EU Development and Humanitarian Policy

The European Union is a leading global actor in development cooperation and humanitarian aid, with a commitment to working alongside its partner countries in order to respond to crises and support meaningful and sustainable development as outlined in the 2005 EU Consensus on Development,  EU Agenda for Change, and the 2008 EU Consensus on Humanitarian Aid.

The EU is also the largest global aid donor, with combined official development assistance from EU Member-States and the Community amounting to €53.1 billion in 2011. The European Union is fully committed to the UN target of 0.7 per cent of its gross national income (GNI) in official development assistance by 2015.

Much of this aid has been focused on supporting implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and reaching the overarching aim of halving poverty and hunger by 2015. The EU remains committed to working closely with its partner countries and the wider donor community to help reach these goals. Respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, gender equality, good governance and aid effectiveness are also at the heart of the EU Development project.

  • Negotiating EU Development Budgets and future Financial Instruments

    The Cyprus Presidency will aim to reach agreement on the scale of EU development and humanitarian funding for 2014-2020 as well as all EU Instruments related to future cooperation with developing countries. The new development instruments will frame all EU cooperation with developing countries until 2020.

    Sustainable Change in Transition Societies

    The Cyprus Presidency is expected to promote a policy innovation focused on supporting sustainable change in transition societies. This will focus on countries undergoing major economic, social and political reforms in neighbourhood as well as other developing countries.

    Drawing on the experience of EU Member States having undergone similar periods of transition, the aim is to strengthen the EU as an important partner in the development of inclusive political processes, a vibrant civil society, as well as economic policies needed for sustainable growth such as employment generation.

    Engagement with civil society

    The Cyprus Presidency will endeavour to deepen engagement with civil society and local authorities, building on the outcomes of the structured dialogue with these important development stakeholders. The overall aim is to establish a new political and practical framework for EU engagement with civil society organisations as development actors in their own right.

    Social protection in EU development policy

    In response to the combined effects of the global financial and economic crisis and the persistence of non-inclusive growth, social protection has been brought to the forefront of the development agenda.  The specific purpose is to strengthen the role of social protection in underpinning inclusive and sustainable development.

    Financing for Development

    The Cyprus Presidency will seek to ensure that the EU continues to make progress on its ambitious development commitments in the context of financing for development and the global post-2015 development framework.

    The EU has a comprehensive approach to supporting developing countries in mobilizing development financing from all available sources. Under the Cyprus Presidency, the Council will strengthen EU policies on domestic resource mobilization, debt sustainability, foreign direct investment, financing from the private sector and other private flows, as well as, innovative sources of development financing.

    EU Humanitarian aid

    The Presidency will take work forward on important humanitarian issues such as the establishment of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (EVHAC), the revision of the Instrument for Humanitarian Aid, as well as, efforts to further strengthen the link between Relief, Rehabilitation and Development.

    European Voluntary Humanitarian Corps

    The proposal for a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps will be discussed by the Council and European Parliament, during the Cyprus Presidency. The purpose is to provide European volunteers with the opportunity to support humanitarian assistance outside the EU.

    Food Security and improved nutrition

    Food security and improved nutrition are at the core of efforts to fight hunger and improve development outcomes.  The Cyprus Presidency will put strong emphasis on supporting EU efforts in addressing these challenges in developing countries.

    Relevant Links:

    Annual Report 2006 on the European Community’s Development Policy and the
    Implementation of External Assistance in 2005

    Increasing the Impact of EU Development Policy: an Agenda for Change

    Toward a European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid

    Development and Cooperation - EUROPEAID