EUNIDA: a unique tool for implementing European Development Aid
In 2000 the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) was one of the five founding members of EUNIDA, the European Network of Implementing Development Agencies. Since, EUNIDA is established as an EEIG in Belgium, as the EU Network combining the EU Member States’ resources, expertise and implementing capacities. Today EUNIDA represents a total of 14 European Members States and has been designing and implementing capacity development programmes for the European Commission in sensitive policy areas such as security sector reform, public sector reform, health and education, migration and civil society development.
Promoting European Approach
EUNIDA transcends national identity combining the capacities of Member State agencies and providing a European dimension to its interventions worldwide, enhancing therefore the overall visibility of European development cooperation. Implementing projects through EUNIDA means delegating activities to a pan-European grouping of Member State agencies, rather than handing them to single Member State organisations. This of course requires a more intense collaboration and exchange of information between the European implementing agencies and generates in return a learning and integration cycle amongst both traditional and young EU agencies in development cooperation.
The main policy trends see EU’s development policy advancing towards a greater “federalization” of financial resources, implementation mechanisms and policy frameworks and indicate that the European Commission’s ambitions stretch beyond those of merely being the 29th donor. Similarly, the European Commission seems to be looking now for ways to implement broader and more integrated development programmes, which would cluster resources over a longer period of time and that would require the combination of several implementation modalities. In this context it is of vital importance for bilateral agencies to position themselves on a European level in these renewed forms of cooperation with the EC. EUNIDA offers the required pooling mechanism to reach such improved complementarity.
Managing and implementing programmes jointly does not happen overnight, it requires a continued commitment, fluid communication flow and a high degree of mutual trust from the part of the members, which is why the EUNIDA Secretariat in Brussels plays a facilitating role for the functioning of the Network. Furthermore, in parallel with the EC policy transformations, the past two years have been crucial to carefully review the ways in which the Network could advance its contracting modalities towards the Commission. Consequently EUNIDA has installed a number of significant measures to improve the Network’s institutional culture with the overall objective of EUNIDA truly becoming the European network fully representing the joint implementing capacities of the EU member states and being recognised, known and accessed as such by the European Commission.
Members and observers: