Myths and facts about EU budget and external cooperation
Currently, when EU institutions are working on the new financial framework 2014-2020, let's take a look how the EU budget makes Europe count in the world.
The European Union is a global economic and political player, with regional and global security interests and responsibilities. It is actively involved in protecting human rights, promoting a decent work agenda, other universal values and respect of international environmental and social conventions. The EU is increasingly active in conflict prevention, crisis management and peace building, through EU-led crisis management missions. Moreover, the EU is committed to supporting the multilateral system and its reform. External policies are therefore a major field of action for the EU, which has been reinforced within the new institutional framework of the Lisbon Treaty. The EU's comparative advantage is linked to its global field presence, its wide-ranging expertise, its supranational nature, its role as facilitator of coordination, and to the economies of scale.
The EU has a network of international agreements with partners and organizations all over the world, not matched by individual Member States, which gives to all of them influence in almost all fields of international relations. With 27 Member States acting within common policies and strategies, the EU alone has the critical weight to respond to global challenges, such as poverty reduction, climate change, managing migration and stability. The EU as a global player has a credibility and a neutrality which is unmatched by individual Member States when it comes to human rights, electoral observation, governance and crisis resolution, and neutrality and impartiality of the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The EU is also unique with its long term and predictable engagement in development assistance, coupled with a track record in supporting the populations most in need on a global scale.
EU added value in the area of external action can be illustrated by the following examples in various situations. Most of them emphasize the capacity of the EU to mobilize critical financial and political means to significantly impact a given situation, something that could hardly be done by Member States alone with the same impact.