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European Development Fund (EDF)

Created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, and first launched in 1959, the European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for providing Community development aid in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the overseas countries and territories (OCTs).

What does it cover?

The EDF supports actions in the ACP countries and the OCTs in the following key areas for cooperation:

  • economic development,
  • social and human development,
  • regional cooperation and integration.

The EDF consists of several instruments:

  • grants managed by the Commission,
  • risk capital and loans to the private sector, managed by the European Investment Bank under the Investment Facility,
  • the FLEX mechanism, aiming at remedying the adverse effects of instability of export earnings

It is concluded for a multi-annual period (usually 5 years) and is implemented within the framework of an international agreement between the European Community and the partner countries. The 10th EDF (2008-2013) is governed by the ACP-EC partnership agreement (signed in 2000 and revised in 2005) and the amended Overseas Association Decision.

How much money is available?

The 10th EDF has a budget of €22 682 million:

  • €21 966 million to the ACP countries (97% of the total),
  • €286 million to the OCTs (1% of the total),
  • €430 million to the Commission as support expenditure for programming and implementation of the EDF (2% of the total).

In particular, the amount for the ACP countries is divided as follows:

  • €17 766 million to the national and regional indicative programmes (81% of the total),
  • €2 700 million to intra-ACP and intra-regional cooperation (12% of the total),
  • €1 500 million to Investment Facilities (7% of the total).

Compared to the 9th EDF, an increased share of the budget is devoted to regional programmes. An innovation in the 10th EDF is the creation of “incentive amounts”, extra resources which countries can earn by improving their governance (in particular, management of their financial, tax and legal systems).

The EDF is an extra-budgetary fund, and therefore is funded by the Member States according to a specific contribution key, is subject to its own financial rules and is managed by a specific committee. However, the Commission has repeatedly asked for it to be included in the EU budget, to increase public control of this aid, as well as transparency and effectiveness.

Since 2000, aid is based on a system of rolling programming, whichgives the beneficiary countries greater responsibility for determining objectives, strategies and operations and for programme management and selection. Grants are allocated on the basis of an assessment of requirements and performances, following criteria negotiated between the beneficiary countries and the Community.

While some funds of the 10th EDF have been set aside for unforeseen needs (e.g., related to humanitarian and emergency assistance or to FLEX compensations), most are being programmed in a multi-annual framework for 2008-2013 . Specific programming guidelines have been elaborated for national and regional programming and for intra-ACP programming. The Commission has adopted country strategy papers, regional strategy papers and an intra-ACP strategy paper.

Who is eligible for funding?

The entities which are eligible for funding are:

  • all natural and legal persons from ACP States and EU Member States,
  • international organizations and all natural and legal persons eligible according to the rules of these organizations,
  • when the Fund finances an operation implemented as part of a regional initiative: all natural and legal persons from a country participating in such an initiative.

In case of call for proposals and tenders: each of them will specify in related documents the eligibility criteria for that specific call or tender.

Last update: 17/02/2012 | Top