Brussels, 8 April 2014
Commissioner Piebalgs calls on Member States to intensify efforts to increase development aid
The European Union and its Member States continued to be the world's largest aid donor in 2013 according to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), providing more than half of the Official Development Assistance (ODA). Figures published today show that EU collective ODA (EU institutions and Member States) increased from €55.3 billion in 2012 to €56.5 billion in 2013, after two consecutive years of decline. EU collective ODA remained at 0.43% of EU gross national income (GNI), same level as the year before.
In 2005, EU Member States pledged to increase ODA to 0.7% of EU GNI by 2015. The European Council confirmed in June 2013 that it remains a key priority for Member States to respect this commitment, in support of achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
10 Member States increased and 8 maintained their ODA/GNI levels, while 10 Member States reduced their effort (list of countries in the MEMO – page 5). The UK reached 0.72%, exceeding its 0.7% target for the first time.
EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs commented: “I am glad to see that the recent decline in ODA spending seems to have been reversed and we are seeing a positive trend again. Clearly, the EU still has a long way to go to meet our collective commitment, but measures taken by some Member States show that we can deliver on our promises, even in difficult budgetary circumstances, provided the political will is there. I am particularly pleased to see that the United Kingdom has achieved such a significant increase. I encourage all Member States to intensify their efforts in our last sprint to 2015.”
Performance by Member States has been mixed:
In total, 16 Member States increased their ODA nominally by €3.91 billion, while the decreases in the 12 others amounted to €1.22 billion.
Four EU Member States – including, for the first time, the UK – exceeded the 0.7% ODA/GNI mark (Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, UK). Denmark aims to reach 1% of GNI, which Luxembourg and Sweden already achieved in 2013.
Reaching the target of 0.7% of EU collective GNI by 2015 would require a very substantial effort by most Member States.
In 2005, EU Member States pledged to increase Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015 and included an interim target of 0.56% ODA/GNI by 2010. No other major donor has made such a significant commitment to increasing aid.
From 2002 to 2010, EU ODA followed an overall upward trend, with some fluctuations. After decreases in 2011 and 2012, the positive trend has resumed in 2013.
The pledge is based on individual targets of 0.7% ODA/GNI for the 15 countries which were EU members before 2004 and 0.33% GNI for the Member States which joined the EU after that. Countries that were already at or above 0.7% ODA/GNI pledged to sustain their efforts. The data published today is based on preliminary information reported by the EU Member States to the OECD and to the EU Commission.
EU collective ODA consists of the total ODA spending of the 28 EU Member States and the ODA of EU institutions not attributed to individual Member States (i.e. own resources of the European Investment Bank).
For more information:
MEMO/14/263: Publication of preliminary data on Official Development Assistance
Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:
Website of the European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs: