Revitalising EU development cooperation

On a practical note, this committee is responsible for deciding the budget for EU humanitarian aid and development cooperation, as well as monitoring how the European Commission and the European External Action Service use EU funds and implement EU policy in these fields.

The EPP Group is the driving force for more effective and result-oriented partnerships, to increase the impact of our development cooperation. We regularly engage in political dialogue, both bilaterally and with relevant international organisations and interparliamentary forums, promoting democratic values, good governance and human rights in developing countries.

The EPP Group advocates for a shift away from the increasingly obsolete donor-recipient mentality towards partnerships on equal footing. This shift should allow both sides to pursue their own interests but also to identify common areas of cooperation on which we can work together. In the past year alone, the EPP has adopted a Group position paper on EU-Africa relations, which paves the way for a more effective and mutually beneficial partnership.

Strategic priorities that are mutually beneficial

We, as the EPP Group, believe that our development cooperation must be based on strategic priorities and shared interests with our partner countries. There is no development without security; therefore, we support enhanced EU cooperation with developing countries to foster security and stability and also to address forced displacement.

As Christian Democrats, we insist that, if the right conditions are given, every person is able to contribute to the improvement of their living conditions as well as to the development of their community as a whole. Our development cooperation should empower people to do so.

It is therefore imperative that we support access to quality education and vocational training, as well as boost trade, investment and job creation, to facilitate sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty. The EPP Group has therefore welcomed the Global Gateway Initiative, which seeks to mobilise private sector infrastructural investments in partner countries. This should be a tool to counter geopolitical competition in Africa, as well as to create trade and investment opportunities for Europe. We understand that public funding from European citizens alone will never be enough to address the major challenges that our partner countries face. To make EU development cooperation more efficient, we need enhanced private-public partnerships, mobilising the private sector to make investments that will contribute to sustainable economic growth and create win-win situations for Europe and its partner countries.

We see the clear need for our development cooperation to address the root causes of migration, in order to significantly reduce irregular migration to Europe. The EU should support partner countries in creating opportunities for their citizens, while partner countries should improve cooperation on the return and readmission of irregular migrants.

Since day one of Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, the EPP Group has continuously pushed to boost the EU's humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, to provide food, shelter and education and save the lives of innocent civilians. In addition, the EPP Group has strongly advocated for the need to address the catastrophic spill-over of Russia's war against Ukraine on developing countries, notably food insecurity. Russia is responsible for fuelling a global food crisis that has left 49 countries teetering on the edge of famine. The EPP Group has pushed for a global and sustainable response, with the EU in the lead, to facilitate delivering of food products from Ukraine to food-insecure regions as well as to scale up local production in partner countries and support family farms.

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