|EU-ACP Negotiations on Post Lomé IV Convention - The Stand of Uganda Civil Society (DENIVA, 1999, 55 p.)|
Most observers expect that the ACP will descend on the list of priorities of the EU as revealed by the recent renegotiation of the financial protocol during the Lomé IV mid-term review. Few of the EU members states were willing to even maintain their contributions to the European Development Fund (EDF) and some sought for and obtained a reduction in their contributions.
Other growing feelings are that the very premises on which the Convention was created no longer hold. There is a dwindling sense of common interest in the Convention, questionable impact on its effectiveness, aid fatigue especially in Europe and an unclear role and place of EC development co-operation. These have to be borne in mind as we prepare for the forth coming negotiations.
In mid-1995, ECDPM among others, began a programme of consultations and visits, the overall aim being to promote constructive debates on the future of ACP-EU relations. In its report, Redefining Common Interests, a review of the original foundations of the co-operation, it shows that the common interests that framed the original Convention and its instruments no longer apply, or have shifted in importance. There is a growing awareness among the ACP that development co-operation faces a legitimacy crisis and there is an acknowledgement that the original foundations for ACP-EU co-operation have been eroded.
If the ACP countries want to strike a better deal with the EU, states the report, they will need to adopt a much more proactive approach. There is also need to integrate private interests and redefine common interests in a regional perspective.
The factors pushing for a re-appraisal of the Lomé geography include the growing heterogeneity of the ACP, EU demands for greater differentiation and internal political changes in Europe.
Four major options were proposed with regard to the future "geography" of Lomé and the related issue of differentiated treatment. These are: preserving the status quo (with marginal changes), extending the benefits of Lomé, varying the geometry of the organisation and dismantling the ACP.
On the geography, one possibility is to break the ACP into three separate groups. For the Caribbean, for instance, it has been argued that it would make little sense to exclude Spanish speaking countries from a new deal between Europe and the Caribbean. A geographical restructuring could take place, along the lines of the Association of Caribbean states.
Under the criterion of development indicators, differentiation would be based on levels of development within the ACP group. The aim is to treat poor countries (such as Mozambique) differently from those with middle incomes (Barbados) or even those with relatively high incomes (the Bahamas).
Another way to ensure differentiation is to introduce a Lomé a la carte. The idea is to have differentiation sub-agreements according to the nature and content of the co-operation relationship.
Differentiation based on performance advocates the introduction of varying treatment on the basis of "performance" criteria. This proposal is consistent with the "new politics of aid" which emphasises the need for credible partners in development co-operation, good governance and accountability.
The option of dismantling the ACP advocates a more radical approach. It starts from the premise that there will no longer be a Lomé "umbrella agreement." In this scenario, the EU would probably negotiate a new set of separate agreements with each of the three regions of the ACP group. Another possibility is to associate some ACP countries to existing arrangements (the Caribbean might have a joint agreement with Central America).
The main frustrations of the ACP private and civil society sectors towards successive Lomé Conventions include:
· lack of participation in policy dialogue
· unclear or little knowledge of EU policies
· centralised management
· inappropriate use of instruments and lack of information. lack of mechanisms for dialogue and consultation.
Future options for ACP-EU co-operation include:
· reducing the number of instruments
· restoring the centrality of the programming exercise
· breaking the Convention into different parts
· finding alternatives to co-management
· reviewing the role of the National Authorising Officer (NAO)
· channelling Lomé resources directly to beneficiaries.
Suggestions for decentralising EC decision-making and implementation include:
· decentralising to the field
· reviewing the roles and responsibilities of Commission staff
· establishing regional pools.
Civil society participation in a New EU-ACP Partnership
The Uganda civil society actors (and in the ACP countries at large), have had a series of consultative meetings to lay strategies for participation in the negotiations on Post Lomé IV partnership.
Some of the meetings took place in:
· Kampala-October 1997 (Uganda Chapter) - national workshop
· Entebbe-October 1997 at the ACP NGOs level -international conference
· Nairobi-June 1998 - regional workshop for NGOs, private sector and government representatives of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda
· Kampala October 1998, organised by Government, NGOs and Private sector
· Kampala-December 1998 Uganda NGOs workshop organised by DENIVA
· Amsterdam - January 1999 workshop hosted by INZET
· Dakar, March 1999 - ACP/EU Ministerial council meeting.
Prior to the Kampala December 1998 workshop, DENIVA commissioned a study on 'Facilitating Civil Society Participation in the Management of EU Aid in Uganda' that was presented to the workshop.
Civil Society in the Lomé Convention Context
Participation under Decentralised Co-operation has already been established in the Lomé IV Convention, as an approach for engaging all relevant actors in the development process. Recommendations include:
· Space for civil society should be identified and given formal expression in the Convention.
· Concrete provisions must be established to ensure that commitment to civil society participation is translated into effective instruments. It should be non-exclusive in terms of actors and issues and should occur at various levels thus:
Þ Policy dialogue
Þ Regional and national programming
Þ Impact assessment.
NGOs and Civil Society participation in the post Lomé IV process is best captured by the various meetings listed above and detailed below:
The Kampala Conference-NGO future co-operation expectations - October 1997
NGO expectations on the future co-operation and in the implementation of the successor Lomé IV Convention as per the October 1997 MWENGO/DENIVA organised workshop include:-
· Regular national fora where state and non state actors meet to consult on the implementation of the protocol and map the way forward
· More capacity building among NGOs and other actors to enable effective negotiation and implementation of ACP-EU cooperation agreements
· Strengthening of NGO networking and information base
· Prioritise socio-economic sectors
· Facilitate interaction between NGOs and other stakeholders
· NGOs should be allowed direct access to EU funds
· Establish joint lobby and advocacy groups
· Grants and loans should be poverty focused and aimed at developing the human resources.
· Encourage dialogue on the principles of partnership to include transparency, human rights, accountability and good governance.
Summary of the Kampala recommendations by the Private Sector include:
· Need for ACP/EU inclusive negotiations to involve properly selected public and private sector representatives as well as the Civil Society Organisations.
· Programmed co-operation and decentralised activities in the National Indicative Plan (NIP) with allocation of sufficient resources
· Government liaise with European Investment Bank (EIB) to set up an equity fund facility to link up local investors with European counterparts
· Government should put in place efficient management mechanism to make funds borrowed from the EIB beneficial to private sector.
· Need to re-examine rules of origin in the EU-ACP framework to ensure Africa penetrates the EU markets.
· ACP should remain united during negotiations although different geographical interests should be considered.
· Gender issues should be given prominence in the new negotiations
· Develop united stand on contentious issues like human rights
· EU-ACP open discussions with WTO to negotiate for waiver of WTO tarrifs
· Remove bureaucratic hurdles in accessing EU funds for the private sector and NGOs
· Provide adequate technical backup to negotiating teams in particular to the Committee of Ambassadors and political representatives at the Joint Assembly in Brussels.
In the ACP-NGOs International conference in Entebbe, the major output was a detailed release:
ACP NGOs Entebbe Declaration on ACP-EU Relationship in the 21st Century
From the 28-30 October, 1997, we the (under mentioned), representing civil society groups and NGOs from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific met in Entebbe, Uganda. Our objective was to consult among ourselves on how to strengthen interaction among civil society groups in the three regions and strengthen our direct access to and input into the processes towards developing a framework of ACP-EU co-operation when Lomé IV comes to an end. We are proud that with this historic meeting we have affirmed the determination of civil society groups across the ACP to be part of the process of building the ACP group into a vital force on the international scene, to advance the interests of its peoples in the era of globalisation, both in dealings with the European Union and within the global fora. In furtherance of this we have deliberated upon the following issues and come to the following conclusions.
· Recognising that the concept and practise of political dialogue was developed in the course of the Lomé relationship, especially under Lomé IV, as a means of creating the appropriate policy, institutional and structural context within ACP countries in order to assure the effectiveness of the facilities granted under the Convention
· Acknowledging that in its practise, it has developed a tendency to operate as a process of imposition, through conditionality, of the visions and preferences of Europe within ACP societies and thus undermine the spirit of partnership and equality which forms the basis of the Lomé relationship
· Understanding that properly managed, political dialogue can be necessary tool of genuine partnership and to this end political dialogue should be a two way process, transparent and based on mutual responsibility and accountability on both sides
· Cognisant that vital to this is the strengthening of ACP wide interaction and common institutions in order to enable the ACP group to function in reality as an equal partner of EU, that ACP group must build, on the basis of its current reality, a strong and united vision of its needs, aspirations and purposes to invest with political relevance both in relation to the EU and outside it
· Reaffirming that democracy is a pre-requisite for sustainable and equitable development of ACP countries and therefore all actors in ACP societies have a primary collective responsibility to themselves and must be supported, to establish and maintain democratic processes and structures in their countries
· Further recognising that trade and investment policies are critical to the achievement of equitable and sustainable socio-economic development
· Acknowledging that the on going process of globalisation has had differential impact on ACP countries with respect to the livelihood of its men, women and children
· Cognisant of the need to protect our environment in view of the rapid development of global trade and investment
· Desirous of the need for ACP states a private sector and civil society to forge a partnership through meaningful participation that will adhere to the principles of good governance towards securing the wholistic development of all our peoples in the new millennium.
We the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific NGOs strongly recommend that:
With respect to political dialogue be guided by:
· The duty and right of establishing and sustaining democracy in the ACP must not be a subject of negotiation between ACP and EU. Rather, it must lie within ACP group as a whole, who must collectively establish intra-ACP norms, processes, institutions for nurturing, enhancing and monitoring democracy.
· There is need to act within the ACP-EU relationship in support of democracy, it must primarily be to encourage and enhance the capacity of ACP civil/social groups and actors to participate in input into, monitor and in general assume compliance with the norms of democracy within their societies. By the same measure, EU's own institutions must open up to the presence and input of ACP groups and actors.
· The enhancement of the general capacity of all ACP actors, particularly the vulnerable, marginalised and dominated sectors of society to participate fully in all the political, economic, cultural processes of their countries and enjoy the fruits thereof. This involves in particular, equitable access to and control of resources like land, health, education and food.
· Indices of economic performance and development as mentioned above constitute one area where the equality of political dialogue runs the most risk of being subverted into a process of imposition by EU on ACP. In this regard we conclude that political dialogue in this area must take the following as its fundamental point of departure and context. This is the affirmation both in principle and fact, of the primary right and role of ACP countries to develop their own strategy and agenda of development which is home-grown and is based on their understanding of the peculiar challenges which arises from their economic structures and their location in the international economy.
With respect to Trade, Trade Co-operation and Investment be guided by:
· The mainstreaming of gender dimensions through the operationalisation of gender analysis of all trade and investment policies programmes and projects;
· The principles of rehabilitation and sustainability of the natural environment by way of environmental impact studies;
· The integration of the social dimension geared towards poverty eradication and the development of human resource capacity;
· The realisation that the participation of civil society in the decision-making, formulation, implementation and evaluation processes, is vital for the reduction of national debt and sustaining economic growth;
· The need to establish and popularise a common code of conduct for investors and multinational corporation, with focus on the non-exploitation of our people and our environment;
· The availability and use of information technology and the development of service infrastructure to maximise on trade and investment opportunities;
· The objectives of economic restructuring, diversification and modernisation as central to the process of achieving self sufficiency;
· That trade, trade co-operation and investment within and between ACP countries and EU adhere to the principles of fair trade viz a viz cross compliance and cost intemalisation through agreed minimum social and environmental criteria;
· That the criteria for Anti Dumping Practices in WTO provisions should not only consider export price but also the quantity of export commodity thereby reducing possibilities of consumers purchasing sub-standard food items/equipment and services;
· Supporting the implementation, enforcement and popularising the agreement, provisions and processes on trade related aspects of the intellectual property rights (TRIPS);
· That trade co-operation, preferences should take into consideration the specific cities between regions and within regions using an agreed criteria measuring vulnerability index.
With respect to financial and technical support be guided by:
· A different orientation is required if aid is to help ACP countries achieve social and economic development. Aid must be aimed at enhancing the productive and trade capacities of ACP countries, especially the poorer, more vulnerable sections. Aid must meet the following criteria.
Þ gender sensitive
Þ have a poverty focus
Þ environmentally friendly
Þ helping ACP countries overcome the regional and national fragmentation of their economies.
· A future co-operation framework must have a coordinated attempt by ACP countries to ensure the implementation of the special measures for developing countries within the WTO and must support ACP countries to mitigate if not reverse the negative impact of measures such as IPIMS and TRIPS.
· The commitment on debt, poverty and environment at the various international summits at Rio, Beijing must be integrated within the future co-operation framework.
· A commitment to the resolution of the debt problem must become an integral part of the ACP-EU agenda and the EU develop a programme of action for the elimination of debt in the ACP region. At the same time ACP countries must make the elimination of debt a central part of their agenda.
· Action must be taken to enhance both the inflow of investment, also the capacity of ACP countries to mobilise internal resources for investment. Provision of aid must be targeted towards creating the necessary conditions for the appropriate utilisation of investment. Such targeting must be towards the poorer and more vulnerable groups in ACP countries, through such measures as micro financing.
· Gender must be an integral part of conception, design implementation monitoring an evaluation of policies, projects and programmes.
· Guidelines must be established in utilising foreign technical assistance, national and regional programmes must be devised to tap and harness this expertise in order to make EU programmes effective.
· Criteria for measuring for the effectiveness of and must not operate as conditionalities and therefore must be homogenous, progress, transparent and mutually effective to both parties.
· At the national and sub regional level, the range of actors involved needs to be broadened beyond the NAO and the EU delegate. NIP and RIP committees should be set up comprising government, civil society actors, the private sector and the EU delegations. The committee should be supported by experts and advisors in key areas such as gender, investment and trade promotion and environment.
· The future co-operation framework must build in a strategy to pro-actively provide information to interest groups and policy makers.
We the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific NGOs acknowledge the support and encouragement by the ACP states, EU and the European NGO Liaison Committee and European NGOs to the on going process of consultation which we envisage will reach an agreement that is reflective of all the concerns that we have registered.
The Civil Society and the New Lomé
The need to have a national framework for involving the civil society in the ACP-EU Co-operation Programmes has been underscored in national and regional workshops by the business sector and NGO representatives in June in Nairobi and October, Kampala in the course of 1998. The proposal resulted from the revelation of the low utilisation of EU funds/resources. The main focus under consideration has been the question of how to accelerate the civil society participation in decision making processes and accessibility to EU resources.
Thus the proposed national co-ordinating framework contributes to the general policy requirements for having in place strong and effective mechanisms for ensuring successful implementation of decentralised co-operation in the country.
The national co-ordinating framework is; "to guarantee improved development by taking into account more of need and priorities as expressed by those concerned." - thus facilitating effective and democratic participation of the decentralised agents in the post-IV Lomé negotiations. It will also provide an institutional framework for enhancing increased utilisation rate for the EU funds in the country, starting with the current National Indicative Programme. This will facilitate faster implementation of decentralised cooperation in Uganda by serving as a framework for decision-making, operational guidance and monitoring of the decentralised co-operation activities.
Major limitations to involvement of the civil society in the EU Programmes:-
· Lack of information to the members of the civil society in Uganda about opportunities and programmes under the EU Uganda protocol. To most members of the civil society, the EU-ACP Lomé Convention is still a big mystery
· Non-existence of working criteria for the government of Uganda to co-operate with non-state organisations
· Lack of clear working guidelines for interaction between local NGO's and the EU
· Highly bureaucratic decision making process involving centralised machinery, both on the part of the Uganda government and the EU
· Absence of a national forum to co-ordinate the involvement of the civil society and to provide leadership for the interaction with government
· The Uganda decentralisation process tends to marginalise civil society organisations
· Inability to approach the EU for funding which is either due to failure to develop project proposals that would be acceptable or due to the remote location of the organisation (especially true for CBOs)
· Low technical/organisational capacity of civil society organisations.
· Poor co-operation among organisations of the civil society and between these organisations and the local governments.
To overcome the current bureaucratic procedures in the disbursement of EU funds, proposals are:
a) Applications should be sent to the National coordination committee based at the office of the NAO through the umbrella organisations representing NGOs on the committee which should make some initial appraisal before it submits to the committee.
b) Disbursement: This would be done directly from the EU to the implementing NGO/Local authority.
c) Financial Management: The granting of EU funding should not result into changes in the existing organisation's financial management procedures and systems.
d) Capacity Building: In order to take care of the organisational limitations facing the decentralised agents, it is strongly recommended that capacity building is integrated as an essential component of the co-operation between the EU and the decentralised agents.
EUROPEAN UNION/UGANDA CO-OPERATION (EU/GOU)
KEY TO GRAPHICS
- Government of Uganda
- National Authorising Officer
- Aid Liaison Department
- Deputy National Authorising Officer
- Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Developemnt
- Assistant Commissioner
- Structural Adjustment Support Project
- European Investment Bank
- Non-Governmental Organisations
- Civil Society Organisation
8TH EDF UTILISATION IN UGANDA
LOCATION OF ACP AND EU COUNTRIES