Development NGOs warn that EU leaders are overlooking aid in budget negotiations, with large cuts targeted at development and humanitarian aid.

(Brussels, 23/11/2012) Development NGOs are concerned about the latest proposals coming out of the EU leaders´ summit on the future of the EU budget 2014-2020, taking place today in Brussels. Further disproportionate cuts are being proposed to Global Europe, a budget heading which includes development and humanitarian aid.
 
Commenting on the latest developments:
 
Olivier Consolo, Director of Concord, the European Development NGO confederation said:
 
“EU leaders are wrong to make the proportionally largest budget cut to aid that helps saves lives in developing countries. As the European Commission President, Barroso, said this week, a cut to aid is a matter of life and death to the most vulnerable people. Why are EU leaders saying they support aid commitments, then not defending them in EU budget talks? We urgently need to see EU leaders standing up for development aid.”
 
Natalia Alonso, Head of Oxfam International’s EU Office said:
 
“EU development and humanitarian aid is money well spent. It’s a smart investment in our common future. EU leaders should think again over cuts to the budget which could squeeze help for the poorest people in the planet. It cannot be right to protect billions for rich farmers while failing to deliver on Europe’s pledge to provide more life-saving medicine and clean water to the world’s poorest people.”
 
Karen Schroh, Head of Plan International’s EU Office, said:
 
“When are EU leaders going to start listening – EU aid works, and EU citizens support it. While member states wield veto threats in a bid to make sure their demands are met, there are millions of people in developing countries who are struggling just to survive. We can’t simply sit back and watch the EU turn its back on those most in need. The European Parliament and European Commission realise this, so why are member states still insisting on massive cuts to lifesaving EU aid?”
 
Over 2000 European NGOs sent a letter to the four European countries that are taking a lead in standing up for aid commitments; Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg, that form the G.07 group last week. The letter calls on the G07 leaders to speak up for Europe’s development and humanitarian aid.
 
ENDS
 
Notes to editors
 
1. Both EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso and EU Parliament President Martin Schulz have made recent calls to EU leaders to defend EU aid:
Martin Schulz: “As the umbrella organisation ‘Concord’ reminded me in a recent letter, European development cooperation costs only EUR 1.87 per EU citizen per month, but saves millions of lives. ‘Concord’ represents more than 1800 European NGOs and fears that in making disproportionate cuts in its budget the EU is seeking to evade its international responsibility for the poorest people on the planet
 
2. Support for EU aid remains strong among European citizens. The results of a Eurobarometer survey released in October show that 85% of EU citizens believe that Europe should continue helping developing countries.
 
For more information, please contact :
Daniel Puglisi, CONCORD, Tel. 32 (0) 2 743 87 77
Daniel.puglisi@concordeurope.org
Gaelle Bausson, Oxfam International EU Office, +32 473 562 260 or
gaelle.bausson@oxfaminternational.org
Louise Hagendijk, Plan International EU Office, +32 470 59 80 62 or
Louise.Hagendijk@plan-international.org