Council conclusions on an Operational Framework on Aid Effectiveness
Brussels, 17 November 2009
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
1. "The Council reaffirms the strong EU commitment to aid effectiveness1which is essential towards improved development results and enhanced poverty reduction. The EU, providing nearly 60% of global ODA, will continue to show leadership in implementing the aid effectiveness agenda and be a driving force in delivering on the commitments made.
2. Noting that some encouraging results have been achieved, the Council underlines that continued strong political commitment to the aid effectiveness agenda is essential, and that implementation should be reinforced. The Council therefore agrees on the EU accelerating progress and demonstrating concrete results in time for the fourth High Level Forum in Seoul in 2011.
3. In that context the Council recalls its Conclusions of May 2009 calling for concrete proposals for an "operational framework" to be presented to the Council before the end of 2009, and welcomes the submission of the Joint Commission/Presidency Paper, SEC (2009) 1264 recognising that the analysis contained in this document could serve as a reference for these Conclusions.
4. The Council endorses the Operational Framework set out in Annex 1 to these Conclusions. The Operational Framework contains measures in the areas of Division of Labour (selected measures to further implement the EU Code of Conduct on the Complementarity and Division of Labour in Development Policy), Use of Country Systems, and Technical Cooperation for Enhanced Capacity Development. The Council calls on Member States and the Commission to immediately start implementation of these measures both individually and jointly, also making use of the specific transition experience of several Member States.
5. The Council affirms that, while respecting Member States competences, joint EU approaches in the implementation of aid effectiveness will collectively leverage more progress than can be achieved individually by Member States and the Commission. Taking into account the different levels of progress in the implementation of the aid effectiveness agenda, the Council calls on Member States and the Commission to accelerate efforts to remove internal constraints to aid effectiveness.
6. The Council agrees that these three areas represent the first chapters of an evolving Operational Framework. With a view to further enhancing the implementation of the EU's aid effectiveness agenda and providing a strong and effective EU input to the Seoul High Level Forum in 2011, the Council therefore invites the Commission and future Presidencies to prepare early in 2010 further action-oriented proposals for possible joint approaches to be added to the Operational Framework. In particular, the Council notes that issues for consideration could include, in line with, and in addition to, Council Conclusions of November 2008 and May 2009, the remaining key priority areas of aid effectiveness, such as mutual accountability, predictability of aid3, and cross country division of labour.
7. The Council will also consider, as appropriate, other themes which would have an added value in view of Seoul 2011, such as South - South cooperation and triangular cooperation between the EU, developing countries and emerging donors; as well as adequate response modalities including, inter alia, Budget Support Operations, along with other priorities from the aid effectiveness agenda, while respecting the principle of ownership.
8. The Council calls on Member States and European Commission headquarters to coordinate information to their embassies, delegations and field offices on the contents of this Framework. Heads of Mission and/or Cooperation are then invited to discuss the Operational Framework together and to jointly implement, monitor and report on the Operational Framework at country level. Whenever possible, this should be based on already existing procedures and on a partner-led and inclusive process with other development partners.
9. Dialogue, both at country-level and headquarters level as well as within other fora, is especially important when EU donors as well as other donors are planning to considerably restructure their aid.
10. The Council recalls that both donors and partner countries have made commitments under the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action (AAA). The success of the EU Operational Framework, therefore, also depends on the partner countries' efforts in fulfilling their respective commitments.
11. Recognising that the Operational Framework is an evolving, dynamic and flexible initiative to which additional chapters can be added including in response to feedback and new challenges, the Council agrees to closely monitor progress in the most effective way possible and regularly review the implementation of the EU's aid effectiveness commitments, including the actions in the Operational Framework. Coherence with other on-going political and policy dialogue processes should be ensured.