The European Parliament should not turn its back on international cooperation: will it listen to the advice of its Development Committee? | Plan International Skip to main content

The European Parliament should not turn its back on international cooperation: will it listen to the advice of its Development Committee?

On 5th November 2018, a key vote was held which will influence the European Parliament’s position for the negotiations on the next seven-year EU budget. The Committee on Budgets (BUDG) adopted the European Parliament’s interim report on the EU budget 2021-2027, with 25 votes in favour and 5 against. The BUDG Committee is clearly going to be the recipient of considerable lobbying going forward – including from the European Parliament’s own committees. Will they support a budget which is strong on human rights, gender equality and ensuring Europe’s role on the global stage: will they take the advice of their colleagues in the Committee on Development (DEVE)?

As regards international cooperation and gender equality, the interim report points out that the European Commission’s proposal for the next EU budget is lacking gender equality goals, requirements and indicators. As a result, the report calls on the EU to implement a gender budgeting approach in its annual budgetary procedures as well as to fully integrate gender mainstreaming and monitoring in the regulation for the next EU budget. Plan International is urging the BUDG Committee to rely on the expertise of its colleagues in the DEVE Committee who, after a worrying wobble mid-process, are pushing for an international cooperation instrument that promotes sustainable development and equal opportunities and outcomes for all.

poverty reduction remains the primary goal of EU development policy

The DEVE committee reminds the European Union of its commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals and other EU policy frameworks. It also highlights that poverty reduction remains the primary goal of EU development policy and rightly argues that this should be reflected accordingly in its external financial instruments. In line with our recommendations, DEVE’s opinion calls for the following specific targets to be integrated into the future instrument for international cooperation:

  • at least 20 % Official Development Assistance (ODA) for social inclusion and human development. This means supporting and strengthening the provision of basic social services, such as health, education and social protection.
  • at least 85 % of ODA to be dedicated to actions that have gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment as a principal or significant objective. In addition, 20 % of these actions should have gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment as a principal objective.

On 13 and 14 November, the European Parliament will vote in plenary on the interim report of the BUDG Committee. Now is the time to listen to the advice of its colleagues in the DEVE committee, if the European Parliament is indeed committed to achieving sustainable development and ensuring that the EU maintains a strong role in international fora and on the global stage.

 

Extracts from the vote can be found here.