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The EU's Financial Instrument for Development

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About the series

EU development assistance and other policy expenditures are determined every seven years in framework budget reviews called the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). This is equivalent to a national government undergoing a spending review for all areas of public expenditure. All aspects of the EU budget are up for negotiation, including how much, what for and the spending rules. The blog series follows this process over the last three years with a specific focus on the EU’s development portfolio, providing a critical analysis of the challenges at each stage of the negotiations.

More from the Series

The EU's Financial Instrument for Development
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Redesigning Global Europe: The EU’s Neighbourhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument

EU member states and the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Development Committees finally approved the new Neighbourhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI)—Global Europe. The instrument, worth €79.5 billion over the period 2021-2027, marks a profound transformation of EU development policy and spending.

The EU’s New Budget: Europe’s Recovery at The Expense of Its Long- Term Ambitions

After a four day marathon run of negotiations, the 27 Heads of State of the EU reached an agreement on both the Recovery Fund—a large fund to support the post-COVID recovery across the EU—and its new long-term budget and priorities, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027. While leaders across the EU are now hailing the deal as a “win” for their own voters and priorities, inevitably the negotiations were fundamentally driven by domestic interests and priorities, and predictably, international development has suffered as a result of the cuts.

A Budget Fit for the Future? Breaking Down the EU’s External Actions Proposals for the Next MFF

After weeks of speculation, the European Commission has published the details of its proposed radical reconfiguration of EU external actions instruments for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). Digging into the details, while value-add is the mantra, what’s missing is a distinctive EU development offer. And while flexibility is key in an increasingly turbulent and uncertain world, it needs to be deployed using clear guidelines and balanced by accountability.

changes in EU agricultural budget over time

What the EU Budget Means for Developing Countries: Agriculture and Development

Three weeks ago, the European Commission published its initial proposal for the EU’s budget from 2021 to 2027. The headlines? Overall spending would rise despite the loss of the UK, and development spending and ‘external action’ could see increases. But both agriculture and regional spending would be cut. This blog post is the first in a series analyzing the Commission’s proposals for its “long-term budget” and looks specifically at the agriculture budget and its global development impact.

Development Cooperation Has Emerged a Winner in the EU’s 2021-2027 Budget Proposal, but the Odds Are Stacked against It

The long-awaited European Commission Communication on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027—the EU’s long-term budget—has been unveiled, and so begins the EU’s big battle over money and priorities. Brace yourselves for a long arduous struggle that will expose divisions in the bloc in all sorts of ways—payers vs. recipients, east vs. west, north vs. south, federalists vs. intergovernmentalists, values vs interests. This is also the review that will shape the future of EU development cooperation and the credibility of the EU as a major player in the international development sphere. Does the Commission’s proposal live up to the challenge?