Global Europe: MEPs back new instrument for external EU cooperation in 2021-2027 

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On Thursday, MEPs on the Foreign Affairs and Development committees approved the provisionally agreed Global Europe instrument, which will finance the EU's coming external action priorities.

The text was approved by 76 votes in favour, 13 against and 4 abstentions.

The new Global Europe instrument (the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - NDICI) will total 79.5 billion EUR in current prices (70.8 billion EUR in 2018 prices) for 2021-2027 and used to support sustainable development in EU neighbourhood countries, Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Pacific and the Caribbean.

One of the 15 EU Flagship Programmes supported by the European Parliament in the previous negotiations on the new long-term EU budget, Parliament’s negotiators reached a political agreement with the Council representatives on the new instrument on 15 December last year. Here is the text of the provisional agreement.

Human rights, civil society, global challenges

Besides sustainable development, Global Europe will also finance and reinforce key thematic aspects of the EU’s external policy, such as programmes promoting human rights, democracy, civil society, and contribute to addressing global challenges, including climate change, migration, peace and stability, as well as cooperation with strategic partners and promote the EU’s own foreign policy initiatives. The new streamlined instrument will serve as the EU’s main financing tool for helping countries most in need to overcome the long-term developmental challenges and merge several current EU instruments under one global roof. The EU will also boost its innovative financing under the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus, by leveraging private capital to complement direct development assistance.

More details on the various Global Europe programmes and pillars, background information, as well as quotes are available in the press release on the political agreement (15.12.2020).

High-level dialogue

The agreed text on the new instrument will also be accompanied by a draft declaration by the European Commission committing it to a high-level geopolitical dialogue with the European Parliament on the implementation of the NDICI Regulation and to take full account of MEPs’ positions.

Next steps

The new instrument is expected to be adopted as an “early second reading agreement” by Council and Parliament later this year. The final plenary vote is scheduled for June.

The regulation will retroactively apply from 1 January this year.