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The Bretton Woods Institutions, 75 years on: reform or risk irrelevance.

The Bretton Woods Institutions were built on the ruins of an old world-order, at the end of World War II, and the dawn of a new world order, marked by the birth of many new nation-states and the onset of the cold-war. Ostensibly, the Institutions were created to preserve the peace by ensuring macroeconomic stability, supporting development and discouraging the creation of hostile trade or currency blocs. Yet, right from their beginnings, they have been the source of critique and concern. There were concerns about asymmetries of power, particularly in favour of the US. Then came concerns about uneven-handed treatment of countries in very similar circumstances. On the one hand, post-war Europe could quickly recover thanks to the US stepping in and instituting the Marshall fund. On the other, ...

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The escalating costs of Public-Private Partnerships in the UK (II): who will pay the bill?

Cecilia Gondard

14 Nov 2019 13:47:51

This is the second of two blogs on PPPs in the UK. Read the first part here. Proponents of public-private partnerships (PPPs) often cite “risk sharing” as a benefit of PPP contracts, as it allows for “costs-sharing” and “profit-sharing” between the public and private entities. The recent figures on the escalating costs of PPPs in the UK, however, paint a much clearer picture of who is actually paying the bill and who truly benefits.  Taxpayers are paying the bill. Investigations revealed that, as of September 2019, by the end of UK PFI deals, these will have triggered additional costs of £5bn from the public sector budget– and therefore, taxpayers’ money. As Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail pointed out that “PFI schemes cost taxpayers billions of pounds.”  ...

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Eurodad response to OECD consultation on international tax rules

Tove Ryding

14 Nov 2019 11:30:37

Together with members and allies from across Europe, Eurodad has submitted a response to the OECD consultation on the secretariat’s proposal for new international rules to determine the way taxing rights are allocated between countries. The submission, which can be found in full here, among other things highlights that: The signatories welcome the growing recognition of the shortcomings of the transfer pricing system and the arm’s length principle. Furthermore, the signatories welcome the growing recognition of the value of taxing multinational corporations on the basis of their global consolidated profits, with taxing rights being allocated between governments based on an agreed formula and supplemented by a minimum effective tax rate. However, as it stands, the signatories consider the ...

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The escalating costs of public-private partnerships in the UK (I)

Cecilia Gondard

13 Nov 2019 11:33:37

This is the first of two blogs looking at PPPs in the UK. Read the second part here A team of investigative journalists linked to UK media iNews have undertaken an in-depth investigation into the scandal of private finance initiatives (PFI) – the British term for Public Private Partnerships or “PPPs – in the UK. The resulting series of articles detail alarming numbers on how much of taxpayers’ money is being sunk into PPPs. The investigation comes nearly two years after the collapse of Carillion, a construction giant involved in many PPPs within the UK and Ireland. The incident drew attention to the large number of PPPs in the UK along with the huge overall burden they place on the public budget. The figures surrounding the PPP costs scandals raise the key question of “who pays ...

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A Global Green New Deal – new UNCTAD report outlines a financing plan

Bodo Ellmers, Maria Romero

10 Oct 2019 11:21:59

The debate about a Green New Deal has recently been reinvigorated in both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, the Green New Deal is part of the priorities of the European Commission’s President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. And at the UN in New York last month, sustainable development was featured in a series of global Summits, including the Climate Action Summit. In response, UNCTAD used the momentum to  launch the 2019 edition of the Trade and Development Report (TDR) which analyses the new deal from a financing perspective, identifies constraints and outlines innovative financing options.  Urgent need for more and better development finance  The new report comes at a time when neither the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda nor the Paris Climate Agreement is on track. ...

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Will the new Commissioner for International Partnerships adopt a more cautious approach towards blended finance?

Jan Van de Poel, Nerea Craviotto

08 Oct 2019 15:24:10

Earlier this week, Members of the European Parliament had the opportunity to hear the Commissioner-designate for ‘International Partnerships’, a crucial step before she can be formally appointed by the Council later this month. In her statement to MEPs, former Finnish finance minister Jutta Urpilainen committed to focus on meeting the SDGs, reducing inequalities and eradicating poverty. To achieve these ambitious objectives, Urpilainen stressed the need to put a stronger focus on ‘leveraging private capital’ as ‘traditional measures of aid delivery are not enough’. The EU has been using various instruments to crowd in private finance in its development efforts for a number of years now even though there is no established evidence of their positive development impact. The ...

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A new European Commission: What are the implications for Development Finance in the next five years?

Following the European elections in May, former German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen has assumed the role of President-elect of the European Commission. In July, von der Leyen, the first woman to take this post, released a concept paper titled “A Union that strives for more” and on Tuesday this week she unveiled the names of the new Commissioners.  And with these releases, the policy agenda of the next European Commission, mandated to govern until 2024, is slowly taking shape. In response, we ask what are the implications for development finance?    Sustainable financing for sustainable development?  Sustainable development rhetoric scores highly on von der Leyen’s policy agenda, but the devil lies in the detail. The concept paper outlines “a strategy for ...

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UN Independent Expert links International Financial Institutions’ austerity push to Human Rights impacts

Gino Brunswijck

12 Sep 2019 13:00:36

This week, the UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, released a report on the role of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in imposing economic reforms that violate human rights. In particular, the report highlights how widespread promotion of austerity measures has had an adverse effect on human rights impacts in a number of countries. The document is due to be presented to the UN General Assembly in October, In line with Eurodad findings, the Independent Expert questions the basic assumptions used to justify the introduction of austerity measures. Rather than contributing to economic growth, they tend to aggravate economic recession, worsening debt ratios and inequality. The IFIs widely prescribe such policies through lending and attached conditionalities, ...

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Building political momentum will be crucial for the way forward — Global Partnership on Effective Development Cooperation Senior Level Meeting

Nerea Craviotto

22 Jul 2019 18:53:27

In this short blog, Eurodad looks back at the past senior level meeting (SLM) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), a multi-stakeholder platform established to make sure all development actors deliver on their commitments to ensure development cooperation is really eradicating poverty and bringing about sustainable development. The 1st SLM of the GPEDC was a good opportunity to discuss progress (or lack thereof), best practices and informing participants about the way forward. Yet, in order to achieve real progress in meeting Development Effectiveness Principles, building political momentum, which may be waning, will be crucial in the months to come. By Nerea Craviotto Ortega and Jan Van de Poel Last weekend – 13-14 July – the Global Partnership for Effective ...

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Business, business and business - is this the new mantra for EU development cooperation?

Maria Romero

22 Jul 2019 10:19:18

By María José Romero and Isabelle Brachet (ActionAid International) As the promised leveraging effects of blended finance fail to materialise, the European Union is increasingly focussing on the policy environment in partner countries, based on an assumption that the problem must lie there.  This approach is present in the design of the External Investment Plan, an initiative that allocates aid money to encourage businesses to invest in Africa as well as the EU’s neighbouring countries. The plan, based on three interconnected pillars — finance, technical assistance and policy dialogue — is expected to continue as part of the implementation of the next EU budget (2021-2027), which is currently under negotiation. However, the recently released “Handbook on improving investment ...