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1 EU ELECTIONS 2014 BD244 EU Elections Manifesto_AW.indd 2 30/04/ :51

2 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION ECONOMIC JUSTICE SOCIAL JUSTICE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY GOOD GOVERNANCE Bond is the membership body for over 400 organisations working in international development. Bond members range from household names, with a world-wide presence, to community and specialist organisations. Between us we have hundreds of thousands of members, donors and supporters who share our aim of ending global poverty. For more information visit: bond.org.uk/eu-elections-2014 Front page, middle image, and above: Elizabeth is a 14 year old girl from Kenya with a visual impairment. She is learning to read and write and use a braille machine. Leonard Cheshire Front page top image: Leonard Cheshire Disability BD244 EU Elections Manifesto_AW.indd 3 30/04/ :51

3 INTRODUCTION EVERY DAY, MEPS VOTE ON AND INFLUENCE LEGISLATION AND POLICIES THAT REACH FAR BEYOND THE BORDERS OF THE EU S MEMBER STATES TO THE POOREST AND MOST MARGINALISED PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. The EU, along with its member states, is the world s largest aid donor, the world s largest trading bloc and by developing approximately 80 per cent of European environmental legislation it also sets much of the world s environmental standards. How it targets that aid, how it trades and how Europe responds to the challenge of climate change all directly impact developing countries. ERADICATING POVERTY The Lisbon Treaty commits the EU to eradicating poverty. But poverty cannot be eradicated by increasing a country s GDP alone. The EU must take a holistic approach to development that tackles inequality and leaves no one behind. Many of the poorest people remain poor because they face discrimination due to their gender, age, disability, ethnic, religious or social background or sexual orientation, or a combination of these factors. The discrimination and endemic violence faced by women across the world also hinders almost all development efforts. MEPs need to support the EU s commitment to eradicate poverty by ensuring that every intervention not only reduces poverty but also tackles inequality, realises human rights and builds resilience while also addressing the challenges of conflict and climate change. CASE STUDY WHO OWNS THE COMPANY? In March 2014, MEPs voted overwhelmingly for public registers of the real owners of EU companies and trusts. If approved by member states, the proposed amendments to the European Anti-Money Laundering Directive will help put an end to phantom companies and help enable countries and their citizens to recover tax income and invest those resources in development including education and lifesaving health interventions. THE NEXT PARLIAMENT The parliament will take crucial decisions about the future direction of development. World leaders are currently negotiating a new post-2015 sustainable development framework that will build on the lessons of the Millennium Development Goals, which expire in 2015, and respond to new global challenges. December 2015 is also the deadline for agreeing an international climate change treaty at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. MEPs elected in 2014 will need to guide the EU and its member states to speak as one in these global processes, ensuring that they deliver ambitious but meaningful goals and commitments. MEPs will then be responsible for holding the EU institutions to account for meeting them. As an MEP you should check that any policy you plan to vote for or support will help, rather than hinder, the EU to achieve its commitment to eradicate poverty. THE LISBON TREATY COMMITS THE EU TO REDUCING, AND IN THE LONG TERM, ERADICATING POVERTY, AND PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS. IT ALSO REQUIRES THE EU NOT TO SUPPORT ANY POLICY OR LAW THAT CONTRADICTS THAT COMMITMENT, KNOWN AS POLICY COHERENCE FOR DEVELOPMENT. BD244 EU Elections Manifesto_AW.indd 4 30/04/ :51

4 ECONOMIC JUSTICE ECONOMIC GROWTH IS AT THE HEART OF DEVELOPMENT, BUT ONLY SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE GROWTH THAT CREATES DECENT JOBS AND GENERATES TAX REVENUES TO PAY FOR BASIC SERVICES CAN ERADICATE POVERTY, REDUCE DEPENDENCE ON AID AND BENEFIT ALL. MEPs should champion an EU approach to economic development that is inclusive, sustainable and supports developing countries to own and achieve their development objectives. DEVELOPMENT AID Aid is a vital resource for development as the only source of finance solely targeted at eradicating poverty. The quality and effectiveness of aid determines whether it achieves an equitable and sustainable impact. MEPs have a crucial role to play in scrutinising both the quality and quantity of aid spent through the European Commission. Continue to hold the EU to account to reach its aid commitment of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) by 2015 and advocate for an ambitious collective target post Engage with work to improve the effectiveness of EU aid by: supporting national systems in developing countries. being informed by conflict dynamics and ensuring aid does no harm. encouraging civic participation. enhancing the significant contribution of finance, time and skills made by diaspora communities. pushing for full implementation of commitments from Busan, Paris and Accra 1. Ensure the European Commission publishes information to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standards by 2015 and supports member states to do the same. HUMANITARIAN AID The EU institutions are the world s second largest donor of humanitarian aid. It is vital that this aid remains neutral, impartial and independent in responding to the millions of people affected by conflict and emergencies. This approach needs to be reinforced as the EU develops how it protects people, particularly the most vulnerable people, caught in crisis. MEPs need to push for joint assessment, strategy and programming to bridge the gap between humanitarian and development aid and build resilience and capacity to better respond to shocks. Protect the neutrality, impartiality and independence of humanitarian aid and ensure it is adequate in addressing the growing need. Ensure that the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid remains a strong framework for the EU, is widely promoted at member state level and is underpinned by an effective action plan. Amador Lopez Cardenas and his beehive. The regular income from trading honey allows Amador to cover the costs of feeding, clothing and educating his children. Christian Aid / Hannah Richards. BD244 EU Elections Manifesto_AW.indd 5 30/04/ :51

5 TAX JUSTICE Companies that avoid paying tax deprive people in developing countries of an estimated US$160 billion per year 2, exceeding the total global aid budget. Vital information about companies tax revenues and profits is often withheld, making it difficult for governments to recover taxes and citizens to hold their government to account. MEPs must ensure that European companies are transparent and accountable in their dealings with developing countries and that the tax policies of the EU and member states do not erode developing countries tax revenues. Support laws that make information public about who owns and controls European companies, shell companies and trusts along with the profits and taxes paid in each country. Push the EU to make the case for greater tax transparency, including the automatic exchange of tax information that works for and includes developing countries. Press for the conclusion and implementation of the European financial transaction tax and appropriate allocation of the proceeds to tackle poverty and climate change. TRADE Trade can benefit developing countries by helping to create jobs, fund public services and protect the environment. However EU trade policy has allowed some companies to access new markets, resources and labour in a way that has harmed the poorest people and our planet. MEPs should actively participate in EU negotiations on bilateral deals and regional economic partnership agreements, the evolution and implementation of the EU s new investment policy and proposed changes in market access arrangements which will affect developing countries. Vote against trade deals that do not respect the rights of developing countries to determine their own development or put corporate interests ahead of social, labour, human rights and standards. Vote to remove the Investor-State Dispute Mechanism, which allows foreign investors to take private legal cases against governments from trade and investment agreements while ensuring labour, social and environmental clauses are enforceable. PRIVATE SECTOR The private sector has a key role to play in generating economic growth and creating jobs, goods and services and tax revenues. However the private sector can only play its part in eradicating poverty if those benefits are shared by all. MEPs should push for the EU to support and develop micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which create the majority of jobs and GDP in most developing countries. MEPs should also hold European companies accountable for creating inclusive economic growth and decent jobs while being transparent and respecting human rights and local laws and practices. Only support policies that reduce poverty and inequality, increase private sector transparency and accountability and meet the UN Guiding Principles and the International Labour Organisation s core conventions. Promote the right conditions, appropriate regulation and necessary investment to enable MSMEs to flourish. CASE STUDY SWAZILAND, SUGAR AND THE EU In October 2014, the EU will abolish an interim trade agreement with Swaziland designed to support developing countries until they sign Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). Swaziland s sugar industry makes up 96 per cent of its exports to the EU and between 12 to 20 per cent of its GDP 3. Because Swaziland, like most African countries, hasn t signed an EPA, tariffs will rise from zero to 339 per tonne, putting many producers out of business and hitting the economy hard. BD244 EU Elections Manifesto_AW.indd 6 30/04/ :51

6 SOCIAL JUSTICE THE BASIC PILLARS OF LIFE INCLUDING HEALTH, NUTRITION, EDUCATION, WATER, SANITATION AND SOCIAL PROTECTION ARE UNIVERSALLY RECOGNISED HUMAN RIGHTS BUT ARE OFTEN DENIED TO THE POOREST AND MOST MARGINALISED. THEY ARE INTERDEPENDENT AND ESSENTIAL PRE-CONDITIONS TO CREATING INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH. MEPs have a unique role in holding the EU institutions to account, ensuring that EU development cooperation is led by a renewed commitment to leave no one behind in accessing these basic needs and human rights. HEALTH Achieving the right to the highest standard of attainable health for all is essential to create a thriving society and sustainable economy. MEPs must challenge health inequalities and support universal health coverage so people can obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. The EU must also take action to improve all health determinants including discriminatory laws and practices, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene. Ensure the European Commission fulfils its commitments as set out in The EU role in Global Health, continues to support the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the GAVI Alliance, a public private partnership that increases immunisation. Ensure EU political, legal and commercial agreements do not become barriers to accessing lifesaving medicines, diagnostics or prevention technologies. Support cross-sector integrated approaches to health in programmes and projects supported by EU aid. AGRICULTURE AND NUTRITION Across the world, 500 million smallscale farmers provide livelihoods to two billion people 5, often sustainably. In sub-saharan Africa, agricultural growth is 11 times more effective in reducing poverty, hunger and malnutrition than any other investment. There are 842 million people 6 suffering from hunger, with poor nutrition leading to irreversible development damage and nearly half of child death in the developing world. The EU must prioritise agricultural investment that creates the conditions for smallholder farmers to increase their incomes and feed an increasing population without increasing climate change. Vote for the EU to increase investments in the agricultural sector and integrate nutrition in all EU agriculture programming. Ensure the EU meets its 3.5 billion pledge to tackle under-nutrition in poor countries between 2014 and Munni collecting clean water from a pond sand filter, Islampu village, Koyra, Bangladesh, WaterAid/GMB Akash/Panos BD244 EU Elections Manifesto_AW.indd 7 30/04/ :51

7 EDUCATION Despite enormous progress in expanding access to education over the last decade, 57 million primaryaged children remain out of school, of whom over half live in countries affected by crisis. Even when children are at school, they are not always learning. 250 million children, usually the poorest and most marginalised, who attend school are still unable to read, write, or demonstrate basic numeracy by the age of Push for an ambitious post-2015 development framework that explicitly tackles educational inequality, focuses on the quality of education and ensures all children are learning. Ensure better transition between humanitarian and development policies and education funding to minimise the impact a crisis can have on children s schooling. WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE One in 10 people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water and 2.5 billion people 4 still do not have access to a basic toilet. MEPs must address this crisis to help keep children in education, protect the safety and dignity of women and girls and reduce the risks of under-nutrition and disease. Champion ambitious post-2015 targets and indicators to eliminate open defecation and achieve universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene. Ensure that EU aid for water and sanitation is better targeted and the European Community engages in the Sanitation and Water for All partnership and strengthens the EU Water Initiative. BD244 EU Elections Manifesto_AW.indd 8 30/04/ :51

8 ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY HUMAN WELLBEING DEPENDS ON A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT PROVIDING FOOD, WATER, ENERGY, MEDICINES AND RAW MATERIALS FOR ALL. BUT CHANGES IN PRODUCTION, CONSUMPTION, ECONOMIC GROWTH AND POPULATION INCREASE ARE DRIVING DEMAND FOR FINITE RESOURCES. CLIMATE CHANGE IS EXACERBATING THOSE PRESSURES AND THE RISK OF CONFLICT. POVERTY CANNOT BE ERADICATED WITHOUT ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY. During the next parliament the EU will take part in the UN climate change negotiations. New EU targets will come into force in 2020 and the EU will review important environmental targets, including biodiversity targets and halting illegal fishing. All of these will impact people both in and beyond Europe. MEPs should push the EU and member states to meet their own environmental obligations and take a leading role in pushing for an ambitious international climate change agreement. Ensure the EU remains committed to the 2020 climate and energy targets. Ensure the EU and its member states shift from a high to low carbon economy and agree ambitious, effective and binding targets on greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency for Oppose harmful environmental subsidies, such as those for fossil fuels, and instead encourage a shift to a low carbon, resource-efficient economy. Women from the Turkana area of Kanukurdio show a dried up riverbed near Lodwar, Kenya. Over 23 million people across East Africa are facing a critical shortage of water and food, a situation made worse by climate change. Christopher Furlong. BD244 EU Elections Manifesto_AW.indd 9 30/04/ :51

9 CASE STUDY TACKLING ILLEGAL LOGGING Illegal logging takes place in all types of forests across the world. It destroys ecosystems, threatens the safety and security of local communities and distorts trade. Much of the wood is destined for the sale across Europe. In July 2010 MEPs voted to tackle illegal logging by regulating the end of BD244 EU Elections Manifesto_AW.indd 10 the supply chain. The (Illegal) Timber Regulation came into force March 2013 which prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market and requires traders to exercise due diligence and to keep records of suppliers and customers. 30/04/ :51

10 GOOD GOVERNANCE ALL CITIZENS NEED TO BE ABLE TO HOLD THEIR GOVERNMENTS TO ACCOUNT. MEPS, AS THE ONLY DIRECTLY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES WITHIN THE EU INSTITUTIONS, ARE CUSTODIANS OF DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION, ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY. THOSE VALUES ARE ESSENTIAL IN TACKLING POVERTY, PROMOTING PEACEFUL SOCIETIES, IMPROVING AID EFFECTIVENESS AND ENSURING THAT THE VOICES AND CONCERNS OF PEOPLE FROM ALL SOCIAL GROUPS ARE CENTRAL TO DEVELOPMENT PLANS AND PROCESSES. EU development policy and practice must be transparent, accountable and encourage participation by citizens and diaspora. Monitor and hold the EU institutions to account for their commitment to reduce poverty while being transparent and inclusive and ensuring policy coherence for development. Ensure that EU development cooperation supports the progressive realisation of goals, targets and indicators agreed in the post-2015 development framework Require all development data to be disaggregated by gender, age, disability, ethnic, religious and social backgrounds and sexual orientation to ensure the EU is tackling inequality. MEPs play a central role in determining the strength and commitment of the EU s development policy as well as other policies that impact on development. They can ensure development issues are included in the EU s agenda. Press for the EU to retain the role of a Commissioner responsible for international development and support the work of that Commissioner and the Development Committee. Engage and support the work all other relevant parliamentary committees ensuring that they include and consider the impact of their decisions on developing counties. Engage with confirmation hearings for all new Commissioners to ensure they are committed to the EU s aim of eradicating poverty and protecting human rights. A woman displays her voting card while in line to vote during the first day of voting for the independence referendum in Juba, Sudan. Spencer Platt CASE STUDY BIOFUELS AND POLICY COHERENCE The Dakatcha woodlands in Kenya is home to 20,000 people who survive by growing cassava, maize and pineapples. In 2011 a European biofuels company planned to create a 50,000 hectare plantation in Dakatcha. It wanted to export biodiesel to Europe to meet the 10 per cent renewable transport fuel target set out in the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The communities who faced eviction said they were not consulted or offered alternative land. It s estimated that biofuels produced at this plantation would have increased emissions by almost six times as much as using conventional fossil fuels. MEPs are likely to have a vote in the next parliament on biofuel targets which could affect land being available for growing food. On this issue, like every other, MEPs must ensure they only support policies that are coherent with the EU s commitment to eradicate poverty. BD244 EU Elections Manifesto_AW.indd 11 30/04/ :51

11 REFERENCES: 1 parisdeclarationandaccraagendaforaction.htm 2 deathandtaxes.pdf 3 Traidcraft/Documents/PDF/tx/EPAs% smallholder.pdf 6 7 https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/ making-sure-children-in-developing-countriesget-a-good-education Case studies sourced by ActionAid, Christian Aid, ONE, Progressio, BD244 EU Elections Manifesto_AW.indd 12 30/04/ :51

12 REGENT S WHARF 8 ALL SAINTS STREET LONDON N1 9RL UNITED KINGDOM +44 (0) PUBLISHED APRIL 2014 Steers McGillan Eves Design BD244 EU Elections Manifesto_AW.indd 1 30/04/ :51

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