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Foreign Affairs Council for Development

Volume 617: debated on Thursday 24 November 2016

On the morning of 28 November, I will attend the Foreign Affairs Council for Development in Brussels. The meeting will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. The UK is a global leader in international development and this is demonstrated by our commitment to meeting the UN aid target of 0.7% of gross national income. I look forward to using this opportunity to push the EU to do more to deliver the ambitious development agenda set out in the global goals.

The UK is leaving the EU. While we remain a member we will continue to play a full role in line with our rights and obligations and represent the interests of the people of the United Kingdom.

European consensus on development

European Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development, Neven Mimica, will present the European Commission proposal on a new European consensus on development. The consensus is the comprehensive EU policy framework for development assistance and is being updated to be aligned with the main themes of agenda 2030 and the global goals. I will highlight the UK’s broad support for a comprehensive and integrated approach to development and push for better coherence across development and humanitarian assistance.


Commissioner Mimica will present the European Commission’s impact assessment and policy document on the future framework for EU co-operation with the African, Pacific and Caribbean countries; an initial exchange of views from member states will follow. This is an initial discussion on revising the Cotonou agreement treaty that will expire in 2020. I will use this discussion to encourage the EU and member states to consider a differentiated approach towards partner countries at different levels of development.

Migration and development

High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini will present an update on the state of play on the proposed external investment plan. Ministers will also discuss follow-up to the Valletta summit as part of the EU’s migration agenda and planned events, including the EU emergency trust fund for Africa steering committee. The UK continues to work with European partners on migration, including assessing ways to better address protracted crises and co-ordinating approaches to other drivers of unmanaged flows.

Energy and development

Maroš Šefcovic, Vice-President of the European Commission with responsibility for the energy union, will join for a substantive discussion on energy and sustainable development. This will build on agreed Council conclusions on the same topic and look to focus on progress made through the EU-Africa energy partnership in the context of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Other agenda items

Ministers will adopt Council conclusions on mainstreaming digital solutions and technologies in EU development policy, the Court of Auditors report on humanitarian aid to the great lakes region, energy and development, and the EU common position for the second high-level meeting of the global partnership for effective development co-operation.