25th Mar 2019

EU states drifting from development aid goals

The latest figures on development aid from European Union member states from the OECD suggest that the bloc is drifting away from commitments to deliver 0.7 percent of its gross national income in development assistance by 2015.

In 2009, largely as a result of the financial crisis, some of the biggest EU economies, Germany, Italy and Spain let their aid flows drop.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • EU development assistance has been hit hard by the economic crisis (Photo: European Communities/ECHO/Vicente Raimundo)

According to numbers released on Wednesday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee (DAC), Germany's aid declined by 12 percent, from 0.38 percent in 2008 to 0.35 percent last year.

Italy's figures fell by 31 percent from 0.22 percent in 2008 to 0.16 percent in 2009. Spain, the country currently chairing the EU's six-month rotating presidency, saw its numbers fall by much less however: 1.2 percent.

Ireland, one of the hardest hit EU member states by the crisis, saw a significant drop of 18.9 percent in its aid levels from 2008.

It is not all bad news however, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Sweden and the UK all increased their aid.

At the same time, while Dutch aid climbed slightly as a percentage of the economy, the country's real amount of spending drooped by roughly €440 million.

Luxembourg's funding also climbed percentage-wise while falling in terms of monies laid out, as did that of Sweden, which spent around €145 million less than in 2008.

In total, European aid is off-track to hit its 2010 target of providing 0.56 percent of GNI in development aid, offering 0.44% of aid in 2009, up one percent on the 0.43 percent it provided in 2008.

The EU is not alone in its aid truancy. Japan's funding slid by 10.2 percent; Canada's by 9.5 percent; and Australia's by 1.2 percent.

The US however chalked up a small increase from 0.19 percent to 0.2.

A commitment on the part of developed countries to provide assistance amounting to 0.7 percent of GNI to developing countries was first made as long ago as 1970 by the UN General Assembly.

Romania presidency shatters EU line on Jerusalem

Romania will move its embassy to Jerusalem, its prime minister has said, shattering the EU line on the Arab-Israeli conflict while the country holds the EU rotating presidency.

Name row on new EU sanctions exposes deeper rift

EU officials have voiced scepticism on proposed new human rights sanctions, amid a "nasty" debate to what extent Russia ought to be named and shamed in the title of the new measures.

Hopeless Gaza Strip ripe for Islamic State, says UN head

Fears are mounting that more extreme militants, possibly linked to the Islamic State, will gain a foothold in the Gaza Strip as trapped youth lose all sense of hope in a conflict that is on the verge of boiling over.

News in Brief

  1. May admits 'not sufficient support' for third Brexit vote
  2. Orban vows more EU 'information campaigns'
  3. May 'effectively out of power', says Scottish leader
  4. May under pressure to resign over Brexit endgame
  5. Million march against Brexit, five million sign petition
  6. Italy first G7 country to sign China Belt and Road deal
  7. EU leaders at summit demand more effort on disinformation
  8. Report: Corbyn to meet May on Monday for Brexit talks

EU migrants sneaking into US from Mexico

Almost 1,000 Romanian nationals were caught trying to sneak into the United States in 2017, of which around half attempted to cross via Mexico. Nationals from countries like Hungary and the UK were also intercepted.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Latest News

  1. Romania presidency shatters EU line on Jerusalem
  2. The Spitzen process - a coup that was never accepted
  3. Russia and money laundering in Europe
  4. Italy takes China's new Silk Road to the heart of Europe
  5. What EU leaders agreed on climate - and what they mean
  6. Copyright and (another) new Brexit vote This WEEK
  7. EU avoids Brexit crash, sets new date for 12 April
  8. Campaigning commissioners blur the lines

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us