Friday

24th Mar 2017

Budget cuts jeopardize EU aid projects, humanitarian agencies say

  • EU budget cut proposals will affect EU commitments to development for world's poorest, says Oxfam (Photo: European Commission)

EU policies in development and humanitarian aid risks having their budget slashed over the next seven years, say humanitarian agencies.

The proposed cuts would present the single largest drop in funds "ever seen in development and humanitarian aid," said the UK-based Oxfam in a statement on Thursday (16 November).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The European Commission has budgeted €60 billion for development and humanitarian aid over 2014-2020 but has met resistance from the budget hawk member states who want it reduced.

The money would ensure some €8.5 billion annually for projects to help fund education, food centres in famished areas, and numerous development projects throughout 150 countries.

The aid money is taken from the EU's Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) and the European Development Fund (EDF).

But Oxfam says EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy called for a 9.65 percent cut to external spending, with some 11 percent taken out from EDF "despite its focus to the world’s poorest countries."

Meanwhile, an earlier seven-year budget plan put forward by the EU Cypriot presidency called for an overall €50 billion cut to the EU budget which would "disproportionately" target aid, says Oxfam.

Oxfam noed that the Cypriot presidency wants to remove €7.3 billion from the aid budget.

"[This] would represent more than 10 percent cut to external spending and 15 percent of the overall proposed bargain," said the agency.

The EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP), by way of comparison, would have its budget reduced by around 1 percent.

Member states pushing for the overall cuts in the budget say the EU funds are misspent.

Others want to retain keep the aid intact.

For his part, France's minister of finance Pierre Moscovici said in October that the EU should “conserve” the level of development aid “throughout the budget negotiations ahead, which should not interfere" with this goal, reported the AFP.

A November report by the European Court of Auditors said EU money for external development and humanitarian aid projects was generally well managed, but with some discrepancies in final payments and tendering procedures.

"We do think [the development agenda] is one of the priorities and we will be making the case for it as part of [EU] budget negotiations… It is fair to say the European Development Fund, when we put it through [the UK government] multilateral aid review in 2011, it came with a good score," said Justine Greening, the UK secretary of state for international development in a speech in October.

Stolen Russian billions ended up in EU states

Illicit money flowing out of Russia ended up in almost every single EU state, an investigation has found, posing questions on the integrity of Europe’s banking systems.

Turkey-EU relations plumb new depths

Turkey’s EU quarrel escalated on all fronts over the weekend, amid fresh “Nazi” and “terrorism” jibes. “Not all Turks are little Erdogans,” Juncker said.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  2. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  3. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  4. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  5. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  6. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  7. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  9. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  10. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  11. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People
  12. Nordic Council of Ministers25 Nordic Bioeconomy Cases for Sustainable Change