Children's rights and development organisation Plan International welcomes the European Parliament’s agreement on the EU’s seven year budget and calls for limited funds to be invested wisely.
Following intensive negotiations with EU member states, the European Parliament approved a resolution on the political compromise passed last week with the other EU institutions.
Plan EU welcomed the vote, which will allow the EU institutions to move ahead with the budget breakdown and programming, and welcomes the move towards more flexibility and mid-term review of the budget.
Commenting on the vote, Alexandra Makaroff, Head of Plan EU Office, said:
“The negotiations have been intense and it’s fair to say that nobody - member states, European Parliament, or civil society - is 100% happy with the deal that’s been reached. That being said, it is important that a compromise has been reached before the summer recess as it allows the EU institutions to move ahead with discussions on the budget breakdown and programming.
“While reaching an overall agreement without further delay was necessary, it’s regrettable that the proposed budget available to support EU external action, including development and humanitarian aid, has been cut dramatically.
“Looking ahead to the likely development framework post-2015 and given the EU’s supposed commitment to eradicating poverty, freezing aid at current levels cannot be seen as a success. The EU should have been more ambitious than this, especially if it is to meet the 0.7% Official Development Assistance target which is repeatedly reaffirmed.
“With funds limited, it’s therefore even more important that these resources are targeted to the sectors where they can have the biggest difference. Health and basic education are proven to have a multiplier effect in efforts to reduce poverty and promote long term, sustainable and inclusive growth, which is at the heart of the EU’s Agenda for Change.
“The Parliament has long called for 20% of the Development Cooperation Instrument and European Development Fund to be earmarked for these key social sectors, and the European Commission and EU member states should reflect this in the Delegated acts and breakdown of these instruments.
“When the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it dedicated it to supporting education for children caught up in conflict. This was a strong statement but the EU that it stands behind child rights, but this should not be a one off gesture.
“In order to ensure the EU meets its commitments to children, member states and the European Parliament must ensure there are specific budget allocations to child rights, which must be mainstreamed effectively as a cross-cutting issue, including child-sensitive budgeting and indicators.”
Contact: Louise Hagendijk, Communications and Media Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 2504 6056