Germany: centralisation of development co-operation

The Association for International Co-operation (GIZ), a new organisation in charge of implementing the development policy, was established on 1 January as a result of three previously operating agencies being merged by the German government. The establishment of GIZ is to improve the efficiency of development co-operation, boost its promotion, reduce costs and make the implementation of projects more dependent on political priorities. The creation of GIZ fits in with the new trends in Germany’s development policy, which will support the country’s economic and security interests to a greater extent in the future.
GIZ has been created as an effect of the merger of three organisations dealing with development co-operation (GTZ, InWEnt and DED). They were in charge of development co-operation projects covering such areas as the transformation of public administration at the central and regional levels and improving the qualifications of management staff and specialists in various fields, and sent German experts and trainers to governmental and non-governmental institutions in the countries covered by development aid. The stronger centralisation of development co-operation organisations has been one of the priorities of the FDP, which is in charge of the Ministry for Development Co-operation in the cabinet. The FDP has demanded an increase of the ministry’s influence on the operation of those organisations and an intensification of the promotion of German development co-operation abroad. The present German government places greater emphasis on bilateral (and not multilateral) co-operation and on making the economy involved in German development aid through both institutionalised co-operation with German firms and making the projects focused on support for the private sector, energy saving and agricultural development in the countries which receive German aid. Co-operation with developing countries is to become primarily an element of supporting their economic development. <jus>