After 18 months of negotiation between the European Parliament and the Council, rules dealing with foreign policy funds have been adopted by Foreign Affairs and Development MEPs on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th December 2013.
Above all, common implementation rules have been adopted in order to ensure the orderly running of those six instruments, currently being discussed by the full House. Increasing the spent outside EU funds visibility and their efficiency, as well as, increasing civil society’s role in the design, the implementation of projects and the respect of European values have largely been promoted.
For 2014-2020 and with a financial envelope dedicated, of more than 11 billion euro, the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance has been adopted. It is a programme that supports candidate countries or potential candidates, in their political, institutional, administrative, judicial, social and/or economical reforms implementation. Those reforms are necessary as they allow the gradual approximation from European values and standard, rules, policies and practices, which is a criteria for accession.
Moreover, the European Neighbourhood Instrument has been endorsed. This programme aims to promote a stronger political cooperation and a gradual economic integration between the EU and partners countries. The implementation of partnerships or cooperation through agreements, associations or joint action plans will be supported. The focus will be on real progress realized by neighbourhood countries. Its financial envelop is about 15.5 billion euro.
The Foreign Affairs Committee also endorsed the regulations on the Partnership Instrument. With 954.7 million euro, this programme supports measures dealing with the objectives of bilateral, regional and multilateral relations between EU and third countries. It also deals with international challenges. Funds will be allocated according thematic priorities that will boost the positive impact of EU’s external action.
Another programme has been adopted: the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace with a global budget of more than 2 million euro. This instrument is about the implementation of a financial, economical and technical cooperation with third countries to prevent them from conflicts and to improve the efficiency of the response to crisis, to consolidate peace and fight against threats. For 2014-2020, its objective is to establish a link between security and development.
Finally, the last instrument endorsed by the Foreign Affairs Committee is the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights and its 1.3 billion euro budget. Its aim is to improve the fundamental human rights and freedoms respect as well as to promote democratic reform in third countries. Some funds could be allocated without the approval of the third countries where it is used.
The Development Committee endorsed the regulation on the last EU external action programme for 2014-2020. It is the Instrument for Development Cooperation. In order to reach the EU 2020 Strategy, the instrument’s objectives are to reduce poverty (with a long term eradication), to foster economical, social and environmental development and to promote democracy, rule of law and good governance. Its financial envelop reaches 19.622 million euro for next years.