Brussels, 14 June 2018 – Today, the European Commission has released the legal framework for the external funding instruments of the future EU budget (MFF 2021-2027). CONCORD, the European Confederation of Development NGOs, raises concerns that unproven investment schemes and migration control will overshadow the EU’s commitments to promote human rights, sustainable development and the fight against poverty.
Since the initial communication of the European Commission published on the 2nd of May, CONCORD welcomes some new elements and changes: the increase of budget dedicated to “Heading 6: Neighbourhood and the World” as well as having a separate instrument for humanitarian aid and programme for civil society.
European Development NGOs are concerned that the new proposed instrument “Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation” would increase the risk of development cooperation becoming secondary to self-interested foreign policy and divert aid from its main objectives – poverty eradication and long-term sustainable development. This trend is also reflected in the Commission’s will to put flexibility over predictability and accountability.
The proposal relies on blending aid with loans with “one-fits-for-all” approach despite weak and contested evidence that this will deliver the investment needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind. CONCORD believes development aid should not be diverted to guarantee private sector investments and the promotion of EU finance institutions.
Aid diversion is the biggest risk of the Commission’s proposal. While aid is already being instrumentalised in favour of EU self-interests, this proposition would legitimate this threat.
Ultimately, the MFF is not only about budgetary allocation, but a political decision about the Europe We Want and the role it will play in the world. We call on the European Parliament and Member States to safeguard the objectives in the EU Treaties on development cooperation and will keep on holding them accountable.
CONCORD has developed a series of videos that we invite you to share widely on social media:
Notes to editors:
CONCORD Europe: we are the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, made up of 28 national associations, 21 international networks and 3 associate members that represent over 2.600 NGOs, supported by millions of citizens across Europe. https://concordeurope.org
The official MFF communication from the EC is available on https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/factsheets-long-term-budget-proposals_en and https://ec.europa.eu/avservices/ebs/schedule.cfm
Multi-annual Financial Framework: CONCORD timeline including previous papers and reactions.
 SECURITY AID: AidWatch paper 2018 “Fostering development, or serving European donors’ national interests?”: Analysing the current trends around the aid agenda with the help of figures, examples to build on recommendations, this publication from CONCORD focuses on how is Aid progressively “instrumentalised” and spent in favour conflict, peace and security (CPS) management, to the detriment of poverty eradication and sustainable development.
 AID & MIGRATION: AidWatch paper 2018 “The externalisation of Europe’s responsibilities”: Aiming at clarifying how EU’s development cooperation and migration agendas are interlinked in today’s EU policies, CONCORD’s new report provides a commentary on the impact of these links. The report draws a couple of key recommendations, and more specifically, identifies 3 trends outlining how EU aid is in fact used to curb migration, done on-purpose by EU policy-makers to serve domestic priorities: inflation, diversion and conditionality (link to animated infographics of the 3 trends).