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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Barroso against development aid cuts

European Commission president José Manuel Barroso has made on Wednesday 21 Novemeber an impassioned plea for Europe to safeguard development aid spending at this Thursday's EU budget summit.
Speaking in the European parliament, Barroso said cuts to development and humanitarian aid are "a question of life and death" for the world’s most vulnerable and that Europe has a "particular responsibility to Africa".
His speech in Strasbourg follows a proposal last week from the European council president Herman Van Rompuy to cut the European development fund, which mainly targets sub-Saharan Africa, by 11 per cent or more than €3bn.
Some 2000 European NGOs subsequently sent a letter to the four European countries - Sweden, Denmark, the UK and Luxembourg - that are taking a lead in pressing the EU to honour its aid commitments.The letter from the NGOs, who were incensed by Van Rompuy's demands, called on these countries to "speak up" for Europe's development and humanitarian aid.
Barroso's support for their position was said by one EU insider to have put him on a "collision course" with Van Rompuy. "It is amazing to see one president set against another on this key issue", a source quoted by The Parliament said.


Source: The Parliament