Renewing the mission of EU development policy in times of global polycrisis

Event Type
High-level policy debate

Location / Date
Brussels, 16.04.2024


German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS), the Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union, the European Association of Development Institutes (EADI), and the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG).

Context and objectives
This year, the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) celebrated its 60th birthday and six decades of development research, policy advice and training. IDOS has played a key role in German development cooperation, providing evidence-based policy advice on development and sustainability. When it comes to informing European development policy processes and research, IDOS works closely with the European Association of Development Institutes (EADI), which celebrated its own 50th anniversary in 2024, and with the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) that it co-founded in 2009.

European development policy faces a turbulent global environment. As a key advocate and driver of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the EU has a special responsibility for advancing the agenda’s ambitions. Nevertheless, while progress towards many key SDGs is off-track, much attention is drawn towards addressing the simultaneous polycrises of the Russo-Ukraine War, conflict and upheaval in the Middle East, an unequal recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and the deepening crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. The EU has reacted quickly and consequently to some of these challenges, but struggles with the changing nature of its relationships with ‘the Global South’, where many countries have very different interpretations of these crises.

Ahead of the European Parliament elections and a subsequent appointment of the next EU Commission, many questions regarding the strategic orientation, instruments and approaches for EU development policy remain open. How can the EU ensure that its democratic values are promoted and not compromised while cooperating with authoritarian governments, including through the Global Gateway initiative? How can trade-offs between protecting rights and managing migration be addressed? What contribution can EU development policy make to lasting peace in the Middle East? What priorities should Europe set with a view to accelerating the pursuit of the 2030 Agenda?

IDOS, the State of North Rhine Westphalia, EADI and the ETTG brought together decision makers and experts to discuss the challenges the EU faces in addressing today’s polycrises, and to scope the possibilities for action. We invited you to join this debate in person at the Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union on 16 April 2024.


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Event information

Date / Time

16.04.2024 / 17:00 - 19:30