ONE Youth chat: An explainer on the MFF

By Matthijs and Marion, Youth Ambassadors in Belgium.

Matthijs: Hi Marion, how was the EU-budget talk with our ONE Youth Ambassadors? I am sure you had so much fun 😉Marion: Hi Matthijs, it was actually really eye-opening! I realised that this is one of the most important moments for development that we’ll see in a very long time!

Matthijs: Haha, you sound so pumped. I thought we were just going to have some tiring budget talks?

Marion: Well the EU (plus EU Member States) are the biggest official development donors in the world (57% of all official development aid in 2017😃). So, the size and allocation of this budget is really important in the fight against extreme poverty!

Our ONE Youth Ambassadors campaigning for EU leaders to increase EU aid in the MFF.

Matthijs: Oh wow I didn’t know it was that much 💶. Okay yeah, that sounds like a big deal. Also, what’s this “MFF” thing that people keep talking about, and why is it so important right now?

Marion: Okay so, the MFF (Multiannual Financial Framework) is the name of the EU’s long-term budget, and is only negotiated every seven years. Right now they’re setting the budget for 2021-2027 and we need to make sure that ending extreme poverty is a priority because we won’t get another opportunity to until 2027 – just 3 years before the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved!

Matthijs: That is a long time! And the proposal that the European Commission has put forward on this budget, is it any good? Like, is there a lot of money going to development aid?

Marion: The Commission suggested a budget of €123 billion to cover all of its external policies including development aid.

Matthijs: €123 billion! 🤑🤑🤑 That doesn’t sound too bad right?

Marion: Haha, I know it sounds like a lot, but actually it isn’t. The EU Member States committed to spending 0.7% of their gross national income on development aid so that the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals could be reached.

If the Member States want to keep their promise, EU aid needs to be increased by another 20 billion euros on top of the commission proposal! This would really make the difference for the 767 million people who live on less than $2 a day right now.

Matthijs: Oh ok – it does not sound that good after all! How can we make sure that this happens? 🧐🤔

Marion: I know, you get now why these “boring budget talks” are important? Luckily the budget isn’t decided yet. That is why we need everybody to hear about this! We need to put pressure on their EU leaders and remind them of their promise. 👊🏽

Matthijs: You are right Marion, everybody should hear about this! And good news I just found out we can sign the ONE petition to call out our leaders – let’s spread the word 💪🏽

Take action today! Join us in signing the petition for more and better EU aid!


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