Select Committee on International Development Minutes of Evidence


Presentation to the Committee by Mr Giorgio Bonacci, Director General, EuropeAid

REFORM OF THE MANAGEMENT OF EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE

EUROPEAN UNION'S EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE

    —  Geographical Programmes (some 30 Budget lines):

      Central and Eastern Europe: PHARE, SAPARD and ISPA

      The Balkans: CARDS

      The New Independent States and Mongolia: TACIS

      The Middle East, Southern Mediterranean: MEDA

      Africa, Caribbean, Pacific: EDF

      Asia and Latin America: ALA

    —  Thematic Programmes: some 50 Budget lines

      food aid, humanitarian aid, democracy and human rights, co-financing with NGOs, environment, tropical forests, refugees, . . .

    —  Partners: more than 150 States, Territories and regional Organisations

    —  A network of 128 Delegations and Representations in the world

FUNDS ALLOCATED TO EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE HAVE INCREASED IMPORTANTLY

    —  Commitments in 2001: 8.8 billion (provisional figures)

      —>  3.1 times the amounts committed in 1990

    (except humanitarian aid and macro-financial assistance)

    —  More than 10 per cent of Official Development Assistance (ODA)

      —>  doubling in 15 years

    (in 1985, the Commission was responsible for 5 per cent of ODA)

    —  The Commission is ranked fifth after the United States, Japan, Germany and France

    —  The Commission is the largest donor of humanitarian aid (ECHO)

THE KEY OBJECTIVES OF THE RELEX REFORM

    —  Make significant improvements in the quality and efficiency of programme/project cycle management

    —  Substantially reduce the time taken to implement projects

    —  Ensure robust and efficient management procedures

    —  Improve the impact and visibility of the EU assistance

THE MAIN COMPONENTS OF THE RELEX REFORM

  1.  Strengthening Multi-annual Programming

  2.  Integration of the operations cycle from identification through full implementation of programmes and projects into one structure (EuropeAid)

  3.  Internalisation of the functions of Technical Assistance Offices (TAOs)

  4.  Extensive devolution of management responsibilities to the Commission's External Delegations

  5.  A package of urgent measures to eliminate old and dormant commitments

INTEGRATION OF THE OPERATIONS CYCLE FROM IDENTIFICATION THROUGH FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS INTO ONE STRUCTURE (EUROPEAID)


    —  29 November 2000: decision of the Commission concerning the creation of the Office

    —  1 January 2001: creation of the Office

    —  January 2001: first measures for the setting-up of the Office

    —  1 February 2001: first meeting of the Board of the Office

    —  February-July 2001: Filling the vacancies, Relocation, Organisation

    —  December 2001: end of the first (transitional) year

THE EUROPEAID'S PORTFOLIO


  EuropeAid's activities amount to 5.3 billion (new commitments) in 2001, directly managed by the Commission

INTERNALISATION OF THE FUNCTIONS OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE OFFICES (TAOS)

    —  The 49 TAOs have been dismantled between February 2001 and January 2002

    —  The tasks performed by TAOs have been integrated into EuropeAid Headquarters or the Commission's External Delegations

    —  External staff recruited:

      in Headquarters: nearly 240 persons

      and in Delegation: more than 150 persons

EXTENSIVE DEVOLUTION OF MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE COMMISSION'S EXTERNAL DELEGATIONS

  A key component of the Reform of external assistance

  Communication SEC(2000)814/5 (16 May 2000)

      "Anything that can be better managed and decided on the spot, close to what is happening on the ground, should not be managed or decided in Brussels"

AN AMBITIOUS PLANNING

  2001-03: Devolution towards 78 Delegations

    —  21  Delegations in 2001

      Europe: Croatia, Russia

      Asia: Indonesia, Thailand, India, China

      Mediterranean: Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey

      Latin America: Nicaragua, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico

      Africa: South Africa, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali

      Caribbean: Dominican Republic

    —  26  Delegations in 2002

      Finalising the process for Europe, Asia, Latin America and Mediterranean, and extending it for ACP Countries

    —  31  Delegations in 2003

      All ACP

THE FIRST RESULTS

AN UPWARD TREND IN DISBURSEMENTS(1)


AVERAGE DURATION (NUMBER OF YEARS) TO ACHIEVE FULL DISBURSEMENT(1)


THE MAIN PRIORITIES OF EUROPEAID IN 2002

    —  As regards the mobilisation of external assistance

      —>Identify, appraise and prepare financing decisions covering nearly 6 billion/year

      —>Ensure the implementation of current projects and programmes, including their evaluation and their closure where necessary

      —>Continue the liquidation of old and dormant commitments

    —  As regards the implementation of the reform of the management of external assistance

      —>Complete the preparation of devolution of tasks and responsibilities towards the Commission Delegations (2nd wave: 26 Delegations)

    —  As regards the improvement of quality and speed of the implementation

      —>Reinforce the Quality Support Measures for the design of projects/programmes

      —>Continue the efforts towards harmonisation and simplification of operational procedures and revise harmonised financial and contractual procedures (the harmonisation has been completed at end 2000 for contract award procedures and at end 2001 for financial procedures)

      —>Set up the new single information system (CRIS—Common Relex Information System) replacing the old and heterogeneous applications inherited from the other DGs

      —>Increase capacities for monitoring by the consolidation of the new standardised monitoring system for projects and programmes implemented in 2001

      —>Expand training activities in order to guarantee a high level of professionalism

EuropeAid Co-operation Office

22 January 2002


 
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