2. EU commitment to development
The EU provides more than 50 percent of all development aid worldwide. Its development policies are fully in line with the MDGs, aiming to end poverty via sustainable means.
EU partnerships and dialogues with developing countries promote among other things respect for human rights, peace and democracy. It is also the most important economic and trade partner for developing countries, offering special trade benefits to the least developed countries (LDCs).
As the largest donor of development assistance, the EU is committed to improving aid effectiveness. Adoption of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in 2005 was due, in no small measure, to the strong input provided by the EU.
EU development policy
EU policy is based on the European Consensus on Development, 2005, which guides the work of the Council, EP and EC under a shared vision. This is backed up by the Policy Coherence for Development, which ties EU development work to 12 other policy areas including trade, security and agriculture.
The European development consensus highlights four “cross-cutting issues”, which are key to development:
In 2007 the EC and EU governments adopted an EU Aid for Trade strategy to help developing countries better integrate into the rules-based world trading system and more effectively use trade to reduce poverty. The strategy commits the EU to channel more resources to Aid for Trade and to do more to improve delivery of results. On average, 15-20 percent of EU development aid can be classified as Aid for Trade, though the percentage varies greatly from country to country.
Key actors and relations
The European Commission’s work on development is run by 4 Directorates General (DGs).
- DG Development aims to end poverty in developing countries by promoting sustainable development, democracy, peace and security. It coordinates relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific states based on the Cotonou agreement, and monitors funding sent through the European Development Fund and Development Cooperation Instrument.
- DGECHO finances essential relief for victims of natural disasters and conflicts outside the EU. It sends fast relief to crisis zones, based on the principals of non-discrimination and impartiality. Its grants cover emergency aid worth over €700 million per year, including food to refugees and displaced persons. Around 18 million people are helped by ECHO each year, via 200 partners in the field.
- DG EuropeAidmanages EU external aid programmes. It ensures that development assistance is delivered worldwide and works closely with the EU neighbourhood, Russia, the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions, Latin America and Asia.
- DG RELEX co-ordinates external policy, together with DG Development, Enlargement, Trade, EuropeAid and ECHO. It manages bilateral relations with non-ACP countries across Europe, Middle East, Central Asia, Americas and large parts of Asia. DG External Relations is also responsible for the relations between the EU and international organisations such as the UN, OSCE and Council of Europe.
The European Parliament, through theCommittee on Development (DEVE), also responds to EU strategies for different ACP regions. The Committee on Development leads the EP’s work in promoting, rolling out and monitoring the EU’s development and cooperation policy. It does so via:
- (a) political dialogue with developing countries
- (b) aid and cooperation agreements with, developing countries,
- (c) promotion of democratic values, good governance and human rights.
The Development Committee meets twice per year with CONCORD,the European NGO Confederation for relief and development. Its 18 international networks and 24 national associations represent more than 1600 European NGOs towards the European Institutions.
For its 2007 to 2013 financial perspective, the EU has adopted a package of six new instruments for the implementation of external assistance.
The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) assists 17 countries: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Russia, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine. It has a budget of EUR 11 181 million, with co-operation focusing on:
- Promoting sustainable economic and social development in border areas
- Working together to address common challenges
- Ensuring efficient and secure borders
- People-to-people cooperation
The European Development Fund (EDF), is based on the Cotonou agreement, and supports assistance to the EU’s 78 ACP partner countries and the overseas countries and territories of member states. The EDF consists of several instruments, including grants, risk capital and loans to the private sector.
The Development Co-operation Instrument (DCI), launched in January 2007, replaces a wide range of geographic and thematic instruments which were created over time. It covers three main components: Geographic programmes provide assistance to 47 developing countries worldwide. The budget allocated under the DCI for the period 2007-2013 is €16.9 billion.
The European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights (EIDHR) contributes to the development of democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It complements the more crisis-related interventions of the new Stability instrument. For the period 2007-2013 the EIDHR has a budget of €1.104 million.
The Instrument for Stability (IfS) aims to contribute to stability in countries in crisis by providing an effective response to help preserve, establish or re-establish the conditions essential to the proper implementation of the EU’s development and co-operation policies (the ‘Crisis response and preparedness’ component). A total of €2.06 billion over seven years will be entered in the Community budget.
Nuclear Safety Co-operation Instrument (NSCI)finances measures to support a higher level of nuclear safety, radiation protection and the application of efficient and effective safeguards of nuclear materials in third countries. The NSCI has a budget of €524 billion for 2007-2013. The NSCI has a budget of €524 billion for 2007-2013.
Aid for trade helps developing countries to benefit from open global markets. It is part of a long-term strategy for global poverty reduction, alongside debt relief and general development aid. Over the last few years, European Aid for Trade has helped businesses in Fiji, Kenya, Vietnam, Algeria, Madagascar and many other countries grow and develop trading links with the EU. The EU is the leading global advocate and the world's biggest source of aid for trade. In December 2005 the EU made an overall commitment to increase its collective annual spending on trade-related assistance to €2 billion every year by 2010. €1 billion of this is to come from the EC and another €1 billion from EU member states.
The EU Donor Atlas presents the main data regarding the Union’s actions on development assistance cooperation.
Kristalina Georgieva is Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response
Spokesperson (ad interim):
Ferran TARRADELLAS ESPUNY
Tel : +32 (0)2 296 62 93
Mobile: +32 (0)498 966 293
Tel : +32 (0)2 298 65 95
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Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Development, Committee on International Trade, Subcommittee on Security and Defence Policy, ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly press officer
Tel: +32 (0)2 284 45 24 / +33 (0)388 1 74005
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Subcommittee on Human Rights press officer
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Director-General: Peter ZANGL
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