Plan International EU Office welcomes the European Parliament’s timely reminder to the EU of its international commitments to sustainable development and aid effectiveness. However, we regret the lack of concrete proposals in the report on how gender equality should be advanced in the EU’s external action.
The European Parliament underlined the EU’s commitment to be driven by commitments such as the SDGs, the European Consensus on Development, and aid effectiveness principles in its development policy. Plan International welcomes the European Parliament’s focus on the need for the EU and the Member States to increase their official development assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of GDP by 2030, and the need to dedicate 20% to human development – which Plan International believes must target education, social protection and healthcare. The European Parliament also underlined its support to the role of civil society and human rights defenders and the need for the EU to ensure predictability of funding and consultations with civil society. We would like to emphasise, however, the need to include youth voices and opinions - and especially those of girls and young women who are systematically excluded from governance processes - in order to safeguard progress and to empower them to shape their own future
As the negotiations on the next MFF unfold, Plan International calls on the EU to ensure that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s overarching principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ is thoroughly embedded in the objectives and instruments of the future budget. In addition, we urge the EU to put forward a ‘gender-proofed’ budget to ensure that concrete actions are taken towards achieving sustainable development and gender equality, thereby improving the lives of women and girls worldwide. This is the only way to ensure that European external action reaches the most marginalised first, and respects the principle of leaving no one behind. Women and girls continue to face unacceptable discrimination, inequalities and violations of their rights across the world.