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European External Assistance & Food Security:
The End of the Line?

Colin Andrews


In 2007 the European Commission will introduce an ambitious reform of its external assistance structure. Under the new framework the current legal instruments and budget lines supporting food security interventions will be dissolved, with actions to be continued in the form of a “Thematic Programme”, complemented by new geographic and humanitarian instruments. An early prognosis suggests that the scope for EC food security support under these instruments and following the dissolution of the ‘ Food Security Budget line ' is uncertain. Recent official communications from the Commission to the European Parliament and Council afford low visibility to food security despite an expressed commitment to “poorer countries, difficult partnerships and fragile and failed states” The likely implications of ongoing discussions regarding a new European Development Policy Statement (2005) and forthcoming structures for external action under the Financial Perspectives (2007-2013) are also less than clear. Drawing from an analysis of these issues the paper identifies three policy challenges facing the European food security agenda in the future. These include: (i) Maintaining the value added of EC food security support (ii) Responding to countries in transition and crisis (iii) Ensuring policy coherence.

Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).