Greener EU international aid options outlined

Commission promises greater support to developing countries, focus on world trade talks

The EU should integrate environmental and sustainable development concerns more strongly into its international development aid and cooperation policies, the European Commission said in a communication released yesterday. Prepared for EU development ministers under the "Cardiff" environmental integration process, the paper stresses that very little EU aid is specifically environmental. Therefore, it says, the challenge lies in achieving greater coherence in general aid and cooperation policies. The EU should also help developing countries to strengthen their capacity for environmental integration, it states. Thirdly, the Commission says, the EU should push for "full integration" of environmental considerations into the next round of world trade talks, including support for widening the opportunities for preferential treatment of products produced in an environmentally sustainable way. The Commission will make a comprehensive analysis of the environmental performance of EU aid next year, the paper continu es, followed by an independent evaluation in 2001. Based on the paper, EU development ministers are due to present an integration strategy to heads of government at the Helsinki summit in December along with five other sectoral Council formations.

Follow Up:
European Commission, tel: +32 2 299 1111. References: "Integrating Environment and Sustainable Development into Economic and Development Cooperation Policy: Elements of a Comprehensive Strategy."

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