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.