The European Union (EU) institutions and member states on Wednesday jointly signed a plan that outlines the bloc’s development policy which aimed at eradicating poverty worldwide and bolstering development.
The joint statement by the European Parliament, the European Commission and EU countries was the first comprehensive development framework applying to all EU institutions.
It came after months of negotiations over a 2016 proposal to bring the EU’s development assistance in line with the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The EU is emerging as the main development partner as U.S. President Donald Trump plans to significantly decrease U.S. foreign aid.
This include an almost 30 per cent cut to the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The EU statement was signed during the 2017 European Development Days, an international forum in Brussels bringing together leaders and development experts.
“With this, we enter into a completely new era of our cooperation policy, our development policy.
“I believe today we send a reassuring message that the EU is there tomorrow even more than before in partnership.
“We are building strong alliances to support the multilateral system and support a sustainable way of developing our planet,” EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said.
In 2016, the EU and its member states spent 85 billion dollars on development aid, making the bloc the world’s largest donor.
Under the new framework, development financing will evolve to bring the EU’s contributions in line with the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of development benchmarks to be met by 2030 that was adopted by UN member states in 2015.