Least Developed Countries, France, and the Europe

The chapter on Development of the French Presidency's program for the European Union, states that France intends to contribute to the renewal of the European Union’s policies for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Curiously, the English translation of this document does not use "Least Developed Countries", the official name of this category of countries, but "less developed countries", a generic wording, which does not refer specifically to the LDC category. This mistranslation is symptomatic of a common tendency, even among development practitioners, to confuse "Least Developed Countries", a group of countries defined by several criteria, which is the only subset of developing countries officially recognised by the United Nations, with the so-called “less developed countries”, for which there is no agreed definition, or even "low-income countries", which are defined by the sole criterion of per capita income. The LDC category is intended to include poor countries that, because of their structural handicaps, are more likely than others to remain poor or far from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) . We assume here that France's ambition is to strengthen or even renew European Union policies towards LDCs. What can France, as President of the European Union, do to strengthen European Union policy towards LDCs?

Guillaumont P. (2022) Least Developed Countries, France, and the Europe, FERDI Policy Brief B231, March