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Thursday, 29 March 2012

Objection on proposed new contribution key for the EDF

During the course of the last Council meeting on General Affairs, ministers discussed, in public session, the first elements of the negotiating box outlining the most central issues and options for certain parts of the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2014-2020 period. The negotiating box discussed by ministers covers budget  5 headings , as well as some horizontal issues, in particular the question of whether some instruments should be placed inside or outside the MFF. Related issues to the European Development Fund (EDF), which is the main instrument for providing Community development aid in the ACP countries, and which is funded by the Member States according to a specific contribution key, were part of the discussions.
On the question of whether some instruments should be placed inside or outside the MFF, some member states considered that, for the sake of transparency and budget discipline, all instruments should be placed inside the MFF. In line with the Commission’s proposal, some delegations however thought that, on account of their specific characteristics, some instruments should be placed outside.
According to a recent Press release by the Council of the EU, several member states objected to the proposed new contribution key for the  EDF, that the Commission has repeatedly asked for with the aim of increasing public control of this aid, as well as transparency and effectiveness.
Following several meetings, scheduled within the coming months, the European Council will discuss the negotiating box as the basis for the final
stage of negotiations in June. The aim is to finalise the negotiations on the MFF by the end of this year.

Source: Council of the EU