Threat to EU aid as EU leaders meet to decide future budget


Update 18:30, 8/02/2013

An agreement to the size of EU budget for the period 2014-2020 has been reached. Speaking immediately after the deal was struck, here is what key decision makers had to say about the budget and development aid.

Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the Commission said of the deal, “we kept commitment to development aid and humanitarian aid” focusing support to “poorest countries”.

Herman van Rompuy, President of the EU Council spoke felt that “this budget will allow Europe to keep engaging on vital global issues, such as…development aid”.

Click here for the full conclusions

Click here for a transcript of what Barroso said

Click here for a transcript of what Van Rompuy said


Update 11:00, 7/02/2013



Media outlets from across Europe are setting up in Brussels as EU leaders meet over the shape of the EU budget for the next seven years. EU leaders are set to be presented the latest EU budget proposal by EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy at 3pm today.


Update 16:00, 6/02/2013

With EU leaders set to come together at the next EU summit tomorrow to break the EU budget deadlock, European development NGOs have been pushing to make loud and clear the voices of those who are most often ignored in these discussions.

CONCORD issued a press release warning the EU against cutting EU aid, a stance that has been supported by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament. MEPs in a cross-party declaration have also issued a statement on the eve of the EU summit encouraging national leaders not to cut the EU aid budget. Meanwhile, the media such as The Guardian, DevEx and EurActiv have been covering us and our members’ efforts to speak out against EU aid cuts.

EU leaders will meet again on 7-8 February to discuss the EU budget 2014-2020, following a breakdown in talks last year.

Development NGOs are following this process closely and hope that a Council agreement will provide sufficient funding for development and humanitarian aid as proposed by the European Commission and the European Parliament.
We call on EU leaders to protect EU aid in the budget negotiations taking place this week.
Share and Tweet the infograph below. The hashtags are #MFF and #EUCO.

Update 17:00, 23/11/2012

The EU budget summit has ended without agreement. This means that EU leaders will have to meet again to hammer out a deal.

A very brief statement by the EU Council talks of “potential” agreement in the beginning of 2013.

The delay may give some time for EU leaders to have a rethink on aid cuts. EU leaders should recognise the danger cuts can mean to the lives of some of the poorest people.


Update – 15:00, 23/11/2012

Development NGOs have issued a press release warning EU leaders that they are overlooking aid in budget negotiations, with large cuts targeted at development and humanitarian aid.

Press release here


Update – 11:20, 23/11/2012

“As the umbrella organisation CONCORD reminded me in a recent letter, European development cooperation costs only €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,” Martin Schulz at the ongoing EU summit

Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, is the latest high-level figure to join calls for protecting EU aid from the budget cuts. Keen to impress on the European heads of government of its importance, Schulz’s speech to EU leaders made reference to Concord’s analysis that European aid only costs €1.87 per EU citizen during a speech at the ongoing EU summit.

Defenders of Europe’s development and aid budget are not coming solely from top level European politicians either. Four British MEPs, Michael Cashman, Keith Taylor, Nirj Deva and Fiona Hall, have described the potential aid budget cut as “simply unacceptable”
drawing attention to the fact that the current suggested cut is disproportional in relations to cuts in other budget items.

Full article here







EU positons on aid cuts 

EU leaders are meeting in Brussels on 22-23 November to decide the future budget for 2014-2020.

At stake is the part of the budget dedicated to development and humanitarian aid.

CONCORD and many NGOs are urging EU leaders not to make shortsighted cuts to precious aid support that helps millions of the poorest people.

Following NGO calls that aid cuts in the next seven year budget could cost lives in developing countries, Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission President, stepped forward to defend EU aid ahead of the EU summit.

Addressing the European Parliament on 21 November, the Commission chief said that aid cuts were “a question of life or death” for the vulnerable in developing countries.

Some media such as the Parliament Magazine, reported that Barroso was now on a ‘collision course’ with EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy on the aid cuts issue.

Van Rompuy will chair meetings to negoatiate the EU’s next budget for 2014-2020 amongst EU leaders.

CONCORD was disappointed last week to see that Van Rompuy proposed substantial cuts to development and humanitarian aid as part of the new budget deal, as reported in the Guardian newspaper.

“There are no substantial financial savings by cutting aid to poor countries. Instead some of the poorest people in the world will pay the highest price and could lose vital aid support. EU aid works out to only €1.87 euro per citizen a month, and saves millions of lives around the world. We urgently need development champions to stand up for the EU aid budget,” says Director Olivier Consolo


Raising awarness 

We then helped mobilise some 2000 European NGOs to send 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.
We then made a further call in a joint press release from CONCORD, Oxfam, Plan and ONE, highlighting the risk of the EU ‘balancing its books on the backs of the poor’, covered by international news agencies such as AFP.
Reuters news agency is the latest to report on Barroso’s plea to protect the EU aid budget, citing NGO concerns. Read the full article here
All eyes are now on EU leaders to see what agreement, if any, they’ll come to.
You can follow the debate online on Twitter: #EUbudget #MFF
Tweet in support of EU aid:
  • In last 3 years, 50m people less suffered from hunger thanks to EU #aid, don’t cut it in #EUbudget
  • Due 2 EU #aid more than 9 mil pupils have been enrolled in primary school since 2004. Preserve EU aid in #EUbudget
  • Over 31 mil ppl connected 2 drinking water between 2004 & 2009 thanks 2 EU #aid – it must not b cut from nxt #EUbudget!
  • €10bn EU #aid could feed 5.2 mil families of 6 for a yr. This money can’t be cut from nxt #EUbudget!