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European Commission - Press release

European Commission calls for renewed commitments to reach targets on official development assistance

Brussels, 08 April 2015

The European Union and its Member States have kept their place as the world's largest aid donor in 2014. They provided more than half of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) reported last year to the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD/DAC). This is demonstrated by data published today by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

The new figures show that EU collective ODA (EU institutions and Member States) has increased to EUR 58.2 billion (up 2.4% from 2013) – growing for the second year in a row and reaching its highest nominal level to date. EU collective ODA represented 0.42% of EU Gross National Income (GNI) in 2014, a marginal decline (-0.0085%) from 0.43% in 2013 - due to changes in the way GNI was calculated by most Member States - but significantly higher than for other OECD donors whose ODA averaged 0.28% of GNI. Without the change in GNI methodology, EU collective ODA in 2014 would have reached 0.44% of EU GNI.

EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, commented: “I am proud that the EU has upheld its place as the world's leading provider of ODA in recent years, despite the difficult economic situation. But we are still some way from meeting our ambitious targets.

2015 is a crucial year for the future of sustainable development, with negotiations on the post-2015 agenda and financing for development set to conclude. I firmly believe that we should recommit to reaching the 0.7% target as a crucial contribution to securing an ambitious outcome to the post-2015 negotiations.”

In 2005, the EU and its Member States pledged to increase their collective ODA to 0.7% of EU GNI by 2015. The European Council confirmed in June 2014 that this remains a key priority, in support of achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Despite a real growth in EU ODA of almost 50% since 2002, the EU is off track to meet this target by the end of 2015.

In 2014, 11 Member States increased and 1 maintained their ODA/GNI levels. The highest increases in ODA/GNI ratio have been in Croatia (0.07% to 0.11%), Finland (0.54% to 0.60%), Germany (0.38% to 0.41%), Luxembourg (1.0% to 1.07%), Romania (0.07% to 0.10%) and Sweden (1.01% to 1.10%).

Four EU Member States exceeded the 0.7% ODA/GNI mark: Sweden (1.10%), Luxembourg (1.07%), Denmark (0.85%),and the United Kingdom (0.71%).

ODA/GNI ratio saw a decline in France (0.41% to 0.36%), Ireland (0.46% to 0.38%), the Netherlands (0.67% to 0.64%), Portugal (0.23% to 0.19%), and Spain (0.17% to 0.14%) and in 11 other EU Member States.

In total, 15 Member States[1] increased their ODA nominally by €3.4 billion, while the decreases in the 13 others amounted to €1.3 billion.

Background

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, a positive trend 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).

2015 is a decisive year in which the Millennium Development Goals will expire and the Millennium Development Goals that have inspired development cooperation over the last fifteen years will be replaced by a single framework for poverty eradication and sustainable development at the UN General Assembly in New York in September.

Prior to this, the international community will gather for the third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, in July. The Conference is expected to lay out how the newly proposed post-2015 framework could be implemented.

For more information:

MEMO/15/4748:  Publication of preliminary data on Official Development Assistance  

Website of DG International Cooperation and Development:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Website of the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission/2014-2019/mimica_en


[1]BE, CY, HR, DK, EE, FI, DE, EL, HU, LV, MT, NL, RO, SE, UK.

IP/15/4747

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