Van Rompuy budget proposal includes aid budget cuts

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy at a meeting on the multiannual financial framework. Van Rompuy’s budget proposal is $95.5 billion less than that originally sought by the commission. Photo by: European Commission

The European Commission — and members of the European aid community — has rejected the latest proposal for the bloc’s 2014-2020 multiannual financing framework.

The proposal, which was prepared by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, is €75 billion ($95.5 billion) less than the budget originally sought by the commission. According to a copy of the proposal acquired by EurActiv, the budget for the Global Europe account and the funding level for the European Development Fund are among those that were reduced.

Van Rompuy has put a €65.65 billion cap on the budget for Global Europe, which covers all EU external assistance. This limit is slightly higher than the Cyprus presidency of the European Union’s proposal of €64 billion for the same account, but significantly less than the European Commission’s request of €70 billion, of which €51 billion is for development assistance.

Meanwhile, Van Rompuy is limiting contributions to the European Development Fund to €26.98 billion, which is some 11 percent lower than the €30 billion sought by the European Commission. The EDF is financed outside of the core EU budget but its funding level is approved alongside the multiannual framework.

European nongovernmental organizations have criticized this latest 2014-2020 budget proposal as detrimental to developing countries.

“Van Rompuy’s plans will make no substantial financial savings by cutting aid to poor countries. Instead some of the poorest people in the world will pay the highest price and could lose vital aid support,” Concord Europe Director Olivier Consolo said.

Budget-related talks in Europe, both for the 2013 budget and the 2014-2020 financing framework — are currently in a gridlock as key European institutions, including the council and parliament, remain at odds over their desired funding levels.

The European Council, which includes heads of EU member states and the president of the European Commission, is set to convene Nov. 22-23 for a special meeting on the 2014-2020 budget.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.