EU’s development financing architecture must be efficient, effective, well-coordinated, and strategic to deal with today’s global challenges

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Nov 29, 2019
 
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela, joined other EU Ministers responsible for Development in Brussels for an exchange of views on the bloc’s future financial architecture for sustainable development. The discussion was held following the release, on 8th October 2019, of the final report by the High-level Group of Wise Persons, that was established by the Council of the EU with the task of producing an independent report on the challenges and opportunities for improving and rationalising the European financial architecture for development and possible scenarios for its evolution.

The report supports the consolidation and streamlining of development finance and climate activities outside the EU into a single entity, a ‘European Climate and Sustainable Development Bank’, so as to avoid overlaps and strengthen the EU’s presence, role, and long-term capacity to deliver on its development priorities. The Chair of the Wise Persons’ Group, Thomas Wieser, presented the final report to the Council while the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Werner Hoyer, and the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Sir Suma Chakrabarti, presented their views.

Minister Abela stressed the need for the EU to determine its political priorities in this field, while identifying its goals and the strategy to reach them effectively. “The Group of Wise Persons’ report provides an opportunity to rethink how Europe delivers development financing,” he said. “It provides significant input and shows that the current set up of our development financing needs to be improved. It is crucial for the future financing architecture to be efficient, effective, well-coordinated, and strategic to be able to deal with the numerous global challenges that we face today, and to achieve the 2030 Agenda.” 

With regard to the institutional structure and the recommended options put forward by the Wise Persons’ Group, Minister Abela remarked that further analysis is required. The studies should address the costs, opportunity costs, efficiency, effectiveness, and development impact of choosing each option, he said.

The Council also discussed how the EU and its Member States can better cooperate to support development of countries in transition, with particular attention to Ethiopia and Sudan. Minister Abela said that the mobilisation of funds remains a topmost priority towards supporting the democratic transition in Sudan which would ensure sustainable peace, security, and prosperity. Strong institutions are at the core of a democratic society and support in this regard remains a priority. On Ethiopia, he asserted that a truly inclusive and successful democratisation process requires the full contribution of Ethiopia’s youth, which represent over 60 per cent, in the development of policies for the present and the future of the country. 

Further investments in the country and job creation are crucial, and the EU, in this regard, should continue, collectively, to contribute to investment climate improvements through the wide range of tools at its disposal. Minister Abela spoke about Malta’s ongoing projects in Ethiopia, funded through the country’s Official Development Aid, particularly in the education, health, and water management sectors.

The Council also adopted a new list of persons whom it proposes for appointment as members of the Commission until 31 October 2024. This paves the way for the vote of consent in the European Parliament on the entire Commission as a body.

 

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Minister Carmelo Abela with Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development


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Minister Carmelo Abela with Gordan Grlić-Radman, Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs


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Minister Carmelo Abela with Sigrid Kaag, Dutch Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation


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Minister Carmelo Abela with Daniel Azzopardi, Malta’s Permanent Representative to the European Union