Opinion Piece Reflects On Outgoing E.U. Development Commissioner’s Legacy, Looks To Future Cooperation

Devex: Opinion: European development cooperation has reached a fork in the road
Marissa Ryan, deputy director of advocacy at Oxfam International

“As Neven Mimica hangs up his boots as the European Union’s commissioner in charge of development cooperation, it is worth reflecting on his legacy and on whether the machine he steered is set to tackle future challenges under his successor, Jutta Urpilainen. Much is to be lauded when it comes to the E.U.’s engagement in development cooperation. For many years, it has been one of the last bastions of budget support … During his term, Mimica has sought to build bridges between the old-and-tested and the new-and-shiny. Much of what has been done over the last five years is a continuation of established best practice from a unique donor who had proven to be a decent partner to the countries it engaged with. But what he leaves behind is a shift away from the tried-and-true approach to new and shiny things that could fundamentally change how the E.U. engages in development cooperation. It will be up to Mimica’s successor to steer the ship through those waves now — and hope it doesn’t end up on the rocks” (12/20).