Dear Minister,

This year the international community will make critical decisions in three processes that will shape the future.

Their outcomes will have an impact on the lives of millions people and the planet. The European Union (EU) must be a driving force of the success of these processes by showing the world that it takes the many commitments it has made or will make seriously. The EU’s delivery of sustainable development and climate commitments cannot be premised on other countries’ performance. The EU must demonstrate its willingness to be a credible yet bold and progressive negotiating partner.

Addis Ababa, July 2015 will be the first and critical test of this willingness, making attendance of the EU and member states at the highest political level essential. The EU has consistently stated its commitment to support and deliver sufficient, high-quality, development-focused finance. Yet it has not yet adopted the range of measures needed- and within its power to take- to make this a reality. Our recommendations for the positions that EU must adopt in the areas of domestic resource mobilisation, international financial cooperation, private flows, external debt and systemic issues for Addis Ababa are listed in the annexed policy paper.

Holding an EU aid commitment hostage to others ‘doing their fair share’ is both inappropriate and politically challenging. It will stall negotiations on the issue of aid and will make it more difficult to reach agreements on other equally pressing issues. Official Development Assistance (ODA) remains a crucial tool for poverty reduction and therefore ahead of Addis Ababa we expect the EU and especially its member states to shore up their 40 year old commitment to allocate 0.7% GNI to ODA with a predictable and binding timetable.

For the agreement on the post 2015 framework in New York, September 2015, we expect the EU to maintain its current strong and unified position for the post 2015 sustainable development framework. We want to see a human rights based framework with people and planet at the centre, which is universal, ambitious and transformative and integrates in a balanced way all three dimensions of sustainable development plus the critical role of governance. We ask the EU to promote robust and credible accountability measures at all levels which will enable people, including the most vulnerable groups, to hold their governments and other actors to account for decisions and commitments made which impact directly on their lives.

Finally, reaching a successful climate deal in Paris, December 2015 is essential to stop the reversal of development gains of the past few decades. Adaptation to climate change while still meeting development challenges in low carbon ways will be a major challenge for the poorest and most vulnerable countries. We urge you to ensure the EU supports a goal for adaptation in the new climate deal, and to unlock the innovative finance mechanisms to finance it, such as the Financial Transaction Tax and revenues from emissions trading. To help meet growing needs, as a minimum, the EU should commit that levels of public climate finance and ODA will rise at the same pace.