Speech by Speech by Commissioner Urpilainen at the European Parliament plenary debate on Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument 2021-2027 – Global Europe – 08/06/2021

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Thank you President,

Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to attend, also on behalf of my colleagues HR/VP Borrell and Commissioner Varhelyi, this Plenary debate on the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe.

We have travelled together a long journey in elaborating a new, innovative and historical instrument for the EU’s international cooperation and its external action.

I want to convey today three messages.

First, we have designed together a ground-breaking instrument at the service of our geopolitical objectives. It will enable us – in a constantly changing world - to foster international partnerships and support our partner countries by fighting inequalities.

With this new instrument, we send a strong signal that the European Union is a committed supporter of multilateralism. We will continue to lead the global response to COVID-19 and contribute to achieving global priorities, particularly the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

It will allow us to respond faster and more coherently to partners’ needs and to promote the Union’s strategic priorities. These include education and health, democracy and good governance, peace, fight against climate change, digitalisation and inclusive and sustainable growth.

It will preserve also the aspects related to the implementation of the Neighbourhood policy.

Second, NDICI-Global Europe represents a major innovation and unique achievement in the programming of assistance measures.

The instrument’s overall budget of €79.5 billion is a clear indication. The new instrument will particularly support countries most in need to overcome long-term developmental challenges. Now more than ever before, we need to ease the development funding gap.

The NDICI – Global Europe will be our most powerful tool to support a sustainable recovery, which puts youth and women in the driving seat.

It is aligned with EU’s strategic priorities. We aim to spend at least 20% on human development and I will increase funding for education from 7% to 10% in partner countries under my responsibility.

Through the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus - we will scale up private investments towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The “cushion” is nearly EUR 10 billion. It helps us to meet new and emerging challenges. As agreed in the trilogues, EUR 1 billion from the cushion will reinforce the thematic programmes - human rights and democracy, civil society organisations and global challenges.

Finally, I want to thank the European Parliament for its tireless commitment. The instrument has been strengthened in the negotiations.

The Parliament will have an enhanced role in defining the main strategic choices, including through a delegated act and a regular geopolitical dialogue.

After decades of debate, the European Development Fund has been brought within the budget, reinforcing Parliamentary oversight and democracy. This represents around one third of EU external cooperation.

Also, thanks to this House, we have introduced more ambitious targets for spending on Official Development Assistance (93%), gender (85%), climate (30%) and biodiversity. And the new instrument shows our stronger commitment to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, and nuclear safety standards;

Colleagues,

It has been a long, but meaningful journey. It has been a privilege for me to lead the negotiations for the Commission.

We look forward to continuing our exchanges with the Parliament, now on the implementation of this instrument, beginning with our first geopolitical dialogue next week.

Thank you!