EU institutions and member states combined remain lead donor in 2017, though ODA fell

The EU and its Member States continue to lead provisions of Official Development Assistance (ODA), with US$83.7 billion spent overall in 2017, confirm newly released figures by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). At the same time, ODA from 20 EU countries fell by 1.2%, to US$82.7 billion in 2017, representing 0.49% of combined gross national income. EU institution disbursements fell 6.7% in real terms to US$16.5 billion. New OECD-DAC figures also show a declining share of aid spent on refugees. For many European countries, the ODA fall resulted from lower in-donor refugee costs reported in 2017.

Website – Euractive


EU drafts next research framework program

A draft European Commission staff working document indicates that the EU's next wide-ranging R&D program, Framework Programme 9 (FP9), will likely continue the approach to health and the Sustainable Development Goals of the previous framework programme, Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 grouped such efforts in its Global Challenges pillar. FP9 will run from 2021-2027.

The Open Innovation Pillar will promote public-private blending of funds for startups under the European Innovation Council to foster more “breakthrough innovation.” The draft indicates that FP9 will be available for UK participation after Brexit. FP9 legislative language is expected for release after May 29, along with budgetary information, depending on the EU’s coming negotiations for its next overall multi-annual budget.

EU Commission working document – Politico

EU Global health R&D

Bill Gates interviewed by Politico about the EU

Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and philanthropist, spoke with Ryan Heath, Political Editor at, about the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the next EU budget, and the Oxfam scandal.  Gates additionally spoke about EU development assistance, global health, and global health R&D. As EU budget talks heat up, Gates spoke in a supportive way about cross-border European policy action and a growing but modernized system of ODA.

Interview – Soundcloud

2017 annual report on EU External Financing Instruments released

The 2017 'Annual Report on the Implementation of the European Union's Instruments for Financing External Actions in 2016' is now available, accompanied by a video animation. The report addresses EU global commitments, reach, and impact, as well as accountability and results. Financial annexes breakdown budget commitments and disbursements in several ways, including by instrument, sector, and geography for the Development Cooperation Instrument and European Development Fund.

Report – European Commission


EU seeks input on infectious disease preparations

The EU has announced its plan to outline a comprehensive preparedness and response strategy for actions to strengthen EU and global health security, including research and innovation. Concerned about the cross-border nature of infectious diseases, the European Commission expects to adopt a communication with a roadmap by the second quarter of 2018 and would like to hear views from the public within the coming four weeks.

Debate – European Commission

EU Global health Global health R&D

EDCTP commits €34 million to TB vaccine clinical trials

The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) has committed €34 million (US$37.6 million) in funding for four large clinical trials on candidate tuberculosis (TB) vaccines. This large European investment into clinical development of TB vaccines boosts the commitment to combat one of the world’s most devastating diseases. The trials will be conducted by 28 research institutions from sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and India.

Press release – EDCTP

EU Auditors find shortcomings of PPPs

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has found that while Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) have the potential to achieve faster policy implementation, audited projects were not always effectively managed and did not provide adequate value for money.

The audited EU PPPs (from 2000-2014) suffered from €1.5 billion of inefficient and ineffective spending. Value for money and transparency were widely undermined. The auditors recommend, among other things, that the European Commission and EU Member States not promote more intensive and widespread use of PPPs until the issues identified have been addressed.

Press release- ECA



Spain and the EU visit Colombian indigenous peoples

The Spanish Secretary of State for International Co-operation and Ibero-America, Fernando García Casas, and the European Union’s Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, headed a joint visit to Colombia on March 14-16, 2018. The objective of this trip was to gather intelligence and make an assessment of the humanitarian situation in two rural and indigenous regions of the country. They were able to verify that the territories still need some development and humanitarian support in key areas like education, water and sanitation, and peacebuilding.

Press release – AECID (in Spanish)

EU Spain

Civil society critiques EU use of development assistance for migration

CONCORD, a platform representing over 2,800 European development NGOs, has released a report that aims to clarify how EU development cooperation and migration policies are interlinked. The report identifies three ways that EU development assistance is purposefully used to curb migration.

Press release – CONCORD


Draft EU-Brexit transition agreement made available

Initial analysis of the draft legal text of the Brexit transition, which requires confirmation from legal experts, appears to reveal that:

  • UK entities can participate without discrimination in EU procurements, such as global health research and development (R&D), during the transition
  • EU and UK entities will participate in the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and all previous EDFs until they close books
  • For external actions, the UK is bound by existing obligations but may not always be able to participate in decision-making  
  • The UK will participate in the 2019 and 2020 EU budgets
  •  And the UK remains responsible for liabilities existing with the European Fund for Sustainable Investments (EFSI) and European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) that are in place when this agreement comes into force.

A joint committee will be set up to oversee implementation of the transition, which ends December 31, 2020. The draft text will be discussed in the European Council meeting March 22-23, 2018.

Agreement text - Politico