EU external action funding should support development, climate and environmental goals, and promote democracy, rule of law and human rights, say MEPs.
On Monday, the Foreign Affairs and Development committees adopted their joint position on the proposed Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI).
Funds suspended if democracy or rule of law is breached
MEPs consider the promotion of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights to be central objectives of EU external action. Countries that backslide in those areas should therefore face having their EU funding suspended, say MEPs.
On top of that, MEPs propose to increase the funds for human rights and democracy activities worldwide to at least € 2 billion. Given the shrinking space for civil society all over the world, they want to increase the EU’s financing for civil society organisations to € 2,2 billion, with an additional € 0,5 billion to go to local authorities.
More political control and better governance
While acknowledging the need for more flexibility when managing the EU’s external action instruments, MEPs want to balance this with more parliamentary control, as well as strengthened governance and accountability provisions for the programming and administration of funds.
The text was approved by 46 votes in favour, with 6 against and 10 abstentions.
The plenary will vote on the text during the 25 – 28 March plenary session in Strasbourg. In order to enter into force, the proposed NDICI would then have to be agreed between Parliament and Council.
Leave a Reply