The "status quo not being an option", as pointed out by the Stakeholders' Conference on the CDE of January 2013, CDE Director ad interim sets out his vision of a transformed CDE in this discussion paper.
Drawing lessons from a rich past of 36 years, analysing without any compromise the strengths and weaknesses of the institution, he suggests to convert the CDE into an effective tool of close support to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) of ACP countries and regions, in order to facilitate their access to finance. This requires first an increased decentralisation of the CDE, closer to local needs. Then, he calls for reinforced partnerships and joint ventures between ACP and EU enterprises. Finally, in order to improve the responsiveness and relevance of the CDE to SMEs' needs, he recommends an improved governance system for the CDE.
The contribution is part of the ongoing debate on the future of the EU support to the ACP private sector, within the framework of the implementation of the Agenda for Change and the blending of public and private funds.