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  • External Financing Instruments should be made more strategic and coherent
  • Their flexibility should also be increased
  • Procedures for parliamentary oversight need to be improved

EU’s external financing instruments should be made more strategic and flexible, and parliamentary scrutiny should be enhanced, said Foreign Affairs MEPs on Tuesday.

External Financing Instruments (EFI) contribute to the EU’s foreign policy objectives under the current multiannual financial framework (MFF), but certain adjustments are needed to ensure they continue to be effective, said Foreign Affairs MEPs on Tuesday.


MEPs seized the opportunity of the mid-term review of the implementation of the EU external financing instruments to make their recommendations for improving the current institutional structure of EU external funding and preparing a new set of instruments for the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). They underline the need for:


  • increased appropriations for the EU’s external action;
  • complementarity and adapting the instruments to the local context;
  • enhanced flexibility, while maintaining predictability;
  • conditionality, reactiveness to political developments on the ground;
  • possibility to suspend or redirect funds if severe political backsliding occurs;
  • increased support for civil society in the light of the shrinking space for civil society;
  • a simplification and streamlining of the existing instruments, while ensuring that they are policy-driven;
  • enhanced parliamentary oversight, including access to more detailed information on the instrument’s implementation.


Next steps


The report by Marietje SCHAAKE (ALDE, NL) was passed by 42 votes to 3, with 14 abstentions. The committee text will be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole at the April plenary session in Strasbourg.




"Remodelling the current architecture after 2020 should have clear objectives: to increase transparency, accountability, efficiency, coherence and flexibility, with the aim of strengthening the EU as a global player worldwide. Institutional hurdles and barriers should be removed so that the EU can operate more strategically", said Foreign Affairs Committee rapporteur, Marietje SCHAAKE (ALDE, NL).




Over a seven-year period, between 2014 and 2020, the EU dedicated 51.8 billion euros to its external action. A large share of this funding, 32 billion euros, is disbursed through so-called external financial instruments (‘the instruments’). These consist of 9 different thematic and geographical instruments and a Common Implementing Regulation (CIR):


  • Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA II),
  • European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI),
  • Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) (in DEVE’s remit),
  • Partnership Instrument (PI),
  • Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP),
  • European Instrument Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR),
  • Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation,
  • Instrument for Greenland.


Five of these instruments fall within the remit of Parliamentary scrutiny by the EP Foreign Affairs committee.