Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Investing in people - Communication on the thematic programme for human and social development and the financial perspectives for 2007-2013
/* COM/2006/0018 final */
[pic] | COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES |
COM(2006) 18 final
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Investing in peopleCommunication on the thematic programme for human and social development and the financial perspectives for 2007-2013
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. General introduction on thematic programmes 3
II. Context: Investing in people - EU policy on human and social development 3
Experience and lessons learnt 4
Rationale and added value of the thematic programme “ Investing in people” 5
III. Proposed thematic programme “Investing in people” 5
Priorities for thematic action on human and social development 6
1. Good health for all 6
2. Knowledge and skills for all 6
3. Culture 8
4. Employment and social cohesion 8
5. Gender equality 9
6. Youth and children 10
IV. Programming and Implementation 10
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Investing in peopleCommunication on the thematic programme for human and social development and the financial perspectives for 2007-2013
I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION ON THEMATIC PROGRAMMES
To rationalise and simplify the current legislative framework governing external action by the Community, the European Commission has proposed a set of six new instruments under the Financial Perspectives for 2007-2013. Three of them are horizontal instruments to respond to particular needs and circumstances. Three are designed to implement particular policies (pre-accession assistance, European neighbourhood and partnership policy, and development cooperation and economic cooperation) and have defined geographical coverage. In future, these instruments will provide the legal basis for Community expenditure in support of external cooperation programmes, including thematic programmes which will cut across the geographical coverage of the three policy-driven instruments and replace, inter alia , the existing thematic regulations. As the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) is specifically designed to help candidate and potential candidate countries adopt and implement the acquis communautaire , the beneficiaries of IPA do not fall within the scope of this thematic programme.
Thematic programmes provide distinctive value added and complement geographical programmes, which remain the preferred framework for Community cooperation with third countries[i]. The Commission has committed itself to enter into discussions with the European Parliament and the Council on the scope, objectives and priorities for each thematic programme based on formal communications to both institutions. This process will provide the political guidelines for the subsequent stages of programming, notably the thematic strategy papers to be drawn up in accordance with the abovementioned instruments.
II. Context: Investing in people - EU policy on human and social development
Human and social development is about people[ii]. People’s needs drive and people’s opportunities determine development, growth, security and poverty reduction. It is a key strategic element of “The European Consensus”[iii] and strongly emphasised in the EC's international commitments such as those under the Millennium Declaration and those agreed at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, the World Summit for Social Development, the Beijing Platform for Action on gender equality and the September 2005 UN Summit.
In the context of external action, including development policy, the thematic programme Investing in people will focus on the core themes good health for all, knowledge and skills, culture, employment and social cohesion, gender equality, children and youth. It will reflect the internal policies of the EU and contribute to the coherence of the EU’s external policies. The programme will thus support the new external assistance architecture, giving the EU the means to act in some crucial areas. In particular, it will provide a thematic framework for sharing know-how, good practice and experience, for monitoring, data collection and analysis, for innovative approaches and pilot projects in the areas which directly affect people’s livelihoods around the world. It will strengthen the EU’s voice at international level. It will allow the EU to continue to play a visible and credible role in international organisations and partnerships on these themes.
Experience and lessons learnt
The thematic framework builds on a wealth of lessons learnt from experience at national and international levels, which is further developed in Annex 2. It also takes account of recent assessments and evaluations of action in these areas[iv]. The EC held extensive consultations on the design of this thematic programme[v].
The lessons learnt point to a need for a holistic and coherent thematic approach to human and social development, which is firmly anchored in the comprehensive approach formulated by the EU in its new development and external policies and which will complement and add value to country programming in different focal areas. Consequently, the programme is innovating by going beyond the present strategy, which has been centred on health, gender and basic education.
In the areas of poverty diseases, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender, the thematic strategy is built on the experience with the specific budget lines for those fields which will expire at the end of 2006[vi]. In other areas, such as education, thematic programmes have been implemented through regional funds or pilot and preparatory action. Experience in these thematic areas and from individual countries has shown that the EC should have a role where coherence of policies and a common EU approach can make a difference.
Employment and social cohesion issues are receiving increasing attention in the international debate. More and more countries and regions have a particular interest in the EU’s experience of economic, employment and social policies and have engaged in cooperation with the EU. The focus on employment and social cohesion in the thematic programme will facilitate the response to this increasing demand and reflect the EU’s willingness to find new ways to tackle the growth-investment-employment nexus, trade, social inclusion and protection issues.
Culture has featured very little in development work, but there is growing recognition that cultural and inter-cultural factors influence development considerably and need to be addressed from three angles: fostering dialogue between cultures, addressing cultural diversity throughout the world through international co-operation and promoting the cultural sector and industries as a factor of employment and growth.
Investing in people could thus be a means to formulate and test strategies on how to address these new priorities with European added value.
With regard to gender equality and children, the lessons learnt from experience and stakeholder contributions are that mainstreaming is important, but not effective enough, and has to be backed up by specific action.
The programme could potentially address many other issues, but given the limited resources, choices have to be made, focusing on activities where EU leverage and credibility are greatest.
Rationale and added value of the thematic programme “ Investing in people”
As stated by the European Commission [vii], a thematic programme encompasses a specific area of interest to a group of partner countries not determined by geography, or cooperation activities addressed to various regions or groups of partner countries, or an international operation that is not geographically specific, including multilateral or global initiatives to promote the Union’s internal policies abroad.
One important principle underlying the concept of thematic programmes is “subsidiarity”. Geographical programmes are the preferred instrument for cooperation with third countries. However, in some circumstances geographical (country, multi-country and regional) programmes are not the best instrument for action in a particular domain: some EU policy objectives cannot be achieved through country and regional programmes and/or some of the action under the country and regional programmes can be effectively supplemented by thematic action. The thematic programme adds value to geographical programmes since it:
1. supports innovation and stimulates scaling up of innovative measures and creates and pools know-how and good practice across regions;
2. enhances technical cooperation between countries and regional organisations in order to make progress on international commitments, and strengthens partner countries’ and regions’ participation in and adherence to relevant international conventions, initiatives or processes. In specific cases, it can provide the tools for effective benchmarking and monitoring across regions and in this way benefit country policy, aid effectiveness and donor harmonisation, in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Harmonisation;
3. supports development in situations and regions where bilateral cooperation cannot be agreed or there is no cooperation framework, such as in fragile states and in the case of critical programmes;
4. focuses on meeting the EC’s international obligations, on global advocacy for critical issues, on improved global governance, increased aid efficiency and securing an effective multilateral policy framework.
III. Proposed thematic programme “Investing in people”
The programme is to be set up in the framework of the “European Consensus”, the external dimension of EU policies and international commitments and will focus on providing synergies between the themes and EU policies in these areas in order to reinforce coherence. Investing in people builds on and integrates the acquis formulated in a series of key policy documents[viii]. It complements the country strategies.
The EC will report regularly to the Council and the European Parliament about implementation of the strategy and publish evaluation reports.
Priorities for thematic action on human and social development
The focus of the programme is on six themes crucial for human and social development put forward in the “European Consensus” and in the EC’s other aforementioned international commitments in this area: health, knowledge and skills, culture, and social cohesion and employment, gender equality, youth and children. These priorities are strategically linked and synergies are developed between all the themes.
1. Good health for all
Health is crucial for individual well-being, learning, work and social activity, for gender equality and for any society’s growth and development. Health systems in individual countries and access to essential services are a central concern. Human resources for health care are a crucial bottleneck to be addressed at country and at international level. Health information systems with the ability to generate, measure and analyse disaggregated performance data are essential to ensure better health and development outcomes and that domestic and external resources contribute effectively to faster progress. Ensuring fair mechanisms for financing equitable access to health care for all is another major priority of EU policies improving health systems and social cohesion. Poverty diseases present a particular challenge across sectors and beyond national borders. The EU has long been leading and supporting international efforts to confront HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases. Finally, the EU continues to be one of the driving forces in the key area of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) based on the full Cairo agenda. Action in these two areas will continue with the same definitions and scope as provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1568/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on aid to fight poverty diseases in developing countries and Regulation (EC) No 1567/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on reproductive and sexual health and rights in developing countries. The European Commission’s recently adopted orientations for combating HIV/AIDS within the EU and neighbouring countries will be taken into account specifically for developing countries of the EU neighbourhood.The thematic programme can respond to these challenges in several ways:
- speed up the development and improve the availability of and equal access to global public goods, including effective, affordable and safe pharmaceutical products, reproductive health commodities and innovations, including electronic communications, for strategies to combat diseases and prevent infection, support innovative environmental health measures for disease prevention and support the participation and capacities of institutions and communities in order to allow ethical and efficient implementation of clinical trials and enhance regulatory capacity;
- support advocacy and information activities to increase political and public awareness and improve education of the public, including sensitivity for rights, equity, gender and cultural issues related to desired health outcomes and prevention;
- build capacity, including use of ICT tools, for policymakers and other relevant stakeholders at country, regional and global level to improve their contribution to development outcomes in these areas;
2. Knowledge and skills for all
The EU is contributing to improving access to education for all children and, increasingly, for women and men of all ages, with a view to increasing knowledge, skills and employability on the job market, contributing to active citizenship and individual fulfilment on a life-long basis, supporting an inclusive knowledge society and contributing to bridging the digital divide, knowledge and information gaps. Attention will be devoted to adult illiteracy and adult literacy programmes. Beyond universal primary education, countries, together with the business sector and donors, now have to build vocational education and training (VET) as a major enabler of employability and provide greater access to good quality secondary and higher education. Tertiary education plays a key role in creating local knowledge centres and in producing education and health practitioners and people whose skills, capacities and entrepreneurial spirit contribute to growth and thus poverty reduction. The capacity and quality of tertiary education, including advanced VET, need to be improved in many developing countries. Initiatives developed in the EU or within bilateral external assistance programmes on skills and human resources development can also be of interest to some partners.
This comprehensive approach emphasises the fact that access to knowledge and skills is a major tool to empower children, youth and women and to improve awareness and skills related to disease prevention and care, family planning, awareness of human rights, tolerance, solidarity and peace. Knowledge, innovation through science and technology as well as development of and access to electronic communication networks are key engines of socio-economic growth and sustainable development and need to be addressed in synergy with the international dimension of EU research policy. All efforts to promote education and training should minimise the brain drain effect.
This thematic programme can contribute to country programmes through the following complementary action:
- help low-income countries to become eligible for international support for the development of adequate and quality education policies; contribute to international mechanisms aimed at supporting countries that fail to mobilise sufficient donor support to finance their education plans;
- promote international exchanges of experience and good practice for the development of secondary and vocational education and training including close cooperation with organisations representing employers and workers and other stakeholders, with a view to ensuring quality and meeting skills needs, and maximising employability and adaptability;
- promote transnational university cooperation and student and scholar mobility at international level through accompanying measures facilitating country to country or regional programmes, the use of ICT networks to build south-south and south-north education networks and access to information resources, including on the ERASMUS mundus programme, distance learning and virtual mobility;
- support development of statistical capacity and consistent methods for retrieval of quantitative and qualitative data based on commonly defined indicators, common concepts for the analysis of data and expansion of the global monitoring framework. This will benefit programming, monitoring and evaluation of aid, in particular sector budget support, for recipients and donors alike;
- marginalised and vulnerable children (e.g. working children, orphans, disabled children, children in conflict/post-conflict situations, indigenous and minority children, or children in remote rural areas, particularly girls) have no opportunity to go to school. This situation can be intrinsically linked to these children’s and families’ conditions or to deficient school systems. The programme could promote greater attention to these children at global level, through advocacy, pilot projects, exchanges of experience and good practice, while most support will need to come from country or regional programmes. The link between education and combating all forms of child labour should be a priority area.
Culture determines how societies and economies function and has an impact on all spheres of interaction between the EU and partner countries, with implications for social, economic and external policies. The principles of ownership and participation, if properly and fully applied to achieve self-esteem and “parity of esteem”, should make it possible to take due account of the cultural reality of partners in cooperation, without questioning the universality of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The recent adoption of the UNESCO Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions underlines the international consensus to actively promote and foster cultural diversity in international relations, notably with developing countries. Audiovisual means might be an effective way to promote culture as well as to transfer experience and good practice.
Learning, gender roles and stereotypes, ways of life, attitudes towards others, stigma, discrimination, conflict and many other issues are deeply influenced by culture.
- Investing in people can help to promote mutual understanding and dialogue between peoples and cultures, promote cultural diversity and respect for the equal dignity of all cultures and strengthen cooperation and exchanges of experience in various fields of culture, education and research. The importance of promoting respect for the social, cultural and spiritual values of indigenous peoples and minorities helps combating the social inequalities and injustice in multi-ethnic societies.
- Furthermore, culture is also a promising economic sector for development and growth. International cooperation, in particular with developing countries, should give a more substantial place to the cultural sector, and in particular cultural industries, to fully exploit its economic potential.
4. Employment and social cohesion
There is growing interest at global level and in various regions and countries in the EU’s economic and social approach taking into account the different situations, needs, interests and possibilities of partner countries and regions[ix]. Employment, combating inequalities and promoting social cohesion form an important new theme in the Union’s external relations and development policy. This includes decent work for all, social welfare and inclusion, productive employment, social dialogue, development of human resources, empowerment of women and fundamental social rights, including combating all forms of child labour and trafficking of people. It also includes promotion of an integrated social and economic approach that regards the economy, trade, employment and social cohesion as interdependent elements with a view to fighting inequalities. The EU will focus in particular on social and fiscal reforms to promote equity and on progressively integrating the informal sector into the formal economy.
The 2005 UN Summit highlighted the important contribution which productive employment and decent work for all can make to preventing and combating poverty and the need to integrate them into development strategies. Integrated social and economic strategies, trade policies that promote social development, investment policies that stimulate entrepreneurship, gender equality at work, local employment and skills, efficient labour market institutions and cooperation between social partners will therefore be crucial for development strategies.
Social security schemes and social inclusion are key elements to tackle vulnerability and reduce the risk of poverty. They support households and contribute to the gender equality agenda as well as to combating child labour. It will be necessary to address the lack of social protection in the informal economy.
The thematic programme could:
- contribute to promoting the “decent work for all” agenda as a universal objective, including through global and other multi-country initiatives to implement international labour standards, assessment of trade impact on decent work, social dialogue, sustained and adequate mechanisms for fair financing, effective functioning – and wider coverage – of social protection systems, including pension schemes and basic social protection benefits;
- support initiatives to promote the improvement of working conditions as well as the adjustment to trade liberalisation. This should include an employment dimension in development policies and the further take-up of Corporate Social Responsibility as a voluntary business practice, to help spread European social values;
- help promote the social dimension of globalisation and the EU’s experience.
5. Gender equality
The promotion of gender equality and women's rights is not only crucial in itself but is a fundamental human right enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and a question of social justice, as well as being instrumental in achieving all the MDGs and in implementing commitments such as those given under the Beijing Platform for Action, the Cairo Programme of Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women[x]. Throughout this thematic programme, gender equality issues such as girls’ and women’s access to knowledge and skills, safe school environments, sexual and reproductive health and rights, social protection and employment should be addressed under the four priorities outlined above. Initiatives in the area of culture will contribute to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudice and customary practices which are based on the idea of inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women.
Beyond this horizontal dimension, gender equality is a theme in its own right that will be addressed through specific action on gender equality. This thematic programme can complement necessary country action through the following forms of support globally or across regions:
- providing strategic support to programmes that contribute to achieving the objectives of the Beijing Declaration;
- promoting civil society organisations, notably women’s organisations and networks, in their endeavours to promote gender equality and economic and social empowerment, including north-south and south-south networking and advocacy;
- promote a gender perspective in the efforts to promote statistical capacity, by supporting the development and dissemination of data and indicators disaggregated by sex, as well as gender equality data and indicators.
6. Youth and children
Investing in youth and children is investing in the future. The largest cohort of children and youth the world has ever seen presents challenges and opportunities for developing countries. They are particularly vulnerable and their rights and interests need special attention, starting with participation and empowerment and including promotion and protection of their rights, health and livelihoods. Healthy and educated children and youth, enjoying their basic rights, are an opportunity. Knowledge and skills equip them to participate in the labour market and society at large. The best interests of children and youth should be taken into account in all relevant action and participation by children and youth should be ensured, while ensuring consistency with a life-cycle and inter-generational approach. Beyond mainstreaming and country support the thematic programme could:
- enhance countries’ attention and capacity to address children and youth issues in external action;
- support regional, inter-regional and global initiatives in key areas, such as preventing all forms of child labour, trafficking and sexual violence, and support the youth employment network;
- support action to promote youth and children in situations and regions where bilateral cooperation has limitations, such as in fragile states;
- support mapping problems, collecting and monitoring data (including birth registration), developing policies and pilot projects, and sharing best practice for rescuing victims of child labour, trafficking or violence and reintegrating them into society (education, skills training, medical and psychological care), advocacy and awareness-raising and innovative initiatives (e.g. against child labour, trafficking, genital mutilation, forced sexual relations and forced marriages).
IV. PROGRAMMING AND IMPLEMENTATION
- Four-year (2007-2010) and, subsequently, three-year (2011-2013) Thematic Strategy Papers (programming documents) will be decided by the Commission following the Comitology procedures[xi].
- On the basis of this multi-annual programming, the Commission shall produce annual action programmes which establish priority actions to be supported, specific objectives, anticipated results as well as indicative amounts.
- The programme shall be implemented in accordance with the 2000 Reform of the Management of External Assistance which foresees inter alia, devolution of management responsibilities to the delegations where appropriate.
- As for the mid-term review, an external evaluation of the operations during the first three-year period (2007-2009) will be carried out to provide input to the preparations for the second Thematic Strategy Paper (2011-2013). The reports will be transmitted to and discussed with Member States and the European Parliament.
- ANNEX 1
List of key policy documents on human and social development 2002-2005
- United Nations Millennium Declaration, New York, 2000http://www.un.org/millennium/summit.htm
- The 2005 World Summit; http://www.un.org/summit2005/
- The 2005 World Summit on Information Society; http://www.itu.int/wsis/
- UNDP Human Development Report 2004, “ Cultural Liberty in Today’s Diverse World” http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2004/
- High-level Forum on the Health Millennium Development Goals, Geneva, 2004http://www.who.int/hdp/hlf/en/
- UNGASS Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, 2001 http://www.unaids.org/en/events/un+special+session+on+hiv_aids/declaration+of+commitment+on+hiv_aids.asp
- Education For All: Meeting our collective commitments, Dakar, 2000http://www.unesco.org/education/efa/ed_for_all/dakfram_eng.shtml
- Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing Declaration, 1995http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/declar.htm and Beijing + 10
- World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 1995http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/wssd/
- United Nations International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 1994 and Cairo + 10 http://www.iisd.ca/cairo.html
- A Fair Globalisation: Creating opportunities for all, World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation, Geneva, 2004http://www.ilo.org/public/english/fairglobalization/index.htm
- ILO decent work agenda: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/decent.htm
- Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/k2crc.htm
- Joint Statement by the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on European Union Development Policy: “The European Consensus”, 22 November 2005.
- Proposal for a joint declaration by the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on the European Union Development Policy “The European Consensus” -COM(2005) 311 of 13 July 2005
- Policy Coherence for Development - Accelerating progress towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals - COM(2005) 134 of 12 April 2005
- Health and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries - COM(2002) 129
- EU Strategy for Action on the Crisis in Human Resources for Health in Developing Countries - COM(2005) 642
AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis
- Regulation (EC) No 1568/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on aid to fight poverty diseases (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria) in developing countries
- Report on the Commission Communication on the Update of the EC Programme for Action: Accelerated Action on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis in the Context of Poverty Reduction – Outstanding Policy Issues and Future Challenges – European Parliament Committee on Development and Cooperation (PE 326.776/DEF A5-0055/2004)
- Second Progress Report on the EC Programme for Action: Accelerated action on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in the context of poverty reduction - SEC(2004) 1326
- A Coherent European Policy Framework for External Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis - COM(2004) 726
- Council Conclusions on a Coherent European Policy Framework for External Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, 23 November 2004
- A European Programme for Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis through External Action - COM(2005) 179
- Council Conclusions on a European Programme for Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis through External Action, 24 May 2005
- Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on combating HIV/AIDS within the European Union and the neighbouring countries 2006-2009 - COM(2005) 654 of 15 December 2005.
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
- Regulation (EC) No 1567/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on aid for policies and actions on reproductive and sexual health and rights in developing countries
- Council conclusions on "Cairo ICPD +10", 24/11/04
- Education and training in the context of poverty reduction in developing countries - COM(2002) 116 of 6 March 2002. This document paved the way for the adoption of a Council Resolution on “Education and poverty” on 30 May 2002 and of a European Parliament Resolution on “Education and training in the context of poverty reduction in developing countries” on 15 May 2003
Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions. UNESCO, Paris, 20 October 2005.
Social protection, social dialogue, employment, rights at work, children’s rights, social dimension of globalisation, decent work for all
- The Social Dimension of Globalisation – the EU’s policy contribution on extending the benefits to all - COM(2004) 383
- The Social Agenda - COM(2005) 33
- Promoting core labour standards and improving social governance in the context of globalisation - COM(2001) 416 of 18 July 2001
- December 2004 and June 2005 European Council conclusions on the social dimension of globalisation
- Council Conclusions of 21 July 2003, 5 March 2005 and 24 May 2005
- EP Report on promoting core labour standards, July 2003 (M.H. Gillig)
- EP Report A6-0308/2005 on the Social Dimension of Globalisation, 14 November 2005 (M. Brejc)
- Regulation (EC) No 806/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on promoting gender equality in development cooperation
- Programme of Action for the mainstreaming of gender equality in Community Development Cooperation - COM(2001) 295
- Council Conclusions C/10/403 of 8 November 2001
- Report on equality between women and men 2004 and 2005 - COM(2004) 115 and COM(2005) 44
- Council Conclusions on the "Review of the implementation by the Member States and the EU institutions of the Beijing Platform for Action", 2/3 June 2005
- EP resolution on the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing + 10), 10/03/2005 - EP05-027
- EP Report A-5-0066/2002 (Maria Martens/Luisa Morgantini)
Main international and EU policy frameworks concerning children
- The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)[xii]
- International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and its Programme of Action, especially on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (Chapter VII)
- ILO Conventions 182 and 138 on the elimination of the worst forms of child labour and the minimum age for admission to employment[xiii]
- UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children[xiv]
- UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Children’s Rights of May 2002[xv]
Main International and EU policy frameworks concerning Indigenous Peoples
The ILO convention no. 169 on the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples in independent countries.
The UN Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The UN Draft declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (1994/45) (E.CN.4.SUB.2.RES.1994)
European Commission Working Document of 11 May 1998 on support for indigenous peoples in development cooperation of the Community and Member States.
Council Resolution of 30 November 1998 on Indigenous Peoples within the Frame work of Development Cooperation of the Community and Member States.
Council Conclusion of 18 November 2002 on Indigenous issues.
The Convention on biological diversity (Article 8J)
Agenda 21 (Article 24)
World Bank Operational Policies on Indigenous Peoples (O.P 4.10 May 10, 2005)
World Bank Bank Procedures on Indigenous Peoples (BP 4.10 May 10, 2005)
Lessons learnt and past experience
Overall, while recognising the added value of thematic programmes, the new architecture of the instruments for external action provides an opportunity to rethink the scope and content of thematic programmes, including their budget appropriations, and to extend the concept of simplification to them by consolidating and rationalising them with a view to improving their effectiveness and efficiency. The scope and rationale for the programme envisaged and the management procedures for programming, budgeting and adopting them take into account the lessons learnt from evaluations. The Commission has evaluated most of the thematic regulations under the current Financial Perspectives. Moreover, a significant number of country strategy evaluations have been undertaken in recent years, which throw light upon the link between country programmes and thematic programmes. Certain general findings and lessons drawn from these studies need to be taken into account in the concept and definition of the future thematic programme, particularly where it is implemented at country level. On the one hand, the evaluations show that generally thematic programmes have had a positive impact.
Thematic programmes have proven useful for implementing Community action in cases where the government of the partner country blocks action under the geographical programmes, which is particularly the case in sensitive areas such as human rights, democracy or support to civil society.
They are a useful, if not the only, tool to create or contribute to international initiatives and partnerships, to pursue global advocacy and to buttress a leadership role for the EU on key issues on the international agenda.
They have been found useful to initiate actions, often with innovative approaches, with pre-selected partners.
Action is often more easily accepted by partner countries when funding is “additional”.
Thematic programmes have proven useful to intervene in fragile states and difficult partnerships, particularly in supporting programmes implemented by non-state entities.
On the other hand, the thematic programmes and budget lines have demonstrated certain weaknesses. They are currently extremely numerous and fragmented. The narrowly defined thematic focus, once determined by a legislative act, limits the flexibility to adapt to new needs. Parallel implementation of numerous thematic programmes and the country programme poses managerial challenges and leads to loss of efficiency[xvi]. By nature, action in non-Community countries funded under thematic programmes creates problems of coherence with country and regional strategies[xvii]. Thematic action needs to be consistent with the country analysis and should respond or relate to country strategies[xviii]. Consequently, it should also be part of the complementarity assessment made in the context of country strategies. The substance of thematic programmes should be integrated into the policy dialogue with partner governments[xix].
The EC’s priorities for action on HIV, malaria and tuberculosis take into account those which apply internationally. More specifically, the new European policy framework to confront the three diseases was based on two progress reports on the previous Programme for Action, finalised in 2003 and 2004 respectively. The 2004 progress report and the evidence gathered from stakeholders to prepare it illustrate that EC action led to a reduction of up to 98% in the price of some key pharmaceutical products in developing countries and that policy coherence has been increased through common action on research and development[xx] and trade regulations which contributed to making medicines available and affordable[xxi]. Synergy and policy coherence at EC level have been enhanced, in particular, by agreed, concrete and concerted action on capacity building and clinical research capacity and by access to medical care coverage for populations during clinical trials and the financial support currently provided to EDCTP clinical trial sites and the populations concerned by these trials from the research budget and the poverty diseases budget line (21.020702). The active role played by the EC in terms of providing leadership, coordinating positions and mobilising resources among the EU Member States and other donors is a key achievement, including a strong European voice in the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria and in international forums on key issues such as trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The report has shown that the main outstanding challenges include how to increase the prioritisation of, and resources to, health and social services in non-EU countries; how to boost ailing health infrastructure and overburdened human capacities (especially in the context of the current brain drain); how to support regulatory capacity in developing countries; how to make key pharmaceutical products more affordable and improve access to pharmaceutical products in general; how to develop new tools to confront the three diseases; and how to continue coordination with partners in developing countries, civil society and the private sector. New challenges include how to maintain coherence and harmony in an increasingly complex and divergent global institutional set-up[xxii] and how to respond to the evolving epidemiology, geography and demography of the diseases in the context of an enlarged EU.
An independent external evaluation of all the EC’s external cooperation in population- and development-oriented programmes was recently completed[xxiii]. It concluded that the EC’s overall approach to population is consistent with the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD, Cairo, 1994) and the activities of other donors and that EC support has made a substantial contribution to achievement of the ICPD goals relating to reproductive health and family planning[xxiv], with “a strong emphasis on providing tangible benefits to the poor”. The recommendations called for broadening the population beyond sexual and reproductive health and for steps to be taken to ensure that gains made from budget-line projects are not lost in sector-wide approaches.
On education , annual and mid-term reviews of the 9th EDF have repeatedly indicated problems with data integrity and the statistical and monitoring capacities of partner countries. Availability, timeliness and reliability of data vary considerably due to weak retrieval methods and poor understanding of the basic concepts of indicators, target-setting and performance monitoring. Furthermore, indicators to measure quality of education and learning achievement remain particularly scanty. The two major evaluation studies in which the EC has been involved[xxv] both underline the difficulty of achieving gender parity in school education, on the one hand, and of reaching out-of-school children, i.e. vulnerable and marginalised groups, on the other. These tend to receive less attention in programme planning and implementation. The studies recommend specific measures combined with the development of comprehensive and practical strategies to target the special groups and girls, pointing out that specific indicators to monitor the impact on such groups need to be included in education programmes. The two studies also refer to the bottlenecks in providing primary school leavers with study opportunities in post-primary (secondary and technical) education. Primary school achievement is seen as failing to equip children for the world of work. As regards tertiary education, the EC has almost twenty years of experience in promoting cooperation between higher education institutions in the EU in order to contribute to improving the quality of education and bringing a European dimension to education. This model - inter-university cooperation through curriculum projects, joint courses, networking and, particularly, student and staff mobility - has proved very successful even beyond the EU[xxvi]. It has contributed to enriching individual students' learning, exchanging experience, creating new academic approaches, sharing European values, etc. ‘Bottom up’ activities are complementary and useful if coupled with in depth Higher Education sector system upgrading and equity as addressed by several EC bilateral programmes (the latter being essential to avoid ‘brain drain’). The capitalisation and dissemination of good practices coupling both bottom up and systemic upgrading points to a way forward in improving Higher Education systems.
One of the lessons learnt in the education Fast Track Initiative is that mobilisation of funding at country level, which is the main vehicle for the FTI, can take a long time due to few donors being present at country level or to slow donor procedures and financing cycles. One answer to make aid more effective and speed up disbursement was the establishment of a global level fund (the FTI Catalytic Fund) which can disburse quickly in response to partner countries' sector plans.
Culture has featured very little in development work until now, but there is growing recognition that cultural and inter-cultural factors influence development considerably and need to be addressed. While putting emphasis on the need to foster dialogue between cultures and peoples, recent international debates led to the recognition of the need to address the issue of cultural diversity throughout the world but in particular in developing countries, notably through international cooperation, both as a political imperative - as cultural diversity is a common good of the humankind - and a factor of development, growth and stability. This consensus was concretised in particular through the recent adoption of the Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions in UNESCO last October.
Furthermore, the cultural sector, and notably cultural industries, can play an important part in the development of countries, in terms of employment and growth, as it is largely based on intangible assets (i.e. intellectual property rights), whose value and tradability spread over a large period of time. As the UNDP Human Development Report 2004 highlights it, there is a “ vast potential of building a more peaceful, prosperous world by bringing issues of culture to the mainstream of development thinking and practice ”.
Gender equality and women's empowerment is key for the achievement of development and peace. Both the 2005 UN Summit and the 49th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) reconfirmed the complementarity and inter-dependence between the full and effective implementation of the BPfA and the achievement of all internationally agreed development goals. The lessons learnt, experience and stakeholder contributions reconfirm the importance and the effectiveness of implementing a dual approach of gender mainstreaming and specific measures to promote equality between women and men. Gender mainstreaming should be reinforced in all actions and policies. However, gender mainstreaming alone is not enough and has to be complemented with specific actions.
Lessons learnt concerning children also point to the need to devise strategic action which goes beyond mainstreaming. Some stakeholders underline the need for a strategic focus on children. Up until now the EC’s thematic action for children (besides basic education and support to immunisation) has focused on child labour (ILO partnership) and trafficking, taking into account available resources. However, the specific approach concerning children must also be seen in the broader context of the inter-generational and life-cycle approach. Child poverty and lack of opportunities for youth are also related to poverty and lack of opportunities for the family, the group and the community at large. Child labour should also be seen in the wider context of application of the core labour standards and the lack of decent work opportunities for youth and parents. Over 80% of the population in developing countries have no social protection cover and over 90% of the job entrants in, for instance, sub-Saharan Africa are employed in the informal sector.
Employment and social cohesion issues are getting increasing attention in the international debate. The 2005 UN Summit has highlighted that full and productive employment and decent work for all is a central objective for efforts to achieve the MDG. The EU is playing a key role on strengthening the social dimension of globalisation including global trade effects, in the follow up to the Copenhagen Summit on Social Development and on the promotion of decent work. Recent experience also shows growing interest outside the EU in the EU’s economic and social approach. The ILO global employment agenda, for instance, is influenced by the approaches and working methods used in the European Employment Strategy. The EU approach on social cohesion has been catching the attention of several regions and at global level, including in the follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen +10) and the UN ECOSOC. The relevance of the EU’s experience to promoting social development across the world is acknowledged both inside and outside the EU[xxvii]. The EC is also taking part in the ongoing UN debate on a Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, taking into account the EC Directives on the prohibition of discrimination in employment[xxviii].
The EC has made a significant contribution to the work of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation in different ways, such as by organising and funding a high-level event bringing together the European Commission, EU stakeholders and the World Commission and by contributing to the follow-up to the 2004 report by the World Commission[xxix]. Promotion of decent work is part of the overall cooperation agreement signed between the European Commission and the ILO on 14 May 2001[xxx]. In this context various global and multi-country initiatives on promoting decent work have been supported and co-funded by the Commission, such as measures on socially responsible restructuring, CSR, indigenous people, dissemination of information on freedom of association and collective bargaining and on health and safety at work, pilot projects on decent work indicators and the impact of trade liberalisation and the preparation and finalisation of the consolidated maritime labour convention. In July 2004 the Commission and the ILO also formed a partnership in the field of development that is implemented under the overall cooperation agreement of 2001. The Commission and the ILO are cooperating on application of core labour standards in relation to the EU Generalised System of Preferences, taking into account the specific mandate of the ILO.
Guiding principles for thematic action
Thematic action within this programme is based on the following guiding principles for implementation in order to ensure consistency with the policy framework for external action and development. These principles will be further developed in a thematic strategy paper:
5. Action will support joint work with Member States and other financing mechanisms, including global and trust funds or facilities aimed at fostering and monitoring performance related to MDG and other relevant international commitments, targeted measures or specific calls for proposals and other means in compliance with the Financial Regulation.
6. Action should aim at knowledge generation, innovation, transnational learning and capacity building through pilot projects, studies, conferences, networks, exchanges of experience and good practice to the extent that such measures cannot be implemented through country programmes.
7. Cross-cutting issues, in particular concerning gender equality, children and youth, will be addressed in all action and also be addressed specifically as themes in their own right.
8. Action should, as far as possible, take account of imbalances and needs of disadvantaged groups, including ethnic minorities and indigenous people and people with disabilities, in accordance with the differing needs between more dynamic and evolving countries, regions within countries (e.g. in middle income countries) and least developed countries.
9. Performance criteria and benchmarks will be developed for grant recipients. All data and information used for or gathered through this programme should be broken down, whenever possible, by gender, age and income.
10. Cross-regional dialogue with stakeholders should be strengthened and effective partnerships should be maintained and developed with civil society, social partners, key organisations and global initiatives and funding mechanisms.
11. ANNEX 4
Matrix of possible forms of action
The table below summarises the themes and linkages addressed by the thematic programme on Investing in people by juxtaposing the priority themes with the key dimensions of added value (international commitments, global voice, subsidiary country action) and selected cross-cutting dimensions.It is meant to show some key linkages as examples. Abbreviations are explained in Annex 5.
International obligations | Global voice | Subsidiary action | Gender equality | Children/youth | Culture |
Health and well-being | ICPD, MDGs 4, 5 and 6 UNGASS 2001 on HIV/AIDS EU policy framework for confronting HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB through external action | SRHR, poverty diseases, human resources | Human resources, health information and monitoring, health financing, RH commodities supply | SRHR, poverty diseases, data broken down by gender | SRHR, vaccination, disease prevention, education, data broken down by age | Stigma, discrimination |
Knowledge and skills | MDGs 2 and 3 EFA FTI | EFA framework | FTI, best practice and local success stories, transnational learning, marginalised children, post-primary bottleneck, tertiary education, statistics | Equal opportunities, data broken down by gender, safe schools | Basic education | Tolerance, values, rights Child labour rescue strategies |
Employment and social cohesion | ILO Conventions and action plans adopted by the International Labour Conference World Summit for Social Development September 2005 UN Summit MDG 8 on employment and decent work for youth, MDGs 1 and 6 | Social dimension of globalisation, decent work agenda | Innovative initiatives, exchange and dissemination of good practices, identification of success stories, workshops, analysis and indicators, assessment of global trade impact on social and labour conditions, cooperation with ILO | Equal economic opportunities, social protection | Social protection, vocational training, youth employment network | Education, rights, values, children’s rights |
Gender equality | MDGs 3 and 5 Beijing PFA ILO Conventions | Beijing PFA | Data broken down by gender, women’s networks, participation | Equal access to health, education, social protection, etc. FGM, trafficking, violence | Education, values, rights, governance structures, FGM |
Children | MDGs 2 and 4, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ILO conventions on child labour | Children’s rights and participation, SRHR | Data broken down by age, participation, mapping, trafficking, child labour, sexual violence, SRHR | Data broken down by gender, equal access, FGM, forced marriage | Place of children in society |
Culture | UNESCO Conventions on cultural heritage/diversity | Inter-cultural dialogue | Research, workshops, twinning, voluntary youth service | Status of women | Status of children, youth volunteers |
List of abbreviations
AIDS: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
AMANET: African Malaria Network Trust
CRC: Convention on the Rights of the Child
CSP: Country Strategy Paper
CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility
EFA: Education For All
EFA-FTI: Education For All Fast Track Initiative
GAVI: Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation
HDIC: Health and Development Innovative Consortium
HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus
IAVI: International Aids Vaccine Initiative
ICPD: International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994)
ICT: Information and Communication Technology
ILO: International Labour Organisation
IPPF: International Planned Parenthood Federation
MDG: Millennium Development Goals
PRSP: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
SRHR: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
UN: United Nations
UNFPA: United Nations Population Fund
VET: Vocational Education and Training
WB: World Bank
WHO: World Health Organisation
WTO: World Trade Organisation
[i] For the precise wording applicable to this and other thematic programmes see the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament “External Actions through Thematic Programmes under the Future Financial Perspectives 2007–2013” - COM(2005) 324, 3.8.2005.
[ii] In its broad sense, human and social development is a generic concept relevant to all countries and groups. See also the World Summit for Social Development and the UN ECOSOC:
[iii] Joint Statement by the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on European Union Development Policy: “The European Consensus”, 22 November 2005.
[iv] See Annex 2 for further details on the lessons learnt. Cf. also: Thematic Evaluation of Population- and Development-oriented Programmes in EC External Cooperation - 03/2004; Joint Evaluation of External Support to Basic Education in Developing Countries - 09/2003; Evaluation of the integration of gender in EC development cooperation with third countries - 03/2003; Evaluation of the EC cooperation with ACP/ALA/MED countries in the health sector - 07/2002; Evaluation of EC Support to the Education Sector in ACP countries - 05/2002.
[v] Besides regular consultations in the various policy areas, a meeting with stakeholders and a written consultation were held in July and August 2005, including NGOs, EU Member States, the UN and other international organisations.
[vi] Regulation (EC) No 1568/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on aid to fight poverty diseases (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria) in developing countries (351 MEUR were spent on this budget line between 2003-2006). Regulation (EC) No 1567/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on aid for policies and actions on reproductive and sexual health and rights in developing countries (73.95 MEUR were spent on this budget line between 2003-2006). Regulation (EC) No 806/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on promoting gender equality in development cooperation. (9 MEUR were spent on this budget line between 2003 and 2006).
[vii] See Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament “External Actions through Thematic Programmes under the Future Financial Perspectives 2007–2013” - COM(2005) 324, 3.8.2005.
[viii] Mainly the EC Communication “Education and training in the context of poverty reduction in developing countries”; the Communication on "Health and Poverty"; the Programme for action to confront HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis through external action; the Communication on the social dimension of globalisation – the EU’s policy contribution on extending benefits to all; and the European social agenda. See Annex 1 for the full list.
[ix] European social agenda 2005-2010 - COM(2005) 33; Communication of 18 July 2001 on promoting core labour standards and improving social governance in the context of globalisation - COM(2001) 416; Communication of 18 May 2004 on the social dimension of globalisation - COM(2004) 383; Communication of 15 June 2005 on the EU contribution for the September 2005 UN Summit; renewed overall cooperation agreement between the European Commission and the ILO of 14 May 2001; cooperation between the EU and Latin America on social cohesion and agreements with an increasing number of countries, including cooperation on employment and social policy.
[x] European Consensus, chapter 4.4, op.cit. Gender equality from a human rights angle will be a focus of the thematic programme on human rights proposed by the Commission.
[xi] Cf. programming principles in annex 3.
[xii] The full text of the CRC and its Optional Protocols is available at: http://www.unicef.org/crc/crc.htm.
[xiii] Available at: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/norm/whatare/fundam/childpri.htm.
[xiv] Available at: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/trafficking_protocol.html.
[xv] Available at: http://www.unicef.org/specialsession/wffc/index.html.
[xvi] Example: “About fifty budget lines, of which around thirty that function and are regulated differently, were mobilised to finance almost 400 identified projects”. Evaluation of the EC Country Strategy for Honduras, February 2004.
[xvii] Breakdown of the legal bases: excluding the European initiative for democracy and human rights, these various thematic regulations concern crisis situations (refugees and humanitarian aid) or post-crisis situations (rehabilitation) in which action in favour of human rights makes up one component of the aid. However, although this falls exactly within the objective of mainstreaming, it is particularly difficult under these circumstances precisely to identify which projects – and which budgets – are implemented in favour of human rights.
[xviii] Example: “Secure further coherence between all the EC instruments and budget lines deployed in Bangladesh. …develop procedures to ensure that…deployment of the budget lines concerned is coherent with the Country Strategy, and pursues country specific objectives.” Recommendation 5 of the Evaluation of the EC Country Strategy for Bangladesh, November 2003.
[xix] Cf. Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament “External Actions through Thematic Programmes under the Future Financial Perspectives 2007–2013” - COM(2005) 324, 3.8.2005.
[xx] E.g. establishment of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, which focuses on clinical trials for the development of new action against the three diseases.
[xxi] Council Regulation (EC) No 953/2003 to avoid trade diversion into the European Union of certain key medicines.
[xxii] Cf. Key evidence from major studies of selected Global Health Partnerships - A background paper for a meeting of the High-Level Forum on the Health MDGs’ Working Group on Global Health Initiatives and Partnerships, 25-26 April 2005. Author: Karen Caines ; Best Practice Principles for Global Health Partnership Activities at Country Level. Report of the Working Group on Global Health Partnerships, High-Level Forum on the Health MDGs, 25-26 April 2005; L. Delcour and C. Vellutini: Study on the Added Value of Global Partnerships and Global Funds to Development Cooperation , April 2005. Cf. also the GFATM evaluation library: http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/links_resources/library/position_papers/.
[xxiii] Thematic evaluation of population- and development-oriented programmes in EC external cooperation. PARTICIP, CIDEAL, ECDPM, IDC, SEPIA. March 2004.
[xxiv] ICPD Programme of Action, chapter 7.
[xxv] Evaluation of EC support to the education sector in ACP countries (2002). Joint evaluation of external support to basic education in developing countries (2003).
[xxvi] Examples include the Asia-link programme, TEMPUS programme, ERASMUS mundus windows for several developing countries and experience from specific bilateral higher education projects in different countries.