The European Development Fund (EDF) committee is today meeting in Brussels for the 500th time. The meeting represents the latest in a history of development cooperation spanning over 60 years.
The committee is comprised of delegates of the 28 EU Member States, who discuss today new projects and programmes for Botswana, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Republic of Congo and the region East Africa – South Africa – Indian Ocean.
The current EDF, which started in 2014 and runs until 2020, is the 11th since its creation. The total financial resources of the 11th EDF amount to €30.5 billion.
The EDF, which was created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome and launched in 1959, is the EU’s main instrument for providing development aid to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and to overseas countries and territories (OCTs). It funds cooperation activities in the fields of economic development, social and human development as well as regional cooperation and integration.
The 11th EDF operates outside the EU budget. It is financed by direct contributions from EU Member States and is covered by its own financial rules. However, negotiations in the Council of Ministers on the different elements of the 11th EDF take place in parallel with the negotiations of the external instruments financed under the EU budget, to ensure consistency.
Negotiations for the next financial instrument for external action covering the post-2020 period are ongoing and the European Commission proposed to bring the EDF under the EU budget.