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Business, business and business - is this the new mantra for EU development cooperation?

Maria Romero

22 Jul 2019 10:19:18

By María José Romero and Isabelle Brachet (ActionAid International) As the promised leveraging effects of blended finance fail to materialise, the European Union is increasingly focussing on the policy environment in partner countries, based on an assumption that the problem must lie there.  This approach is present in the design of the External Investment Plan, an initiative that allocates aid money to encourage businesses to invest in Africa as well as the EU’s neighbouring countries. The plan, based on three interconnected pillars — finance, technical assistance and policy dialogue — is expected to continue as part of the implementation of the next EU budget (2021-2027), which is currently under negotiation. However, the recently released “Handbook on improving investment ...
Over the last few decades, the European financial architecture for development has changed significantly. Development finance is currently a central piece in the EU's development policy toolbox but with scarce resources available, a serious assessment ...

blog
G20 – a chance for solutions, or a part of the problem?

As G20 leaders meet this weekend to debate the state of the global financial and economic system, there is no shortage of problems to discuss. For example, the world is facing a new wave of debt crises; continued large-scale corporate tax avoidance; and a desperate lack of funding for achieving the sustainable development goals, including for ensuring basic infrastructure for public services and combating climate change. The failure of the global system is also exacerbating existing inequalities, including gender inequality.  But the G20 is by no means a young and new initiative and while assessing the challenges ahead, it is also important to look back and discuss whether the global problems we are facing have arisen in spite of the G20 leadership, or – at least to some extent – because ...

blog
The IMF and PPPs: A master class in double-speak

Maria Romero, Gino Brunswijck

08 Apr 2019 15:21:37

While the IMF cautions against the fiscal risks of public-private partnerships (PPPs), the institution is simultaneously backing them at a country programme level and advocates austerity measures that push governments towards expanding PPPs through constrained budgets. The fiscal risks of PPPsAs far back as 2004, the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) published a paper stressing that “one particular concern is that PPPs can be used mainly to bypass spending controls, and to move public investment off budget and debt off the government balance sheet, while the government still bears most of the risk involved and faces potentially large fiscal costs.”Concerns over the fiscal risks of PPPs have also underpinned the work of the IMF to quantify the macro-fiscal impact of PPP projects. ...

blog
Public private partnerships undermine gender equality and women's rights

Maria Romero

08 Mar 2019 12:54:26

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are being actively promoted by donor governments and international financial institutions to finance social services and infrastructure projects around the world.. PPPs are agreements where private sector companies replace the state as providers of traditional public services and infrastructure, such as health and education, transport, energy, and water and sanitation. With International Women’s Day and the next session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) fast approaching, now is the time to unpack how PPPs impact gender equality and women’s rights. Indeed, the risks and consequences associated with PPPs can undermine the achievement of governments’ commitments under Agenda 2030 to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including ...

blog
Opinion: It's time to challenge the status quo in picking the World Bank president

Maria Romero

27 Feb 2019 16:02:44

At a time when the legitimacy of the World Bank as a development institution is at stake, countries from around the world are in the process of recruiting the new president of the institution. Any member of the World Bank can put forward a candidate. But since its founding, there has been a gentlemen’s agreement where the United States and its European allies work behind closed doors to ensure a U.S. citizen leads the World Bank, in exchange for the European leadership of the International Monetary Fund. The White House put forward David Malpass — a long-time critic of multilateralism — as its nominee for the institution’s next president, while Lebanon just put a new name on the table, Ziad Hayek, the only known challenger so far to Trump’s nominee. Challenge a failed model The leadership ...

press
European court rules that Belgium’s ‘sweetheart’ tax scheme is not state aid - exposes cracks in broken tax system

Brussels, 14 February 2019 - Today, the European Court of Justice ruled against the European Commission, which had alleged that the Belgian tax scheme, known as the ‘excess profit scheme,’ provided illegal state aid worth around €700 million to multinational corporations.The Belgian tax scheme allowed selected multinational corporations to discount large parts of their profits when paying corporate tax in Belgium. It has existed since 2005, and came into the spotlight in 2015, when the ...
The European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Director, Jean Letitia Saldanha.  Jean takes over from interim Director Antonia Vorner at the end of April. She joins Eurodad from CIDSE, the ...