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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Parliament regrets development aid cuts

The previous European Parliament Development committee which took places between 18 and 19 February expressed its regret for the cut of 11% of the European Development Fund (EDF), compared to the commission’s earlier proposals, after the deal for the overall EU budget for 2014-2020 was struck on 8th of February.
The MEPs admitted though that much bigger cuts had been anticipated.
As the EDF is an intergovernmental fund, outside the general budget, it is negotiated without the consent of the European Parliament.
The commission also encouraged the creation of others sources of revenue, as financial transaction taxes, suggestion which has been circulating before among Brussels technocrats.
The EDF is the main instrument for providing Community development aid in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the overseas countries and territories (OCTs), and has received under the new budget € 26, 9 bn,  €3 bn less than in the initial proposal of the European Commission.
The EU's assistance to the ACP countries has traditionally been financed outside the EU budget for historical and legal reasons, but its level has been traditionally agreed as part of the overall budget negotiations.
Overall, the budget proposal for EU external relations (this includs aid) was cut by approximately 13% : The Commission proposed a budget of €70 billion, while the Council opted for €60.67 billion, a difference of €9.3 billion.
The overall EU budget for 2014-2020 is smaller than its predecessor. It goes down to 1% from 1.12% of EU gross national income. It is the first net reduction to the EU budget in history.

Source: Euractiv, CONCORD