Dear Prime Minister,
As CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation for relief and development, representing over 2.600 NGOs supported by millions of citizens across Europe, we are deeply concerned with the decision to introduce severe cuts to the Danish development co-operation budget.
In the European Year for Development 2015 and just a week after the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (in a session co-hosted by you Prime Minister), a very confusing signal is sent. The cuts will directly and indirectly affect millions of people who live in poverty.
The global challenges of sustainable development ahead of us are enormous. It’s the responsibility of all countries to show true commitment to address these challenges. Denmark has traditionally been valued by all of us in Europe and globally as a long-standing, reliable and leading development partner. We have been particularly impressed by its commitment to the engagement of diverse civil society actors in development processes and the call for participation and inclusion.
The foreseen cut to Danish official development aid from 0.87% GNI to historically low 0.7% puts Denmark’s reputation at stake. Whilst 0.7% would still put Denmark upfront many other EU Member States reaching the target, it would nonetheless translate into 2.9 billion kroner less for the world’s poorest. We do not believe that trying to address the “root causes of the migrant crises” by greater emphasis put on peace and security, growth and trade, in the now 14 priority developing countries (down from 21) is an honest or credible substitute for this budget cut.
Additionally, we also deplore the planned cuts to Danish Civil Society Organisations’ budget by more than a quarter – a decision that will contribute to the further shrinking of the operational space for CSOs. This will mean NGOs and civil society groups will be less able to support the poorest and most vulnerable around the world and severely restrict CSOs key role in voicing the concerns of the poorest, combatting corruption, and holding to account national, European and global decision makers.
We urge you to reconsider the decision taken, and to recommit being a strong partner in promoting sustainable and inclusive development worldwide.