Brussels, 21 April 2010
Development aid and Millennium Development Goals: Commission calls Member States to get back on track for more and better aid
Today, the European Commission has adopted an ambitious action plan for EU action to speed up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2009, the EU aid level has slightly decreased and amounted €49bn. This corresponds to 0.42% of EU GNI, making the EU still far from meeting the intermediate collective target of 0,56% GNI by 2010, before reaching 0.7% EU GNI by 2015. The EU remains the most generous global donor, providing over half of global aid. The Commission proposes to Member States a number of actions in support of MDGs. They aim at increasing the level of aid while making aid more efficient and focused on those countries and sectors most in need. To feed into the action plan, the Commission also adopted a Communication on taxation and development which aims at increasing developing countries' domestic revenues through building stronger domestic fiscal systems and fighting tax evasion internationally. The action plan sets out a possible EU position ahead of the UN Summit on the MDGs this September.
President Barroso said: "2010 is a year of opportunity for the EU to renew its commitment towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As we celebrate the ‘European Year against Poverty and Social Exclusion’, it is important to recall that the challenge of poverty does not stop at the EU’s borders. I call on Member States to make developing countries part of our thinking for the future. Promoting development has to be part and parcel of Europe’s response to global challenges. We have a chance to make this a new decade for development and I am personally committed to push this agenda at global level during this year's G8 and G20 summits and in the UN MDG Review Meeting."
European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs said: "I want Europe to remain the main and most credible leader in the fight against poverty. We have to respect our promises of more and better aid to halve poverty by 2015. This plan shows how we can keep the lead in working with developing countries to get back on track towards the MDGs. The Goals are still achievable, provided there is financial effort and political will from EU Member States."
More aid and better value for aid, with coherent policies
The EU Action Plan proposes ways to ensure increase of the aid by Member States and supports the need for innovative sources of financing. It also addresses the quality of aid: Commission wants to make aid more effective, by sharing labour and responsibilities within the EU, and making sure there are no "aid orphan" countries. The Commission will also ensure that all its policies are coherent with development goals.
The action plan consists of 12 points.
The EU Action plan and the accompanying thematic documents will be discussed in the Foreign Affairs Council in May and June. It should also be part of the European Council in June, so as to ensure a strong and coordinated European voice in view of the UN Summit on MDGs in September 2010.
MEMO/10/147 on the Action Plan and 2009 EU statistics
MEMO/10/146 on Tax and Development
MEMO/10/145 on Millennium Development Goals and "EU funded projects"
Other related documents
The EU Action Plan in support of the Millennium Development Goals:
EU donor atlas:
Projects on Commissioner's website
EU funded monitor of progress towards the MDGs:
0.33% of GNI for the Member States that joined the EU since 2004; 0.7% of GNI for the other EU countries, while Member States which have achieved that target commit themselves to remain above that level.