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How could the EU tackle inequality in developing countries? Panel report from the European Development Days

29 Oct

The European Commission’s new proposed development strategy – Agenda for Change – puts ‘inclusive and sustainable growth for human development’ at its centre. At the 2012 European Development Days conference, the European Think-Tanks Group (ETTG) hosted a high-level panel debate putting the word ‘inclusive’ under the spotlight, focusing specifically on the challenge to EU development policy posed by inequality in developing countries. Continue reading


Confronting inequality in developing countries: what steps could the EU take?

15 Oct

Written by Mark Furness and Mario Negre

When it comes to internal EU affairs, the European Commission is committed to social cohesion — which means, among other things, reducing economic inequality. However, that same commitment has not materialised to any great extent beyond Europe, in EU international development cooperation. Continue reading

Confronting inequality: from brown to green growth?

11 Oct

Written by Niels Keijzer – European Centre for Development Policy Management

Like poverty, inequality is multidimensional. Limits to political freedom, access to land, migration and environmental aspects all contribute to income inequality and exacerbate its effects. Discussions at the Rio+20 summit last June focused on these interlinkages and on ways to achieve greater integration among the 3 pillars of sustainable development – the economic, the social and the environmental. The High-Level Panel organised by the European Think Tanks Group during next week’s European Development Days will look into how the European Union could help address the existing gaps through its development cooperation and beyond. Continue reading

The differentiation debate: Does the EU have responsibility for helping to tackle poverty and inequality in middle-income countries?

3 Oct

Written by Svea Koch and Siân Herbert

The need for greater differentiation between partner countries and the extent to which middle-income countries (MICs) should continue to receive EU aid have become contentious issues in the EU’s ongoing process of modernising EU development policy. While there is wide acknowledgement that a changing development landscape requires donor agencies to better adapt their approaches to the varying levels of development of partner countries (‘differentiation‘), there seems to be less agreement on the nature of these changes and how exactly the EU should respond to them.

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Effective promotion of inclusive growth in developing countries starts at home

24 Sep

Written by Oladiran Bello and Niels Keijzer

The debates on how to reduce poverty and inequality in developing countries intersect recent economic and political challenges in Europe on at least two broad levels.

First, swinging budget cuts and reduction in social welfare spending within the EU are contributing to rising domestic poverty in the short- and medium-term. Compared to a 1985 baseline, inequality had increased in 2008 for 17 out of 22 OECD members, and Eurostat measures that in 2009 16.3% of the EU population was at risk of poverty. Continue reading

Confronting inequality is key to sustainable and inclusive growth

19 Sep

Written by Mark Furness, Mikaela Gavas and Mario Negre

Both ‘sustainable’ and ‘inclusive’ are adjectives that have for quite some time now been used in conjunction with growth. Current approaches to inclusive and sustainable growth focus heavily on the sustainability aspect, both in terms of economic sustainability through consistent GDP growth, and environmental sustainability through greening the economy. Inclusive growth is now commonly used to refer to a development strategy that goes beyond GDP growth, and that also considers its process and outcomes. Continue reading