Socialists and Democrats voted today in favour of a new ‘Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument’ (NDICI) that merges most of the EU’s current external financing instruments into one broad tool to assist third countries in our neighbourhood and beyond. As proposed by the European Parliament, it would assist third countries with €93 billion during the 2021-2027 period. It’s an increase of almost €4 billion compared to the European Commission initial proposal.
S&D MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, co-rapporteur on this file, and chair of the sub-committee on human rights said:
“Once approved, this new instrument of more than €90 billion will be the EU’s main tool to finance the EU external action. This should help Europe to better fulfil its role as a global actor. No member state can alone have a similar leverage! The S&Ds were in favour of bringing together different existing financing instruments to increase flexibly to mobilise unutilised funds. However, this cannot come at the expense of the Parliament’s role in the governance of funds. I am glad that through the negotiations we secured a bigger say for the Parliament in setting the priorities, programming and controlling the use of funds.
“The NDICI funds will foster the cooperation with our closest neighbours and other non-EU countries all over the world. It will also help us implement different international commitments deriving from the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. I am particularly glad, that in light of the increasing needs for human rights work, there will be substantially more funds to promote democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. We have also introduced a clause of suspension of assistance in case of persistent non-compliance with these fundamental principles, with the redirection of the funds to the civil society.”
Norbert Neuser, S&D development coordinator and shadow rapporteur on this file in development committee added:
"I am very happy about how S&Ds shaped this report! We made a difference to climate change mitigation in achieving that at least 45 % of the expenditure will contribute to climate objectives, management and protection, biodiversity and combatting desertification. Our Group has ensured that achieving poverty eradication and the Sustainable Development Goals will remain high on the agenda, becoming part of the objectives of the Instrument. In line with our defence of strengthening women’s and girls' access to education and their integration into the labour market, we achieved that at least 85% of the programmes will have gender equality and women’s and girls' rights and empowerment as an objective."