EU development policy at a crossroad, without a compass? Ljubljana, 4 April 2019

Categories: Category “News from EADI Category “EADI Major News Events Category “Development Aid of the Non-DAC Donors (Category “Working Groups)

04 Apr 2019

You are cordially invited to the launch workshop of our new Working Group "The European Union as a Development Actor", held at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The workshop will provide a scrutiny of the proposed Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI)

The European Union (EU) is widely considered to be an important actor in international development policy. EU policy-makers take pride in the EU being “the world’s largest donor” and the recent OECD-DAC Peer Review (2018) emphasized the EU’s “leadership” in development cooperation.

At the same time, EU development is plagued by many challenges. Member states continue to guard their own development policies. Trade, migration and security interests seem to trump ‘pure’ development goals. New powers such as China pursue alternative development agenda’s while African countries display a growing assertiveness towards the EU. The European Commission’s administration dealing with development has shrunk in size and relevance, while other bureaucracies have become more powerful (notably DG Trade, DG Home, DG NEAR and the EEAS).

In response, EU Development policy has undergone considerable changes, which have invoked the concern that the EU is diluting its commitment to development. Thinking on development has evolved from treating development policy as an independent and self-standing area of EU external policy towards emphasizing the ‘inevitable’ linkages or ‘nexuses’ between different policy areas, including environment/climate change, migration, trade or security. This has been accompanied by experiments with new forms of policies and instruments, which show how the current development paradigm is being stretched and innovated. The revised European Consensus on Development ‘Our world, Our Dignity, Our Future’ (2016) illustrates the difficulties that European policy-makers experience to formulate a coherent strategy about development.

It is against this challenging context that negotiations on the next EU MFF 2020-2027 take place. Debates on the Commission’s proposal to merge the existing external financing instruments into a new single instrument, the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), reflect many of the challenges to EU Development. By scrutinizing the implications of the proposed NDICI, and linking this debate to the broader challenges for EU development cooperation, the workshop aims to encourage a profound debate on the future of EU development policy.


  • Niels Keijzer - German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik
  • Iliana Olivié - Real Instituto Elcano
  • Ondřej Horký-Hlucháň - Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Sarah Delputte - Ghent University
  • Uroš Vajgl - head of International Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia
  • Albin Keuc - head of NGO Platform SLOGA

Registration (there is no registration fee): please register before 20/03/2019 by sending an e-mail to and

For more information: visit the webpage of the EADI Working Group on “The European Union as a Development Actor” or contact Maja Bucar ( ).

Download the invitation here

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