European Briefings on Globalisation, North-South Relations and International Ecology
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Issue 1/Apr-May 2006

Article no: EN20060809-Issue-1-2006

Issue 1/Apr-May 2006

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The current debate about the future of the International Monetary Fund, such as just recently at the spring meetings of IMF and World Bank in Washington, is a historic opportunity for reform. Only those who benefit from the fund?s role as a debt collection agency and an instrument of disciplinary neo-liberalism might regret its actual loss of importance, comments Rainer Falk.
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In late January 2006, US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, announced a significant change in the organisation of US foreign assistance policy. Far from being the sweeping reform that many development practitioners and policy observers had hoped and long advocated for, the reorganisation is nevertheless more than just a cosmetic tweaking. Indeed, with the appointment of a foreign aid co-ordinator reporting directly to the Secretary of State, US assistance abroad is supposed to become more coherent, with development policy being used as a more effective instrument of US foreign policy and an imperative of US national security, writes Liane Schalatek.
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Sir Hans?s work and thinking is probably best summarised by ?economics as though people mattered?. All his life he was concerned about assuring a more equitable participation in economic improvements. A self-described ?partisan of the social welfare state? he was ?attracted by the thought and possibilities of a global welfare state represented by the United Nations?, when he started to work there. By Kunibert Raffer.
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Currently the development aid from the New Member States (NMS) of the EU lies at between 0.02 ? 0.14% of GNI, far below the EU and OECD targets. The NMS have set the target of increasing their development aid expenditure to 0.33% of GNI by 2015. That corresponds to about half of the target by the old Member States (EU15: 0.7%). Also the substantive focus of EU development policy, namely poverty reduction, is difficult for the NMS to wholly comprehend. An overview by Sabine Rehbichler.
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The European Union is redefining its policy approach towards African countries. In November 2005 the EU Council adopted a new and comprehensive Africa Strategy redefining the relations of both the EU25 and the Commission towards our neighbouring continent. Whether this entails a new quality or merely blends old wines in a new bottle is part of intensive debate on the future of the co-operation between Europe and Africa. Klaus Schilder reports from an international conference in Berlin that brought together politicians, academics and civil society representatives.
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If large-scale projects fail to meet the ? already low ? standards of the World Bank it should be evident that public support by a European country is out of the question. After years of civil society campaigning, the German government finally agreed to comply with international standards as a rule for export credit guarantees. However, Germany?s Export Credit Agency (ECA) ?Hermes? is considering again providing a guarantee for the Ilisu dam in the south-east of Turkey, although severe social and environmental consequences are to be expected, Ajit Thamburaj and Heike Drillisch report.
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NGO Call on WTO + Alternative (to) EPAs + EU Development Instrument + Vienna Consensus for Latin America? + Euromed States Go for Liberalisation + Fair Trade in Europe: A Success Story + EU on CSR: A Missed Opportunity + Green 10 on EU Sustainable Development Strategy + WIDE Annual Conference + Alternative Economic Poliy in Europe + New Online Resources
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Published: 24 April 2006

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