A nongovernmental organization has released a new report on EU aid ahead of another budget discussion next week. The message: €51 billion ($64.8 billion) in aid could provide as much as €11 billion in net gains for the bloc.
The report from ONE tries to convince European leaders, who remain in disagreement, to keep the proposed €51 billion aid budget for 2014-2020. It tries to make the case that EU aid is “a smart investment” and not just purely altruistic. It argues that investing in productive investments, such as infrastructure, for example, could boost trade and imports from aid recipient countries.
But these positive gains are dependent on aid being “channeled effectively” — a critical point also mentioned in the report. This could pose problems when convincing EU leaders to keep the proposed budget, as aid effectiveness remains a complex issue in development. Proposed funding for the European Development Fund and the Development Cooperation Instrument for the next Multiannual Financial Framework is at €30 billion and €21 billion, respectively.
The report, according to ONE’s Johanna Stratmann, is the first to “quantify the impact of EU aid on donor and recipient countries” alike. It is among the many reports and campaigns aid advocates produce every year to protect foreign aid from government cuts.
Such actions are more apparent in recent years amid government austerity measures because of the global economic downturn.
EU heads of state are set to meet Nov. 22-23 to discuss the 2014-2020 budget. They are expected to arrive into an agreement by the end of the year.
Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex senior reporter based in Manila. Since 2011, she has covered a wide range of development and humanitarian aid issues, from leadership and policy changes at DfID to the logistical and security impediments faced by international and local aid responders in disaster-prone and conflict-affected countries in Africa and Asia. Her interests include global health and the analysis of aid challenges and trends in sub-Saharan Africa.