Oxfam International’s European Union office in Brussels works to influence decision-makers in the EU institutions and member states to ensure that European policies affecting developing and crisis-hit countries have a positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of those in need.
For decades, the European Union has been a major political force globally that has promoted peace, democracy and shared prosperity in its foreign policy. However, recent years have seen the EU turn inwards, implementing policies that respond to short-term political agendas within Europe rather than supporting human rights and sustainable development to the benefit of all people.
As countries around the world struggle to tackle the spread of the coronavirus, Europe can lead in the fight to contain the pandemic with visionary political leadership, and to use the recovery as an opportunity to make the world a better place. Oxfam believes that the EU can develop policy based on its founding values of human dignity and equality of opportunity, which work for both its members and its global partners.European politicians must act now to meet the commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Grand Bargain on Humanitarian Action.
Concretely, Oxfam is asking the European Parliament, the governments of EU member states and the European Commission to address four key priorities in the years 2019 to 2024:
The EU must commit to becoming a zero-carbon economy by 2050 and increase its funding for international action to fight the climate emergency which is the greatest threat to our planet and people.
The EU and its member states must uphold the rights of people seeking asylum in Europe, and work with partner countries to ensure all women, men and children who are displaced have access to the protection they need and are kept safe from exploitation.
The primary purposes of EU aid must be poverty eradication and a principled humanitarian response. Rights-based, sustainable development should be the overarching priority for the EU’s external action agenda.
The European Union has a crucial opportunity to lead the way with ambitious political action to overcome the virus and an economic recovery in Europe and beyond that is green, fair and builds global resilience to future crises.