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ECR

International Development

17 December 2013

International Development

Main ECR priorities: international development; democracy, the rule of law, peace and security; economic growth and trade; transparency, accountability and the fight against capital flight; property rights and land tenure security.

MAIN ECR PRIORITIES

International Development

-Realising measured and tangible improvements to the lives of millions of people living in the most vulnerable areas of the world;
-Placing concrete results, individual property rights and the fight against capital flight and corruption at the heart of the EU development agenda;
-Ensuring that EU aid is delivered in an effective and transparent manner so that European taxpayer money reaches those who need it most;

Democracy, the rule of law, peace and security

– Protecting democracy, the rule of law, justice, equity and respect for human rights as the cornerstones of development policy;
– Recognising that a nation cannot develop when there is war, civil strife or political instability;

Economic growth and trade

– Fostering the creation of educated and healthy populations necessary to eradicate corruption and drive growing economies that can sustain themselves.
– Pressing for trade deals that grant developing nations access to EU markets;
– Encouraging developing countries to engage in trade, helping them create the conditions in which innovation and enterprise can flourish;
– Fighting against restrictive trade barriers and stifling red tape.
– Driving greater cooperation with new aid donors such as China, Brazil and India; countries which are increasingly influential providers of support and assistance to poorer countries and are key players in a new global development partnership;

Transparency, accountability and the fight against capital flight

– Addressing economic reform, tax avoidance and transparency in developing countries to lift the poorest out of poverty;
– Ensuring that initiatives demand greater transparency (including sectorial transparency) through measures like the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. These measures have the potential to ensure that developing countries collect the tax they are owed, funding their own public services and fostering self-sufficient, sustainable development.

Property rights and land tenure security

– Addressing pragmatically the issue of property rights in developing countries and devising a coherent approach, in conjunction with the other international development partners, to kick-start a process of empowering local communities and individuals in developing countries. This is a process that constitutes one of the cornerstones of development and could lift entire nations out of poverty, intensifying economic activities in developing countries;

MEMBERS

ECR Members of the DEVE Committee:

– Nirj DEVA MEP (UK), Committee Vice-Chairman, ECR Coordinator
– Karol KARSKI MEP (PL), ECR Deputy Coordinator

Substitute Members:

– Bernd LUCKE MEP (DE)
– Jan ZAHRADIL MEP (CZ)

CURRENT WORK BY ECR MEMBERS

Nirj DEVA: As the Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Development, Nirj Deva is working to fulfil the ECR’s priorities and ensure that the taxpayers’ money is well spent and every penny is accounted for, eliminating excessive bureaucracy. Nirj is leading the way in the Parliament on engaging the private sector for development as the Rapporteur to a Report on “The role of the private sector in fostering sustainable development”. Large investments are required in terms of infrastructure, water supply or energy in emerging and developing countries – estimates of the incremental spending needed in developing countries is $1 trillion/year more than what is currently spent. The majority of this funding will need to come from the private sector. Engaging the private sector in development projects is the only way forward, as it can mobilize long-term private finance and domestic resources, generate innovative technologies and convene new business models. The report addresses the following challenges:

– Developing potential models for engaging in public-private partnerships and other multi-stakeholder alliances,
– Using already available (and new) regulatory instruments to align private incentives with sustainable development,
– Reducing the existing regulatory burden on SMEs in developing countries and generate economic growth.

Karol KARSKI: Karol Karski has a strong interest in humanitarian aid and will use his considerable influence and experience to build a more inclusive and diverse system, founded on humanitarian principles. The new, improved system will be focused on increasing its effectiveness, managing risk, transformation through innovation and serving the needs of people in conflict. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Karski is committed to developing a partnership between the UN and the EU focusing specifically on increasing levels of development and humanitarian cooperation. Key to this will be the Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA) which will ensure a more efficient integration process and administrative consistency across both organizations.

Bernd LUCKE: Bernd is responsible for the ECR policy on tax evasion, corruption and aggressive tax avoidance that continually harms the development of our partner third countries. It is estimated that illicit financial flows cost developing countries as much as 903 billion USD every year (Global Financial Integrity, http://iff-update.gfintegrity.org/), significantly more than the allocated EU budget for development aid. Consequently, combating capital flight should be at the forefront of our EU development strategy. Economic growth is structurally impaired by capital flight and cannot be replaced through EU hand-outs, but rather by finding ways to keep the capital in the country of origin, which in turn, will provide a significant boost to the respective local economies. However, these funds, instead of being channelled back in for further investment, increasingly end up failing to generate any further growth, with the money either leaving the country or sitting stagnant in investment funds. Bernd argues in favour of developing a more comprehensive strategy for combatting corruption and tax avoidance. He advocates increased transparency and exchange of tax collection data in accordance with the principle that companies should pay taxes in the country of their economic activity. These Initiatives can help promote a more efficient tax collection system which in turn helps fund public services and fosters sustainable growth.

Jan ZAHRADIL: If we are to alleviate poverty in the world we have to increase global trade. Exports still remain the surest path to success for emerging markets. Competing in global markets is the best way to boost productivity. Jan is focused on encouraging developing countries to engage in international trade. Trade, not aid, is the key to allowing developing countries worldwide to escape the poverty trap, empowering their citizens and helping them to achieve the targets set out in the Millennium Development Goals. We shall help developing partner countries to create the conditions and an adequate regulatory policy space, in which innovation and enterprise can flourish. Prior to integration into global trade system developing countries should put in place regulations to prioritise strategic business sectors and tariff regimes that provide government with revenues and allow nascent manufacturing and agro-processing industries to prosper. Infrastructure spending has to concentrate on fibre-optic cables as well as ports and roads. Education is essential, because countries trying to enter global markets will need a skilled workforce. More generally, Jan continues to push for the EU’s free trade agenda (in his lead INTA committee as well as in DEVE), focussing on the world’s most vibrant economies. He is committed to working for a multilateral solution to the Doha Development Agenda with an early raft of agreements to benefit developing countries trade their way out of poverty.

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