Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, stated that the European Commission is investigating some European outposts that play a central role in planning EU external assistance, despite receiving instructions to actively engage with various local players. But these outposts are still “passive.”
The European Union has approximately 140 delegations and offices around the world, and while representing Brussels politically, it implements foreign action policies and funds.
Their role adds to this funding cycle, as three-quarters of the available funds are allocated geographically to partners, and outposts are responsible for drafting country-specific project proposals.
“I want to be honest, I think there are some differences between delegations, although our instructions are very clear […] We hope that the delegation will be very active and engage with civil society organizations and other local authorities (such as local governments and their representatives),” Urpilainen told EURACTIV.
“Some delegations, they are very active, they have held many different types of consultation meetings, activities and discussions, and some delegations, to be honest, are a little passive,” she said.
The European Commission has commented on the first draft of the expenditure proposal for EU offices around the world, which requires the second version of the so-called multi-year indicative planning document to be sent to the Brussels headquarters before the beginning of the fall.
The plan proposal will transform the EU’s aid expenditure targets, namely 30% climate, 20% human development, and 10% immigration, governance, peace and security into specific plans, and will focus on verification.
Urpilainen described the passiveness of some EU delegations as a “challenge” and stated that EU executives will conduct internal assessments of the consultation process and hope to collect data at the end of the planned activities to reflect the number of consultations, rounds and discussions. Get organized.
“Because I am personally very committed to listening to the opinions of civil society representatives, but also to local governments and their representatives,” the commissioner added.
After experiencing some of the biggest cuts during budget negotiations, the European Parliament and Council signed the EU’s New Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) on Tuesday (June 8), which was renamed the Global European Fund during the negotiations. .
The fund will take effect on Monday and will guide most of the external action funds during the next seven-year budget period, at approximately 70.8 billion euros in 2018 prices.
The new regulations represent a major change in the EU’s development assistance distribution method, greatly simplifying the previously clumsy structure of more than 10 independent funds and integrating them into one tool.
However, due to simplification, some NGOs and stakeholders worry that partner governments will take a central position in the consultation process with other local actors (such as civil society organizations and local authorities).
Urpilainen stated that the process “along with our delegations in partner countries insisted that civil society organizations, especially youth and women’s organizations and their representatives, participated in the planning and received its support.”