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Reaction to: Let's abolish EU commissioner for development

Carla Baldivieso

“… the whole idea of doing development needs to be revisited”

Jan Orbie, Sarah Delputte

The politics of EU development would seem to grow in institutions, reforms, visions,

over time. However, each new reform constitutes a new way of recycling the same
system. For the same reason, I believe that abolishing the Development
Commissioner can be used as a screen to pretend more action, but continue with
the same paradigm.
That is why, I agree with the idea of revisiting the whole idea. The steps for the
transformation of the actions of the EU, propose that the solution is not only looking
outside Europe. Europe also needs to see which are the real basis of its own
development. How its own development is constituted and constitutes the actual
conditions of “development” of others. And sometimes to remember once more, that
the “aid” that is “given” in name of “development and poverty reduction”. Is part of
the returns of the “aid” that was and continues being "received" of those called
“underdeveloped countries”. Who gives more to who? Who gave more to who?
Not in order to do an economic flow of the funds allocated by now. But in order to
look for those flows in the history. Flows not only as income, but as conditions to
permit the original accumulation of capitals and its reproduction. In order to show
that the European Development is produce of the history. A history in which the
wealth of ones, is produce of the “aid” of those others. Not only of that, but also as a
main determinant.
So that, how to get to a real dialogue to transform the paradigm with those "others"?
Is it only European responsibility? Of course not. Is it only Europe who has to give
away the relations of power? Of course not.
Sadly, the idea that wealth has a name and it is Europe. The idea that happiness
has a name and it is consumption in the levels of Europe and USA. Is also part of
the imaginary of part of the middle classes and elites of those countries denominated
as “the others”.
Then, the alternatives to development seem to have a difficult path to follow.
However, the attempts need to be done and they are there, mainly at local level as
resistances. How to turn that local into global?
So, is it possible that with the still hegemonic idea of development, now supported
with the SDG frame, the alternatives to development will be globalized? The SDG
could seem also a battle field between visions, considering the broad definitions that
Those SDG are a main part of the European Commissioner discourse. Is it the
European Development Policy a battle field? Could it be?