The European Union should stick to its 0.7% aid commitments for 2015, despite recent wave of national aid cuts.

(Brussels, 28/05/2013) The European Union should stick to its 0.7% aid commitments for 2015, despite recent wave of national aid cuts, according to an agreement by EU Foreign Affairs and Development Ministers meeting in Brussels today.
 
Concord, the European Confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, welcomes EU calls to support Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments and a post-2015 development framework applying to all countries and addressing all three dimensions of sustainable development, as well as the commitment to a human rights-based approach to the future framework.
EU aid commitments achievable, but time running out
A new CONCORD AidWatch paper published today shows that the EU can and should meet its aid target despite the difficult economic situation at home.
 
While it is positive that member states have again committed to scaling up ODA to meet the 0.7% commitment, there are serious concerns about the ability to improve aid quality in such a short period of time, considering historic poor performance. It’s worrying that the EU talks of the catalytic role of aid while it should focus primarily on poverty eradication. ODA is a crucial resource for developing countries and should not be relegated to the role of facilitating other financial flows. We look forward to implementation plans of how these new funds can be aligned to aid effectiveness principles and achievement of poverty eradication.
 
Post 2015 framework must focus on people’s rights
 
Tanya Cox from the CONCORD-Beyond2015 European Task Force says “We regret there’s no mention of governance issues outside of certain UN institutions, which is a must for an effective post-2015 framework which works to ensure people’s rights. Little is said in terms of reorienting the economy through regulation of the private sector to limit the harm it may do to the environment or people’s rights.”
 
CONCORD is looking forward to the EU and its Member States translating these principles and proposals into concrete commitments on the basis of which they will participate in the negotiations beginning in the UN Special Session on the MDGs in September 2013.
 
EU commits to monitor food security impact
 
CONCORD welcomes the new commitment by EU Ministers to implement an impact monitoring system for food security and nutrition.
 
“The EU has finally started to come to terms with the issue of global food security. This comes as global hunger remains serious with 20 countries having levels of hunger that are ‘alarming’ or ‘extremely alarming’. To be even better, the EU needs to pay more attention to fragile and conflict-affected countries.” says Stineke Oenema, Chair of CONCORD food security working group
 
CONCORD calls on the EU show leadership on these issues at international level, especially at the G8.
 
Making EU policies more coherent with development objectives
 
CONCORD is pleased that Policy Coherence for Development, a Lisbon Treaty obligation was on the agenda for today’s Council of Ministers. Only by closely monitoring impacts and identifying policies that need to be addressed can ensure coherent EU policies that bring real progress. The EU has made a positive step by giving the necessary political will to create positive change for the world’s poorest people and their commitment to eradicate poverty.
ENDS
  1. CONCORD-Beyond 2015 ETF Position paper: “Putting people and Planet First”
  2. The commitments: In 2005, the EU15 committed to give 0.51% of GNI at least by 2010 (with an average of 0.56%) and 0.7% by 2015. The 12 New member States committed to give 0.17% of GNI as aid by 2010 and 0.33% by 2015.
  3. The CONCORD-Beyond 2015 European Task Force is looking forward to the EU and its Member States translating these principles and proposals into concrete commitments on the basis of which they will participate in the negotiations beginning in the UN Special Session on the MDGs in September 2013. In addition, we look forward to working with the EU on those areas so far not covered in these Conclusions.
  4. Still close to 900 million people go hungry every day in the world and hunger on a global scale remains serious with 20 countries having levels of hunger that are “alarming” or “extremely alarming”. After decades of neglect, CONCORD welcomes the EU’s prioritisation of food and nutrition security in recent years.
  5. In June, the G8, presided by the UK, will put food and nutrition security high up on its agenda. CONCORD calls on the EU to take up a leadership in these global arenas to reduce maternal and child undernutrition and ensure that its EU-level agreed commitments (prioritizing prioritises smallholders, sustainability and a human rights based approach in the fight against food insecurity and malnutrition) are coherently reflected in international initiatives led by the G8.
  6. CONCORD is the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development. Its 27 national associations, 18 international networks and 2 associate members represent 1,800 NGOs which are supported by millions of citizens across Europe. CONCORD leads reflection and political actions and regularly engages in dialogue with the European institutions and other civil society organisations. At global level, CONCORD is actively involved in the Open Forum for CSO Development effectiveness, the Beyond 2015 campaign, BetterAid and the International Forum of NGO platforms. www.concordeurope.org.
Media contacts:
 
CONCORD Communications officer, Daniel Puglisi on +32 2 743 87 77, Daniel.Puglisi@concordeurope.org
CONCORD AidWatch Coordinator, Zuzana Sladkova on +32 2 743 87 72, zuzana.sladkova@concordeurope.org
CONCORD-Beyond 2015 European Coordinator, Gerard Vives on +32 2 743 87 71, Gerard.Vives@concordeurope.org