Open Letter: EU Leaders Must Step Up Funding for Global Action

12 December 2023

Civil society organizations, Members of European Parliament, activists, and thought leaders are calling on European leaders to ensure that the next revision of the bloc's 7-year budget prioritizes funding for climate financing, and funding for global health, education, and food security.


© European Union, 2023. All rights reserved.

Dear EU leaders,

COP28 demonstrated what multilateralism can achieve. On Day 1 COP28 agreed to the set up of the first ever Loss & Damage fund and, together with the European Commission, you stepped up to provide funding for it. 

Now back from Dubai, you will meet in Brussels to agree the EU budget for the next four years – as part of the mid-term revision of the bloc’s 7-year budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework. This is incredibly important for the EU’s partners, in particular the poorest and most climate-vulnerable countries.

Against a backdrop of an increasingly multipolar world facing ever more global threats, what you decide will determine how Europe shows up internationally. Initially, the European Commission, then backed by the European Parliament, suggested increasing EU funding for global action, and rightly so. Several critical budget lines are already empty, but needs are only rising. Leadership on many issues such as climate change, pandemic threats, global health, education and food security must also come from Europe. But how can Europe lead with an empty wallet? How can the EU be a credible player if you cannot walk the talk on meeting your international promises? 

The proposals from the Council foresee €4.5 billion cuts to existing programmes and over 70% cuts to vital funds for global action and to the EU’s safety net to respond to unforeseen external emergency needs, compared to what is proposed by the Commission.

Don’t forget in Brussels that you are not just negotiating a budget. You are defining Europe’s role in the world for the years to come, in particular your partnership with Africa. From the COVID-19 pandemic, to climate justice, trust in Europe as a continent that can deliver global justice has been put into question as never before. Now is not the time to pull back: we will be watching.


  • Michael Sheldrick, Co-founder, Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer, Global Citizen
  • Eloise Todd, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Pandemic Action Network 
  • Jamie Drummond, Co-founder of ONE and Founder of Sharing Strategies
  • Gayle Smith, Chief Executive Officer, The ONE Campaign
  • Mark Vermeulen, Director, Aidsfonds – Soa Aids Nederland
  • Khalil Elouardighi, Director, Think Equal 
  • Emmanuel Acha, Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Initiative for African Youth (EIFAY Africa)
  • Luca Bergamaschi, Co-founding Director, Italian Think Tank ECCO
  • Céline Mias, Director & EU Representative, CARE International 
  • Deo Mutambuka, Executive Director, Envisage Africa
  • Amitabh Behar, Executive Director, Oxfam
  • Rym Ayadi, President & Founder, Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association – EMEA
  • Charline Burton, Executive Director, Search for Common Ground
  • Patrick Bertrand, Founder & Director, Global Health Advocates
  • Andriy Klepikov, Executive Director, Alliance for Public Health
  • Armen Aghajanov, Board Member, Online Platform “VirusOFF”
  • Alice Macdonald, Campaign Director, Hungry for Action
  • Mariia Bondarenko, Executive Director, CO Light of Hope
  • Andrii Chernyshev, Head of Advocacy & External Communication Department, ALLIANCE.GLOBAL, Public Organization
  • Oleg Dymaretskyi, Director, CO CF PUD.UA
  • Kuvshynova Yevheniia, Executive Director, CONVICTUS UKRAINE, All-Ukrainian Charitable Organization
  • Katy Kydd Wright, Director, Global Fund Advocates network
  • Sonya Reines-Djivanides, Executive Director, European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO)
  • Hrytsaienko Kateryna, President, Charitable Foundation Hope and Trust
  • Lebed Tetiana, Director, Ukrainian Network of Women Who Use Drugs
  • Jan Kreutzberg, Executive Director, DSW
  • Jeroen Uytterschaut, EU Representative & Executive Director, World Vision EU Representation
  • Willy Bergogné, Director and EU Representative, Save the Children Europe
  • Manon Dufour, Executive Director, Brussels office, E3G
  • Alexander Mauz, Chairman of the Board, Forum Civil Peace Service
  • Antoni Comín i Oliveres, Member of the European Parliament 
  • Guido Schmidt-Traub, Managing Partner, Systemiq
  • Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Independent expert on sustainability, Former Director General, IUCN Chair, the Villars Institute Foundation; The Alliance of Biodiversity & CIAT
  • Vanessa López, Executive Director, Salud por Derecho
  • Harpinder Collacott, Executive Director Europe, Mercy Corps
  • Carlo Carraro, President Emeritus, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
  • Sabrina Elba, Chair, Europe Board, Global Citizen 
  • Arnaud Zacharie, Secretary General, CNCD-11.11.11
  • Nataliia Kitsenko, Head of Public Health Department, Odesa Way Home Foundation
  • Pascal Canfin, Member of the European Parliament 
  • Sandro Gozi, Member of the European Parliament 
  • Barry Andrews, Member of the European Parliament 
  • Camille Etienne,  Climate activist, Avant l’orage
  • Pierre Larrouturou, Member of the European Parliament 
  • Javier Garcia de la Oliva, Head of Country Engagement and Transformation Europe and Americas, ActionAid International
  • Chiara Martinelli, Director, Climate Action Network Europe
  • Olivier Bruyeron, President, Coordination SUD
  • Floris Faber, Director / EU Representative, ACT Alliance EU
  • Hélène Berger, Executive Director, Friends of the Global Fund Europe
  • Lukas Wank, Director, Global Responsibility 
  • Mams Yaffa, President, Elus Locaux Contre le Paludisme (and deputy mayor of Paris 18e)
  • Niamh Nic Carthaigh, Head of EU Liaison Office & Senior Representative, Plan International EU Office
  • Aurore Lalucq, Member of the European Parliament
  • Raphaël Glucksmann, Member of the European Parliament
  • Jean-Yves Terlinden, International Cooperation and Humanitarian Director, Caritas Europa
  • Tanya Cox, Director, CONCORD Europe
  • Michael Jacobs, Professor of Political Economy, University of Sheffield
  • Frédéric Penard, Directeur Général ad interim, Action Contre la Faim
  • Charles Goerens, Member of the European Parliament
  • Sawsan Chebli, German politician & Global Citizen Europe Board Member
  • Craig Cohon, Global Citizen Europe Board member
  • Philippe Vogeler, Global Head of Business Development, Vodafone Member of Global Citizen Policy Committee
  • Fatemeh Jailani, Chief Operating Officer, Singa Global
  • Person, Human, Face
    Marcia Banasko

    Head of Influencing, Plan International EU