(Brussels, 19/05/2015) European governments could drop their aid pledge to developing countries, known as the 0.7% aid target, as disagreements between member states ahead of the Foreign Affairs Council on 26 May threaten the EU’s historic anti-poverty commitment.
For Seamus Jeffreson, Director of CONCORD, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs:
“Breaking the 0.7% aid commitment would be a historic mistake for EU countries and jeopardise ambitious agreements set to take place on sustainable development and finance at the G7 summit in June, and the Third International Conference for Finance for Development in Addis Ababa in July, which is widely expected to lay the groundwork for achievement of the new global goals.”
The EU, along with other rich countries, committed to spend 0.7% of GNI on Official Development Assistance (ODA) at a UN General Assembly in 1970. This pledge was renewed in 2005, when EU Member States committed to reach the target by this year.
Some Member States have already met or exceeded the 0.7% target – Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark and the UK. Two Member States, Belgium and Ireland, have expressed their commitment to allocating 50% of ODA to LDCs. But France and Germany are leading the group of Member States which have not yet agreed on a timebound commitment to 0.7% ODA/GNI, nor providing half of their assistance to LDCs with providing 0.15% of GNI to LDCs by 2020 and 0.2% by 2025 as a bare minimum.
Civil society across Europe is calling for EU leaders to
• Recommit to 0.7% by 2020 at the EU level, backed by timetables at the national level that show how and where countries are gradually increasing aid to meet 0.7% by 2020.
• Taking action to increase aid to LDCs and commit to the current UN target of 0.15–0.20% ODA/GNI, and setting themselves the even more ambitious target of providing at least 50% of total ODA to these countries.
This year, with major agreements on the UN agenda, it is critical that the EU doesn’t drop the ball by sending a message to the world that it has given up on ever fulfilling a pledge first made 45 years ago.
Notes to editors
1. The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica has said, ‘I firmly believe that we should recommit to reaching the 0.7% target as a crucial contribution to securing an ambitious outcome to the post-2015 negotiations.’
2. The European Parliament, in its Financing for Development report which is being put to the plenary vote today in Strasbourg, ‘urges the EU and its Member States to re-commit without delay to the 0.7 % of GNI target for ODA, with 50 % of ODA and at least 0.2 % of GNI being reserved for LDCs, and to present multiannual budget timetables for the scale-up to these levels by 2020’.
3. Despite some positive signs from both France and Germany in recent years –French President Hollande has publicly committed to 0.7%; and Germany announced its highest ever increase in development aid during its G7 Presidency – overall commitment to a clear timetable for delivering 0.7% has been lacking from both countries. It is therefore crucial that all EU Members States commit to delivering more and better aid at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 26th May.
For more information please contact: CONCORD Policy Coordinator, Zuzana Sladkova firstname.lastname@example.org +32 2 743 87 72