S&Ds take the lead on development co-operation

The S&D Group in the European Parliament today welcomed the adoption in the plenary of a regulation on the development co-operation instrument for 2014-2020. This measure will finance EU development co-operation, especially the fight against poverty and tools to improve food security.

Despite the fact that the Parliament could not obtain all its demands for strategic decisions to be made at a national level for each priority sector, the final compromise reflects the European Parliament's priorities to a large extent and also increases its scrutiny role.

S&D Euro MP and rapporteur Thijs Berman said:

"For the next seven years the development co-operation policy of the European Union will be focused on human development, in particular on health and education, and on sustainable development, such as climate change and food security. Moreover, all policies will apply a human-rights-based approach and will be aimed at the poorest countries.

"With this renewed regulation the EU will be able to provide more support to civil society organisations, particularly in middle-income countries where the most vulnerable people need our support to hold their own governments to account.

"New elements of this regulation, such as the strategic dialogue, will give the European Parliament more opportunities to scrutinise the implementation of policies and it is up us to make sure that we use these opportunities."

Commenting on the full package of external financing instruments adopted by the plenary today, Libor Rouček, S&D vice-president for foreign policy, said:

"The adoption of the external financing instruments ensures that EU's external action in the next seven years will be backed by adequate resources and anchored in solid legal bases. The way it is applied will be critical to the success of our enlargement and neighbourhood policies, our capacity to promote democracy, human rights and stability worldwide, and our ability to respond to the fast-changing international order.

"From a legal standpoint, the EU is better equipped than ever before to play an effective and constructive global role.

"We particularly welcome the increased role of the European Parliament in the financing of external action, as envisaged by the Lisbon Treaty. The input of the Parliament – and S&D MEPs in particular – has greatly enriched the content of the regulations. The Parliament will remain closely involved, specifically through the agreed use of delegated acts and through ensuring the political coherence, budgetary transparency and democratic legitimacy of the EU's external actions."