Foreword: side by side 2

Stefano Manservisi, Director General for development, European Commission

The Courier’s importance

‘The Courier’ is a useful information instrument which talks about cooperation between the ACP and the EU on a day-to-day basis. It is the only magazine able to reach every country in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, to inform about the crucial role of our partnership in shaping a bold development policy and its contribution to promoting peace, good governance, stability and growth.

The Courier’s role

The magazine will explain our approach to development, highlight success stories and register the point of view of others on issues covered. It will also help us to adapt our approach in a rapidly changing world, to be ready for the task in hand. ‘The Courier’ is a real magazine, a true forum to engender free debate. It is not a propaganda instrument for us, or for others.

Public awareness of the ACP-EU Partnership

I am afraid European public opinion is not fully aware of the partnership and what it stands for. This is why we need instruments like ‘The Courier’. They can help improve this awareness. ‘The Courier’ is only part of the picture; it is not meant to take on the whole task of communicating development policies.

Greater knowledge of the partnership and growth

Knowledge leads to growth and a free media is an expression of democracy. There is no scientific linkage between a wider knowledge of the ACP-EU partnership and steps forward in the social and economic environment. But people can be aware of what our governments are implementing to build a better economic and social environment for everybody in our countries; in fact, to build a better world.

The partnership and other groups

There is no fear of the partnership being diluted by its members seeking closer relations with other bodies. The EU-ACP partnership is not exclusive to relations between Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific and Europe. Our partnership provides added value to the entire development policy; a policy to be implemented in agreement with other regional institutions such as the African Union which is a crucial body in promoting peace and stability on the continent.

Priorities for this crucial year

Development policy is a fundamental priority of European external action because development means stability, peace, respect for human rights, preventing terrorism from taking root and promoting democracy. This has been demonstrated by the launch of the ‘European Consensus on Development’, the first ever common framework for development policy at a European level.

Under this framework, our overriding priorities are: bolstering good governance, because without stability and justice you cannot have any kind of sustained growth; fighting against poverty related diseases (as HIV/AIDS); improving access to social services, such as health and education and modernising transport, energy and telecommunication infrastructures needed to help trade boost the entire economy.

Debra Percival

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