The European Commission adopted Dec. 7 a package of budget proposals that provide €96.25 billion ($129.04 billion) for EU external action instruments for the period 2014-2020.
The proposals are set to allow the European Union to meet its commitment of spending 0.7 percent of EU gross national income on development aid by 2015. It also supports the European Commission’s new aid approach, which seeks to focus EU aid on fewer sectors such as democracy, human rights, good governance, and inclusive and sustainable growth. The EU is also looking to trim the number of countries it assists by focusing on those where EU aid would have the greatest impact.
The package of proposals provides for the following allocations for the nine instruments that finance EU engagement overseas:
€18.18 billion for the European Neighborhood Instrument.
€23.30 billion for development cooperation.
€34.27 billion for the European Development Fund.
€14.11 billion for the pre-accession instrument.
€2.83 billion for the instrument for stability.
€1.58 billion for the democracy & human rights.
€1.131 billion for the partnership instrument.
€631 million for the instrument for nuclear safety cooperation.
€219 million for the instrument for Greenland.
The partnership instrument is a new EU financing mechanism that aims to advance the bloc’s interest while addressing major global challenges. It is also expected to allow the EU to pursue agendas other than development cooperation with rich countries, emerging economies and other places where the EU has significant interests.
Members of the European development community have welcomed the contents of the EU proposal but some had a few concerns, including on whether the proposed increase in climate change fund is new money.
The commission is set to submit the adopted proposals to the European Parliament and European Council. These proposals are expected to be approved in 2012.
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