Beyond Aid: Policy Coherence and Europe’s Development Policy

Part of the International Development Policy book series (IDP)


This chapter discusses the evolution of the concept of policy coherence for development (PCD) since the beginning of the twenty-first century. It finds that, despite rhetorical commitments made in various contexts, results have been modest, as governments in the North have found it difficult to go beyond their short-term political and economic interests. This chapter concentrates not only on explanations related to the widened agenda in international development and the domestic structures within individual countries, but also on two additional significant factors. First, the search for PCD can be understood as a rhetorical attempt to shift responsibilities from aid agencies to actors involved in other public policy areas affecting developing countries. Second, the two actors pushing the PCD agenda forward — the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the European Commission (EC) — have had other interests beyond development effectiveness. The EC has been concerned with projecting a common European vision in international development and increasing the visibility of the European Union (EU) in international affairs, while the DAC has tried to protect its role and relevance in the field of international development.


European Union European Commission International Development World Trade Organization Development Cooperation 
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© Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies 2012

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