The EU and the global aid (effectiveness) agenda

Date: 2 December 2013

Venue: University of Antwerp - Stadscampus - Building S - Nile Room - Lange Sint-Annastraat 7 - 2000 Antwerp

Time: 12:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Organization / co-organization: IOB

Short description: Seminar: presentations by Prof. Maurizio Carbone (Glasgow Uni), Svea Koch (DIE) and Sarah Delputte (UGent).

Research seminar with three presentations and discussion
12:30 – 14:00 Presentations:
  • Prof. Maurizio Carbone (University of Glasgow) The European Union and the global agenda on aid effectiveness
  • Svea Koch (German Development Institute) The EU’s Budget support Policy- when aid effectiveness meets politics
  • Sarah Delputte (University of Ghent) The European Union as an emerging coordinator in development cooperation. An analysis of EU coordination in Tanzania, Zambia, Burkina Faso and Senegal
14:00-14:15 Break
14:15 - 15:15 Q&A Discussion

Abstracts of presentations

  • Prof. Maurizio Carbone
    'The European Union and the global agenda on aid effectiveness'
    The field of foreign aid has under gone two ‘paradigmatic shifts’ since the beginning of the twenty-first century. The first shift, enshrined in the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action, was an attempt to address the numerous criticisms moved to the Western-dominated aid system. The second shift has been a consequence of the (re-) emergence of new development actors, which have offered an alternative model to engage with developing countries. The 2011 Busan Partnership for Effective Development, pitched to represent the beginning of a new era in international development, was endorsed also by the rising powers. Existing analyses explore the policy consequences of these paradigmatic shifts, yet they fail to discuss the role played by actors in this process, including the European Union. This omission is rather surprising, particularly at a time in which academic analyses on the role of the EU as a global actor abound. Nevertheless, some observers argue that the EU has managed to shape the global agenda on aid effectiveness in the Paris and Accra summits but has played a marginal role in Busan. With the aim of filling this gap, this paper provides a longitudinal analysis of the role played by the EU in the global agenda on aid effectiveness since the early 2000s. The main research question, therefore, is what explains variation, if any, in the EU’s performance in international aid negotiations. To do so, the paper goes beyond traditional analyses of the EU’s internal dynamics to concentrate on the external opportunity structure, paying particular attention to the EU’s interaction with established and emerging donors, as well as developing countries.

    BIO: Maurizio Carbone is Professor of International Development and holds the Jean Monnet Chair in EU External Relations in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow. He has previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University and has held visiting research positions at the University of Cambridge, Sciences-Po (Paris), European University Institute, University of Canterbury (New Zealand), Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), and University of Trento (Italy). He has also worked for the European Commission in DG Development between 2001 and 2004. His main research interests are on the external relations of the European Union, foreign aid, the politics of international development, as well as European and Italian Politics. Dr. Carbone has published, inter alia, in Global Governance, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Journal of European Integration,Journal of International Development, Third World Quarterly, and West European Politics. Among his recent books are the following: The European Union and International Development: The Politics of Foreign Aid (Routledge, 2007), Policy Coherence and EU Development Policy (ed., Routledge, 2009). At the moment he is working on a book on the relations between the European Union and Africa (ed., Manchester University Press, 2012) and on the evolution of EU development policy (Oxford University Press, 2012/2013).
  • Svea Koch
    'The EU’s Budget support Policy- when aid effectiveness meets politics'
    During the last decade, General Budget Support (GBS) has been the most prominent foreign aid instrument among European donors for increasing aid effectiveness and for harmonizing the provision of European foreign aid. Through transferring financial resources to the recipient's government budget, the instrument has aimed at directly financing national development strategies thereby aligning to a partner country's policy priorities using endogenous budget procedures. Through tying GBS to policy and political conditionality, donor countries also aimed at avoiding the misuse of resources and expected to promote institutional reforms. Particularly for the latter purpose, the provision of GBS and its attached conditionality needs to be highly coordinated among donor governments. Yet, recent case study evidence has shown that European donor governments have often failed to coordinate their budget support policies in a sufficient manner because of different perspectives on the instrument's intervention logic. Against this background we investigate the domestic origins of providing budget support in European donor countries. Guided by a political economy perspective, our econometric analysis of 15 European donor countries in the 2001-2012 period shows that conservative governments and lower domestic growth rates have negatively affected the provision of budget support but not the overall provision of development cooperation. We illustrate these effects by providing case study evidence from Germany and the UK. Against the background of strong country effects in our statistical analysis, we also use those two country cases to illustrate the impact of the different bureaucratic set up of foreign aid in both countries on the provision of budget support. Overall, our combination of cross-country and case study evidence provides evidence on how partisan politics and the institutional set up of foreign aid impacts on the use of specific aid instruments and on crafting a more coherent European foreign and development policy.

    BIO: Svea Koch is a researcher at the German Development Institute since 2011. She holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Hamburg and is currently working on her PhD thesis. Before joining DIE, she has worked for Südwind, as part of a research consortium for the European Parliament’s Development Committee. Her main research interest is on EU development policy, with a special focus on the use and effectiveness of political conditionalities, budget support and the question of aid to middle-income countries.


  • Sarah Delputte
    'The European Union as an emerging coordinator in development cooperation. An analysis of EU coordination in Tanzania, Zambia, Burkina Faso and Senegal'
    The proliferation of aid donors and channels for aid and resulting fragmentation brings about huge costs for developing and donor countries and has a detrimental effect on the impact of aid. Coordination is presented as a strategy to help resolve this problem and has been at the top of the development agenda in the past decade. The EU has on many occasions expressed its ambition to foster this agenda and strengthen internal EU coordination. However, the few existing contemporary studies suggest its implementation of coordination is fairly low. In my doctoral thesis I have aimed to seek in-depth and interpreted understanding of this gap through an empirical analysis of EU coordination in Tanzanian, Zambia, Burkina Faso and Senegal. The findings reveal that the EU’s internal and external coordination role has indeed been limited. It is argued that challenges to EU coordination can partly be explained by institutional factors, but that ideational and political elements should also be considered in order to gain a more profound understanding.

    BIO: Sarah Delputte is Assistant Professor at the Centre for EU Studies. She obtained her PhD in EU Studies and Development Studies from Ghent University and the University of Antwerp respectively. Her doctoral dissertation focused on EU coordination in development cooperation and she conducted field research in Tanzania, Zambia, Burkina Faso and Senegal. Sarah holds a Master in EU Studies from Ghent University and she gained practical experience on EU politics during an internship in the European Commission.

Entrance fee: Free

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