CONCORD reacts to the outcome of the February 7-8 EU budget summit
(Brussels, 8/02/2013) EU leaders have agreed on a budget deal that makes a substantial 14.7% cut to European external spending, compared to original proposals from the European Commission, at an EU leaders summit today in Brussels.
Over several months, development NGOs and European citizens have been campaigning to show EU leaders the positive impact and effectiveness of EU aid.
CONCORD, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, is pleased to see that these calls were not totally in vain and that EU leaders did not make a real terms cut to external spending.
However, CONCORD regrets that compared to more ambitious proposals from the European Commission, EU leaders made the following cuts:
- €11,3bn or 16% to the ‘Global Europe’ budget line.
- €3,335bn or 11% to the European Development Fund, which mainly deals with African countries.
Reacting was Izabella Toth, Board member of CONCORD, the European Confederation of Relief and Development NGOs.
“EU leaders have dealt a blow to an ambitious future development and humanitarian budget. Instead of supporting a strong aid budget to meet global challenges, and honour their aid commitments, EU leaders have chosen short term fixes over long term strategic thinking. Unfortunately this comes as little surprise, as several key Member States that traditionally support aid have been extra quiet in these negotiations.”
Looking ahead to the next steps in the negotiations Toth added:
“Over the next months, crucial decisions will be made of how much money of the EU’s global budget line will actually be devoted to pro-poor focused development. In that context, we call on EU decision-makers not to make any further aid cuts, and agree to spend at least 90% of the Global Europe budget heading on development, as promised in the latest conclusions of the European Council.”
Notes to editors
- While the Commission proposed for Heading 4, European Development Fund and the Emergency Aid Reserve €70bn, €30.319bn and €2.450bn respectively, so together €102.769bn for external spending; today’s Council Conclusions propose €58.704bn (heading 4), €26.984bn (EDF) and €1.960bn (EAR) so €87.648bn in total, which means downsizing the proposed amounts with €15.121bn or 14.7% for all external action spending (including development and humanitarian aid)
- The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for providing Community development aid in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the overseas countries and territories (OCTs).
- Support for EU aid remains strong among European citizens. The results of a Eurobarometer survey released in October show that 85% of EU citizens believe that Europe should continue helping developing countries.
- Please see our previous press releases here and here
- Click here for the full conclusions
- Click here for a transcript of what Barroso had to say about the conclusions
- Click here for a transcript of what Van Rompuy had to say about the conclusions