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The European Union’s (EU) foreign aid policy to third countries is guided by the principles on which the EU was founded: democracy and respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.  A key objective of the EU’s policy on foreign aid, as mandated by the Lisbon Treaty of 2009, is the reduction and eventual elimination of poverty.  Foreign aid is a field that is shared by the EU and its twenty-seven Member States.  All are required to coordinate their actions, and complement and reinforce each other, to deliver better and more efficient foreign aid.

In addition to reduction of poverty, other priorities of the EU’s development policies under the “European Consensus on Development” include promoting sustainable development and protecting the environment, establishing and consolidating democracy and the rule of law, achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and improving aid effectiveness in the least developed and lowest-income countries, including fragile states, which have priority in receiving larger amounts of foreign aid.

Foreign aid is distributed on the basis of multiannual programs and strategies prepared by the European External Action Service (EEAS) created by the Lisbon Treaty and EuropeAid, which is a newly created Directorate-General (DG) of the European Commission responsible for implementing the EU’s development policies.  In 2010, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated that EU institutions provided US$12,985.87 million in foreign aid.  The EU has made an ambitious commitment to increase its foreign aid gradually to a level of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) by 2015.  However, the EU and its members missed their intermediate collective target of 0.56% by 2010.  The Commission has urged the largest members with solid economies to do more than their share in order to reach the EU’s collective target.

The EU implements its foreign aid policy based on geographic and thematic instruments.  The geographic programs extend to five regions: Latin America, Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and southern Africa (specifically South Africa).  Foreign aid to sub-Saharan Africa, except South Africa; the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries; and the overseas countries and territories (OCTs) is provided on the basis of the European Development Fund (EDF, established under the Cotonou Agreement).  Some thematic instruments deal with a variety of issues, including migration, asylum, and investing in people.

The EU has, to a large extent, espoused a policy of delivering untied aid for the last twenty-five years with the objective of increasing transparency and accountability.  Currently, ownership, participation of the beneficiary countries in the management of aid, and accountability of local authorities constitute the cornerstones of the EU’s development policy. 

Under EU law, foreign aid to third countries may be reduced or discontinued, wholly or partially, if such countries fail to respect international law, human rights, and the rule of law. 

The European Parliament possesses the right to scrutinize any development assistance financed by the general budget.  The budget support programs are subject to review by the European Court of Auditors.  In its 2010 report, the Court of Auditors criticized the Commission’s lack of criteria for determining the level of budget support to be allocated. 

I.  Introduction

The EU, in conducting its development policy, is guided by the fundamental principles on which it was founded: liberty, democracy, and respect for human rights and the rule of law. The EU’s mandate in foreign aid, including the granting of humanitarian assistance, is based on the 2009 Lisbon Treaty and secondary legislation.[1]  Eradication of poverty worldwide is at the heart of the foreign aid policy pursued by the EU.  The EU also continues to endorse the European Consensus on Development (ECD) adopted in 2005[2] and to pursue the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).[3]  The ECD established the foundation for a common EU vision on development designed to deliver increased and more effective aid, and also led to the adoption of the EU Code of Conduct on Complementarity and Division of Labour in Development Policy in 2007.[4]  The EU Code of Conduct is designed to harmonize donor practices and increase cooperation and collaboration in joint cofinancing programs with other donors.[5]

Foreign aid is an area in which the EU and the twenty-seven Member States enjoy a shared and parallel competence.  Individual Members began their foreign aid programs at the end of World War II based on historical, economic, and social relations with a particular country or region.  The EU’s independent policy on foreign aid does not prevent the EU Members from exercising their own competencies.  Division of competence between the EU and its Members is regulated by article 208 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which calls for complementation and reinforcement of Union and Members’ development policy.[6]  In the same vein, the EU Code of Conduct clarifies that community policy is intended to be complementary to the policies pursued by the EU Member States.[7]

Within their respective fields of competence, the EU and its Members States aim to promote a multilateral approach to delivering foreign aid and promoting cooperation with other multilateral and regional organizations and bodies.  In some areas, the Commission plays a more dynamic and enhanced role as a donor than any EU Member State.  In the so-called fragile countries,[8] which became the focus of EU aid in 2007, the Commission is often the only donor present because the EU Members have withdrawn their support.[9] 

Currently, at the EU level, a number of foreign aid–related issues have raised concerns and are subject to debates and public consultations.  The quantity and quality of aid reaching its destination, and aid effectiveness and ownership of development strategies, are often discussed.[10] The Commission is strongly committed to ensuring increased ownership of development strategies by recipient countries, along with involvement of all segments of society.  Two main issues are open for public consultation: (1) the future of EU development policy, which is addressed by the Commission’s Green Paper: EU Development Policy in Support of Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development;[11] and (2) the use of budget support as a means to deliver EU aid.  This issue is examined in the Commission’s Green Paper: The Future of EU Budget Support to Third Countries.[12]

Internationally, the EU is actively engaged in a constructive dialogue with competent international partners on foreign aid and especially with the UN and the OECD.  The European Commission, as a Member of the OECD and the Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC), has endeavored to ensure greater impact of foreign aid, improve aid effectiveness, and reach the targets of the Paris Declaration of 2005 and the Accra Agenda for Action of 2008.[13] 

A.  Official Development Assistance Figures

OECD statistics indicate that in 2010 EU institutions provided US$12,679.15 million in net disbursements of official development assistance (ODA).[14]  The EU’s 2011 Report on Development and External Assistance states that in 2010 the EU (Member States plus EU institutions) granted the largest amount of foreign aid (€53.8 billion, about US$68.15 billion) and that the  Commission alone is one of the biggest donors of foreign aid worldwide,  providing €11 billion.[15]  In 2005, the EU committed itself to an even more ambitious goal by providing, by 2015, 0.75% of its collective gross national income (GNI) in ODA, for a total of US$122 billion annually.[16]  For the period 2007–2013, the European Commission has allocated around €52 billion (US$67.62 billion) for its development program, or approximately €9 billion annually (US$11.70 billion).[17]

In 2006, the EU and its Members reached their intermediate target of 0.39% of ODA/GNI, but in 2010 failed to meet their collective  goal of 0.56%[18] due to the current economic crisis, which has affected several EU Members.  In 2009, the EU and its Member States disbursed €20.5 billion in foreign aid to Africa.  EU’s collective 2005 commitment to give at least 50% of the combined aid to sub-Saharan Africa was not achieved.[19]  With respect to foreign aid to the least developed countries, in 2008, the EU and its Members promised to spend at least 0.15% of combined GNI on ODA by 2010.  Preliminary data indicates that this goal was also missed; in 2010 the combined EU ODA to the least developed countries amounted to 0.13% of GNI.[20]

Nine EU Members met or exceeded the 2010 individual minimum targets and the majority reached their national ODA targets.  The remaining EU Members missed their individual 2010 minimum targets and, hence, the EU missed its collective target of 0.56%.[21]  The Commission attributed the EU’s failure to meet the 2010 target partly to the economic crisis currently unfolding among some EU Members but also to a number of Members not adhering to their commitments to achieve the collective EU goal.[22]  In the Commission’s opinion, such failure undermines the principle of fair internal EU burden sharing and has an adverse impact on aid delivery.  On the other hand, the EU expects Members with large economies, such as France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom (UK) to augment the average aid levels to achieve the targets set.  These Members account for 70% of the gap to be filled between 2010 and 2015; therefore, the EU can meet its collective target of 0.7% ODA/GNI by 2015 only if the large-economy countries contribute more than their share.[23] 

In its 2011 EU Accountability Report on Financing for Development, the European Commission categorized the twenty-seven EU Members into four groups based on their contributions and outlook on achieving their individual goals by 2015:

  1. Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Sweden already achieved their 0.7% target.  The multiannual budgets of Denmark, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg indicate that their aid will remain the same in nominal terms until 2015.
  2. Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Ireland, and the UK have reached their 2010 targets or missed by a small margin.  The Commission expects that these Members could achieve their individual targets (ranging from 0.7% to 0.33%) on time.
  3. Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, and Spain missed the 2010 targets.
  4. Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, and the Slovak Republic have fallen behind their commitments, and the Commission expects that these countries will not meet their individual targets by 2015.[24]

The Commission urged EU Members to make the following commitments:

  • Increase ODA to 0.7% of the combined GNI by 2015
  • Reach individual ODA targets as soon as possible by drafting national action plans
  • Take additional national measures, if necessary, to achieve the target by 2015, including the option to enact legislation to make the ODA target legally binding
  • Share information with each other on their actions
  • Publicize their actions to gain public support for foreign aid[25]

B.  Overview of Foreign Aid Activity

The general principles that guide the EU’s policy on foreign aid are to give priority to the least-developed countries and lowest-income countries with the long-term objective of achieving the MDGs.  In pursuing its foreign aid policy, the EU aims to promote human rights, gender equality, democracy, the rule of law, access to justice and civil society, the rights of the child and indigenous people, protection of the environment, and the fight against HIV/AIDS.[26]

Based on country or regional strategy papers[27] and annual action programs, which are jointly prepared by the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the newly established Directorate-General of the Commission, EuropeAid, the EU provides foreign aid through two main methods: (1) by funding various projects through grants or related projects; and (2) by providing budget support.  The first method supports specific initiatives with a fixed budget and a specific time period, and the second involves mainly the transfer of funds directly to the national treasury of the recipient country based on a number of agreed-upon performance indicators.

In the transfer of budget support funds, three points are important: (1) the EU transfers funds to the recipient country’s central bank, (2) the central bank credits the national treasury with the transferred amount in national currency, and (3) the transfer to the central bank is made only if agreed-upon conditions for payment are met.  The European Commission prefers the budget support method.  Budget support is provided if the recipient country manages public spending in a transparent, reliable, and effective manner and has established microeconomic policies reviewed or endorsed by main donors and/or international financial institutions.[28] 

Budget support may also involve the provision of funds for a specific sector, such as education or health.[29]  However, a salient element of budget support is conditionality; that is, the fulfillment of three eligibility criteria by the recipient country and additional conditions agreed upon in advance to ensure that results are met.  The requirements include the existence of: (1) a national or sectoral development or reform policy, (2) a stability-oriented microeconomic framework, and (3) a strong and credible program to improve public financial management.[30]  The funds are transferred only if the above criteria and all agreed-upon conditions are met.[31]  Upon transfer, the recipient country’s authorities and especially its auditing authorities assume responsibility for overseeing, controlling, and auditing the funds granted. 

1.  Thematic Programs

Foreign aid is implemented through geographic and thematic programs.  Thematic programs have a wider scope of application than geographic programs because they cover a specific area of development policy not limited by geography.  The EU strives to tailor external aid to specific themes, and often the thematic instruments supplement the geographic instruments.[32]  Thematic strategy papers outline the EU’s plan for the theme concerned; its priorities as determined by the Commission; the specific objectives, anticipated results, and performance indicators; and consistency with the objectives and principles established in Annex IV of Regulation No. 1905/2006.[33]  There are five thematic programs:

  1. (1)       Investment in people
  2. (2)       Environmental protection and sustainable management of natural resources, including climate change and energy
  3. (3)       Non-state actors and local authorities in development
  4. (4)       Food security
  5. (5)       Migration and asylum[34]

2.  Geographic Programs

Geographic strategy papers must apply the principles of aid effectiveness, which include national ownership, partnership, coordination, harmonization, and alignment of EU support with the recipient’s national development strategies, reform policies, and procedures. Strategy papers must also aim to improve cooperation and mutual accountability between partner governments and donors, and promote local expertise and local employment.  Geographic and thematic strategy papers are reviewed either at mid-term or ad hoc, if necessary.[35]

The geographic programs extend to five regions: Latin America, Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and southern Africa (specifically South Africa).  The African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states are covered by the European Development Fund (EDF).  The EU’s overarching objective for delivering foreign aid to these countries is the eradication of poverty and the achievement of the MDGs.  In particular, it supports the following actions: primary education and health of the local population; promotion of social cohesion and employment, democracy, human rights, and institutional reforms; sustainable development through environmental protection and better management of natural resources; and assistance in post-crisis situations.[36]

For the period 2007–2013, the EU has adopted three geographic instruments to implement external assistance: the EDF, the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), and the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI).[37]

a.  European Development Fund

Foreign aid to sub-Saharan Africa (except South Africa), the ACP countries, and the overseas countries and territories (OCTs) is provided on the basis of the EDF.  The legal basis for providing assistance is the Cotonou Agreement, which has been revised regularly, most recently in 2010.[38]  Cooperation with other countries financed by the EU budget is based on Regulation No. 1905/2006.  The EDF is not part of the EU budget.[39] 

The EDF, whose duration is usually five years, provides support for the ACP countries in the areas of economic, social, and human development and regional cooperation and integration.[40]  It is composed of several instruments: (a) grants managed by the Commission; (b) risk capital and loans to the private sector managed by the European Investment Bank; and (c) the “FLEX” mechanism designed to remedy the adverse effects of instability of export earnings.[41]

The 10th EDF (2008–2013) is concluded on the basis of the ACP–European Community partnership agreements and the amended Overseas Association Decision.  The 10th EDF has a budget of €22,682 million (US$29,969 million): of this amount, €21,966 million is allocated to the ACP countries, €286 million to the OCTs, and €430 million to the Commission for expenditures related to implementation of the EDF.[42]  The EDF is not funded by the general budget, but it is funded by the Member States.  Each Member must contribute a specific amount. 

b.  European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument

The ENPI is designed to support the EU’s European Neighborhood Policy, which, based on good neighborliness goals, focuses on providing development assistance to the countries and territories listed in the Annex of Regulation No. 1638/2006 on Establishing a European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument.[43]  The beneficiary countries and territories include Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Russian Federation, Syria, Tunisia, and Ukraine.[44]  The overall aim of EU assistance is to promote enhanced cooperation and progressive economic integration between the EU and partner countries and to facilitate the implementation of partnership, cooperation, and association agreements.  The ENPI supports measures in the areas of promoting legislative and regulatory approximation of partner countries with EU legislation; effective implementation of policies included in association and cooperation agreements; promoting the rule of law and good governance, poverty reduction, social development, health, education and training, and protection of human rights and freedoms, including women and children’s rights; ensuring secure border management; development of civil society; and promoting participation in EU research and innovation activities.[45]  Measures financed based on Regulation No. 1638/2006 are eligible for cofinancing by Member States, their local authorities and public agencies, international and regional organizations, companies, firms, and private organizations.[46]

The amount allocated for the period 2007–2013 is €11.181 billion.  A minimum of 95% of this amount will be allocated for a country or multi-country programs, and 5% will be allocated for cross-border cooperation programs.[47]

c.  Development Cooperation Instrument

The DCI includes three components: (a) geographic programs; (b) thematic programs; and (c) programs for accompanying measures for the eighteen ACP Sugar Protocol countries with the objective of assisting them in adjusting in the aftermath of the reform of the EU sugar regime.  The geographic programs support cooperation with forty-seven developing countries in Latin America, Asia and Central Asia, the Gulf region (Iran, Iraq, and Yemen), and southern Africa (South Africa).  The areas of support include poverty eradication and progress on the MDGs; essential needs of the population, especially in education and health; employment; governance, democracy, and human rights; sustainable protection of the environment and natural resources; assistance in post-crisis situations and fragile states; and others.[48]  The thematic component benefits all developing countries, including those covered by the ENPI and the EDF.  It supports measures in the areas of investing in people, non-state actors and local authorities in development, food security, migration and asylum, and environmental protection and sustainable management of natural resources.[49]  

3.  Special Measures

In case of unforeseen circumstances and in exceptional cases due to natural disasters, civil unrest, or crisis, the Commission has the authority to adopt special measures not provided for in strategy papers or action programs.[50]  Special measures may be used to fund initiatives to facilitate the transition from emergency aid to long-term development operations and to enable people to deal better with crises.

The Commission adopted special measures following the recent events in North Africa and the Middle East—the so-called “Arab Spring.”  As Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative, stated recently, a key priority of the Commission’s policy in those regions is to support not only “deep and sustainable democracy but also economic recovery.”[51]  Following the adoption of a joint Communication by the Commission and the EU High Commissioner, “A New Response to a Changing Neighborhood,”[52] the Commission adopted four new decisions that endorse democracy and provide support for growth, job creation, microfinance, and higher education:

  • (1)   The SPRING program (Support for Partnership, Reform, and Inclusive Growth), a major initiative in the amount of €350 million (US$472.5 million).  It is designed to assist emerging democracies in institution building and economic growth and is customized to each country’s specific needs. 
  • (2)   Special measures to alleviate poverty in Tunisia, to increase employment and generate job growth, and to improve living conditions.  Its total value is €20 million (US$27 million).
  • (3)   The Erasmus Mundus Program, to increase academic and student mobility through various study abroad programs and exchanges of knowledge and skills.  Its total value is €66 million (US$89 million).
  • (4)   The Neighborhood Civil Society Facility, to enable civil society, promote reform, and increase public accountability.  Its total value is €22 million (US$29.7 million).[53] 

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II.  Legal Framework

A.  Regulation of ODA

1.  Overview

Title III of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), as amended by the Lisbon Treaty, provides the legal framework for the EU’s development policy.  In particular, article 208 of the TFEU on Cooperation with Third Countries and Humanitarian Aid establishes the principles on which foreign aid policy must be conducted and the objectives  to be achieved.  It also delineates the competence of the EU and its Members and obliges them to fulfill their commitments and take into account the objectives endorsed within the UN framework and other international organizations.  Specifically, article 208 stipulates that the EU must exercise its development policy within the framework of the principles and objectives of its external actions; that “the Union’s development cooperation policy shall have as its primary objective the reduction and, in the long term, the eradication of poverty”; and that the Union’s development policy and that of its Members “complement and reinforce each other.”[54]

Acquisition of legal personality by the EU by virtue of the Lisbon Treaty means that the EU now has the authority to conclude agreements with third countries and international organizations.[55]  Article 209 gives the mandate to the EU to enter into agreements, with third countries or international organizations, to achieve its objectives in the area of development policy.  The EU’s authority does not impair the capacity of the EU Members to enter into agreements with third countries.[56]  Article 209 also authorizes the European Bank to implement EU policies on foreign aid.  Legislation on foreign aid is adopted on the basis of the ordinary legislative procedure, which involves a proposal by the Commission, adoption by the Parliament and the Council, and review by the European Court of Justice.[57]  The Commission may take any initiative to promote coordination between the EU and its Members.[58]

Article 210 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU specifies the forms of collaboration between the EU and its Members, while article 212 deals with cooperation between the EU and its members in relations with international organizations.  To improve complementarity and ensure efficiency of their activities on foreign aid, the EU and its Members must cooperate by

  • coordinating their policies on development cooperation;
  • consulting with each other on various aid programs;
  • undertaking joint actions, as necessary;
  • contributing to the implementation of the EU’s programs;[59] and
  • cooperating with third countries and international organizations.[60]

The following additional initiatives also introduced by the Lisbon Treaty are anticipated to have a positive impact on delivering foreign aid to third countries:

  • The establishment of the position of High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who is also the Vice-President of the European Commission, chairs the Foreign Affairs Council, and is in charge of implementation of the EU’s external policy. 
  • The creation of the European External Action Service, which serves the High Representative for Foreign Affairs, the President of the Council, and the Commission.
  • New opportunities for enhanced cooperation among EU Members and the possibility of joint programs.[61]

a.   Regulation No. 1905/2006 on Establishing a Financial Instrument for Development Cooperation

The objective of eradicating poverty is also expressly stated in article 2 of Regulation No. 1905/2006, on Establishing a Financing Instrument for Development Cooperation,[62] which stipulates that “the primary and overarching objective of cooperation . . . shall be the eradication of poverty in partner countries and regions.”[63]  To this end, the Regulation provides for the financing of

  • measures designed to support cooperation with developing countries, territories, and regions included in the OECD/DAC list of aid recipients, which was updated in 2009 by virtue of Regulation No. 960/2009; and
  • thematic programs countries, territories, and regions eligible for foreign aid, under a geographic program provided for in this regulation, or for a geographic cooperation under the EDF.[64]

The amount allocated for the implementation of this Regulation during the period of 2007–2013 is €16,897 million (about US$22,671 million).  Under this Regulation, the geographic programs encompass five regions: Latin America (eighteen countries), Asia (nineteen countries), Central Asia (five countries), the Middle East (four countries), and southern Africa (one country, South Africa).[65]  EU aid delivered to these regions is designed to support actions in a number of critical areas of cooperation, including

  • eradication of poverty and achievement of the MDGs;
  • focusing on essential needs of the local population, especially primary education and health;
  • promotion of democratic governance and human rights;
  • promotion of sustainable development by protecting the environment and natural resources; and
  • assistance in post-crisis situations and fragile states.[66]

Under Regulation No. 1905/2006, the thematic programs deal with a specific area of activity directed to a group of recipient countries, irrespective of geographic criteria.  Five thematic programs are established: (1) investing in people, (2) environmental protection and sustainable development of natural resources, (3) non-state actors and local authorities, (4) food security, and (5) cooperation in the field of asylum and migration.[67]

In addition, Regulation 1905/2006 establishes a program that accompanies measures in favor of the eighteen ACP Sugar Protocol countries and that assists them through the adjustment period due to the reform of the EU sugar regime.[68]  As article 25, paragraph 2{ of the Regulation specifies, EU foreign aid cannot be used for paying taxes or duties in beneficiary countries.[69]

Financing is done either under an agreement or grant or procurement contract, or under an employment contract.  It may take the following forms:

  • Projects and programs
  • Budget support
  • Sectoral support
  • Sectoral and general import programs in exceptional cases
  • Interest-rate subsidies, especially for loans for environmental projects
  • Debt relief under internationally agreed-upon debt relief programs
  • Grants to finance certain projects
  • Funding for twinning programs between public institutions and  local authorities
  • Contributions to international funds managed by international or regional organizations[70]

b.   Regulation No. 1889/2006 on Establishing a Financing Instrument for the Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights Worldwide

Regulation No. 1889/2006,[71] which establishes a financing instrument to provide assistance for the period of 2007–2013, aims to contribute to the achievement of the development policy objectives contained in the European Consensus on Development and to establish and consolidate democracy and the rule of law.  The amount allocated for the implementation of this Regulation amounts to €1,104 billion (about US$1,458 billion).

Pursuant to the objectives of the instrument cited above, EuropeAid drafted a European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDH) Strategy Paper 2011–2013.[72]  The Strategy Paper has the following objectives: (a) to enhance respect for human rights in countries where such rights are most at risk; (b) to improve the role of civil society in promoting human rights; (c) to support EU actions on human rights issues, such as the death penalty, torture, children in armed conflict, violence against women, and others; and (d) to support democracy through a fair and transparent electoral process. 

In April 2010, in implementation of the MDGs, the Commission adopted a Communication, “A Twelve-Point EU Action Plan in Support of the Millennium Development Goals.[73]  The Action Plan focuses on delivering foreign aid to countries in great need, such as those experiencing internal conflict—the so-called fragile countries—where the Commission is often the only donor.  The Commission proposed that EU Members adopt a number of measures to increase the amount of aid and make it more effective. Some of the key recommendations include

  • establishing realistic annual action plans to reach goals and publishing such plans before September 2010;
  • increasing aid effectiveness by coordinating national aid programs at the EU level;
  • promoting “ownership” of MDGs in developing countries;
  • supporting initiatives on innovative financing with high revenue potential and ensuring that such financing assists the poorest; and
  • focusing more on the least developed countries and fragile states.[74]  

2.  Implementing Agencies

On January 1, 2011, a new Directorate-General (DG) for Development, EuropeAid, was created through a merger of the former DG for Development and EuropeAid DGs.[75]  Its organizational structure was finalized on June 1, 2011.  The rationale for having a single agency is that such a one-stop shop will facilitate access to information on foreign aid within and outside the EU.[76]

At the EU level, EuropeAid is tasked with implementation of external assistance instruments in a transparent, accurate, and accountable manner.  It is also subject to the Court of Auditors’ review.  The European Parliament exercises a right to scrutiny, but only when it comes to funds from the EU budget.  With regard to how the Commission makes use of the EDF, the Commission must forward a copy of a country or region strategy paper to the Joint Parliamentary Assembly EU/ACP for review.[77] 

Internationally, the EEAS represents the EU through its delegations in 136 countries.  The EEAS was established based on the Lisbon Treaty and performs a crucial role in the implementation of aid delivery.[78]  The EU delegations play a key role in promoting the aid effectiveness agenda, ensuring a division of labor and burden sharing among donors, and ensuring more government ownership of the aid process.[79]  For example, the EU Delegation established in Washington, DC, acts as a liaison between the Directorate of the European Commission and US government agencies such as the Department of State and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), international organizations including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and various “think tanks” based in the DC area.[80] 

The delegations prepare the External Assistance Monitoring Reports (EAMRs), which compare the outcome and results of assistance with the benchmarks of the Paris Declarations, and assist the DG in assessing its performance against the four benchmarks of the Paris Declaration of 2005.

To qualify for aid delivery, an NGO must

  • be an autonomous nonprofit organization with its head office in a Member state;
  • provide audited financial statements for the two previous years;
  • indicate sufficient administrative activity;
  • follow a voluntary code of conduct that adheres to the principles of impartiality, independence, and neutrality in distributing humanitarian assistance; and
  • confirm the moral integrity of the management board and the overall organization.[81]

3.  Restrictions

Untying aid has been the focus of discussions at the international level, in particular by the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD/DAC.  In March 2001, the DAC adopted a Recommendation on Untying Official Development Assistance to the Least Developed Countries.[82]  At the EU level, for more than twenty-five years, the former European Community has largely espoused a policy of untied aid  as an effective tool to increase transparency and accountability in the management of aid.[83]  Its policy has even gone further than the recommendation of the OECD/DAC.  Currently, more than two-thirds of aid delivered via geographical or thematic instruments is untied.[84]  All EU Members have agreed to extend further the scope of this recommendation and have urged the untying of food aid and food aid transport. 

Financial Regulation No. 1905/2006 embodies the policy of untied aid pursued by the EU.  In allocating funds, the Commission considers a number of objective and transparent criteria based on the needs and performance of each recipient country or region.  The needs criteria include population, income per capita, income distribution, and level of poverty and social development.  The performance criteria include political, economic, and social progress; progress in good governance; effective use of aid; and especially how the recipient country uses its own resources.[85]

Assistance may be suspended by the Council of the EU based on a proposal by the Commission.  Suspension may occur if a beneficiary country continues to fail to adhere to the principles while refusing consultations with the Commission or when such consultations do not reach a satisfactory outcome for both parties.[86]

4.  Discretionary Aid

The Emergency Aid Reserve is designed to assist third countries that experience a crisis that was unforeseen when the budget was prepared.  The EU also has at its disposal the Flexibility Instrument, which provides funding in a given financial year for identified expenses that could not be covered by one or more headings without going beyond their expenditure ceilings.[87]  The maximum amount allocated to the Flexibility Instrument is €200 million annually.

5.  Oversight

Financing provided in any legal form, whether as a financing or grant agreement or as a procurement or employment contract, must include clauses that (a) entitle the Commission and the Court of Auditors to perform audits, including review of documents or on-the-spot audits, inspections, and checks of any contractor that received funds from the Commission; and (b) ensure that the EU’s financial interests are protected, especially in cases of fraud, irregularities, or any other illegal activity.[88]

The funds are managed by the European Investment Bank.  An observer from the bank participates in meetings convened by the Commission and the committee, which assists the Commission in monitoring and reviewing the impact of foreign aid policy. 

a.   European Commission

The Commission, assisted by a committee, must monitor its programs at regular intervals and evaluate the implementation of thematic and geographic instruments.  To accomplish an objective evaluation of its foreign policy aid, and to ensure that objectives are met, the Commission must engage all relevant stakeholders, including private donors, local authorities, and NGOs.  The Commission does not evaluate its own programs but assigns review tasks to independent external authorities.  Evaluations are considered by the Commission in drafting recommendations for more effective implementation of its foreign aid policy.[89]  Subsequently, the Commission forwards its evaluation reports to the European Parliament and the committee.  EU Members may request evaluation reports.[90]

The Commission prepares annual reports on the implementation, major accomplishments, shortcomings, and impact of foreign assistance.  Such reports are submitted to the European Parliament, the Council of the EU, the Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions.  The annual reports contain a wealth of information on the measures financed; the outcome of the evaluations; implementation of budget commitments; and payments by country, region, and sector.  The Commission, through the use of measurable indicators, assesses its role in providing assistance and any progress made toward achieving the MDGs.[91]

b.   European Parliament

In October 2010, the European Parliament urged more use of article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU as amended by the Lisbon Treaty,[92] which provides for the possibility of using delegated acts.  Pursuant to article 290, a legislative act may delegate the Commission to adopt nonlegislative acts of general application.  Such delegated acts could be used to regulate the financing of instruments on foreign assistance.  Because article 290 grants the Parliament the right to revoke a delegated act and the right to veto it, the Parliament could exercise its authority to make amendments.

As Gay Mitchell, the Parliament’s rapporteur on the Development Cooperation Instrument, explained, “[w]hat we are asking is to be treated on equal footing with the Council when exercising the democratic scrutiny rights.”[93]

c.   European Court of Auditors

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has carried out audits to evaluate whether the European Commission has fulfilled its role in managing its general budget support (GBS) programs effectively in ACP, Latin American, and Asian countries.[94]  One such audit covered the period from 2001 to 2009.  The Court’s auditors made on-site visits in Benin, Laos, Paraguay, and Uganda.  Two additional countries, Nicaragua and Vietnam, were included in the audit through questionnaires.  The Commission also convened with World Bank and International Monetary Fund officials. 

The Commission has used budget support during the last decade as the preferred method of aid delivery to reduce poverty.  The total package of GBS programs consists of three components: (1) transfer of funds linked to the objectives of the particular program and agreed upon between the Commission and the recipient countries; (2) capacity-building measures through technical assistance; and (3) communication with the recipient country on the design, implementation, and outcome.[95]  The difference between budget support and sector budget support is that the latter aims to support a particular sector rather than a national policy.  One of the benefits of foreign aid delivered through GBS programs, rather than the traditional approach through projects, is that more aid can be forwarded to the recipient country and also more control of aid and improvements in the management of the public financing system of the recipient country and strengthening of accountability are possible.  This may also improve dialogue between the donor and recipient countries, and certainly improves the efficiency of donor aid delivery and reduces costs.[96]

The ECA found that in general during the last decade, the Commission has made progress toward its goal of delivering better and more effective aid through its GBS; however, the ECA did identify some flaws in the methodology and management of GBS programs.  In particular, the ECA found that the Commission’s approach is problematic in specific areas due to

  • lack of sound risk management framework to evaluate and reduce the risks of its programs, especially when a large amount of money is given through public budgets in developing countries;
  • lack of clear grounds and rationale that prompt the Commission to decide on the amount of funds to be allocated in each country;
  • lack of clear criteria to assess whether true and satisfactory  progress has been made;
  • ineffective use of policy dialogue with beneficiary countries (the Commission must define clearly a dialogue strategy that outlines its objectives, contents, and goals to be achieved, and needs to ensure that Delegations of the European Union are equipped with expert staff to ensure effective dialogue); and
  • insufficient information on the actual impact of aid delivery through budget support (the Commission needs to develop an evaluation methodology that provides concrete information on whether and under what circumstances budget support can contribute effectively to reducing poverty, and needs to improve on the reporting of the effectiveness of budget support programs).[97]

In particular, the ECA held that the objectives of the GBS do not take into account the specific circumstances and the changing priorities of each recipient country.  The Commission has not paid full attention to the need to increase the capacity of oversight bodies, including audit institutions, parliaments, and organizations tasked to oversee how funds are allocated and spent by governments in recipient countries.  The Court also referred to another problem associated with GBS: its programs are not used to support other objectives related to health and education. 

d.   European Anti-Fraud Office

The European Anti-Fraud Office (Office Européen de Lutte Anti-Fraude, or OLAF) is part of the Commission but also enjoys some administrative and budgetary autonomy.  Its mission is to protect the financial interests of the EU by combating fraud, corruption, and other illegal activities against the EU and misconduct by EU institutions.[98]  OLAF has the authority to conduct independent external investigations on illegal activities perpetrated by natural or legal persons.[99]  Its website cites a number of cases involving external aid and misuse of funds.  

6.  Policy Considerations

During the past twenty-five years, the EU has evolved into a dynamic and powerful economic player with regional and strategic security interests.  Its external policies worldwide and in particular its development policy on third countries are guided by the same principles that initially laid the foundation and cornerstone for the establishment of the Union: the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.[100]  These principles have been reaffirmed by the Lisbon Treaty.

Further EU instruments adopted to advance and promote development policy are based on the same principles and reflect similar policy considerations.  For instance, the European Consensus on Development outlines the policy priorities of the EU, which focus on four main objectives:

  • (1)   Reducing or eradicating poverty
  • (2)   Promoting sustainable development
  • (3)   Improving aid effectiveness
  • (4)   Meeting the objectives of the MDGs[101]

The European Commission’s 2011 Communication on a Budget for Europe describes a number of financial instruments to support the implementation of the following external policies:

  • Promoting and defending EU values abroad, especially human rights, democracy, and the rule of law
  • Addressing major global challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and the protection of global public resources
  • Improving the impact of EU development cooperation towards eradication of poverty by allocating aid resources according to needs, capacities, and commitments
  • Supporting the long-term prosperity and stability of the EU’s neighborhood by assisting candidate countries to join the EU, and by reinforcing and expanding its neighborhood policy
  • Improving crisis prevention and resolution[102]

B.  Regulation of Private Contributions

Regulation 1905/2006’s section on co-financing of measures from other donors deals with contributions provided by private donors.  The list of private donors includes Member States and their regional and local authorities; other donor countries; international and regional organizations; companies, firms, businesses, and other private entities; and other non-state actors.[103]

A distinction is made between parallel and joint cofinancing.  In the event of parallel cofinancing, the particular program or project is divided into separate components that can be easily identified and that are each financed by a different partner.  In the event of joint cofinancing, the total cost of a project or a program is divided among the donors who provide the financing.  The total funds and resources available are gathered together so that it is not possible to discern the source of financing.  The Commission may also receive and manage the funds in the event of joint cofinancing.[104]

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III.  Foreign Aid Appropriations Process

In general, annual EU budgets are based on a multiannual financial framework (MFF)[105] that is agreed upon by the European Parliament, Council, and Commission in an interinstitutional agreement.[106]  The MFF establishes the annual limits on appropriations in the EU budget for the various EU policy areas (headings) and sets an annual ceiling on payments and commitments.[107]  The category “appropriation for payments” relates to the actual money to be financed from EU Members within specific years, whereas the category “appropriations for commitments” indicates the amounts authorized for programs or projects that can be entered into in a specific year and concern a specific beneficiary.  The ceiling for payment commitments is expressed as a percentage of GNI and takes into account economic activity.[108] 

In June 2011, the European Commission proposed the budget for the period 2014–2020.[109]  The total amount dedicated to foreign aid was €70 million (about US$92.06 million).[110]

The Commission, in its Communication on a Budget for Europe 2020, proposed enhanced oversight of external aid delivery through the delegated acts of article 290 of the Treaty and by placing the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on an equal footing as the two co-legislators.  Moreover, the EDF, which has been outside the review of the Court of Auditors, will also be subject to review.[111]  The overarching objective of the budget for 2020 remains the eradication of poverty.  The EU remains committed to delivering aid where it is most needed, improving aid coordination, and ensuring adequate financing for development.  The Commission introduced a number of initiatives related to external aid for 2020.  It proposed a reinforced European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights to improve the EU’s ability to deal with human rights crises and provide more support for electoral processes and observation missions.[112]  It also proposed a new Partnership Instrument to provide support, as needed, to developing and nondeveloping nations with an emphasis on strategic partners and emerging economies.[113]  It further proposed the creation of a pan-African instrument to support implementation of the Joint Africa-Europe Strategy.  Another proposal was a single pre-accession instrument to ensure that candidate countries fully adopt the acquis communautaire (EU body of law) prior to accession.  The current Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) will be reinforced and the EDF will remain outside of the budget for the next MFF.[114]  The European Neighborhood Policy instrument will be enhanced to improve cooperation with neighbor countries, with an emphasis on “more for more.”[115]

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IV.  Other Types of ‘Aid’

A.  Humanitarian Aid

The EU also plays a preeminent role in delivering emergency and humanitarian aid and aims to respond immediately to man-made or natural disasters and conflict situations.  The EU is among the largest contributors of such aid worldwide.[116]  Humanitarian aid is designed to assist third countries outside the EU, based on need relating to the catastrophic effects of man-made or natural disasters.

Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty of 2009, humanitarian aid has acquired the status of a legally binding policy of the EU.  Pursuant to article 214 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, the EU operations in the field of humanitarian aid “shall be intended to provide ad hoc assistance and relief and protection for people of third countries who are victims of natural or man-made disasters, in order to meet the humanitarian needs resulting from these different situations.”[117]  Humanitarian aid is not the exclusive domain of the EU; rather, both the EU and the Member States share competence and act in synergy with each other.  The European Commission may take any initiative to promote coordination among the measures taken by the EU and those of the Member States.  In delivering humanitarian aid, the EU must comply with international law and the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence.[118]

Humanitarian aid, which encompasses food, water, sanitation, shelter, health services, protection of victims of conflict, and disaster preparedness, is administered through the European Commission’s DG for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO).  In 2010, the EU spent about €1,115 million (US$1,450 million) through ECHO by providing humanitarian aid to 151 million people in eighty non-EU countries.[119]  It was established in 1992 and operates through the conclusion of two types of Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs): with international organizations, and with NGOs.  In addition, ECHO has concluded a Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement between the EU and the UN that regulates humanitarian aid financed by ECHO and dispersed by UN humanitarian services.[120]  ECHO does not operate directly in the countries affected but provides funds to two hundred partners, NGOs, UN agencies, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, which further distribute the funds as needed.  In 2009, 47% of humanitarian assistance was granted to NGOs, UN agencies received 39%, and other international organizations about 14%.[121]

B.  Trade-Related Assistance

The EU Aid for Trade Strategy was adopted by the Council of the EU in 2007 with the objective of increasing quantitative Aid for Trade (AFT) in order to reach the European Commission’s and the Member States’ collective spending on trade-related assistance of €2 billion annually.[122]  The EU and its Members accounted for about 37% of AFT from the world’s major multilateral and bilateral donors in 2008–2009 and collectively are deemed to be the largest provider of AFT worldwide.  Individually, the EU trails after Japan, which is the largest donor of AFT.  The EU represents 11.4% of the world’s total.[123]

C.  Reducing the Debt Burden of Developing Countries

The EU continues to provide support to developing countries to cope with economic crises.  In particular, the EU supports the following two initiatives: the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative.[124]

D.  Remittances

Migrant remittances from the EU to developing countries amount to the same as the total amount of EU foreign aid.  In 2008, the EU pledged to lower the cost and facilitate remittance transfers in recognition of the effect of such remittances on the living conditions of family members in developing countries.  As a result, expenses in sending remittances fell in some EU Members but were increased in others.[125] 

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Prepared Theresa, Papademetriou
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
October 2011


[1] Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union states that in its international relations the Union shall be guided by the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the UN Charter and international law.  Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union, Feb. 7, 1992, 2010 Official Journal of the European Union [O.J.] (C 83) 13, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0013:00 46:EN:PDF.

[2] The Consensus reaffirmed the EU commitments made in the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.  Joint Statement by the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of Member States Meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on European Union Development Policy: ‘The European Consensus,’ 2006 O.J. (C 46) 1, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2006:046 :0001:0019:EN:PDF.

[3] For additional information see Commission Staff Working Paper: Annual Report 2011 on the European Union’s Development and External Assistance Policies and Their Implementation in 2010, at 5, SEC (2011) 880 final (July 6, 2011), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=SEC:2011:0880:FIN:EN:PDF; and accompanying document, Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament Annual Report 2011 on the European Union’s Development and External Assistance Policies and Their Implementation in 2010, COM (2011) 414 final (July 6, 2011), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2011: 0414:FIN:EN:PDF.

[4] European Union Code of Conduct on Complementarity and Division of Labour in Development Policy [EU Code of Conduct], approved by the Council of the EU on May 15, 2007, http://register.consilium.europa.eu/ pdf/en/07/st09/ st09558.en07.pdf.

[5] Id.; see also Holger Murle, Towards a Division of Labour in European Development Cooperation: Operational Options (German Development Institute Discussion Paper, June 2007), available at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/60/23/46859449.pdf.

[6] See discussion in text, infra, at 12.

[7] European Consensus, supra note 2, at 1; EU Code of Conduct, supra note 4.

[8] Fragile countries are often referred to as “aid orphans” because they attract few international donors and low aid levels.  EU Code of Conduct, supra note 4.  For additional information on EU’s policy on fragile states, see Maurizio Carbone, Aid and Security in the Development Policy of the European Union 15 (paper prepared for a workshop on “Transforming Political Structures: Security, Institutions, and Regional Integration Mechanisms,” Florence, Italy, Apr. 2009), available at http://erd.eui.eu/media/carbone.pdf.

[9] Joint Statement by the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States Meeting Within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission, European Consensus, supra note 2, at 16.

[10] See, e.g., OECD, European Community – Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Peer Review 12–25 (2007), http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/57/6/38965119.pdf.

[11] Green Paper: EU Development Policy in Support of Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development: Increasing the Impact of EU Development Policy, COM (2010) 629 final (Nov. 10, 2010), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/ LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0629:FIN:EN:PDF.

[12] Green Paper: The Future of EU Budget Support to Third Countries, COM (2010) 586 (Oct. 19, 2010), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0586:FIN:EN:PDF.

[13] The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action of 2008, OECD, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/30/63/43911948.pdf.  The Paris Declaration of 2005 is an international agreement, signed by one hundred countries that pledged to improve aid effectiveness.  The signatories made the following important commitments: (1) ownership: developing countries establish their own plans for poverty reduction; (2) alignment: donor countries support national strategies for recipient countries; (3) harmonization: donor countries coordinate their actions and share information;  (4) results: accomplishing targets is emphasized; and (5) mutual accountability: donors and recipient countries are accountable for development aid results.

[14] ODA by Donor, OECD.StatExtracts, http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=ODA_DONOR (last visited Feb. 1, 2012).

[15] European Commission, 2011 Annual Report on the European Union’s Development and External Assistance Policies and Their Implementation in 2010, at 5, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/files/publications/ europeaid_annual_report_2011_en.pdfSee also The European Union: Leading Provider of Development and Humanitarian Aid, EU Insight (Sept. 2006), http://www.eurunion.org/News/eunewsletters/EUInsight/2006/ EUInsightDev2006.pdf.

[16] Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions, Enhancing EU Accountability on Financing for Development Towards the EU Official Development Assistance Peer Review, at 2 & 5, COM (2011) 218 final (Apr. 19, 2011), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2011:0218:FIN:EN:PDF.

[17] See Frequently Asked Questions on EU Aid, DevelopmentPortal.eu, http://www.development portal.eu/wcm/faq-on-eu-aid.html (last visited Feb. 2, 2012).  For a summary table of the fifteen EU/DAC Members’ commitments and performance, see DAC Members’ Commitments and Performance: Summary Table of OECD Secretariat Projections, OECD (Feb. 15, 2010), http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/20/19/44607047.pdf.

[18] Communication from the Commission, supra note 16, at 5. 

[19] Id. at 6.

[20] Id.

[21] Commission Staff Working Document, EU Accountability Report 2011 on Financing for Development, Review of Progress of the EU and its Members States, Accompanying Document to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions Enhancing EU Accountability on Financing and Development Towards the EU Official Development Assistance Peer Review vol. I at 25, SEC (2011) 500 final (Apr. 19, 2011), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/ LexUriServ.do?uri=SEC:2011:0500:FIN:EN:PDF.

[22] Id.

[23] Id. at 34.

[24] Id. at 35.

[25] Id. at 35–36.

[26] Regulation (EC) No. 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 18, 2006, Establishing a Financing Instrument for Development Cooperation art. 3, 2006 O.J. (L 378) 41, recitals 2–7, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:378:0041:0071:EN:PDF.  

[27] These are general strategy papers for the period 2007–2013, either Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) or Regional Strategy Papers (RSPs), for example for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and other non-EU countries.  How the Commission Provides Budget Support, European Commission: Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/delivering-aid/budget-support/index_en.htm (last updated Oct. 13, 2011).

[28]  EuropeAid, Guidelines on the Programming, Design & Management of General Budget Support 10, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/economic-support/documents/guidelines_budget_support_en.pdf (last visited Mar. 2, 2011).

[29] European Commission, EuropeAid Co-operation Office, Partnership for Change: The EU’s Development Cooperation with African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries 14 (2010), http://ec.europa.eu /development/icenter/repository/europeaid_brochure_partnership_for_change_en.pdf.

[30] IdSee also European Commission, supra note 27.

[31] European Commission, supra note 27.

[32] Id.

[33] Regulation (EC) No. 1905/2006, supra note 26, art. 20 & Annex IV.

[34] Id. arts. 12–15.

[35] Id. art. 19.

[36] A Budget for Europe 2020: The Current System of Funding, the Challenges Ahead, the Results of Stakeholders Consultation and Different Options on the Main Horizontal and Sectoral Issues, at 193, SEC (2011) 868 final (June 29, 2011), http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/biblio/documents/fin_fwk1420/SEC-868_en.pdf.

[37] How We Finance, European Commission, Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/finance/index_en.htm (last updated Dec. 6, 2011).

[38] Partnership Agreement Between African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the European Community and Its Members, signed in Cotonou on June 13, 2000.  The Cotonou Agreement is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between the above countries and the EU.  It was revised in 2005 and 2010.  See Second Revision of the Cotonou Agreement – Agreed Consolidated Text, EU–ACP, Mar. 11, 2010, http://ec.europa.eu/development/icenter/repository/second_revision_cotonou_agreement_20100311.pdf.

[39] Commission Staff Working Paper, Annual Report 2011, supra note 3.

[40] Council Regulation (EC) No. 617/2007 of May 14, 2007, on the Implementation of the 10th European Development Fund Under the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement, 2007 O.J. (L 152) 1, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/ LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2007:152:0001:0013:EN:PDF.

[41] European Development Fund (EDF), European Commission, Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/finance/edf_en.htm (last updated July 8, 2011).

[42] Id.

[43] Regulation (EC) No. 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and the Council of October 2006 Laying Down General Provisions Establishing a European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument, 2006 O.J. (L 310) 1, http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/pdf/oj_l310_en.pdf.

[44] Id., Annex, “Partner Countries Referred to Article 1 [of Regulation No. 1638/2006].”

[45] Id. art. 2.

[46] Id. art. 17.

[47] Id. art. 29.

[48] Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), European Commission, Development Co-operation Instrument – EuropeAid, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/finance/dci_en.htm.

[49] Id.

[50] Regulation (EC) No. 1905/2006, supra note 26, art. 23.

[51] EU Launches Four Ambitious New Support Programs in Response to the Arab Spring, European Union @ United Nations (EU/UN email alert, Sept. 30, 2011), http://www.eu-un.europa.eu/home/index_en.htm.

[52] Joint Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions, A New Response to a Changing Neighborhood, COM (2011) 2 (May 25, 2011), http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/pdf/com_11_303_en.pdf.

[53] Id.

[54] Consolidated Version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) art. 208, 2010 O.J. (C 83) 47, 141, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0047:0200:EN:PDF.

[55] Id. art. 209.

[56] Id.

[57] Id.

[58] Id. art. 209, para. 2.

[59] Id. art. 210, para. 1.

[60] Id. art. 212.

[61] For institutional changes that affect foreign aid, see Commission Staff Working Paper, Annual Report 2011, supra note 3, at 6.

[62] 2006 O.J. (L 178) 41, as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No. 960/2009 of October 14, 2009, Amending Regulation (EC) No. 1905/2006, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009 :270:0008:0011:EN:PDF.

[63] Regulation (EC) No. 1905/2006, supra note 26, as amended by Regulation No. 960/2009, Annex I, O.J. (L 270) 8, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:270:0008:0011:EN:PDF.

[64] Id. art. 1.

[65] Id.

[66] Regulation (EC) No. 1905/2006, supra note 26, art. 5.

[67] Id. arts. 12–16.

[68] Id., Annex III.

[69] Id. art. 25.

[70] Id. art. 29.

[71] Regulation EC No. 1889/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 20, 2006, on Establishing a Financing Instrument for the Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights Worldwide, 2006 O.J. (L 386) 1, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:386:0001:0011:EN:PDF.

[72] European Commission – External Relations, European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) Strategy Paper 20112013 (Apr. 21, 2010), http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/human-rights/ documents/eidhr_strategy_paper_2011_2013_com_decision_21_april_2011_text_published_on_internet_en.pdf.

[73] Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: A Twelve-Point EU Action Plan in Support of the Millennium Development Goals, at 6, COM (2010) 159 final (Apr. 21, 2010), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUri Serv/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0159:FIN:EN:PDF.

[74] Id.

[75] Who We Are, European Commission, Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/who/index_en.htm (last updated June 23, 2011).

[76] Id.

[77] Programming, European Commission, Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/finance/ programming_en.htm (last updated Mar. 4, 2011).

[78] What We Do, European Union External Action, http://eeas.europa.eu/what_we_do/index_en.htm (last visited Oct. 2011).

[79] Commission Staff Working Paper, Annual Report 2011, supra note 3, at 30.

[80] How We Ensure Aid Effectiveness, European Commission, Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/ensure-aid-effectiveness/index_en.htm (last updated Nov. 18, 2011).

[81] Regulation No. 1257/1996 Concerning Humanitarian Aid art. 6, 1996 O.J. (L 163) 1, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:1996:163:0001:0006:EN:PDF.

[82] Development Assistance Committee of the OECD/DAC, Recommendation on Untying Official Development Assistance to the Least Developed Countries, OECD/DAC 2001 Report vol. 3, no. 1, at 46 (2002).

[83] The first Convention of Lomé I, signed in 1973 between the then-European Community and the ACP, was based on partnership, which presupposes ownership.

[84] Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, Financing for Development and Aid Effectiveness – The Challenges of Scaling Up EU Aid 2006–2010, COM (2006) 85 final (Mar. 2, 2006), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/Result.do?T1=V5&T2=2006&T3=85&RechType=RECH_naturel &Submit=Search.

[85] Regulation (EC) No. 1905/2006, supra note 26, art. 18, para. 2.

[86] Id. art. 37.

[87] Flexibility Instruments, European Commission, Financial Programming and Budget, http://ec.europa.eu/budget/explained/budg_system/flex/flex_en.cfm#flex (updated Jan. 19, 2012).

[88] Regulation (EC) No. 1905/2006, supra note 26, art. 30.

[89] Id. art. 33.

[90] Id. arts. 33, 35.

[91] Id. art. 34.

[92] Consolidated Version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) art. 290, 2010 O.J. (C 83) 47, 173, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0047:0200:EN:PDF.

[93] Press Release, European Parliament, Guaranteeing MEP’s Over Development and Human Rights Funding (Feb. 3, 2011), http://www.europarl.europa.eu/en/pressroom/content/20110203IPR13105/html/ Guaranteeing-MEPs'-right-of-scrutiny-over-development-and-human-rights-funding.

[94] European Court of Auditors, The Commission’s Management of General Budget Support in ACP, Latin American and Asian Countries (Special Report No. 11, 2010), http://eca.europa.eu/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/ 7090728.PDF.

[95] Id. at 9.

[96] Id. at 12.

[97] Press Release, European Court of Auditors, Special Report: The Effectiveness of the Commission’s Management of General Budget Support in ACP, Latin American and Asian Countries (Feb. 16, 2011), http://eca.europa.eu/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/7106723.PDF.

[98] Our Mission, European Anti-Fraud Office, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/olaf/mission/index_en.html (last visited Feb. 1, 2012).

[99] Id.

[100] See Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union art. 21, Feb. 7, 1992, 2010 O.J. (C 83) 13, 28, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/ LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0013:0046:EN:PDF; Consolidated Version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) art. 205, 2010 O.J. (C 83) 47, 139, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0047:0200:EN:PDF.

[101] European Consensus, supra note 2.

[102] Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, A Budget for Europe 2020 – Part II: Policy Fiches, at 42–43, COM (2011) 500 final (June 29, 2011), http://europa.eu/press_room/pdf/a_budget_for_europe_2020_-_part_ii_ policy_fiches_en.pdf.

[103] Regulation (EC) No. 1905/2006, supra note 26, art. 27, para. 1.

[104] Id. art. 27, para. 2.

[105] Financial Framework 2007–2013, European Commission Financial Programming and Budget, http://ec.europa.eu/budget/figures/fin_fwk0713/fwk0713_en.cfm#cf07_13.

[106] Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) of May 17, 2006, Including the Multiannual Financial Framework 2007–2013, 2006 O.J. (C 139) 1, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2006:139: 0003:0003:EN:PDF.

[107] Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs): Budget and Financial Perspectives: MEMO/04/30, Europa (Feb. 10, 2004), http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/04/30&format=HTML&aged=1& language=EN&guiLanguage=fr.

[108] Id.

[109] News Release, European Commission Financial Programming and Budget, The Commission Proposes the Next Multiannual Financial Framework, 2014–2020 (June 29, 2011),  http://ec.europa.eu/budget/news/ article_en.cfm?id=201106292310.

[110] See Annex of Proposal for a Council Regulation Laying Down the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014–2020, COM (2011) 398 final (June 29, 2011), http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/biblio/documents/fin_fwk 1420/proposal_council_regulation_COM-398_en.pdf.

[111] Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, A Budget for Europe 2020 – Part II: Policy Fiches, COM (2011) 500 final (June 29, 2011), http://europa.eu/press_room/pdf/a_budget_for_europe_2020_-_part_ii_policy_ fiches_en.pdf.

[112] Id. at 44.

[113] Id.

[114] Id.

[115] Id.

[116] See Annual Report on Humanitarian Aid Policy and Its Implementation in 2009, SEC (2010) 398, COM2010/138 final (Apr. 9, 2010), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010: 0138:FIN:EN:PDF.

[117] Consolidated Version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) art. 124, 2010 O.J. (C 83) 47, 99, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0047:0200:EN:PDF.

[118] Id. art. 214, para. 2.

[119]European Commission, Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection, Annual Report 2010 at 5, http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/media/publications/annual_report/annual_report_2010.pdf.

[120] Summary, Framework Partnership Agreement with Humanitarian Organizations (2008–2012), in force Jan. 1, 2008–Dec. 31, 2012, Europa, http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/humanitarian_aid/r10007_en.htm.

[121] Id.

[122] Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States Meeting Within the Council on EU Strategy on Aid for Trade: Enhancing EU Support for Trade-Related Needs in Developing Countries (Oct. 29, 2007), http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/07/st14/st14470.en07.pdf.    Council of the EU, EU Strategy on Aid for Trade: Enhancing EU Support for Trade-related Needs in Developing Countries (Oct. 11, 2007), available at http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/07/st13/st13070.en07.pdf.

[123] Commission Staff Working Document, EU Accountability Report 2011 on Financing for Development, at 69, SEC (2011) 500 final, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/accountability/eu-annual-accountability-reports/documents/working-document-vol1_en.pdf.

[124] Debt Relief, European Commission, Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/development-policies/intervention-areas/debt/index_en.htmSee also Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, Europa, http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/development/least_ developed_countries/r12402_en.htm (last updated Dec. 14, 2005).

[125] Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Enhancing EU Accountability on Financing for Development Towards the EU Official Development Assistance Peer Review at 8, COM (2011) 218 final (Apr. 19, 2011),  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2011:0218:FIN:EN:PDF.

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Last Updated: 06/09/2015