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The EU steps up its game to end the pandemic with the 2022 budget 

BRUSSELS – At the eleventh hour, the EU Member States and the European Parliament struck a deal on the EU’s 2022 budget. The 2021 Conciliation Committee agreed on €17 170 million for external spending, increasing the Commission’s proposal by €401 million.

The Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) amounts to €12 716 million, increasing the initial proposal by €190 million. These additions include €125 million in new funds specifically to fight the pandemic, such as €75m to the Emerging Challenges and Priorities Cushion and €50m to the Global Challenges – People window.  Leaders also reached an agreement on the 2021 Draft amending budget 6 (DAB6), part of which will finance the 200 million COVID-19 vaccines the Commission pledged to donate by mid-2022. The compromises must be formally endorsed by the European Parliament and European Council next week.

Brandon Locke, Policy and Advocacy Manager at The ONE Campaign, said: “The EU’s budget agreement is a welcome vote of confidence in the critical need to invest more in ending the pandemic for all.  At a time where 5 times more people are getting booster shots in wealthier countries than people receiving the first dose in low-income countries, this deal shows the EU is ready to step up its game.

While the agreement is not perfect, adding new funds for external action amounting to €368 million, complemented by another €850 million in the amended 2021 budget, shows the EU understands that investing emergency funds abroad is the best investment for Europe’s future as well.

With an even larger reserve in the EU’s NDICI, it’s now essential that the Commission continues to spend it on increasing vaccine access in poorer countries fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and reaching the target of vaccinating at least 70% of people in all income groups by mid-2022.”

Note to Editors:

The 2021 Conciliation Committee increased the Commission’s proposal for Heading 6 by €401 million, of which €368.4 million are new funds from the Flexibility Instrument.  

The Neighbourhood,  Development and International Cooperation Instrument was increased €190 million above the Commission’s proposal. This includes an increase of €75m to the Emerging challenges and priorities cushion after the Council’s proposal to cut it by €400m and €50m  from the Global Challenges – People,  new funds earmarked to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 2021 Draft amending budget 6 (DAB6) includes €1.3 billion to finance the Commission’s purchase of 200 million vaccine doses. This includes €450 million of funds from the Flexibility instrument and 400 million from the Emergency Support Instrument and €400 million from the NDICI cushion. The DAB6  will be voted on by the European Parliament at the 22-25 November plenary session.