Press Notice 22a, Session 2006-07

Publication of Report

EU Development and Trade Policies: An update,
Fifth Report of Session 2006-07

The European Union is the second largest distributor of overseas development aid, behind the US. But its role as a development actor is about much more than aid money. The EU is at the centre of international trade negotiations which will shape relationships between developing countries and the developed world for years to come. The International Development Committee discussed these negotiations with EU Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson, in January. The Committee states in its latest Report on EU issues that the EU must be guided by development needs in these negotiations.

The Chairman, Malcolm Bruce MP, said:

"The Committee has come away from our talks in Brussels with Commissioner Mandelson and others convinced that the EU needs to put real effort into placing development concerns at the heart of these negotiations. Aid is an important part of what the EU does but, if poverty is going to be reduced long-term, countries have to develop successful economies able to take advantage of new trade opportunities. That's why these negotiations are so critical for poor countries."

There is renewed effort among the WTO membership, including the UK, to secure a deal in the Doha Development Round. Time, is however, short. The Report says that transparent and inclusive negotiations, continued political will and flexibility in key dossiers such as agriculture will be decisive in securing a deal. Parallel to the negotiations, the UK and other developed countries should continue to consider a development package, separate from or in addition to an overall deal, as an alternative means of guaranteeing some of the hard-fought-for development gains for the world's poor.

The EU is also negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements with regional groupings of African, Caribbean and Pacific states. The period for negotiating the Agreements has been substantial. But in this critical phase of the negotiations, the Committee believes that the EU must not abuse its position of strength and should not force ACP states to make progress on the New (or Singapore) Issues or on regional integration at an impractical pace.

The Chairman said:

"The EU has given priority to providing aid to the poorest countries, and to Africa in particular, under its 2005 Consensus on Development. The UK and other member states now need to ensure that they deliver those commitments."


The International Development Committee will publish its report on EU Development and Trade Policies: An update at 00.01 on Wednesday 14 March 2007 as the Fifth Report from the Committee, Session 2006-07 (HC 271). This Report comments on progress in relation to the WTO Doha development round, Economic Partnership Agreements and EU development policy since the Committee last reported on these issues in 2005 and 2006.

Embargoed copies of the Report will be available from 11.00 am on Tuesday 13 March, for collection by Government Departments, witnesses and the press from the Reception Desk at 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA and from the Press Gallery.

On publication, copies of the Report can be ordered from The Stationery Office (Tel: 0845 702 3474) or from the Parliamentary Bookshop (Tel: 020 7219 3890) and can be viewed on the Committee's website from the day of publication at:

Enquiries to Jennifer Steele, Committee Secretary, on 020 7219 1223, [email protected].


Further Information:

The membership of the Committee is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Barrett MP (Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Quentin Davies MP (Con), James Duddridge MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Joan Ruddock MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh MP (Lab).

Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, 020 7219 1589, or [email protected]