Now it’s up to the Member States to follow the EP’s example on the next EU budget and make sure the EU will invest in girls | Plan International Skip to main content

Now it’s up to the Member States to follow the EP’s example on the next EU budget and make sure the EU will invest in girls

28 March 2019
As we know, the EU is in the middle of shaping its budget for the upcoming seven years. For us, the way it will turn out, and especially its external envelope (the Neighbourhood, International and Development Cooperation Instrument – NDICI), will determine as to whether the EU will be able to make major steps towards achieving the goals set out in the Agenda 2030. For the past few months we have been keeping a close eye on the process to see if gender equality, children and youth and Human Development are sufficiently included to ensure a more sustainable future for EU external action that invests in girls’ and women’s rights all over the world.

Yesterday, March 27, the European Parliament has made a final decision on the joint position on the NDICI coming from its Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation Committees. Throughout the past few months, we have been calling on the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to invest in girls, in gender equality and ensure that the different needs per age group are taken into account.

Therefore, we welcome the EP’s amendments on the NDICI, firstly because it reflects the role children and youth can play as actors of change, stating “This regulation should give particular attention to children and youth as contributors to the realisation of Agenda 2030” and “Giving children, particularly the most marginalised, the best start in life by investing in early childhood development and ensuring that children experiencing poverty or inequality have access to basic services such as health, nutrition, education and social protection; supporting the provision of a safe, nurturing environment for children as an important element for fostering a healthy young population able to reach its full potential, and paying special attention to the needs of girls”. When it comes to investing in girls’ and women’s rights, the European Parliament proposes the NDICI to cover “Promoting the protection and fulfilment of women’s and girls’ rights, including economic, labour, social and political rights, and sexual and reproductive health and rights, including sexual and reproductive health services, education and supplies.”

“Giving children, particularly the most marginalised, the best start in life by investing in early childhood development and ensuring that children experiencing poverty or inequality have access to basic services”

Now it’s up to the EU Member States to take the shaping of the EU budget to the next phase and follow the European Parliament’s example.

For Plan International the European Parliament has made an important step towards realising the Sustainable Development Goals. The focus on children and youth and the role the EU can play to ensure they can shape their own future worldwide is a very welcome tone, especially ahead of the European elections.