In 2018, at a time when the world and Europe are changing more than in decades, the EU will make critical choices on the design of its budget for the period 2021-2027. These choices will have a lasting strategic impact, and could see the transformation of long cherished – but often criticised – separate instruments such as the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), European Development Fund (EDF), Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), and European Initiative on Democracy and Human Rights (EIHDR).
The idea of a single instrument involving significant rationalisation of the EU’s existing External Financial Instrument (EFIs) is gaining momentum. But how solid is the narrative that would justify a single instrument? Any ‘single’ instrument or rationalisation carries significant risks as well as potential benefits. In this brief we have highlighted different scenarios to assist stakeholders gain an insight into the political economy underpinning positions and make informed choices on issues surrounding a single instrument.
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