European Commission, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO): Strategic Plan 2016-2020

Within the European Commission, the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) is in charge of development policy in a wider framework of international cooperation, adapting to the evolving needs of partner countries. DG DEVCO plays a leading role in implementing the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in EU international cooperation and development policy, and coordinates actions to implement the 2017 European Consensus on Development.

DG DEVCO: (i) ensures cooperation with partner countries at different stages of development, (ii) works closely with other Commission services responsible for sectoral policies, as well as with the European External Action Service (EEAS), so as to facilitate and help ensure a coherent approach, (iii) is responsible for formulating the EU development cooperation policy and sectoral policies, (iv) leads the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) exercise in the field of external action, coordinating other External Relations services, (v) is in charge of implementing the EU’s external financing instruments financed by the general budget of the Union and the European Development Fund.


2016-2020 General Objective 1: EU as a Stronger Global Actor

The European Commission alone cannot achieve the goals of eradicating poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Only in a joint efficient effort together with the other EU institutions, the Member States, the other donors, the civil society, our partner and beneficiary countries can our efforts count for progress towards the achievement of goals. However, EU benefits from its unique position with 139 delegations and offices across the world.

In May 2018, the Commission proposed a new, focused long-term budget for the 2021-2027 period, geared to the political priorities. In June 2018, the Commission adopted its proposal for the new Multiannual Financial Framework Heading VI “Neighbourhood and the World”, in particular the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, which streamlines over ten current external financing instruments and incorporates the non-budgetary European Development Fund.

General Objective 2: Towards a New Policy on Migration

EU’s contribution to the implementation of the relevant priorities of the European Agenda on Migration is pursued through the implementation of concrete migration related actions under EU existing tools as well as through new and innovative ones like the “EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa (EUTF)” launched at the end of 2015.

Resources currently allocated to the EUTF represent € 4.1 billion from the EU budget and European Development Fund, in addition to contributions from EU Member States and other donors. The Trust Fund aims to help foster stability in the North Africa, Horn of Africa and Sahel regions and to contribute to better migration management. It aims to address the root causes of destabilisation, forced displacement and irregular migration, by promoting economic and equal opportunities, security and development and will benefit a wide range of countries across Africa.

General Objective 3: A Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy

Development, environmental protection and the fight against climate change are closely linked and need to be addressed together. Through its development policy and external action instruments for 2014-2020 the EU is simultaneously addressing the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: helping partner countries to engage in sustainable, low-emission, climate resilient and resource efficient development pathways.

For some years already, the EU has established its position as one of the most important players in energy for development, and is fully committed to support partner countries in their energy transition towards sustainable energy and low carbon growth, in line to achieving SDG 7 and SDG 13. Under the current financial perspective until 2020, the EU aims to provide access to energy to about 40 million people (out of which 30 million in Africa), increase renewable energy generation capacity and contribute to fighting climate change, by saving about 15 million tons of CO2.

General Objective 4: A New Boost for Jobs, Growth and Investment

An overarching initiative for a sustainable European future will present a new approach to ensuring economic growth and social and environmental sustainability beyond the 2020 timeframe, taking into account the internal and external implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs, including through policy coherence for development. It no longer makes any sense to view development cooperation as different from internal actions –they are closely intertwined.

By alleviating poverty, improving the enabling environment for private sector in developing countries while contributing to decent work, and making a contribution to public financial management, good governance and the rule of law, the EU’s bilateral, multilateral and global development efforts can make a positive contribution to sustainable growth in developing countries. Over the medium term, sustainable development in developing countries can increase the size of the EU’s external markets, generating prosperity and opportunities for jobs and growth within the EU as well as in developing countries themselves.

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