Discussion Paper on the European Convention1 Is there a future role for Europe in development and poverty eradication? The European Convention takes place at a crucial time for Europe‟s role in international cooperation and development. The Convention FACTS ABOUT THE deals with questions that will touch upon the EUROPEAN CONVENTION very heart of Europe‟s involvement as a global actor. The European Convention was created in the December 2001 Laeken Summit. The work of the Convention will One of the objectives of the Convention is to last for one year and will be followed by an increase the capacity of the European Union in intergovernmental Conference. its external relations. The redefinition of The Presidium of the Convention decided to set up six Europe‟s external role will have direct working groups: consequences for its development policy. (1) Subsidiarity; (2) EU Charter; Some fundamental changes are already taking (3) Legal personality of the Union; place. Development aid is rapidly becoming (4) National parliaments; subordinate to the policy of external relations. (5) Complementary powers; (6) Economic governance. Within the Commission the programming and implementation of nearly all European EC Development Co-operation is a ‘complementary development actions have recently been moved policy’. under the direct responsibility of the Commissioner for External Relations. There is Other working groups could be set up later, for instance ample confirmation that the completion of the in the field of home and justice affairs and external process, to submerge „development‟ under relations. external relations, is due to take place in 2003 or 2004. At this time the political portfolio of the The Convention‟s secretariat is preparing a compilation Commission of Development will have become of contributions addressed by civil society to the irrelevant since he will function under direct European Convention. surveillance of the Commissioner for External Relations. Development is one out of eight sectors that will be covered by the meetings between the Convention and Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Civil Society. Council, Javier Solana, has expressed the view that the Development Council could and should be abolished – and development issues can be dealt with by the General Affairs Council. No consultation or political debate has foregone these major changes. The sum-total of these reforms produce a European Union in which development is no longer explicitly recognised as an independent policy area, and in which its aid actions are no longer based on separately defined objectives. There is broad consensus that the role of Europe in the world needs to be strengthened. While recognising the need for this, the question emerges whether there will be space for an approach of an independent policy based on the principle of international solidarity and geared towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. 1 Author: Mirjam van Reisen. 115 Rue Stévin, 1000 Brussels, Belgium - Tel. +32 2 231 16 59 - Fax. +32 2 230 37 80 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.eurostep.org In concrete terms one of the central questions that will be addressed is how the EU‟s foreign policy can be strengthened and how development will relate to this in terms of the institutional set up of the Union, the political provisions, policy objectives, and decision-making procedures. The following key concerns need to be addressed in the Convention. 1. The objectives and principles essential for sustainable and social international development should be maintained as laid down in the Treaty on European Union, articles 3, 6 and the Treaty establishing the European Community Title XX, articles 177-181. 2. The Treaty should be amended to ensure that development policy is recognised as one of the elements of the European Union‟s external policies, which is based on its own specific objectives specified in the EC Treaty. 3. The Treaty (article 6) should specify that requirements for social protection need to be integrated in the definition and implementation of the Community policies and activities with a view to promote sustainable social development, both inside the Community and externally. 4. The new Treaty should firmly establish a rights-based approach to development. International human rights standards should be asserted as the absolute benchmarks for EU policies and actions. The policy- framework of the Treaty should reflect the interconnectedness and indivisibility of human rights in terms of a. Their internal and external dimensions; how they apply within the EU and in the way the EU deals with third countries; b. A comprehensive vision integrating civil, political, social, economic, cultural rights. 5. In the objectives of development cooperation the new Treaty should give the eradication of poverty the highest priority (art. 177.1) – and recognise the campaign to achieve the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the international Community (Art. 177.3). 6. The European Union should ensure coherence of its policies with its development objectives (Art. 178). 7. In order to increase the democratic provisions in all of the EC´s policies the European Union should integrate the European Development Fund into the Community Budget and include the co-operation with the ACP countries into the normal democratic procedures that govern Community policies (Declaration 12). Concrete proposals for changes in the Treaty on European Union amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam. In bold: proposed additions to the Treaty articles Underlined: proposed deletions from the Treaty articles. In preamble: “resolved to implement a common foreign and security policy including the progressive framing of a common defence in accordance with the provision of article J.7, thereby reinforcing the European identity and its independence in order to promote global peace and stability, security and the eradication of poverty [delete „progress‟] in Europe and in the world.” In Common provisions: Article 1: To assert its identity on the international scene and contribute to global security and development, in particular through the implementation of a common foreign and security policy and a common development policy, including the progressive framing of a common defence policy, which might lead to a common defence, in accordance with the provisions of Article 17. Article 3: The Union shall in particular ensure the consistency and coherence of its external activities as a whole in the context of its external relations, security, economic and development policies. The Council and the Commission shall be responsible for ensuring such consistency and coherence and shall cooperate to this end. They shall ensure the implementation of these policies, each in accordance with its respective powers. Article 6: Environmental and social protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implemenation of the Community policies and activities referred to in Article 3, in particular with a vie to promoting sustainable development. Article 6.2 The Union shall respect fundamental rights as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and fundamental Freedom signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 and the UN Charter on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of racial discrimination, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, international humanitarian law and refugee law and as they result from the constitutional traditions from the Member States, as general principles of Community law. Article 11.1. To safeguard the common values, fundamental interests, independence and integrity of the union on conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of racial discrimination, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, international humanitarian law and refugee law. To preserve peace and strengthen international security, in accordance with the principles of the United nations Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of racial discrimination, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, , international humanitarian law and refugee law as well as the Helsinki Final Act and the objectives of the Paris Charter, including those on external borders. Article 11.2 The Member States shall support the Union‟s external and security policy actively and unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty, [delete: and] mutual and international solidarity and in coherence with its development objectives. The Member States shall work together to enhance and develop their mutual political solidarity. They shall refrain from any action which is contrary to the interests of the Union or likely to impair its effectiveness as a cohesive force in international relations. The Council shall ensure that these principles are complied with. Article 177.1 Community policy in the sphere of development cooperation, which shall be complementary to the policies pursued by the Member States, shall foster: - the eradication of poverty in the developing countries - the sustainable economic and social development of the development of the developing countries, and more particularly the most disadvantaged among them; - the smooth and gradual integration of the developing countries into the world economy. Article 177.3 The Community and the Member States shall comply with the commitments and pursue [delete: take account of] the objectives they have approved in the context of the United Nations and other competent international organisations, including the Millennium Development Goals. Article 178 Eurostep comprises nineteen development organisation from 13 European countries working for justice and equal opportunities for people North and South. It was founded in 1990 t o coordinate its The Community shall ensure coherence of policies by pursuing [delete: take account of] the objectives referred Netherlands; Ibis, Denmark; Intermón, Spain; Kepa, Finland; Mani Tese, Italy; MOVIMONDO, Italy; Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, Denmark; 11.11.11., Belgium; Netherlands; OIKOS, Portugal; to in Article 177.1 in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing. members’ policy work at European level. The members of Eurostep are: ActionAid, Ireland; ActionAid, UK; Concern, Ireland; DWHH, Germany; Forum Syd, Sweden; Helinas, Greece; Hivos Article 179.3 [delete: The provisions of this Article shall not affect cooperation with the African, Carribbean and Pacific countries in the framework of the ACP-EC Convention] Declaration 12 [Delete Declaration 12 on the European Development Fund.] The Conference agrees that the European Development Fund will be financed through the budget and that national contributions that have been agreed will be integrated within the financial perspectives to be agreed in 2006, in accordance with current provisions. Oxfam GB; Swiss Coalition of Development Organisations, Switzerland; terre des hommes, Germany.