19 May 2017

Today, the EU Foreign Affairs Council (European Council) adopted the new European Consensus on Development, which will inform EU development policy in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda – including the Sustainable Goals for Development – by the EU and its Member States.

 

The new Consensus keeps a focus on eradicating poverty, and acknowledges the pledge to leave no one behind. From a disability perspective, the new Consensus is a marked improvement from its predecessor, with specific mentions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it also invites the EU and its Member States to think about the specific needs of persons with disabilities in their development policies.

That being said, we also note a troubling overall trend of a development cooperation more and more focused on migration, security, and the private sector, effectively subordinating development of partner countries to strategic interests of the EU. Taken in the context of the Global Strategy earlier this year, we fear the new Consensus may usher an era of development cooperation removed from the actual needs of developing countries, which would be bad for all, including persons with disabilities.

These fears were also quietly echoed in the report of the DEVE Committee of the European Parliament on the topic. The European Parliament is expected to endorse the consensus in plenary session on 31 May.