EuropeAid Co-operation Office

EuropeAid Co-operation Office

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The Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid Directorate General is one of the departments of the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

. EuropeAid operates under the authority of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs
Andris Piebalgs
Andris Piebalgs is a Latvian politician and diplomat, currently serving as European Commissioner for Development at the European Commission. Between 2004 and 2010 he served as Commissioner for Energy.-Career:...

.

Background


Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid was formed on 1 January 2011 following the merger of the EuropeAid Cooperation Office (AIDCO) with the Directorate General for Development and Relations with ACP States (DEV). AIDCO had been founded on 1 January 2001 with the mission of implementing the EU external aid programmes around the world. At that time, DG DEV and the Directorate General for External Relations (RELEX) were responsible for policy and programming.

Following the creation of EuropeAid in 2011, Director-General Fokion Fotiadis is responsible for the overall realisation of the DG's mission, which consists in the programming and implementation of the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

's external aid instruments financed by the European Union budget and the European Development Fund
European Development Fund
The European Development Fund is the main instrument for European Union aid for development cooperation in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific countries and the Overseas Countries and Territories...

s.

EuropeAid focuses on maximising the value and impact of aid
Aid
In international relations, aid is a voluntary transfer of resources from one country to another, given at least partly with the objective of benefiting the recipient country....

 funding by making sure support is provided in a manner which complies with EU development objectives and the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

' Millennium Development Goals
Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015...

 in a speedy and accountable fashion. Effective implementation and delivery of aid also helps the Commission and the EU as a whole to attain a higher profile on the world stage. The European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 is the world’s largest aid donor.

Development policy


EuropeAid formulates the European Union's development policy. Its mission is to help reduce and ultimately eradicate poverty in developing countries through the promotion of sustainable development, democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, peace and security.

It works on policy formulation at a global and sectoral level. The main intervention areas covered are: Trade and regional integration, Environment and the sustainable management of natural resources, Infrastructure, communications and transport, Water and energy, Rural development, Governance, democracy and human rights, Peace and security, Human development, Social cohesion and employment. EU development action is based on the European Consensus on Development, which was endorsed on 20 December 2005 by EU Member States, the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission.

From policy to action


When implementing projects, EuropeAid takes account of EU policy strategies and long-term programmes for the delivery of aid. It translates policies into practical actions and develops new ways of delivering aid, such as budget support and through sectoral approaches. It also issues guidelines and makes evaluations of aid implementation. In addition, it is responsible for the proper management of funds and must use clear and transparent tendering and contracting procedures.

EuropeAid is responsible for all the steps of an aid delivery project: after identifying needs, it carries out feasibility studies and prepares all the necessary financial decisions and controls. It then moves on to drawing up the required tendering, monitoring and evaluation procedures. EuropeAid often publishes these evaluations in its website, aiming to improve management, in particular by taking into account the lessons of past public actions and to reinforce capacity to account for, and to ensure, better transparency.

EuropeAid is a decentralised organisation. Two out of three Commission staff members working on aid implementation are based in the field. That is why most of the preparatory and implementation work is done through the EU Delegations in the beneficiary countries. EuropeAid is made up of more than 45 units divided into nine directorates attached to the Director General.

Promoting joint effort


To ensure coherence, complementarity and coordination in implementing external assistance programmes worldwide, DG DEVCO works in close collaboration with its various partners. The overall aim is to make external aid more effective. Civil society
Civil society
Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...

, international organisations and governments of EU Member States are all important actors in this field.

Funding


EuropeAid awards grants and contracts to implement projects or activities that relate to the European Union’s external aid programmes. For more details consult the "Funding Pages". To ensure that EuropeAid's work to improve people’s lives is recognised, a set of visibility guidelines have been produced. These guidelines ensure that aid projects acknowledge the funding support they receive from Commission budgets. They also help to raise the general profile of the EU across the world.

Development aid
Development aid
Development aid or development cooperation is aid given by governments and other agencies to support the economic, environmental, social and political development of developing countries.It is distinguished...

 is financed directly by the EU budget (70%) as part of the financial instruments for external action and also by the European Development Fund
European Development Fund
The European Development Fund is the main instrument for European Union aid for development cooperation in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific countries and the Overseas Countries and Territories...

 (EDF) (30%). The EU's external action financing is divided into 'geographic' and 'thematic' instruments. The 'geographic' instruments provide aid through the Development Cooperation Instrument
Development Cooperation Instrument
Development Cooperation Instrument has three main functions:# Provides assistance to South Africa and 47 developing countries in Latin America and Asia# Supports the adaptation process of the sugar sector in 18 ACP Sugar Protocol Countries...

 (DCI, €16.9 billion, 2007–2013), which must spend 95% of its budget on overseas development assistance (ODA), and from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), which contains some relevant programmes. The EDF (€22.7 bn, 2008–2013) is made up of voluntary contributions by EU Member States. There is currently a debate on whether to 'budgetise' the EDF. The perceived advantages include:
  • contributions would be based on GNI
    GNI
    GNI may stand for:* Gesher New Instructions, a computer processor instruction set* Global Network Initiative, an Internet freedom and privacy organization* Greater Nagoya Initiative, a Japanese business model project...

     and this may increase the currently voluntary contributions
  • the harmonisation of EU budget and EDF administration might decrease administration costs and increase aid effectiveness
  • an all-Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific countries geographic strategy is no longer relevant as programmes are more localised to regions or country-level
  • there would be increase democratic control and parliamentary scrutiny

The perceived disadvantages are that:
  • 90% of EDF resources reach low-income countries as opposed to less than 40% of aid from the EU budget development instruments
  • a loss of aid predictability and aid quality as the EU budget is annual, unlike the 6-year budget of the EDF

See also

  • ACP-EU Development Cooperation
    ACP-EU Development Cooperation
    Development cooperation between the European Union and the countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007. Although bilateral relations have always been and still remain one of the main features of modern development cooperation, it was the...

  • European Development Fund
    European Development Fund
    The European Development Fund is the main instrument for European Union aid for development cooperation in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific countries and the Overseas Countries and Territories...

  • Foreign Relations of the European Union
    Foreign relations of the European Union
    Although there has been a large degree of integration between European Union member states, foreign relations is still a largely inter-governmental matter, with the 27 members controlling their own relations to a large degree. However with the Union holding more weight as a single bloc, there are...


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