An EU Action Plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
To refocus its strategy for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and provide targeted support to developing countries in coping with the global financial crisis, the European Commission presented a twelve-point EU action plan in support of the MDGs (April 2010).
The Action Plan serves as a basis for a coherent and unified EU contribution to action taken in international fora and institutions and feeds into the Europe 2020 growth strategy.
It proposes ways to ensure an increase in the aid provided by Member States and supports the need for innovative sources of financing. It also addresses the quality of aid. The European Commission wants to make aid more effective by sharing work and responsibilities within the EU and making sure there are no 'aid orphan' countries.
It will also ensure that all its policies are coherent with the development goals.
The Action Plan sets out 12 concrete actions to put these objectives into practice. The plan:
- Calls on EU Member States to establish action plans for reaching individual targets and calls for more international burden-sharing with other donors to raise the overall level of ambition.
- Aims to achieve greater aid effectiveness through better coordination of national aid programmes at EU level. Aid effectiveness is also to be promoted at international level.
- Targets those countries most in need of support.
- Targets the most off-track MDGs through sectoral measures on gender, health, education and food security.
- Aims to foster ownership of MDGs in developing countries by working in the framework of partnerships such as the Africa-EU Joint Strategy.
- Works to ensure that other EU policies in fields including security, trade, migration, food security and climate make a contribution to the MDGs.
- Mobilises domestic resources through better taxation in developing countries while promoting the principles of good governance in tax matters and supporting the fight against tax evasion.
- Strengthens regional integration and trade for growth and jobs.
- Supports initiatives in the field of innovative financing with high revenue potential benefiting the poorest.
- Implements the EU's commitment to provide € 2.4 billion fast-start funding annually for developing countries from 2010 to 2012 and ensures that those funds are programmed and disbursed in accordance with the aid effectiveness agenda.
- Supports the EU Action Plan for situations of fragility and conflict to address such situations in a comprehensive and integrated way, and to better integrate development objectives in peace and stability operations.
- Aims to give developing countries more weight in the international governance architecture.
The Action Plan was adopted ahead of the UN Summit on the MDGs in September 2010, when the MDG initiative was launched, building on the approach outlined in the Action Plan.