By working closely together, we can better improve the lives of all Palestinians and promote shared human values
Joint Programming is the joint planning of development cooperation by EU development partners working in a partner country. It is a policy tool contributing to a stronger Europe and bringing together resources and capacities. Now, more than ever, the European Union, the Member States and other like-minded governments need to join forces, programme their development aid together and, eventually, develop a strategic and coordinated response to key challenges such as migration and climate change. Working closely together will enhance the EU's ability to decisively contribute to the partner country's national development plan and to support our partners in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. More information on how Joint Programming progresses in each partner country: capacity4dev.eu
Despite the very specific situation of Palestine – an overcrowded, fragmented and highly politicised context – the Office of the European Union Representative (EUREP) and Member States (EU MS) have worked towards an EU Joint Programming (EU JP) in Palestine since 2011. An EU/MS Division of Labour and an EU JP Roadmap were developed in respectively 2011 and 2012, and have been regularly updated since then. In October 2013, two like-minded countries (Norway and Switzerland) joined the process and joint work.
EU JP has been understood by European development partners in Palestine in its two dimensions: aid effectiveness (how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the considerable EU/MS financial effort in Palestine) and political dimension (affirm and defend the shared vision of European actors in Palestine and ensure the convergence between the development work and the political objectives of the EU).
Since the end of 2015, European development partners have been working on developing the first-ever European Joint Strategy, which is closely aligned to the new Palestinian National Policy Agenda (NPA) 2017-2022 and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. This Strategy is locally-owned and is the result of extensive meetings and discussions amongst the European development partners, Palestinian ministries, civil society organisations, the business community, the United Nations (UN) family and many other key actors.
The aim of the strategy is to maximise aid coordination and aid effectiveness amongst EU Development Partners and reinforce our ability to address through development funding our objectives.
EU's interventions will focus on the following five Pillars:
- Pillar 1: Governance reform, fiscal consolidation and policy (Pillar led by the EU, the United-Kingdom and Denmark)
- Pillar 2: Rule of law, citizen safety and human rights (Pillar led by the United-Kingdom and the Netherlands)
- Pillar 3: Sustainable service delivery (Pillar led by Finland/Belgium, Italy and the EU)
- Pillar 4: Access to self-sufficient water and energy services (Pillar led by Germany and France)
- Pillar 5: Sustainable economic development (Pillar led by Spain and the EU)
Key crosscutting issues are also mainstreamed in the Pillars (i.e. gender equality, environment, human rights, youth and civil society engagement). While European's development partners recognise the geographical disparities and challenges related to them, Palestine is treated as "one" in the Strategy, as to ensure that the geographical fragmentation is not further reinforced. The specific needs of East Jerusalem, Area C and the Gaza Strip (areas where the role of the Palestinian Authority is severely limited due to different political, administrative and security arrangements) are however acknowledged. Support to Palestine refugees across the Middle East continues to be an important priority for EU development partners.
The European Joint Strategy is seen as an opportunity for European development partners to be more coherent and to reinforce EU's values and principles on the ground – as reflected in the new influencing tools/strategies included in the joint response of the Strategy. The Strategy however also acknowledges that only a credible, realistic and brave political solution can put an end to the protracted occupation and ensure that European development partners effectively contribute to the two-state solution and to build sustainable livelihoods for all Palestinians.
The European Joint Strategy in support of Palestine is currently being finalised and should be available by early in the second semester of 2017.