Small increase in aid funding

Small increase in aid funding



Five areas of spending that fall outside the EU budget were included in last week’s budget deal. Together, they are worth €37 billion; by far the largest, with €27bn, is the European Development Fund, the EU’s main fund for aid to poor countries. (It is financed from the member states and managed by a special committee according to its own rules.) But this will grow by just €200 million against the current multi-annual budget, a rise of only 0.6% – despite the EU’s failure to meet its own goal of providing 0.7% of its gross national income for development aid.

In all, the off-budget items are set to decrease by 9.5%, or €3.9bn. The European Globalisation Fund and the Solidarity Fund will be slashed by more than 50%, while the Flexibility Instrument grows by 131%, or €1.9bn. These lines, unlike the EDF, are activated only when the need arises.

Toby Vogel 

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