EU Draft Budget 2018: investments in development are investments in stability

Today, the European Commission presented its Draft EU Budget for 2018, proposing €160.6 billion in commitments (1.4% more than 2017) and €145.4 billion in payments (8.1% more than 2017).

As a part of the Budget, the Commission proposed € 9.6 billion for the EU’s external spending (5.6% less than the €10.2 billion approved in 2017). This includes €3 billion for development cooperation (down from €3.2 billion in 2017 – or 6.7% less) and €1.1 billion for humanitarian aid (14.8% more than 2017).

Valentina Barbagallo, Policy and Advocacy Manager at ONE in Brussels, said:

“This 2018 Draft Budget confirms the Commission’s inward-looking focus on migration-control and security. Yet, it is only by investing in the poorest countries’ own development that we will be investing in global and European stability. This proposal lacks the necessary focus on addressing the root causes of global poverty.

“With 95% of refugees and internally displaced people hosted by developing countries, the Commission is proposing that only less than a third of the EU’s external spending will go to development cooperation specifically aimed at poverty-eradication – almost 7% less than in 2017. Addressing security and migration issues is not a means to an end in itself – it must be coupled with long-term measures specifically targeting extreme poverty, a key driver of instability.

“The Member States and the European Parliament have a decision to make. If ‘Global Europe’ is to be more than a slogan, then they must shift the focus back to fighting poverty.

“Europe is embarking on an unprecedented path with Brexit negotiations approaching and a shifting geo-political landscape. This budget could be our last chance to make significant headway in the fight against extreme poverty.”

ENDS

The full budget proposal can be found here