EU long-term budget short-changes development aid

Published: 2nd May 2018

Today, the European Commission published its proposal for the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The MFF will determine the architecture and the financial amounts of the EU’s budget for the next seven years (2021-2027).

Oxfam’s Policy Advisor, Hanna Saarinen, said:

“The proposal shows that the EU is abandoning its ambition to be the global leader in international development. The EU is more concerned with pushing its own agenda than delivering on its commitments to the sustainable development goals. Despite increasing the amount of funds allocated to foreign policy, when it comes to development aid, it seems impossible for the EU to reach its collective target of 0.7% gross national income. 

“Oxfam is worried that the profound restructuring of the EU’s funding instruments will put development aid at risk. The broad External Instrument may be flexible, but it is not accountable. Having a broad External Instrument means we cannot be sure aid goes where it is most needed. We need to ring-fence funds for issues that matter: access to quality essential services, women’s rights, and food security. A one-pot-for-all approach could also result in the most vulnerable regions being undermined at the expense of countries of strategic geopolitical interest. 

“Further, the EU’s focus on using aid to stop irregular migration is short-sighted and will be detrimental to development in the long run. The EU has also proposed to expand the blending of public and private finance to increase funding for development. There needs to be robust safeguards put in place to make sure that the EU does not put corporate gains before sustainable development.” 

Notes to editors

•  European Commission proposal for the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)
•  As the European Union and member states are busily designing the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), development cooperation does not seem to have a place in the plan.
•  An Oxfam analysis shows that the flexible nature of the financial instrument ‘Trust fund for Africa’ has generated both opportunities and risks, and lacks sufficient checks and balances to ensure that European interests do not take precedence over the needs of the people that aid is intended to help.
•  In its position paper on the Multiannual Financial Framework Oxfam states that development aid is at risk. Aid must be used to reduce poverty, help people in need and support sustainable development around the world.

Contact information

Caroline Jacobsson | Brussels | | office +32 2 234 11 15 

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