EC Communication on the private sector in development: CSOs call for the EU to “put its house in order”

Added 24 Feb 2014

Eurodad has called upon the European Commission to put the fight against poverty and inequality at the centre of its strategy on working with the private sector in development.

The call comes in a written submission from Eurodad ahead of an EC Communication - due to be published this Spring - on the future strategy.

CSOs also joined the private sector on 10th February as part of the consultation process. Discussions centred around 10 issues and 31 concrete questions laid out in the Commission’s issue paper. Together with representatives from other CSOs, Eurodad called upon the EU to put its house in order before coming up with new plans.

Jan Van de Poel, Senior Research Analyst at Eurodad, said: “What is clearly missing in the Commission’s approach is a focus on internal reforms and defining the private sector’s added value in development cooperation. The EU should ask what it can do itself to support the development of a productive and sustainable private sector that works for the poor.”

Eurodad’s submission includes a number of recommendations for the EU to ensure the private sector contributes to development outcomes:

• The EU should incorporate development oriented considerations in procurement regulations to unlock the potential of the local private sector, in particular small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).
• The EU should adopt regulation to curb financial opacity, tax avoidance and evasion to ensure EU companies pay their taxes in partner countries. It should do this to increase domestic resources substantially and facilitate a level playing field for SMEs and firms based there.
• The EU should focus on how public finance can support the private sector to invest in essential services, such as health, education and social infrastructure. Those are the first conditions of any private sector development strategy working for the poor.

The full submission can be downloaded below. 


The meeting was moderated by ECDPM’s Bruce Byiers who wrote the following blog piece calling for a more “political conversation” on the issue.