Regulation (EU) 2021/947 of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - Global Europe

In “A Stronger Europe in the World”

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As part of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, the European Parliament and the Council have adopted Regulation (EU) 2021/947 establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument. The new instrument will be referred to as the Global Europe Instrument.

The budget for the Global Europe Instrument for the period 2021-2027 will be €79 462 million in current prices (€70 800 million in constant 2018 prices).

The Global Europe Instrument is divided into three components.

The geographical component consists of geographic programmes for the (i) European Neighbourhood; (ii) Sub-Saharan Africa; (iii) Asia and the Pacific; and (iv) the Americas and the Caribbean. Geographic programmes will focus on good governance, democracy, rule of law and human rights, poverty eradication, fight against inequalities and human development, migration and mobility, environment and climate change, inclusive and sustainable growth and decent employment, and security, stability and peace. Neighbourhood countries will in addition benefit from enhanced political cooperation and support.

The financial envelope for the geographical component amounts to EUR 60 388 million in current prices (EUR 53 805 million in constant 2018 prices), of which at least EUR 19 323 million (EUR 17 217 million) will be earmarked for the Neighbourhood, and at least EUR 29 181 million (EUR 26 000 million) for Sub-Saharan Africa.

The thematic component comprises several thematic programmes with worldwide coverage. These include (i) human rights and democracy; (ii) civil society organisations; (iii) stability and peace; and (iv) global challenges, such as health, education and training, women and children, decent work and social protection, culture, migration, environment and climate change, sustainable energy, sustainable and inclusive growth, private sector and local authorities.

The financial envelope for the thematic component is EUR 6 358 million in current prices (EUR 5 665 million in constant 2018 prices).

The rapid response component is designed to allow for quick responses, to enable the EU to (i) contribute to stability and conflict prevention in situations of urgency, in emerging crisis, in crisis and in post-crisis situations; (ii) contribute to strengthening resilience of states, societies, communities and individuals, and to linking humanitarian aid and development action; and (iii) more generally address foreign policy needs and priorities.  A special feature of rapid response component, which also has worldwide coverage, is that it will require no programming. Implementation will be through the adoption of exceptional assistance measure, action plans and individual measures, allowing for greater flexibility.  At the same time, it is intended that rapid response actions be complementary to geographic and thematic programmes.

The financial envelope for the rapid response component amounts to EUR 3 182 million (EUR 2 835 million).

The Global Europe Instrument also includes an additional flexibility cushion for emerging challenges and priorities, with an budget of EUR 9 534 million (EUR 8 495 million).

When negotiations on this new instrument began in October 2019, the positions of Parliament and Council positions were far apart on several issues. Negotiations involved seven trilogues and 42 technical meetings. The main elements of the political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council include:

  • An enhanced role for the European Parliament in the definition of the main strategic choices, through: 
    • delegated act on the specific objectives and priority areas of cooperation per sub-region, to be adopted in 2021. The delegated act will also include more details on the targets/minimum amounts for the different thematic areas within the geographic pillar and the allocations for three sub-regions within Sub-Saharan Africa. A compulsory mid-term review of the delegated act has also been agreed.
    • A political commitment by the Commission to inform the European Parliament before any mobilisation of the emerging challenges and priorities cushion, as well as a commitment to take into consideration Parliament’s comments.
    • A twice-yearly geopolitical dialogue between the VP/HR, the other relevant Commissioners and Parliament on the strategic orientations of the NDICI, including on programming, the cushion, migration and financial allocations.
  • A compromise on migration, whereby migration-related activities funded by the NDICI have to be in line with the overall objectives of the regulation. The compromise also limits the application of migration-related leverage.
  • Further safeguards as regards the amounts set aside for Capacity Building of military actors in support of development and security for development (CBDSD), election observation missions, local authorities, Erasmus, Pacific and Caribbean. EUR 1 billion from the cushion will be used to reinforce the thematic programmes (human rights and democracy, civil society organisations, global challenges).
  • Stronger language on the possibility to suspend assistance if a country fails to observe the principles of democracy, the rule of law, or nuclear safety standards.
  • More ambitious targets for spending on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) (93%), climate (30%) and gender (85%), as well as an indirect target for spending on biodiversity.

On 9 June 2021, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, represented by the Portuguese Presidency, signed Regulation (EU) 2021/947. The regulation entered into force on 14 June 2021.


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Author: Marcin Szczepanski, Members' Research Service,

As of 20/05/2024.