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EU Development Policy

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the Treaty of Lisbon, if ratified, on EU development policy. (175665)

The Government believe that, if ratified, the Lisbon Treaty would enhance delivery of EU development policy. It should give EU aid greater coherence and effectiveness.

For the first time the treaty provides for a clear definition of the legal framework for development co-operation, humanitarian assistance and co-operation with third countries. It places the eradication of poverty as the overarching primary objective of development co-operation, which is consistent with the UK's own International Development Act. The treaty will also enhance the consistency of the EU's external relations and the coherence of all EU policies with development objectives.

The treaty also promotes efficient and timely decision-making by extending qualified-majority voting to humanitarian aid. The new position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will also support better coherence and delivery of European external action, including development assistance.