“Ensuring transparent and impactful policy coherence for development”, Ondřej Horký-Hlucháň

TEPSA has coordinated an in-depth analysis requested by DEVE Committee of the European Parliament. The in-depth analysis was authored by Ondřej Horký-Hlucháň, Senior Researcher at the Institute for International Relations in Prague Czechia, with assistance of Clara Burry, Intern at the same Institute. The in-depth analysis is entitled “Ensuring transparent and impactful policy coherence for development”.

The European Union (EU) has a treaty obligation to monitor how its policies are impacting developing countries, known as Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), which remains extremely relevant in the new geopolitical setting and sustainable development framework. While mainstreaming the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda implicitly raised awareness about policy integration throughout the European Commission (EC) and the European External Action Service (EEAS), implementation of the European Green Deal has created new risks which could lead to negative social and economic impacts from EU policies in the global South being overlooked. Accordingly, the EU must institutionalise its political commitment to a transparent and impactful PCD by transparently identifying priorities, setting targets and undertaking their evaluation. This analysis confirms previous evaluation findings and reveals that technical mechanisms for assessing policy effects are in place at EC level. However, weak political commitment combined with decreased capacities and dispersed policy coordination within the Directorate-General for International Partnerships limits their use. EU Delegations’ involvement in monitoring impacts remains uneven and furthermore stakeholders’ participation in PCD remains inadequate to keep up with proposed policy changes. Hence, the EC and EEAS coordination should be increased, formalised and supported by the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Member States.

The analysis was followed by a workshop entitled “Enhancing policy coherence for development”. The workshop report was authored by Inge Brijs and Amelia Padurariu from the Policy Department for External Relations at the European Parliament.

The principle of Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) is a central pillar of the EU’s efforts to enhance the effectiveness of development cooperation. It represents both a legal and a political commitment for the EU institutions and the Member States.This report includes an in-depth analysis on PCD and the summary of the debate held during a workshop on the same topic, which brought together MEPs, representatives of EU and international organisations and civil society. The workshop aimed to take stock of the latest developments in the application of PCD and sought to generate ideas for improvement. Although several policy prescriptions on PCD already exist as part of legal provisions and different tools have been put in place, there is a continued mismatch between the ideal and practical implementation of PCD. The discussions were organised in two successive sessions: a first panel focused on the conceptual PCD approaches rooted in legal provisions and policy strategies. The experts debated the understanding of PCD from the perspective of different international actors – the EU, OECD, UN – and its significance for meaningful policy impact in developing countries within the framework of Agenda 2030. A second panel explored challenges and gaps in PCD implementation. The discussion also focused on the importance of maximising synergies between policy areas in PCD implementation and of performing impact assessments that capture the effects on developing countries for all EU policies.

Read the full study here