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The European Union is the key player as regards international development aid. The foundations of development cooperation are laid down in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Title III). The main objective of the European Union is to reduce and then eradicate poverty.
The Union's development policy has developed gradually: it concerned at the outset only the overseas countries and territories associated with the Union and has now been extended to include all developing countries. These policies are one of the pillars of the Union's external relations, affording as it does a solution tailored to the needs of developing countries.
General development framework
General principles, Principles of development aid, Effectiveness of aid, Monitoring the financing for development, Cooperation and complementarity between the EU and the Member States, International Cooperation, Instruments, Thematic Programmes
Sectoral development policies
Governance, Human rights, Rule of law and democracy, Human and social development, Sustainable development, Environment and the management of natural resources, Agriculture and rural development, Food safety, Economic and commercial development, Infrastructures, Migration, Other sectoral provisions
African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)
Cotonou Agreement, Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific, European Development Fund and other financial instruments, Sectoral cooperation
General framework, Sectoral cooperation, Regional context, Financial assistance
Overseas countries and territories (OCT)
EU-OCT relations, European Development Fund
Least developed countries (LDC)
Highly indebted poor countries, Special trading arrangements
- Overviews of European Union: Development and cooperation
- Further information: Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation — EuropeAid of the European Commission
- International Agreements.