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The United Kingdom plays a significant role in development co-operation. Experts discussed how its exit from the European Union will affect this area in Bonn/Germany last February.

For the last four years, the UK has maintained a level of spending on Official Development Assistance (ODA) slightly above the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income set by the European Union in 2005 for 2015. Over the period 2014-2020, it is paying around 4.5 billion euros into the European Development Fund, the EU’s chief instrument to provide development aid to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and other overseas countries and territories. Furthermore, the UK has supported substantial links with countries in the Global South via the Commonwealth. A panel debate organised by the German Development Institute (DIE) looked at the implications of the BREXIT, the UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Union, for development co-operation in February 2019.

Customs constraints possible

Opening the event “Global Europe vs. Empire 2.0?” in Bonn/Germany, Christine Hackenesch, an expert on EU issues at the DIE, stressed the UK’s significance as the fourth largest contributor to EU development efforts, but also pointed to its role as an agenda setter in the field of development co-operation, an aspect taken up by Alexander Count Lambsdorff, Deputy Chairman of Germany’s Free Democratic Party’s parliamentary faction and party spokesman on foreign, security and development co-operation affairs.

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