Did you know that the EU sets the rules on its budget every 7 years? The last time this was done was in 2013, when the EU set the rules for its budgets until 2020.
Since 2013 the world has changed and we have seen many unexpected challenges, like the current global refugee crisis. When the EU planned its budget in 2013 it was impossible to predict the extra funds that are needed to face today´s crises. And now, this planned budget is no longer enough.
Vulnerable people are being forced to leave their homes to escape violence and instability. Although Europe has seen a big surge in refugees arriving at its shores, the vast majority of refugees actually live in developing countries. It is incredibly important that all refugees receive the protection and basic services they need, wherever they are.
At the same time, we can’t lose ground on the great progress made thanks to European development programmes. For example, from 2013-14 alone, European taxpayers helped get more than 29 million children into school, immunise more than 1 million one-year-olds and distribute more than 150 million bed nets.
Just last year world leaders agreed to the Global Goals and committed to eradicate poverty by 2030. In order to keep those promises, the EU needs to make sure aid is focused on fighting extreme poverty, especially in the poorest countries.
The EU should remain a safe haven for refugees and must continue to support their needs, but this cannot come at the expense of the world’s poorest. To meet the needs of refugees while ensuring it fulfills its promise to end extreme poverty by 2030, Europe therefore needs to find additional resources.
The good news is that doing both can serve as a vaccine to future crises. By lifting people out of extreme poverty and building stability in the poorest countries, we can prevent others from being forced to flee insecurity and destitution in future.