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International Partnerships

Policy coherence for development

What is policy coherence for development?

The EU and its member countries have committed to policy coherence for development (PCD). Through PCD, they seek to take account of development objectives in policies that are likely to have an impact in developing countries. PCD aims at minimising contradictions and building synergies between different EU policies. It aims at increasing the effectiveness of development cooperation, to the benefit of our partner countries.

PCD was first introduced in EU law by the Treaty of Maastricht (1992), and further reinforced by the Treaty of Lisbon (2009). It was reiterated in the new European Consensus on Development (2017). Building on the 2030 Agenda, the European Consensus on Development reaffirmed the EU commitment to PCD and recognized it as a crucial element of the strategy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in partner countries. The Consensus foresees that PCD will be applied across all policies and all areas covered by the 2030 Agenda.

The 2030 Agenda implied a new perspective for PCD and, consequently, the Commission adapted its approach to PCD and also its reporting thereon to align with this paradigm shift in development cooperation, ensuring that PCD remains relevant in such an evolving policy framework. PCD being a key element in the overall EU effort to implement the 2030 Agenda, the 2019 EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development was presented at the HLPF 2019 as one of the deliverables at the EU’s side event about the state of play of the EU’s internal and external efforts on "Delivering the SDGs in Europe and in the world."


Over the years, the EU has gradually strengthened its work on procedures, instruments and mechanisms to promote and enhance policy coherence for development. The Better Regulation Package includes specific guidance and a tool box for analysing the potential impact of important EU policy initiatives on developing countries. This tool #34 helps ensure that impacts on developing countries are taken into account at an early stage of the preparation of an initiative. In 2017, PCD was integrated in the overall Commission work on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Promotion and coordination

While EU member countries are responsible for ensuring PCD in their national policies and have their own coordination mechanism, the European Commission organises about twice a year an informal meeting of national PCD contact points to share information on PCD priorities and best practices.

We also promote PCD dialogues at international level, with partner countries and international organisations, such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

We ensure PCD promotion and coordination with other Commission services, the European External Action Service (EEAS), EU delegations, and other EU institutions.

Role of the Council of the EU and the European Parliament

The Council of the EU and the European Parliament also reiterated their commitment to PCD:

  • PCD-related issues are part of the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER), and the Council’s Working Party on Development Cooperation (CODEV). The Council also provides guidance by adopting conclusions on PCD reports.
  • The Development committee (DEVE) of the European Parliament has a standing rapporteur for PCD since 2010. The DEVE committee manages parliamentary discussions on PCD and coordinates on these issues with other committees. The European Parliament also sets out its own PCD priorities in its resolutions on PCD reports.

Related documents

8 MARCH 2022
2019 EU report on Policy Coherence for Development
8 MARCH 2022
Member States’ replies to 2019 EU Report on PCD
31 JULY 2018
Policy Coherence for Development Evaluation - Final Report – Volume I: Main Report - July 2018
26 FEBRUARY 2019
SWD 2019 - Evaluation of the EU policy coherence for development