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ONE responds to the outcome of the EU budget summit

European Union leaders have reached a deal on the bloc’s long term budget that effectively freezes development aid spending for the world’s poorest at around current levels but cuts it significantly compared to the European Commission’s budget proposal.

EU leaders have repeatedly committed to increasing aid spending to 0.7 percent of income by 2015, the European Commission’s proposal set out a path to get the bloc closer to that goal.

Eloise Todd, Brussels Director of ONE said:

“EU leaders missed their opportunity today to take Europe a big step closer to its promise of spending 0.7 percent of income on smart aid.  But it is clear that some leaders listened to the voices of citizens across Europe and did stop short of cutting into current levels of aid, a backward step that would have been a disaster for the world’s poorest.

“Now it’s all eyes on the European Parliament. In October, MEPs described the European Commission’s original external spending proposal as the ‘bare minimum’.  Fully funded, that proposal would see millions more of the world’s poorest given access to education, clean water and lifesaving vaccines.  It is now up to MEPs and President Martin Schulz – a vocal supporter of development aid during these negotiations – to do everything in their power to make it happen.  Europeans overwhelmingly support development aid, and will be looking to the Parliament to do what’s right.”

Notes to editors:

  • The EU budget agreed today includes a cut to the European Development Fund (EDF) of €3.3 bn (11 percent) compared to the European Commission’s original budget proposal.  That is effectively a real terms freeze compared to current levels, and is unchanged from the figures put forward in November at the last budget summit.
  • ‘Heading 4’ of the budget (at least 90% of which will be classified as development aid under OECD rules) is cut by €11.3 billion (16%) compared to the Commission proposal.  Today’s figure is €2 billion lower than the November proposal.  The final figure is a 3 percent increase on current levels.
  • In 2005, the European Council set the target of spending 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on overseas aid by 2015, with 50% of all aid increases to Africa.  European leaders have reaffirmed this commitment on several occasions since, including in the conclusions of today’s summit.  But Europe is far from achieving this target.

ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organisation backed by more than 3 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. For more information please visit www.ONE.org

For further information or to arrange an interview with Eloise Todd please contact Dudley Curtis on +32 485 379945 or [email protected]