Alarm bells ring as Commission sets out EU priorities for next seven year budget

Commissioner Oettinger revealed today the European Commission’s financial proposals for the EU’s next seven-year budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The Commission suggests a budget of  €123 billion in current prices to cover all of the EU’s external priorities – including EU aid.

Emily Wigens, interim Brussels Director at anti-poverty group, The ONE Campaign, said:

“With this MFF finishing just three years before the deadline to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, the Commission’s proposal sends a worrying signal about the EU’s ability to be a global leader in the fight against extreme poverty.

If EU countries are serious about meeting the international 0.7% aid target, and continue to channel approximately 20% of their aid through the EU’s budget, there could be an additional €40 billion available for development over the next 7 years. The devil will be in the detail and we will only see exactly how much EU aid is being allocated to the most vulnerable countries when we see the complete package in June. However, the fact that the Commission doesn’t seem to have factored this level of ambition into its proposal sets alarm bells ringing. Member states must deliver a €40 billion increase in EU aid, focussing on the places, people and issues that need it the most, and in doing so creating a more stable and prosperous future for both Europe and Africa.  

Other governments are seeing the potential in Africa – this MFF will decide whether the EU gets on board or gets left behind. Africa needs 22.5 million new jobs a year to absorb the doubling of its youth population by 2050. The EU must step up and invest now in order to play a role in developing the continent’s potential; an educated, employed and empowered African youth can drive global growth and innovation and shape the future of both our continents. It’s a win-win situation.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  • The suggested financial envelope for Neighbourhood and the world (Heading 6) includes the European Development Fund which previously sat outside of the EU’s financial framework. More information on the Commission proposal can be found here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-3570_en.htm
  • Agreement on the financial envelopes for each of the Headings within the MFF will  now be negotiated with the Member States under the ‘Consent Procedure’ – with the European Parliament able to veto a proposal, but not amend it
  • The Commission will supplement today’s announcement with an additional legislative proposal on the structure of the external financial instruments, which is expected in June.