The Role of the EU Delegation

European Union (EU) Delegations are the backbone of the European Union’s External Service. Currently there are more than 120 EU Delegations serving the interests of the European Union, both in third countries and to International Organizations (OECD, OSCE, UN, and WTO). The role of the EU Delegations has dramatically increased over the past years, as management responsibilities have been progressively transferred from Headquarters to EU Delegations. This devolution exercise is part of a reform process aimed to improve the efficiency of the EU external assistance. EU Delegations operate within the framework and political guidelines set-up by Headquarters in Brussels and must work very closely with the EuropeAid Development and Cooperation Office, in charge of implementing the external aid instruments, funded by the European Community budget and the European Development Fund.

EU Delegations also serve an increasingly important information function: on the one hand, they provide background information and updates on European integration and EU policies to host governments and administrations, media, academia, private sector and civil society. On the other hand, they are also in charge of analyzing and reporting on the political, economic and social developments of the country to which they are accredited, so as to keep Headquarters informed. Moreover, EU Delegations are crucial players in finding synergies with other EU Member States interventions, in order to ensure that EU external assistance – both bilateral and multilateral – is coherent, coordinated and complementary.

Finally, EU Delegations provide support and assistance as necessary to the other institutions and actors of the EU - who can rely on their logistical support when on mission and to whom all their policy reports are copied - as well as the European Parliament, which can count on the EU Delegations’ assistance to obtain updated reports on recent developments as well as on EU policy and programmes, and last but not least the European Presidency.

Although EU Delegations have the mandate to serve the European Union as a whole, they are most closely linked to Directorate-Generals of the European External Action Service family. These include: EuropAid Development and Cooperation, DG Enlargement, DG Trade and the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO).

The Role of the Delegation to the Republic of Namibia

The Delegation was established at independence of the country in 1990, under the Third Lomé Convention - one in a series of treaties which defined the relationship between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, of which Namibia is a member. The Lomé Conventions, were succeeded by the Cotonou Agreement, signed in Cotonou, Benin in 2000. The partnership between the ACP and the European Union (formally known as the European Community) concerns political, economic and trade relations and aims at assisting in the development of the ACP countries.

The Delegation is in particular responsible for the co-ordination and monitoring of the development cooperation programmes financed by the European Commission – either through the EU budget or the European Development Fund (EDF). It works closely with Government Agencies (and intergovernmental agencies such as the SACU secretariat) to implement projects and strategies in the framework of the Lomé and Cotonou Agreements. The Delegation represents the European Commission in all matters, informing on all activities of the Commission and keeping its headquarters in Brussels abreast of significant local developments. It works closely with the EU Member States in Namibia, and in particular, the country representing the EU Presidency. It also co-operates and co-ordinates activities with representatives of non-EU Member States and multilateral organisations.

The Delegation, however, does not deal with consular matters.

These are handled by the Member States' embassies.