The President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy has proposed deep cuts to planned development aid spending in a new negotiating text sent to member states ahead of a special EU budget summit next week.
The proposed cuts to the European Commission’s 2014-2020 budget blueprint include 11 per cent off the European Development Fund, which mainly targets sub-Saharan Africa. The external spending within ‘Heading 4’ of the main budget is also facing a 9 per cent cut. These reductions are higher in relative terms than all other areas of the budget.
Responding to the new proposals, Eloise Todd, Brussels Director of ONE said:
“There is one week to turn this around. Leaders need to listen: cuts must never cost lives. EU aid saves lives, has the overwhelming support of the public and, as new research has shown this week, is good for the EU economy too – there is no good reason to cut it. Many member states have spoken out in support of EU aid in recent weeks. Next week leaders must be prepared to stand up and fight for these lifesaving funds.”
Notes to editors:
A report this week by the Overseas Development Institute, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and ONE, shows that EU aid would more than pay for itself by 2020.
85% of EU citizens believe that Europe should continue helping developing countries despite the economic crisis according to the findings of a survey published on 16 October.
More than 130,000 people have signed a ONE petition calling on EU leaders to protect aid spending.
The European Commission proposal for long term EU spending covering the period 2014-2020 includes €51bn for development aid to the world’s poorest as well as humanitarian aid. This consists of €21bn from the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) as part of the €70bn ‘Heading 4’ of the budget (‘EU as a global player’) and €30bn from the European Development Fund (EDF). Technically the EDF is a separate fund, outside of the main budget. But the level of spending for the EDF will be agreed as part of the overall MFF negotiations.
The positive results and effectiveness of EU aid have been cited by many independent reports. The UK government’s Multilateral Aid Review, published by DFID in March 2011, rated the European Development Fund, the key EU aid instrument, as “critical to UK development objectives”. Other reviews by respected institutions including the Center for Global Development and Brookings Institution, and the OECD have also ranked EU aid highly. Publish What You Fund’s 2012 Aid Transparency Index ranked the European Commission’s DG Development and Cooperation (DG DEVCO) 5th out of 72 aid organisations across 43 indicators.
In 2005, the European Council set the target of spending 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on overseas aid by 2015, with 50% of all aid increases to Africa. European leaders have reaffirmed this commitment on several occasions since, most recently at the European Council summit in June 2012.
ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organisation backed by more than 3 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. For more information please visit www.ONE.org
For further information or to arrange an interview with Eloise Todd please contact Dudley Curtis on +32 485 379945 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Europe’s leaders are in the midst of crucial budget negotiations and some leaders are proposing cuts to these lifesaving programs. This would have a devastating impact on the world’s poorest. Don’t let this happen. Be a lifesaver of the century.