Brussels, 28 January 2011 - The Green Paper covers a wide range of issues from the use of aid for development to the role of economic growth as an engine for development. The Paper’s central argument is that poverty reduction can be achieved by stimulating economic growth and ensuring that this growth benefits the whole society. Thus, the Green Paper aims at aligning EU development policy on the Europe 2020 Strategy, which sets the EU’s economic development objectives for the next ten years.
For Caritas Europa, the primary objective of EU’s development policy must be to respond to the needs for sustainable decent living of populations in developing countries, not the EU’s own centric interests. Complete human development requires that development includes all economic, social, cultural, environmental and spiritual aspects of the well-being of people.
Within this Catholic approach, Caritas Europa thinks that development strategies must go further than mere plans for economic development. We agree that dynamic economic activities, led by a vibrant private sector, can play an instrumental role in addressing some aspects of poverty. Nevertheless, we are convinced that there is no systematic causal relationship between growth and poverty reduction. Economic growth needs the right mix of coherent policies to tackle economic and social inequality and marginalisation, and sustainability.
It is important that the EU adopts separated cooperation strategies, adapted to the diverse and complex situations of the different developing countries. Such strategies must be designed through a dialogue with partner countries and the poor themselves. Caritas believes that empowerment and social participation of the poor are the best ways to prevent and fight poverty.
The European Commission is expected to review all stakeholders’ feedback on the Green Paper and present a Communication in October. Caritas Europa will be actively following up the debate and carry the voice of the poorest and most vulnerable people, in order to ensure that their needs and concerns are not forgotten
Women pumping water by hand in a community in India
For more information, please contact:
Policy Officer for International Cooperation
Tel.: + 32 (0)2 235 26 55