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Social impacts in third countries

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This impact area refers to social impacts of EU policy options in third countries. Most important in this context are probably social impacts of policy options on developing countries affecting the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).The European Union (EU) joined world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 with the aim “to free fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising condition of extreme poverty”.
The EU is the first donor, providing more than half of development aid worldwide (€ 49 billion in 2009) and the European Commission (EC) alone is the second largest donor of development aid worldwide. But, aid alone cannot address the needs of the developing world. When exploring ways to accelerate progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the European Union (EU) must consider how non-aid policies can assist developing countries in attaining the MDGs. In its communication on "policy coherence for development", the Commission identifies eleven priority areas, other than aid, where the challenge of attaining synergies with development policy objectives is considered particularly relevant: trade, environment and climate change, security, agriculture, bilateral fisheries agreements, social policies (employment), migration, research / innovation, information technologies, transport and energy. It has defined general guidelines for each of these priority areas, plus a number of specific measures to help speed up progress towards the MDGs.
In this context, the European development consensus identifies four “cross-cutting issues” of major importance for development, i.e. democracy and human rights, environmental sustainability, gender equality and HIV/AIDS. These are issues that impact in more than one field - since wealth and wellbeing in a given country/region are generally affected by a series of interconnected factors. Cross-cutting issues require action in multiple fields and should thus be integrated into all areas of donor programmes and be addressed in all political dialogue on development. Hence, it is important to assess the impacts of EU policy options in these areas.

This Impact Area is further defined by the taxonomy terms: Social Impacts of EU Policies in Third Countries, The EU´s International Obligations, Poverty and Incomes in Developing Countries.

Relevant Policies

Legal Basis for the Commission to Act

Please refer to relevant legal basis for Commission action.

Web Resources

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
UN Development Group (2003): Indicators for Monitoring the Millennium Development Goals
UNDP Poverty Reduction
UNDP International Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG)
OECD on development


Please link to relevant Directorate General Contact Details.

Related Terms

Social Impacts of EU Policies in Third Countries

The EU´s International Obligations

Poverty and Incomes in Developing Countries.

Publications and applications

Titel Type of practice Updated date
European Research for Impact Assessment Tools Publication 2014-04-17 14:41
IA Report: A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 (2011) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-27 00:18
IA Report: Access of third-country goods and services to the Union's internal market in public procurement and procedures supporting negotiations on access of Union goods and services to the public procurement markets of third countries (2012) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-26 17:08
IA Report: Communication demonstrating Carbon Capture and Geological Storage (CCS) in emerging developing countries: financing the EU-China Near Zero Emissions Coal Plant project Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-03 12:25
IA Report: Communication on Winning the Battle against Global Climate Change Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-05 11:40
IA Report: Comprehensive trade and investment agreement, called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, between the European Union and the United States of America (2013) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-24 21:14
IA Report: Establishing an Entry/Exit System (EES) to register entry and exit data of third country nationals crossing the external borders of the Member States (2013) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-24 13:37
IA Report: Investment agreement between the European Union and the People's Republic of China (2013) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-24 21:08
IA Report: Opening of negotiations on a free trade agreement between the European Union and Japan (2012) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-26 17:56
IA Report: Proposal for a Regulation on ship recycling (2012) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-25 18:34
Impact Assessment of Land Use Policies Publication 2014-04-09 21:11
Methods and tools for integrated assessment of land use policies on sustainable development in developing countries Publication 2014-03-24 12:12
The impact of the EU sugar trade reform on poor households in developing countries: A general equilibrium analysis Publication 2013-03-26 16:57
The Policy-Relevancy of Impact Assessment Tools: Evaluating Nine Years of European Research Funding Publication 2014-07-09 16:32

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