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France, Europe and Development Aid. From the Treaties of Rome to the Present Day

Gérard Bossuat
Gordon D. Cummings

Questioning the European Approach to Development (1995-2010)

France, Europe and Development Aid

Bernard Petit

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In what are deemed to be troubled times for Europe, it is important to be aware of Europe’s leading role in expressing solidarity on a global scale. First, because development cooperation is the sphere which best symbolises the founding values of the European project: respect for others, commitment, and solidarity. Next, because globalisation has inevitably brought developing countries and Europe closer together: their welfare and ours, their stability and ours, their future and ours, are increasingly closely linked.

The challenges facing Europe in today’s world are too great and too complex for any individual Member State to address them on its own. Europe has no choice but to pursue a coherent, concerted, coordinated policy based on shared values and a common development vision.

And France has certainly realised that, as is clear from a document produced in 2010 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs entitled “What should Europe’s policy be on development?”: “France is convi...


Bernard Petit is an Honorary Director General of the European Commission, a consultant for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Chairman of the board of directors of the Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative Foundation (TBVI) and a member of the board of directors of the Fondation pour les Études et Recherches sur le Développement International (FERDI). He worked at the European Commission for 37 years (1971-2008), dealing exclusively with development questions. His duties included working as Director of Global and Sectoral policies, responsibility for various divisions dealing in particular with funding, planning, macroeconomic policy, fiscal support and forecasting. In charge of the “Task force”, he was responsible for negotiating the Cotonou agreement (1998-2000) and was the chief negotiator of the first revision of that agreement (2004-2005). He was a Deputy Director General at the Directorate General of Development until December 2008. Bernard Petit holds a doctorate in European law from the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, a degree from the European Communities Research Centre of the Paris Faculty of Law and a degree from the Marseille Business School. He is a chevalier de l’Ordre national du mérite [Knight of the National Order of Merit].

© Institut de la gestion publique et du développement économique, 2013

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