EU Development Aid

MEPs call for strong and effective development and humanitarian aid funding in the EU budget

In a cross-party declaration, Members of the European Parliament have called on Member States to protect the development and humanitarian aid budgets in the next multi-annual financial framework of the EU (MFF). In comparison to the proposal of the Commission, the Ministers plan to cut the budgets for development and humanitarian aid. However, the Commission’s proposal should be the bare minimum of what is required. The financial and economic crisis does not legitimise the cutting of European development and humanitarian aid funding. These are an important and powerful instrument to support the world’s poorest.

A call from MEPs for strong and effective development and humanitarian aid funding in the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF)

Development cooperation is one of the European Union’s greatest success stories. Between 2004 and 2009, it has helped more than 9 million children to go to primary school and provided 32 million people with access to clean water. The positive impact of EU aid is widely supported.  85% of people across the Union support EU development cooperation, despite the crisis.  EU development aid is also recognised for its efficiency, effectiveness and transparency by respected independent organisations such as the OECD. Together we have committed the EU to jointly spending 0.7% of our GNI for development cooperation by 2015.  Heads of state and ministers have repeatedly reconfirmed this commitment – most recently as part of the MFF agreement between EU leaders in February.  In order to reach the goal it is crucial to increase funding also at EU level, otherwise, repeating and repeating this promise makes it an empty shell. Development cooperation is also crucial for implementing the Lisbon Treaty goals of strengthening the EU as a global actor and the eradication of poverty worldwide. The EU is undeniably in economic crisis, but this does not justify cutting smart aid for the world’s poorest. Developing countries suffer disproportionally from climate change, hunger and the financial crisis. For many, EU development money is a matter of life and death. Any final agreement on the MFF should protect the valuable investment of development cooperation, which represents just 6% of the total budget but has a huge impact on the ground. Freezing the level of development spending would reduce our capacity to help millions of the world’s poorest lift themselves out of extreme poverty. We, the signatories of this declaration, reaffirm the European Parliament’s official position on the MFF from October 2012.  We consider the Commission proposal for the 11th EDF and for Heading 4 ‘Global Europe’ as the bare minimum of what is needed. Increased EU development assistance is a good investment and the key to keeping our collective promise of reaching the 0.7% target.

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