At a glance
Strategic priorities
  • The EU’s development policy is set out in the European Consensus on Development, renewed in 2017. It focuses on interlinkages between sectors (such as development, peace, and humanitarian assistance), increasing effectiveness of EU development assistance by increasing country ownership, and combining traditional financing with private-sector and domestic resources.
  • Funding to address humanitarian assistance, conflict-affected regions, and migration inside and outside of the EU are and will remain a strong focus of the EU’s ODA. The Commission has proposed to integrate migration into the development instrument during the 2021-2027 MFF.
  • The next MFF includes spending targets for prioritized, cross-cutting priorities, including 20% for human development, 25% for climate change, and 10% for migration.

For further details on methodology, see our Donor Tracker Codebook.

Outlook
  • The Cotonou Agreement, which governs the EU’s relations with African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries, is being renewed for 2020-2040. Instead of a single agreement, the new deal will comprise one overarching definition of common values and interests, plus three distinct agreements for each region, to be finalized by the end of 2019.
  • The next MFF 2021-2027 is to be agreed on by the EU institutions by the end of 2019. The Commission presented a proposal on priorities and budget limits in June 2018. The European Parliament will agree on its position by spring 2019, while the EU member states are expected to agree on spending limits and priorities by fall 2019.
  • In May 2019, European Parliament elections will be held. According to forecasts, the two largest parties will not win a majority, requiring increased cross-party collaboration in the future. The appointment of a whole new cabinet of European Commissioners will follow.