The EU Council Conclusions place public sector expertise at the core of the European development cooperation system
Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy with Pilar Cancela, Secretary of State for International Cooperation of Spain during the EU Council
Today is an important day for the European Development Cooperation system. The Conclusions approved by the Council of the EU are a major step on defining the EU’S new path for its international cooperation for development. All 27 Ministers of Development Cooperation and Foreign Affairs have agreed on highlighting the mobilization of public sector expertise and placing it at the core of the European Union’s external action. This has been fostered by the Practitioners’ Network, a platform for European Development Cooperation organisations which FIIAPP is part of.
Public sector expertise is a form of international technical cooperation that mobilizes expertise from EU Member States’ and promotes peer-to-peer knowledge exchange and international institutional partnerships. The EU Council has recognized this way of cooperation as a major tool to strengthen international partnerships, promote European values and standards, and achieve a sustainable development.
“Thanks to the mobilization of public sector expertise, we have successfully supported the Constitutional process in Chile, reinforced territorial control in the Sahel or promoted climate laws in Latin America. Sharing the knowledge of our administrations is key to improve public systems, bring societies closer and promote a sustainable and inclusive development”, says Anna Terrón, Director of FIIAPP, the actor within Spanish cooperation specialized in mobilisation of public sector expertise.
Public sector expertise is not breaking news. EU Member States and the European Commission have been promoting it for years. Yet, it´s time now to scale it up. The EU’s partner countries want to exchange on how we do what we do. Public sector expertise allows us to work hand in hand and support the transformation of public systems.
How can we do this? Together, as a team. TEAM EUROPE. European Development Cooperation organisations have already been working together through the Practitioners’ Network. Today the EU Council confirms it is the right way to go. This is the result of the work done by a group of members of the Practitioners’’ Network jointly with the European Commission. The role of specialized Member State organisations’, such as FIIAPP in Spain, is key to promote public sector expertise and assure this expertise is guided towards sustainable development results (SDGs)
What´s next? It is up to the European Commission, Member States and its development organisations to jointly take over the helm and shape these ideas into actual results. An Action Plan is needed to overcome the challenges ahead. How can we effectively promote abroad the European way of delivering? How can we work better together? Which should be the priorities for the next years to come? The Practitioners’’ Network can be the platform to build this together and end up improving public systems for people and planet.