(Brussels, 11/06/2015) – Dear Prime minister, CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation for relief and development, is holding its General Assembly in Brussels today. Representing over 2.400 NGOs supported by millions of citizens across Europe, we are deeply concerned with the decision on severe cuts of the Finnish development co-operation budget.

In the European Year for Development 2015 and just days after the EU Council reaffirmed the commitment on the 0,7 % target a very bad signal is sent. The cuts will affect millions of people who live in poverty.

This political decision comes at a time, when the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals and Financing for Development are in full swing. The global challenges ahead of us are enormous. It’s the responsibility of all countries to show true commitment to address these challenges. Finland has been appreciated as a reliable development partner. We have been particularly impressed by its commitment to the engagement of diverse civil society actors in development processes and the call for participation and inclusion. The foreseen 200 million EUR cuts and 100 million EUR allocations for loans put Finland’s reputation at stake.

We urge you to reconsider the decision taken, and to recommit being a strong partner in promoting sustainable development worldwide.

Johannes Trimmel
CONCORD President