On 21/22 June the European Council will consider abolishing the Development Council. This proposal, which has not yet been formalised, will be presented as a technical rationalisation to the working structures of the Council. Yet it will have significant implications for the role of the European Union's development policies and practices. Future decisions on development policy issues would be taken by a Council primarily responsible for the EU's external political relations. Development will become increasingly subordinate to the foreign political interests of the European Union.
These "technical" reforms are being made as the debate on the future of Europe is taking place, led by the European Convention, which will report next year with proposals for reforms of the EU. The role and responsibility of the European Union beyond its borders are crucial elements of this debate. It would seem that the current proposals for technical rationalisation of the Council will pre-empt the outcome of the debate on Europe's future.
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This debate is an initiative of Eurostep, one of the member organisations of Euforic.
Eurostep is a network of 19 major NGDOs from 13 European countries. Its two principal aims are first to influence official development co-operation policies of multilateral institution, and in particular those of the European Union; and secondly to improve the quality and effectiveness of initiatives taken by NGOs in support of people centred development.