The Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) works hand-in-hand with other Commission services, EU institutions and member countries on development matters.
Different Commission services and EU institutions are directly or indirectly involved in development policy.
While the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development is responsible for defining development policy and for implementing aid, many other EU policies have an impact on developing countries and are therefore coordinated with development policy.
To strengthen coherence between external relations and development cooperation, the latter is conducted within the framework of the EU's external action as defined by the European External Action Service (EEAS).
The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
, also acting as Vice-President of the European Commission, is in charge of "Europe in the World". HR/VP Federica Mogherini is responsible for coordinating the work of all Commissioners in charge of external relations portfolios. She chairs the Commission's Group on External Action to deliver a common approach for EU action on the world stage.
The EU operates 141 Delegations and Offices
around the world. They manage development and cooperation programmes while representing the EU in host countries. EU Delegations in partner countries are at the forefront of implementing EU development aid priorities. After a conflict or a natural disaster for instance, the local EU Delegation can readjust aid priorities to respond to urgent needs.
The European Parliament
is a co legislator regarding policy and expenditure related to development aid. It is involved in approving general policies in financial perspectives and budgets, regulations and funding decisions.
The Council of the European Union
adopts the policy framework in which EuropeAid operates upon proposals by the Commission and also approves the EU’s budget together with the Parliament. The EU budget and the European Development Fund provide the funds for the external assistance programmes.
The European Investment Bank (EIB)
supports European development cooperation policies by granting loans, as well as through specific mechanisms such as the FEMIP (Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership) and the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund.
The European Court of Auditors
verifies Commission accounts and examines budgetary management, in particular regarding the proper use of resources according to agreed standards.
The Union’s development policy and EU countries’ bilateral cooperation with developing countries reinforce each other. EuropeAid and the EU Member States’ aid agencies are moving towards enhanced coordination in the provision of aid. Joint programming aims to coordinate EU donors’ in-country work under a common framework of support, with each specialising in their particular strengths. This has the potential to decrease the fragmentation of aid and increase its impact.
EuropeAid also closely cooperates with national parliaments which approve the strategies and budgets that provide the means for their bilateral development aid programmes and activities as well as – directly or indirectly – for EU actions.
Once aid recipients, new member countries have emerged as donors over the past decade, collectively doubling – and in some cases tripling or quadrupling – their aid levels since joining the EU.
Under the Monterrey Consensus
, they pledged to increase official development aid as a share of their gross national income (GNI) to 0.33% of GNI by 2015.
These new donors will be able to play a significant role in the EU's development strategy, thanks to their valuable practical experience in transitional economy and democratisation processes. This experience has been compiled in the European Transition Compendium
which contains over 300 pages of information on transition management.
The EU is providing new donors with practical assistance to help them become more effective in development work.
Between 2004 and 2013, 13 new countries joined the EU: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.