Minister Kitt Signs Joint Position Paper on Development Cooperation in the Draft EU Constitutional Treaty
The Minister of State for Overseas Development Tom Kitt TD, has joined the Development Co-Operation Ministers of Austria, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and the UK in signing a Joint Position Paper on development cooperation in the draft EU Constitutional Treaty. This Joint Paper has been submitted to the Convention on the Future of Europe and contains the following elements:
• The broad values and objectives of the EU expressed in the Constitutional part of the Treaty should reflect and reiterate the Union's commitment to sustainable environmental, economic and social development, human rights, the rule of law, democracy and good governance, peace and stability, and the eradication of poverty.
• The aims and principles of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance should be covered by separate chapters in the Treaty. Humanitarian assistance should be carried out on an impartial basis and geared to responding to humanitarian needs resulting from natural or man-made disasters.
• The EU should take account of the objectives of its development policy, referred to in the Treaty chapter on development cooperation, in the other policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries.
• The EU's development policy should be firmly based on the objective of eradicating poverty, a policy which concerns all developing countries and all European Community development programmes.
• Development cooperation and humanitarian assistance should retain the principle of the existing ‘complementary competence' between the EU and Member States, whereby both parties can independently pursue their actions in parallel but working towards a common policy framework and common objectives, and increased coordination and consistency.
Commenting on the statement, Minister Kitt said:
‘It is essential that the EU continues to lead the fight against global poverty. This submission from seven EU development Ministers, clearly shows that there is a strong political commitment within the Union to assisting developing countries in the enormous challenges they face.'