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The external action budget will be the EU's main tool to support its partner countries in their political and economic transformations towards sustainable development, stability, consolidation of democracy, socio-economic development and the eradication of poverty. It will also allow the EU to continue to provide humanitarian assistance all over the world. As regards the EU's neighbourhood, this will also be the tool to help the neighbourhood countries in their economic approximation to the EU's Single Market.
EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said: "We propose a budget for the external action of the European Union of €123 billion for the next seven years: an increase of 30% that is an unprecedented investment in our global role. More resources for more action as a reliable, predictable, cooperative global player - exactly what our citizens and our partners expect in these troubled times. It is recognition of the added value of the EU work on foreign policy. Together we can have an impact that no Member State alone can have in today's world."
Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, highlighted: "The increased and reformed budget will allow us to continue working with those countries that are engaged to join the EU, as well as maintaining our special relationship with our Eastern and Southern neighbours. This will support our strategic goal to achieve a space of stability, security and prosperity close to the EU's borders."
Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica added: "The EU is a key promoter of the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. Our proposals set out the financial basis for the EU to maintain its role as the leading development actor, assisting our partners to eradicate poverty and respond to global challenges, while ensuring we leave no one behind."
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, said: "As humanitarian emergencies in the world are increasing every year and becoming more complex, the EU is reinforcing its leading role as a major humanitarian aid provider. With an increased budget, we will continue showing solidarity with millions of people in need."
Key elements of the new external budget proposal:
The new proposed instruments for EU external action:
The remaining amount of approximately €4.5 billion consists of the budgetary margin (€3.2 billion) and other budgetary items, such as macro-financial assistance grants, evaluation and audit measures or work related to international organisations and decentralised agencies.
The Commission proposal includes an investment framework for external action with an increased fire-power of up to €60 billion. Building on the successful experience of the EU's External Investment Plan, it will help to raise and leverage additional financial resources for sustainable development from the private sector.
In addition, and outside the EU budget, the High Representative, with the support of the Commission, is proposing to establish a European Peace Facility, with €10.5 billion. The European Peace Facility will fund operational actions under the Common Foreign and Security Policy that have military or defence implications, and therefore cannot be financed under the EU's budget. It will strengthen the Union's ability to preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security, in line with the Treaty on European Union and the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.
A swift agreement by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on the overall long-term EU budget and its sectoral proposals, in order to ensure that EU funds deliver results on the ground as soon as possible.
Delays similar to the ones experienced at the beginning of the current 2014-2020 budgetary period could result in severe constraints to meet EU's international obligations and commitments towards partners.
An agreement on the next long-term budget in 2019 would provide for a seamless transition between the current long-term budget (2014-2020) and the new one and would ensure predictability and continuity of funding to the benefit of all.