Agenda for Change”, and our especially strong priority is good administrative practice and promoting human rights. Estonia supported the proposal to discuss the common activities of the European Union and its member states in the Eastern Partnership countries of Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, which are also Estonia’s development co-operation priority partners, at the next meeting of development co-operation ministers in the fall.

The ministers emphasised that the success of the development of partner countries also depends on the involvement of the private sector and civil society, facilitating trade, and creating equal opportunities in the investment environment. Estonia supports the principle that the ultimate goal of the European Union’s aid is for the countries receiving support to grow out of the aid-receiving role.

Ambassador Maasikas noted that it is essential for us to share our reform experiences, and that the “Agenda for Change” recognises Estonia and countries with a similar background for passing along their reform experiences through European Union development co-operation.

The purpose of the “Agenda for Change” is to direct aid towards less-developed countries and limit the number of sectors in which the European Union is active. In accordance with the new schedule, the European Union is focusing its activities first and foremost on supporting good administrative practice, human rights, and sustainable economic development in partner countries.

The implementation of the “Agenda for Change” will help shape the development goals process after the year 2015. New global goals will present many political challenges regarding the further reduction of poverty in the world and the sustainable development of countries. The goals will be established through negotiations with the UN.

Last year the European Union remained the world’s biggest official provider of development aid. During the year 2012 development aid made up 0.43% of the EU’s gross output, totalling 55.2 billion euros.

Additional information:
Helen Ennok
Press spokesperson, Estonia’s Permanent Representation to the EU
+32 474 98 16 57

+372 637 7654


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