EU Trust Funds for external action: First uses of a new tool

27-11-2015

Since January 2013, the new Financial Regulation applicable to the EU budget allows the European Commission to create and administer Union Trust Funds in the field of external action: these are multi-donor trust funds for emergency, post-emergency or thematic actions. The European Parliament welcomed this development in an April 2013 resolution, considering that it would allow the EU to raise the visibility of its external action and to have greater control over the delivery chain of relevant funds. The first two EU Trust Funds were created in 2014: the Bêkou EU Trust Fund (€108 million), focusing on the stabilisation and reconstruction of the Central African Republic and the Madad Fund (€542 million), dealing with the response to the Syrian crisis. As part of intensifying efforts to tackle the refugee crisis, the European Commission and Spain have also set up an Emergency Trust Fund for stability, to address the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa. The new fund has an initial budget of €1.8 billion and targets 23 countries in the Sahel and the Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa and North Africa. The bulk of funding has so far come from the EU budget and the European Development Fund (EDF). By comparison, Member State contributions to the Trust Funds have to date been relatively low. The European Commission and the European Parliament are therefore urging Member States to match the EU budget and EDF contributions to the Trust Funds. The Commission's aim is to increase the amounts in the Madad Fund and the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to €1 billion and €3.6 billion, respectively.

Since January 2013, the new Financial Regulation applicable to the EU budget allows the European Commission to create and administer Union Trust Funds in the field of external action: these are multi-donor trust funds for emergency, post-emergency or thematic actions. The European Parliament welcomed this development in an April 2013 resolution, considering that it would allow the EU to raise the visibility of its external action and to have greater control over the delivery chain of relevant funds. The first two EU Trust Funds were created in 2014: the Bêkou EU Trust Fund (€108 million), focusing on the stabilisation and reconstruction of the Central African Republic and the Madad Fund (€542 million), dealing with the response to the Syrian crisis. As part of intensifying efforts to tackle the refugee crisis, the European Commission and Spain have also set up an Emergency Trust Fund for stability, to address the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa. The new fund has an initial budget of €1.8 billion and targets 23 countries in the Sahel and the Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa and North Africa. The bulk of funding has so far come from the EU budget and the European Development Fund (EDF). By comparison, Member State contributions to the Trust Funds have to date been relatively low. The European Commission and the European Parliament are therefore urging Member States to match the EU budget and EDF contributions to the Trust Funds. The Commission's aim is to increase the amounts in the Madad Fund and the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to €1 billion and €3.6 billion, respectively.