The EU made a pledge in 2005 that it would commit €2 billion to various Aid-for-Trade related programmes. Being a rapporteur of the International Trade Committee's opinion on the Development Committee's report 'on progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals: mid-term review in preparation of the UN high-level meeting in September 2010', I would like to receive information from the Commission about whether such a target has been met, and would like to know what the specific budget lines are that are used to finance the above-mentioned programmes.
In addition, can the Commission provide information about the overall funds being earmarked for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals? What is the actual procedure for the mobilisation of funds to reach those most in need? Can the Commission provide examples of projects that have been implemented to enhance the trading capacity of the developing countries?
Trade can be a powerful tool in improving the livelihoods of the poor. Through increased employment and wages and enhanced government tax revenues and social spending, it can help reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This is why the EU and its Member States have committed themselves to increase their Aid for Trade (AfT).
On 15 October 2007, the EU and its Member States adopted the EU Aid for Trade Strategy. A joint EU and EU Member States initiative, this Strategy aims at supporting all developing countries, particularly the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), to better integrate into the rules-based world trading system and to use trade more effectively in the fight against poverty.
The Commission has been monitoring the implementation of the Strategy since its adoption, and it has just released its third monitoring report, covering progress of EU and EU Member States in this area, and analysing Aid for Trade flows in 2008. As this will show, the common efforts of the EU and its Member States in the area of Aid for Trade are now starting to show, both in terms of increased policy activities in the EU and the Member States, and in increased flows of Aid for Trade to developing countries.
In 2005, the EU and its Member States made a commitment to increase their Trade Related Assistance (TRA) – a sub-set of total Aid for Trade - to EUR 2 billion annually by 2010. This year's report shows that they have already hit this target.
The most substantial increases have been reported in wider Aid for Trade - including transport and energy, productive sectors and trade-related adjustment. Last years report showed that total EU and Member States Aid for Trade amounted to EUR 7 billion in 2007. The new figures point to important further increases in 2008, both from the part of the EU and the Member States, up to EUR 10.4 billion in total. The European Union therefore remained the largest provider of Aid for Trade worldwide.
EU Aid for Trade is financed from the European Development Funds national, regional and intra-ACP envelopes, as well as from the EU budget. Except for a small budget line for multilateral Aid for Trade activities, and some specific resources set aside for sugar and banana related adjustment support, funds are generally not earmarked for Aid for Trade at the outset, but allocated to these sectors in collaboration with partner countries, following normal programming procedures. The full 2010 Aid for Trade monitoring report can be found at the following link:http://ec.europa.eu/development/icenter/repository/SEC_2010_0419_COM_2010_0159_EN.PDF" \o "blocked::http://ec.europa.eu/development/icenter/repository/SEC_2010_0419_COM_2010_0159_EN.PDF"
The Commission does not operate any direct benchmarking of funds for the achievement of the MDGs. The sector breakdown of our aid to development cooperation is the result of a joint programming exercise carried out with our partner countries. The result reflects the priorities of our partners, as well as the attempt by the Commission to maximise the added value of its intervention and to improve division of labour with EU Member States and other donors. Moreover, results on the MDGs can be attained through various means, notably through budget support, whereby disbursements are linked to performance indicators in the MDGs sectors (education, health, but also, more in general, poverty reduction). The MDGs can be impacted also through investments in other sectors (water and sanitation, rural development, governance…) and the Commission gives strong attention to these as well.
In order to increase the awareness of our partners and other donors, and to accelerate the path towards the attainment of MDGs, the Commission adopted an Action plan for the MDGs on 21 April 2010 which contains examples of EU-funded projects and can be found at this link: