Many of us are hopeful for a Covid-19 vaccine in the near future to overcome a tumultuous year. But for people living in poverty in lower- and middle-income countries, the crisis is far from over. Vaccinations are potentially still years away for these countries, and many donors have significantly cut their aid budgets. This threatens to reverse hard-fought progress to both lift people out of poverty and improve opportunities for women and girls. It also puts vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities and migrants, at risk.
The ETTG/ECDPM MFF online workshop event “Programming the NDICI in a post-Covid era” was a discussion exchange between representatives from the EU institutions and civil society / think tanks in order to take stock of the progress made on MFF negotiations and further discussion for the current state of play together with the next steps.
Although COVID-19 is having a significant impact on the economy, politics and health, it did not cause a fundamental change in the rules of the game when it comes to the EU’s limited role as a global health player. The block needs to address persistent coordination issues between the EU and its member states – as well as across EU institutions – if it wishes to enhance its effectiveness and credibility in this arena.
The multi-annual financial framework report was based on a previous physical workshop event which took place in Paris on January 2020 and which brought together key players in France to agree on the conditions allowing to secure an ambitious budget dedicated to external action (“Heading 6”), particularly for the challenges of sustainable development in southern countries. The workshop and the report was also an opportunity to reflect on the role of the European Union’s external action policy.
In December 2018, the ETTG published a paper comparing emerging Member State positions for the financing of the EU’s external action under its next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), covering the period 2021-2027. Its first observation that negotiations are moving slowly unfortunately still holds today.
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