International organisations

International organisations

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Development is one of the issues on which the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) stimulates more coordination. Most of the EU Member States are also OECD member.

Hence, the EU can play an important role.

A good example is the Paris Declaration, an agreement at the Paris High Level Forum in 2005 between aid recipients (partner countries) and donors, which aimed to improve the way aid is provided so as to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

The EU is committed to increasing external assistance by 50% over the next five years and to implementing the Paris Declaration. Partners will be measured against agreed targets for a set of 12 indicators covering ownership, alignment, harmonisation, managing for results and mutual accountability.

In addition, the EU has demonstrated its commitment to the process by declaring that it will go beyond the Paris Declaration commitments in a number of areas, agreeing on four additional indicators to follow it up.

International Cooperation and Development - DEVCO follows discussions on aid effectiveness at the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD, with DEVCO represented in the meetings of the following groups:





United Nations

The EU is the single largest financial contributor to the UN system. The EU funds 38% of the UN's regular budget, more than two-fifths of UN peacekeeping operations and about one-half of all UN Member States' contributions to UN funds and programmes.

The European Commission is also a significant UN partner, contributing over €1 billion in support of external assistance programmes and projects. The financial and contractual aspects of programmes funded by the Commission have been streamlined through the use of the Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA). This agreement simplifies all practical aspects of programme implementation. The operation of the FAFA is reviewed annually and, in 2006, this resulted in the addition of an agreement on how to improve visibility, in both beneficiary and donor countries.

Commission support to the UN is grounded in a clear policy towards international organisations. For the UN system, this was first expressed in the Commission’s Communication of 2001 on ‘Building an effective partnership with the UN’, reinforced in 2003 by a further Communication entitled ‘EU-UN relations: the choice of multilateralism’. The intensive European participation in the UN Summit of September 2005 underlined the importance of this relationship.

This cooperation has also resulted in the conclusion of strategic partnerships with several of our UN partners. Seven have been signed to date: with the UNDP (June 2004), WHO and ILO (July 2004), FAO (September 2004), UNHCR (February 2005), WFP (September 2005), UN Women (April 2012) and UNESCO (October 2012). An EU convention existed with UNRWA even before the strategic partnerships were introduced. The Commission has also taken other initiatives that have positively contributed to shaping the evolving relationship with the UN, such as regular high-level meetings with UN principals and action to gain status and role in UN decision-making.

The partnership between the Commission and the UN has many facets, and, in turn, many reasons to engage in common initiatives and programmes. Often the UN is mandated with an international mission in specific crisis situations or is simply best placed to deliver aid on account of its political neutrality, global reach, or specific expertise and capacity. The Commission and the UN have built up a history of successful cooperation in specific thematic sectors, such as election assistance. Cooperation also takes place in areas where both organisations have common policy interests.


Financial contributions to the United Nations:



World Bank

The Commission was the second largest contributor to the World Bank’s trust fund programmes for the period of 2001-05 and it is the largest donor to the ASEM Asian Financial Crisis Trust Fund, Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the post-tsunami reconstruction in Aceh and Nias; to the World Bank Iraq Trust Fund; and to Highly Indebted Poor Countries (debt relief). The Commission is also a major donor to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, and to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Consultations about the Trust Funds and Co-Financing Framework Agreement between the Commission and the World Bank are held annually, to review administrative and operational issues, discuss new mechanisms for joint financing (e.g., grant co-financing, blending), and assess the pipeline of proposals for the following year.

The financial contributions to the WB:


Beneficiaries Exercise 2016 (contract signed in 2015)

Publication of information of European Union funds awarded under indirect management (article 35 of the Financial Regulation)

All International Organisations having signed grants and/or procurements contracts during 2015 (Beneficiary Exercise 2016) with EU funds must provide, as requested in the agreement concluded between the EU and each International Organisation, on an annual basis, on their website, information on the grants and procurement contracts signed up to the end of the previous year for an amount over €15 000. The International Organisation shall provide the European Union (Contracting Authority) with the address of the website where this information can be found and shall authorise the publication of such address on the European Union's website (DEVCO's website).

List of international organisations beneficiaries 2016 (contracted in 2015)