The Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) determines the budget spending of the EU for a period of at least five years. The current MFF which ran from 2014 to 2020, is coming to an end. The EU institutions and Member States are elaborating the new MFF for the period of seven years, from 2021 to 2027.

The procedure of establishing the MFF starts with:

1. A proposal by the European Commission is put on the table, that sets out the regulation laying down the MFF (the headings, instruments, structure, legal basis)

2. This proposal must be adopted by the Council of Ministers by unanimity, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

Our confederation focuses on the External Instruments as these are the instruments which fund development cooperation. They currently represent about 6 % of the total EU budget under the umbrella “Global Europe” and will go until 10 % in the next budget. 

Have a look at the reverse chronological timeline below

to know more about the process and the next steps



MFF approved

Formally, the MFF is approved by a unanimous decision of the Council of Ministers with the Parliament having to also give consent. It is clear that this will not be done before the European Parliament elections, as was previously proposed.
The new budget will enter into force in January 2021 for a period of 7 years, until 2027.

More information



Statement of the final MFF negotiations outcome 

After two years of extensive negotiations on the Multi-annual Financial Framework 2021-2027, the European Council reached an agreement. In certain aspects, it could be considered an ambitious recovery plan for the European Union. However, major cuts were made to Heading VI: Neighbourhood and the World.

Our reaction

Green Deal, Human Development and NDICI programming 

In late August 2020, CONCORD issued a policy brief that continues to advocate for a 50% climate target to be included in the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation (NDICI) programming. Moreover, the brief includes recommendations to compliment the operationalisation of this target. 

Our policy brief

Digitalisation and NDICI programming 

This guidance note aims to provide practical guidance to civil society organisations participating in the consultation process of NDICI programming. 

Our guidance note

Joint letter from NGO networks to European Council on Heading VI in the next MFF and Recovery Fund 

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 ahead of the European Council on 19 June 2020. The letter presents recommendations on Headving VI of the next Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 and the Recovery Fund, “Next Generation EU”. 

Joint letter

Recommendations on the EU Programming process for external instrument

CONCORD proposes its recommendations to inform the programming process for the 2021-2027 period – building on civil society lessons learned and experiences of the preceding programming process – and in particular, the programming guidelines and consultations at country level.

Our recommendations

Letter to Heads of States & Governments + Podcast

Ahead of the EU council of 12th and 13th December, CONCORD together with Eurodad, CAN, VOICE, EPLO, HRDN and ENoP sent a letter to EU Heads of States and Governments to safeguard 10% of the future EU budget for external actions.

Our letter


This “Talking Development Podcast” podcast reveals the important elements that should be put into consideration for the new MFF. Stay tuned as our five experts explain why you should care about the new EU budget and what is at stake for European NGOs.

Our podcast (audio)

Recommendations for the NDICI Trilogue

The negotiations on the Neighborhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) between Commission, Council and Parliament (so called trilogue) have started and this document presents CONCORD’s views and recommendations for the trilogue negotiations.

The Recommendations

Recommendations on migration spendings

CONCORD reacts to the current proposal of a 10% spending target of the external actions budget to migration and comes with some recommendations for improvement. 

The Recommendations

The Road to Budget4Solidarity : Half-Way there 

In this article, we recap the progress achieved within the European Parliament in regards to the MFF/NDICI negotiations. Head inside and hit the road! 

The Article

A direction to follow

On March 27, following months of negotiations, the European Parliament finally confirmed its stand on the external instrument of the upcoming long-term EU budget 2021-2027. It is a commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, human rights and gender equality.

CONCORD’s Press Release

A crucial step forward

On 4 March 2019, the Foreign Affairs and Development Committees gathered to agree on their joint position on establishing the NDICI, the new single instrument for external actions under the next MFF. The vote’s outcome proves the committees are doing their part in creating a true budget for solidarity!

CONCORD’s Reaction

European Council 

On 13 & 14 December 2018, the European Council discussed the future EU budget. Ahead of that discussion, CONCORD and other umbrella organisations sent a letter to Heads of State and Government raising concerns on the amount dedicated to development aid.

The letter

Foreign Affairs Council 

On 26 November 2018, the Foreign Affairs Council discussed the external instruments of the future EU budget. Ahead of that discussion, CONCORD and Eurodad sent a letter to the VP Federica Mogherini in which they raised concerns about the private sector instruments, namely the EFSD+ and the External Action Guarantee.

The letter

Analysis of the thematic programmes

Through this document, CONCORD wants to explain in details why the current proposed amount of 7 billion EUR for thematic lines under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) is insufficient and will not allow the EU to deliver for its commitments. In parallel, the document develops an alternative proposition and concrete recommendations.

CONCORD’s analysis

MFF Conference

On 12 October 2018, an important conference titled “EU Budget for the Future – the road ahead” gathered members from the EU institutions, policy makers and the media to discuss the future of the EU budget. Helle Thorning, CEO of Save the Children International, represented the voice of civil society in the panel.

CONCORD used this key moment to raise awareness on its position and keep advocating for a #Budget4Solidarity 

The web streaming

Analysis of the external programme regulation

CONCORD went through the draft regulation of the NDICI, i.e. the programme for Development Cooperation (NDICI = Neighbourhood, Development and International Instrument). Find below the proposed amendments of the recitals and the annexes.

CONCORD’s proposal – recitals

CONCORD’s proposal – annexes

Also, CONCORD and Eurodad co-wrote 10 key concerns with the European Fund for Sustainable Development plus (EFSD+) in the MFF 2021-2027.

10 key concerns with the EFSD+ proposal

Informal Foreign Affairs Council

On 14 September, an Informal Foreign Affairs Council on development took place. The external financing of the EU budget was discussed. Ahead of that meeting, our members sent a letter to their national ministers and to Federica Mogherini.

CONCORD’s Letter

Member States’ position – CONCORD’s analysis

While EU Member States have published their position on the 2019 EU budget, CONCORD worked on a deeper analysis of the external funding instrument, i.e. the NDICI (the neighbourhood, development and international cooperation instrument).

What is the impact of the future EU budget on migration, sustainable development, Human Rights, gender or even geographic programmes? Get a detailed answer in our latest analysis (updated version from July to August).

CONCORD’s analysis

European Council 

The European Council met on the 28th and 29th of June in Brussels. The EU budget was in the agenda.

Ahead of this meeting, several civil society organisations prepared a joint letter gathering demands on the future EU budget (MFF). CONCORD was among the signatories.

Joint letter

Legal Basis of the external instruments


While the Commission released the legislative sectoral proposals on the 29th of May, the Commission published a more detailed functioning of the External Instruments on June 14th. 

From then, the decisions on the EU budget were taken by the Council and the negotiations took place at Member States’s level. The Commission was no longer involved.

CONCORD reacted via a press statement as well a series of videos including messages from our constituency. Feel free to use these and share them widely.


CONCORD’s reaction

CONCORD video messages

Foreign Affairs Council (Development)


The Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Heads of State and Governments gathered in Brussels to discuss the external financing of the next EU budget.

More information 

CONCORD encouraged its members to share the reactions below during meetings with ministries and other stakeholders at national level as well as to send this position proactively ahead of the 22nd of May.

Reaction to external financing

Reaction to the nexus “external action – migration”

CONCORD meets the DEVE Committee


CONCORD Europe was invited to speak during the DEVE Committee meeting on 16 May, 2018 under the agenda point “Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027: what does it mean for development cooperation?“. Katerzyna Lemanska (Coordination SUD / GHA) was representing our confederation, in the presence of the DEVE committee and the European Commission.


Outcomes of the meeting

EU Commission’s communication


The European Commission launched its communication on the future EU budget, this communication gave a first overview of the main budget architecture and the resources allocated by EU Member States.

Below find CONCORD’s reaction on the proposal.


Press reaction

Workshop DEVE Committee – CONCORD

This workshop organised by the Committee of Development with CONCORD Europe focused on the MFF 2021-2017 and the Future of ACP-EU Relations. CONCORD’s reaction was discussed.


CONCORD’s reaction

Merge of external instruments


The European Commission launched its official communication on the 2nd of May, including a merge of 12 different External Instruments.


While this proposal has a series of advantages, CONCORD is concerned that this proposal will not allow the EU to live up to its commitments on poverty eradication and sustainable development. See our general reaction from April 2018.


CONCORD’s reaction

Ministerial Conference


A Ministerial Conference took place in March 2018 during which Heads of States and Governments discussed the strategic direction of the future EU budget.


Ahead of the Conference, CONCORD, together with other platforms, EPLO, HRDN and VOICE, wrote a letter addressed to Heads of States and Governments asking for the future EU budget to include Human Rights and Sustainable Development at the core of their concerns.


The letter

Public Consultation


Once the spending review was over, the drafting of the proposal by the European Commission started in January 2018 and will close on the 2nd of May.

The draft of the proposal started with a public consultation which opened on January 10th and closed on March 8th.


Back in 2017, CONCORD responded to the public consultation of the mid-term review on the External Financing Instruments. Find below the summary of CONCORD’s contribution.


CONCORD’s response

European Parliament preparing the MFF


The European Parliament launched a report titled “Next MFF: Preparing the Parliament’s position on MFF post-2020”. All the Committees in the Parliament are invited to provide an opinion.

The DEVE Committee (Committee in charge of development matters) prepared some amendments to the text. So did the BUDG Committee (in charge of the Budget).


CONCORD reacted to the amendments made by DEVE and BUDG.


CONCORD’s analysis of DEVE amendments

CONCORD’s analysis of BUDG amendments

First steps of the EU Budget


The process of the next EU Budget started officially in June 2017 with a reflection paper from the Commission. In October, the Budget Committee of the Parliament adopted a resolution based on the EC reflection paper.

When it comes to the external instruments (the instruments which finance development aid), the Committee in charge of Development in the European Parliament (DEVE) worked all along from October 2017 to January 2018 to agree on a joint opinion which was then sent to the Budget Committee and the CODEV group in the Council.


As the Spending Review was finalised and presented to the public, CONCORD launched its first position paper in December 2017 providing guidance on the general direction of the future EU Budget.


CONCORD’s position paper