The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the Government of North Rhine-Westphalia cordially invite to a special issue launch and panel debate on

EU Development Policy:
Collective Action in Times of Global Transformation and Domestic Crisis
on Thursday, 23 March 2017, 15:00-17.30h & 18:00-20:00h
at the Representation of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia to the European Union in Brussels,
Rue Montoyer 47, Brussels

Please register for the event by sending an e-mail to Ms. Christiane Weller, [email protected]. Please indicate whether you would like to attend the whole event (15:00 – 20:00) or just the panel debate (18:00 – 20:00).

Challenges such as economic and social exclusion, state fragility and environmental degradation – in particular climate change – have become more salient on the global agenda. This is aptly illustrated by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With the SDGs, the global development agenda has broadened its initial focus on economic development and humanitarian aid and become a comprehensive framework for global cooperation. The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs have made clear that global development challenges require collective action if they are to be resolved, at domestic level and with regard to foreign policies by all countries.

Meanwhile, a series of crises inside Europe (the Euro, Brexit and migration, to name just three) have weakened European solidarity and the EU’s potential to pursue ambitious international agendas. But the world does not sit still, of course. The growing influence of rising powers – especially China, India and Brazil – in global affairs has arguably reduced the relative importance of European aid as an instrument for supporting development, and as a lever of influence.
The implications of these challenges for European development cooperation are explored in a new special issue of Development Policy Review, available online here.

All of the articles in the Special Issue will be available for free download for one month from 23 March.

Contributions to the special issue explore the ways in which the EU approaches collective action challenges in different development cooperation frameworks and policy settings. Themes explored include strategies for overcoming collective action problems, the impacts of these interactions on EU and member state aid policies, coherence between development and other policy fields, relations between European and other development actors, and the reception of the EU’s efforts in developing countries.

This launch event provides an opportunity to discuss these issues with researchers who contributed to the Special Issue and, in a round table debate, with an expert panel of policymakers and scholars.


Special Issue Launch (15:00-17:30h)

15:00 Welcome by Christine Hackenesch (EU Project Leader, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn)

15:10 Introduction: EU Collective Action amid Global Transformation and Domestic Crisis (Mark Furness, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn)

15:30 Acting Collectively: EU Development Cooperation and Global Challenges

  • Make Europe happen on the ground? Enabling and constraining factors for EU aid coordination in Africa (Maurizio Carbone, University of Glasgow)
  • The rise and demise of European budget support: political economy of collective European Union donor action (Nadia Molenaers, University of Antwerp)
  • The European Union as a Collective Actor: Aid and Trade in African Public Opinion (Thilo Bodenstein, Central European University, Budapest)
  • The Normative Distinctiveness of the European Union in International Development: Stepping Out of the Shadow of the World Bank? (Fabienne Bossuyt/Joren Verschaeve, University of Ghent)

16:30 – 17:30 Open Discussion (Moderated by Christine Hackenesch)

17:30 – 18:00 Canapés

Followed by a Round Table Debate (18:00-20:00h)

18:00 – 18:10 Welcome by Tanja Baerman (International Affairs, State Chancellery of North-Rhine Westphalia, Düsseldorf)

Moderator: Simon Maxwell (Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London; European Think Tanks Group Chair)


  • Nils Behrndt (Head of Cabinet, European Development Commissioner)
  • Judith Sargentini (Member of the European Parliament)
  • Imme Scholz (Deputy Director, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE))
  • Jörg Faust (Director, German Institute for Development Evaluation)

The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) in brief

The DIE is one of the leading research institutions for development policy world-wide. It is based in the UN City of Bonn. DIE builds bridges between theory and practice and works within international research networks. The key to DIE’s success is its institutional independence, which is guaranteed by the Institute’s founding statute. Since its founding in 1964, DIE has based its work on the interplay between Research, Consulting and Training. These three areas complement each other and are the factors responsible for the Institute’s distinctive profile.

Every Monday, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) comments the latest news and trends of development policy in The Current Column. The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) is headed by Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner (Director) and Dr. Imme Scholz (Deputy Director).