Oxfam's EU Advocacy office in Brussels

Member States’ proposed aid funding in 2018 EU Budget is insufficient and attempts to divert money away from those most in need, argue a coalition of development and humanitarian organisations.


Today, EU Member States agreed their position on the bloc’s budget for 2018 with a proposal to cut €90million from the development aid budget compared to the European Commission’s Draft Budget 2018 – a decrease of 6.5% compared to 2017.


Reacting to Member States’ position, development and humanitarian organisations Plan International, ONE, Oxfam and Save the Children said:


“The EU is capable of creating a more just, sustainable and prosperous future for all – in Europe and beyond. Member States have the combined resources to make huge advances in efforts to tackle poverty and inequality, fight injustice and protect the planet – provided they spend wisely. But the budget Member States are proposing is far from ensuring that no one is left behind. Instead, it seems to be more about serving their own national interests,” said Alexandra Makaroff, Plan International’s EU Representative.


“Member States’ call to cut development aid at a time of increasing need is short-sighted and unwise. Today’s challenges will become tomorrow’s problems unless we urgently scale up investment in long-term development programmes. The proposed budget won’t be enough to cover both the additional challenges the EU and developing countries face, and to end extreme poverty. The EU must show a bold vision by refocusing their ambition on those living in poverty so to prevent crises from happening rather than merely treating their symptoms,” added Valentina Barbagallo, Brussels Policy and Advocacy Manager from The ONE Campaign.


“It’s not just the amount of money which is crucial – where and what it’s spent on are every bit as important. Development aid must go to those who need it most, no matter who or where they are. EU Member States are increasingly tying aid to their own political interests, rather than focus it on the poorest countries and poorest people. Reducing migration towards Europe should not become an indicator for the success of development aid,” added Natalia Alonso, Oxfam International’s Deputy Director for Advocacy and Campaigns.


“Despite the proposed increase in the EU’s emergency response budget, which is much needed, a growing and disproportionate share of the pot is being directed towards crises in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood – increasingly creating forgotten crises elsewhere in the world. This undermines the core principle of humanitarian aid. An even more generous budget would help ensure that EU funding remains needs based and proportionate across different regions and crises,” said Ester Asin, Director of Save the Children EU Office.


Good to know:

  • The European Commission submitted its draft 2018 EU Budget on 30 May 2017. The Council of the European Union and European Parliament together agree the final budget. The European Parliament is expected to release its position on the Draft Budget 2018 in October 2017.


  • A specific Conciliation Committee is convened to reconcile the positions of the Parliament and the Council. It has 21 days to agree on a common budget, which both institutions should afterwards approve. This year, the period runs from 31 October to 20 November 2017.


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