The EU Aid Budget 2014-2020 – Fit to Ensure Human Rights, Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment?

 

The EU and its member states are currently finalising their aid instruments for the period 2014-2020. The final negotiations on what should be included in the Development Cooperation Instrument (the DCI) and the European Development Fund (the EDF) will, amongst other things, determine the EU’s future commitments and programme support to gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment, as well as human rights. This paper analyses the aid budget proposal and presents the recommendations of CONCORD Europe for the current negotiations.

Recommendations on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment

The EU must live up to its own commitments in the EU Plan of Action on GEWE , when programming and implementing all its external instruments (including the DCI and the EDF) by using the indicators in the operational framework, aiming to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in EU-funded projects, but also addressed as a separate goal with its own financing and indicators.

The EU must earmark at least 20% of the DCI and the EDF funds for health and basic education. To ensure the achievement of the MDGs and a maximum level of human development, this should include sexual and reproductive health as well as quality basic education and ensuring equal access to education.

The EU institutions should make use of the gender auditing of the Commission’s programmes, planned for 2014, to ensure that future programmes will be implemented in accordance with the EU Plan of Action on GEWE. The EU should also promote common values, in line with the aid effectiveness agenda, while respecting partner countries’ ownership and national priorities. The common values include, as stated in the European Consensus, gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment.

Recommendations on the Promotion of Human Rights

The EU must live up to its own commitments concerning the promotion and protection of human rights and a Human Rights Based Approach to development when programming and implementing all of its external instruments (including the DCI and the EDF).

All programmes in the EDF and the DCI must be designed and implemented in accordance with the principles of the UN Common Understanding on a Human Rights Based Approach to Development, while ensuring the essential elements of the Cotonou Agreement and the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy are respected. While the GPGC and the CSO-LA programmes are to be complemented by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and other thematic programmes, the promotion of human rights must not be limited to the EIDHR.

The Union should also promote common values by highlighting the importance of focusing on sectors where EU assistance can have the greatest impact, while respecting partner countries’ ownership and national priorities, in line with the aid effectiveness agenda. These common values include human rights, as stated in the European Consensus27 and the Cotonou Agreement.