Thursday

18th Jan 2018

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).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

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.

EU seeks to extend Morocco fish deal, despite legal opinion

An EU court advisor says an EU fish deal with Rabat should be scrapped due to the Morocco-annexed territory of the Western Sahara. The fisheries agreement is set to expire in July but the European Commission want to renew it.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. EU 'hypocrisy' condemns people to Libya, says NGO
  2. Next year's EU election at risk of Russian meddling
  3. Hungary to tax NGOs that 'help' migration
  4. Cyprus, Malta, and Russia gang up on whistleblower
  5. 'No backsliding' on Brexit promise, Irish PM warns
  6. Commission and council dig in on GMO opt-outs
  7. Ombudsman asks ECB chief to quit secret bankers group
  8. Polish Nazi-jibe MEP 'spams' EU inboxes