The new parliamentary term "coincides with the start of major debate in our global institutions on the future of development policy", says chair of parliament’s development committee Linda McAvan. The British MEP, looking forward to the "post-2015 framework and the construction of sustainable development goals", expressed her hope "that the DEVE committee can influence this agenda".
Furthermore, McAvan said DEVE will be "keeping a close watch on all those using EU aid funds and would push for better coordination between donor countries and agencies". She also underlined DEVE’s upcoming reports on "financing for development and on the role of the private sector, which will add parliament's perspective to the deliberations on these topics within the commission, the council and at global level".
"There is an acute awareness of the need for EU institutions to be effective and deliver tangible results both for European citizens and, through its development policy, for people in poverty across the world"
"Another urgent priority," said McAvan, "is the EU’s response to the Ebola crisis. We have had a detailed discussion on this topic with the major agencies involved about what barriers to effective containment of the virus remain. We will produce a report on lessons to be learned from the current outbreak and make longer-term recommendations on the strengthening of healthcare systems in the affected region."
Speaking personally, McAvan expressed her desire to "ensure the DEVE committee can influence the agenda as the EU and the world prepares for the first ever global humanitarian aid summit in 2016". "A top personal priority is to work on gender and the gender action plan. As it is up for renewal next year, we need to evaluate what has been done so far and what can be done to achieve tangible outcomes for gender equality. A recent UN report showed that violence against women and girls is rife; we have rape being used as a weapon of war in many conflicts, girls' education under threat and kidnappings like those by Boko Haram in Nigeria. We need to put gender higher up our political priorities in the coming years."
McAvan, who joined parliament in 1998, said she was "hoping for and expecting a constructive relationship" with the new European commission under Jean-Claude Juncker. "I think there is an acute awareness of the need for EU institutions to be effective and deliver tangible results both for European citizens and, through its development policy, for people in poverty across the world. I look forward to working with the new commissioners and the high representative to this end."
Linda McAvan is chair of parliament’s development committee