Key trade union messages on the new EC proposal of the Development Cooperation Instrument

In response to EC Proposal for a Regulation establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation (DCI) ITUC and ETUC have formulated the Key trade union messages on DCI, outlining the trade union perspective on the text of the proposed regulation. Most important asks concern the need for an actors-based approach as well as more support to the Decent Work Agenda and social partners at country level.

Trade union’s perspective on the new proposal of the DCI is based on the following principles and references. A more detailed analysis of the new proposal is further elaborated in the document.

  • Decent Work Agenda, contributing to inclusive and sustainable growth, must be included when it comes to concentration of sectors at country level. Social partners must be included from the start in policy dialogue to ensure democratic ownership of development policies which goes beyond government’s involvement;
  • Thematic programmes must be reinforced, as they represent the most accessible way of supporting organisations, such as trade unions, which could not operate otherwise because of antagonistic position of governments undermining their right of initiative (risk of Budget Support modalities);
  • Support to capacity building of trade unions as social partners should be granted in the ‘Thematic envelope for public goods and challenges’, as well as, Decent Work Agenda should be prioritized and adequately resourced within the ‘Human Development’ sub-theme;
  • An actor-based approach should be undertaken within the ‘Envelope for CSOs and LAs’, allowing more adaptable and effective partnership modalities with the variety of development actors having different structures, objectives and mandates. Recognition should be given to membership-based organisations, such as trade unions, making use of alternative funding mechanisms developed during the Structured Dialogue like the ‘partnership agreements’.
  • Differentiation between countries or group of countries must be based on relevant indicators such as UN Human Development Index, responding to the poverty reduction objectives and cannot be used as a tool to support (mutual) economic interest of the EU vis-à-vis the emerging economies;
  • The programming process (drafting of Country Strategy Papers) must fully involve the European Parliament, guaranteeing democratic screening and accountability of EU development policies;
  • Private sector can provide important contributions to development. However, it must operate in compliance with the international labour standards and in support of local development needs. Social dialogue should be promoted as the central strategy to ensure local democratic ownership.

Read the full document:

Key trade union messages on DCI