MEPs: EU external investment instrument must adapt to new geopolitical reality
The Foreign Affairs and Development committees view the EU external funding instrument as insufficient, underfunded, and in need of additional resources to deal with contemporary challenges.
On Thursday, MEPs on the Foreign Affairs and Development committees adopted a report on the implementation of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe (NDICI – Global Europe).
The report – drafted by co- rapporteurs Michael Gahler (EPP, DE), Charles Goerens (Renew, LU), Pedro Marques (S&D, PT), and Tomas Tobé (EPP, SE) – provides recommendations for the European Commission’s mid-term evaluation (MTE) of the Global Europe instrument, to be completed by the end of 2024. In it, MEPs welcome the Commission’s proposal to increase funding for external action as part of the mid-term review of the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027, given their worries that the NDICI-Global Europe instrument has been underfunded since its creation. Under no circumstances, MEPs say, should this mid-term budget review result in a reduction or reallocation of existing funding, particularly if the EU is serious about its geopolitical commitments.
Questioning the effectivenss of the NDICI-Global Europe
MEPs want the Commission’s MTE to undertake an in-depth assessment of the instrument’s effectiveness in achieving its primary goals of poverty reduction, the promotion of human rights, and supporting the long-term sustainable development of partner countries. There is particular concern about the NDICI-Global Europe’s capacity to achieve these goals given escalating geopolitical turmoil, and that it should adjust to a new, more competitive geopolitical reality.
The report says the crisis in Ukraine and concomitant EU financial support has left the NDICI-Global Europe with limited ability to respond to unforeseen global challenges, and MEPs endorse the Commission’s decision to create a separate single instrument to support Ukraine.
Additionally, MEPs are concerned about the failure to meet climate- and biodiversity-related funding targets and about how effective the instrument is at making funding contingent upon respect for human rights, rule of law, and democracy. They say that, given their concern about the state of LGBTIQ+ rights globally, targeted support to civil society groups and communities advocating for the respect of sexual and reproductive health and rights, women’s rights, gender equality and the LGBTIQ+ community and other marginalised populations, including enhanced measures to decriminalise homosexuality, should be prioritised.
Finally, MEPs want the Commission’s MTE to assess the extent to which funding has delivered tangible results in Africa, and whether a review of priorities and objectives is necessary, in addition to recommendations on the Team Europe approach, parliamentary scruitny, and the programming process.
The report was adopted by MEPs by 53 votes in favour, 8 against and 5 abstentions.
The report will now be submitted to a vote in the European Parliament as a whole in plenary.
The aim of NDICI-Global Europe is to support countries most in need to overcome long-term developmental challenges, as well as to uphold and promote the Union’s values, principles and fundamental interests worldwide. Against the backdrop of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, the Instrument was established with an overall allocation of 79.5 billion euros that covers EU cooperation with third countries.