EU cooperation under the spotlight of the EP

EU Development Cooperation Policy with Latin America under the spotlight of the European Parliament and civil society organisations in Brussels

 

European and Latin American civil society networks launched a publication that analyses the increasing role that financial institutions and the European private sector are playing in the cooperation policy between the European Union and Latin America.

The research aims to reflect on the new trends of the European Union development cooperation policy with Latin America, which is at present being negotiated, and its impacts on tackling poverty and inequalities. The current negotiations foresee stopping bilateral cooperation with 11 countries in the region, as well as growing engagement of the private sector as a development actor, by increasing ‘non-traditional’ aid modalities, such as the Latin American Investment Facility (LAIF), which mixes loans and grants.

The main goal of the publication, “New European Union development cooperation strategies in Latin America: The Latin American Investment Facility (LAIF)” is to reflect on the impact of mixing profitability and solidarity logics. This risks setting the principles of financial profitability and economic growth above development objectives, which are the reduction of poverty in a framework of effective realisation of human rights.

LAIF and climate change

LAIF represents a development aid modality framed in the ‘green economy’ paradigm. This alluring concept, which intends to achieve impacts in terms of poverty reduction while promoting mechanisms of green investment, introduces highly financialised modalities and the participation of private sector, which would guarantee a high leverage of the invested funds.

This strategy is followed with concern by the European Parliament and different civil society and ecologist organisations, researchers and political groups who express their alarm over the lack of participation of civil society and the little transparency these mechanisms have been promoting to date.

The publication includes four case studies as well as the opinions of several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs): Gay Mitchell, from the Group of the European People’s Party, Franziska Keller, from the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Thijs Berman, from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, and Charles Goerens from the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

With this research, the European and Latin American civil society organisations in Brussels, intend to make a positive contribution to the dialogue and to encourage debate on the challenges Latin American countries face in this new configuration of development cooperation. The organisation also wish to reflect on the impacts these new strategies, which are still in the formulation phase, will have on the environment and local communities, as well as the possible conflicts they could cause in the future if no clear regulation, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are set.

Brussels, 20th June 2013

ALOP – APRODEV – CIFCA – EURODAD – GRUPO SUR

The press release is available in English, Spanish and French