On 8 June 2020, a joint letter co-signed by CONCORD, VOICE, CAN Europe, Cooperatives Europe, Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, Eurodad, ENoP, EPLO and HRDN was sent to EU Head of States in advance of the European Council on 19 June 2020 to present recommendations on Heading VI of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 and the Recovery Fund ‘Next Generation EU’.

The letter welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for the MFF 2021-2027 and the Next Generation EU, as an increase in financial resources is needed to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and achieve the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. Moreover, the increase recognises the urgency to respond to humanitarian needs that are being underlined by the COVID-19 crisis.

However, the increase in financial resources to Heading VI is mostly through Next Generation EU guarantees. Therefore, the letter provides a series of recommendations to ensure that climate and environmental action, development co-operation, human development, gender equality, human rights and democracy, humanitarian assistance and peace-building are strengthened. For example, by maintaining and increasing official development assistance (ODA) commitments and redirecting money intended for leveraging private finance towards grant-based support. These recommendations emphasise a focus on countries and communities most in need in order to leave no one behind.