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European Development Fund (EDF)

The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for providing Community aid for development cooperation in the ACP States and OCT. The 1957 Treaty of Rome made provision for its creation with a view to granting technical and financial assistance, initially to African countries which at that time were still colonised and with which some Member States had historical links.

Even though a heading has been reserved for the Fund in the Community budget since 1993 following a request by the European Parliament, the EDF does not yet come under the Community's general budget. It is funded by the Member States, is subject to its own financial rules and is managed by a specific committee. The aid granted to ACP States and OCTs will continue to be funded by the EDF, at least for the period 2008-2013.

Each EDF is concluded for a period of around five years. Since the conclusion of the first partnership convention in 1964, the EDF cycles have generally followed the partnership agreement/convention cycles.

  • First EDF: 1959-1964
  • Second EDF: 1964-1970 (Yaoundé I Convention)
  • Third EDF: 1970-1975 (Yaoundé II Convention)
  • Fourth EDF: 1975-1980 (Lomé I Convention)
  • Fifth EDF: 1980-1985 (Lomé II Convention)
  • Sixth EDF: 1985-1990 (Lomé III Convention)
  • Seventh EDF: 1990-1995 (Lomé IV Convention)
  • Eighth EDF: 1995-2000 (Lomé IV Convention and the revised Lomé IV)
  • Ninth EDF: 2000-2007 (Cotonou Agreement)
  • Tenth EDF: 2008-2013 (Revised Cotonou Agreement)

The EDF consists of several instruments, including grants, risk capital and loans to the private sector. The Stabex and Sysmin instruments designed to help the agricultural and mining sectors were abolished by the new partnership agreement signed in Cotonou in June 2000. This agreement also streamlined the EDF and introduced a system of rolling programming, making for greater flexibility and giving the ACP States greater responsibility.

The ninth EDF has been allocated 13.5 billion for the period 2000-2007. In addition, the unexpended balances from previous EDFs total 9.9 billion.

ACP-EC Council of Ministers Decision No 6/2005 of 22 November 2005 commits 482 million of the conditional 1 billion to the ninth European Development Fund. This amount is allocated as follows: 352 million to support long-term development, 48 million for regional cooperation and integration and 82 million for the investment facility. Furthermore, a second instalment of 250 million for the ACP-EU Water Facility was established by ACP-EC Council of Ministers Decision No 7/2005 .

The development aid provided by the EDF forms part of a broader European framework. Within the European Union, the funds of the Community's general budget may be used for certain types of aid. Moreover, in addition to managing part of the EDF's resources (loans and risk capital), the European Investment Bank (EIB) will contribute a total of 1.7 billion from own resources for the period covered by the ninth EDF.

The tenth EDF covers the period from 2008 to 2013 and provides an overall budget of EUR 22 682 million. Of this amount, EUR 21 966 million is allocated to the ACP countries, EUR 286 million to the OCT and EUR 430 million to the Commission as support expenditure for programming and implementation of the EDF. The amount for the ACP countries is divided accordingly: EUR 17 766 million to the national and regional indicative programmes, EUR 2 700 million to intra-ACP and intra-regional cooperation and EUR 1 500 million to Investment Facilities. An increased share of the budget is devoted to regional programmes, thereby emphasising the importance of regional economic integration as the basic framework for national and local development. An innovation in the tenth EDF is the creation of "incentive amounts" for each country.

The Member States have their own bilateral agreements and implement their own initiatives with developing countries that are not financed by the EDF or any other Community funds.

Last updated: 14.06.2007
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