Article written by Seamus Jeffreson, CONCORD Director.
At the end of April, CONCORD was invited to discuss the recently highlighted issue of sexual misconduct in humanitarian work in the course of a joint workshop with the European Parliament’s DEVE committee. The piece below addresses the issue, and lists the different actions points for EU NGOs. It is drawn from my speaking points and is the product of collaboration and input from many CONCORD members and national platforms across the EU. Thanks to all these colleagues for their input.
Investing in the security of our partner countries is in the EU’s and our partners’ interests. We all face common challenges of terrorism, conflicts and extremism.” - Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, July 2016
EU leaders must live up to their commitments to European values in responding to migration and stop copying xenophobic populist recipes, more than 160 NGOs said today in a joint statement. The organizations are calling for strong leadership to uphold the rights and values that have been the founding principles of the European Union for 60 years.
Brussels, 22 February 2017
Dear European leaders,
We, the undersigned non-governmental organisations, are deeply concerned with the direction of the EU-Libya policy as outlined in the Commission Communication on the Central Mediterranean (25.01.17) and reaffirmed in the conclusions of the Malta Summit (03.02.17) and the Council Conclusions (06.02.17), aiming to stop migratory movements through Libya.
CONCORD’s five main recommendations
EU aid gap puts sustainable development at risk – CONCORD AidWatch Report 2016
Brussels, 26/10/2016 – The European Union has again failed to meet its commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on Development Aid by 2015. The CONCORD Aidwatch report 2016 published today, entitled ‘This is not enough’, reveals that only five countries met their 2015 targets: Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom. This means there is a ‘debt’ of €36.9billion in 2015 between what the EU has promised to developing countries and what it has delivered.
Joint NGO statement ahead of the European Council of 28-29 June 2016 NGOs strongly condemn new EU policies to contain migration
At the upcoming European Council, European Union (EU) leaders will discuss the European Commission’s Communication on a new Partnership Framework with third countries. The Communication proposes an approach which aims to leverage existing EU and Member States' external cooperation instruments and tools in order to stem migration to Europe.
Security and economic interests continue prevailing in the EU’s policy and institutional approach to migration and development, says CONCORD in their new policy paper “Coherence for migration and security – and what about development?”.
This paper addresses EU migration policies and Policy Coherence for Development, and the extent to which EU policies have effectively contributed to bring about sustainable development in developing countries.
An ongoing global displacement crisis has increased deaths in the Mediterranean. These continued and predicted tragedies at sea constitute a grave indictment of current EU approach to migration focused on security and border controls rather than on ensuring the safety of people arriving on its shores.
CONCORD calls for an urgent review of European policies.
Key Recommendations to the EU and its Member States:
The European Union’s development and humanitarian aid programmes are suffering a cash crisis in 2014 and risk severe cuts in the 2015 EU budget negotiations.
CONCORD, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, encourages European leaders to have a re-think and realize the value of EU development and humanitarian aid. We want the European Parliament and Member States to reaffirm their support for both EU humanitarian and development aid through passing a robust budget for 2015 which allows for timely and predictable funding.
(Brussels, Paris 03/04/2013) As governments across Europe continue budget cuts, international aid to developing countries has fallen for two consecutive years according to new figures released by the OECD today.
AidWatch, an aid monitoring initiative of Concord, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs calculates that this marks only the second cut since 1997 and risks ending support to millions of poor people across the world.
Each time a large crisis strikes, the need to link humanitarian aid and development (LRRD) appears on the political agenda. At EU level, Communications in 1996 and 2001 aimed to improve this link but tangible progress remains limited. After the recent Horn of Africa famine, LRRD appeared again as a priority for the humanitarian and development departments in the European institutions and member states. Moreover, the EU is working on its long-term policy and funding priorities for 2014-2020, which should take LRRD into account.
EU aid commitments at historic low, NGOs warn crisis hitting poor
(Brussels, 25/06/2012) The AidWatch Report 2012, ‘Aid We Can: more investment in global development’, written by CONCORD, the European confederation for Relief and Development NGOs, shows that:
(Brussels 14/05/2012) Fewer countries will receive EU aid in the future, with EU member states endorsing a new plan to shift bilateral aid away from many middle income countries and open up the private sector to development aid funds. The agreement was made by national government ministers at a Foreign Affairs Council today in Brussels.
Almost all European countries are making cuts in their aid programmes to the developing world, according to new figures released today by the OECD.
For the first time since the start of the financial crisis, 12 EU countries have slashed their aid budgets. The biggest cuts were in Spain (-32.7%) and Greece (-39.3%), with substantial decreases in Belgium (-13.3%) and Austria (-14.3%).
Joint Paper of NGO Platforms:
- Introduction: Aidwatching in times of
The annual Aidwatch report "Lighten the Load: In times of crisis EU aid has never been more important"1, published in May 2009, showed that, collectively, EU aid stood at 0.4% of GNI, meaning that, even at that stage, the collective interim target of giving 0.56% of GNI as ODA by 2010 was looking far out of reach unless significant efforts to increase aid were made.
The report also showed that the tendency of many Member States to "inflate" their official aid figures with items such as debt relief, student and …
The European Commission
3. There should be a Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Assistance who is in a position to promote the interest of EU development and humanitarian aid policies within the College of Commissioners and towards the Council.