Yestarday, the European Commission presented its Draft EU Budget for 2017, proposing €157.7 billion in commitments (compared to €155.0 in 2016) and €134.9 billion in payments (down from €143.9 billion in 2016). As a part of the Budget, the Commission proposed €9.4 billion for the EU’s external spending, which includes €2.7 billion for development cooperation.
«The EC’s proposal doubles support for refugees in Europe, however, additional resources to tackle the root causes of this crisis and prevent the next one from happening are sorely needed. While the EU must remain a safe haven for refugees and continue to allocate additional financing to support their needs, inside and outside Europe, this cannot impose an unacceptable toll on the world’s poorest» said Valentina Barbagallo, Policy and Advocacy Manager at ONE in Brussels.
«The United Nations’ shocking report that some 34,000 people are forced out of their homes every single day to escape violence and instability underlines the urgent need to invest in long-term development programmes as a vaccine against future crises. When EU member states and the European Parliament negotiate an agreement on the 2017 EU budget they must increase humanitarian and development aid – beyond levels foreseen in 2013 – and make sure that aid is focused on poverty eradication, especially in the poorest countries» she added.
«The Draft EU budget for 2017 proposes maintaining the same level of external spending that was planned when the seven-year budget cycle of the EU was agreed in 2013. Back then, the EU set aside €9.4 billion for development assistance. That budget was clearly not designed to address the new challenges that the world is facing today and is now insufficient to simultaneously fund poverty-eradication programmes as well as the additional resources needed to tackle the global refugee crisis» she conluded.
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