MEET: Sonia Niznik

Application article:

Unauffällige Nachzügler

English summary: Little attention is paid to the development policies of new EU Member States. But they could prove instrumental for the effectiveness of development cooperation. In 2005, the new EU Member States made a commitment to increase ODA payments and aid effectiveness in order to fight poverty and reach the Millennium Development Goals. So far they have not met their goals. The new EU Member States face difficulties in their new function as donors in development cooperation. Mostly, they lack clear strategies and institutional capacities; their small and often uncoordinated projects can actually harm aid effectiveness. In order to ensure coherence and aid effectiveness, these new donors must not focus their activities on bilateral interventions, but shift to multilateral approaches. Stronger commitment to multilateral aid could have a regulative effect on EU development assistance. If new Member States channel ODA to the EC and withdraw from bilateral aid, “old” Member States could follow. This would significantly increase coherence and effectiveness of EU aid. When shifting to multilateral aid, the new EU Member States must not neglect the low level of public support for development cooperation in their countries. Development education should become a strategic priority in Eastern Europe.