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July - November, 2008
With €1 billion of funding to struggling farmers in developing countries on the line, European ONE members helped apply public pressure at the critical moment to help secure this new money.
In the summer of 2008, President of the European Commission Jose Barroso proposed giving €1 billion of unspent money from the European Union's budget to farmers in poor countries.
In October and November, as the critical moment for this proposal approached, ONE launched a big push in Europe to demonstrate support. The 14,000 signature petition was delivered to President Jose Manuel Barroso's advisors in Brussels and directly to French Development Minister Alain Joyandet in Strasbourg just a few days before the final budget decision. ONE members throughout Europe also directly emailed their finance ministers, sending over 6,000 emails in a few short weeks. In the end, the European Commission, European Parliament, and European Council agreed to give a full €1 billion for agriculture, of which €760 million is new development assistance at the EU level.
EU institutions have already disbursed €300 million of the funds. We are working to ensure this additional money is delivered to the 23 most vulnerable countries, and spent in the most effective ways possible. By the end of 2009, €800 million will have been disbursed to 40 countries.
ONE welcomes the European Commission proposal to use €1 billion of its unspent budget on agricultural production in the developing world, where the food crisis has hit the hardest.
ONE members start taking action by signing a petition to the European President, at the time French President Nicolas Sarkozy, to spend the €1 billion left over from the EU budget as assistance to struggling African farmers.
ONE runs an ad in the "European Voice," a newspaper read by key decision makers in Brussels, urging help for the farmers hit hardest by the food, fuel, and financial crises.
ONE delivers its petition for the first time to President Sarkozy’s advisors in Brussels.
ONE members throughout the EU start to email their finance ministers’ offices, asking them to give the full €1 billion as additional aid to struggling farmers. Over the next two weeks, ONE members send over 6,500 emails.
ONE delivers its petition for the second time, this time to the EU President-in-office, France: French Development Minister Alain Joyandet at the EU’s Development Days meeting in Strasbourg.
After months of negotiations, finance ministers, members of the European Parliament, and the European Commission agree to give the full €1 billion to farmers in the developing world, of which we calculated €760 million would be additional aid at the EU level.
EU leadership on EU 1 billion must be backed by swift action says organisation supported by Geldof and Bono. MORE
Nearly 14,000 ONE members, including citizens of every country in the EU, signed our petition to the EU President asking for the full €1 billion to be additional aid to poor farmers in the developing world.
30 countries responded to the 2008 food crisis by submitting country-specific plans to the World Bank requesting emergency food, seeds, and fertilizer as well as assistance with longer-term agriculture funding. At the time that the EU began considering the €1 billion proposal, these plans still faced a significant funding shortfall.
6,621 ONE members across Europe directly emailed their finance ministers asking them to ensure the European Food Facility’s €1 billion was in addition to current aid.