CONCORD’s letter to the G 0.7 group on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020.

We, the undersigned are writing to you ahead of the 22nd November European Council to ask the G0.7 group to defend the EU budget for development and humanitarian assistance. The amount (heading 4 -especially the Development Cooperation Instrument, the humanitarian aid budget, the Emergency Aid Reserve- and the European Development Fund) proposed by the European Commission should be supported. Cuts should not be made at the expense of the poorest people in the world.

EU aid has been recognized as one of the most efficient, impactful and transparent in the world by the OECD, DFID, the European Court of Auditors and independent organizations like Publish What You Fund. For only 25c per citizen per week, it has delivered significant results in recent years: it gave more than 10 million children a primary education and more than 32 million people access to safe drinking water. Last but not least, 85% of EU citizens believe that Europe should continue helping developing countries despite the economic crisis and 84% agree that the EU should continue to fund humanitarian aid in spite of the current economic crisis.

For members of a club like yours that is pushing for all EU Member States to reach 0.7%, ensuring a strong EU budget for development and humanitarian assistance has the added value of automatically ensuring that the EU will be closer to fulfilling its 0.7% target.

At the moment there exists a “Friends of Cohesion Policy” group and a “Friends of Agricultural Policy” group but as yet no “Friends of Development and humanitarian aid” group. As countries with a good track record on development and humanitarian policy, and if you are serious in your willingness to defend the 0.7% target, we call on you to create a Friends of Development and Humanitarian Aid Group and protect at the next European Council the increase of EU development and humanitarian aid proposed by the European Commission. The MFF negotiations are a chance to turn your words into actions.

We look forward to working with you in the crucial weeks leading up to the November summit,

Yours sincerely,

The undersigned.