Brussels, June 14, 2018: The European Commission will today announce its policy and budget proposal for development assistance for 2021-2027, to be known as the “Neighbourhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument” (NDICI), as part of the EU’s next multiannual financial framework (MFF). The Commission proposes to spend €89.2bn through a single instrument that bring development assistance, neighbourhood policy and international cooperation under one umbrella.

Reacting to an early leak of the Commission’s final proposal due to be announced at 12.15pm CET, Cecile Vernant, Head of EU Office for global development NGO Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung (DSW), said: “The increases that are being proposed today are great, so long as they translate into actual increases in funding for key enablers to sustainable development and poverty eradication, such as human development, health, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), gender equality, and youth empowerment. What we have seen in the current EU annual budget though is the opposite, where the Commission has been making cuts to the budget line responsible for human development.

“In this sense the Commission is already falling short of meeting its commitments to the ring-fencing of ‘human development and social inclusion’ funding, where the EU has an outstanding commitment to spend 20% of its development assistance. Given that the Commission has included this 20% commitment in today’s text, we expect that it will inform the direction of budget and programming in the new MFF.”

The way the Commission has included issues around gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights in today’s proposal has raised concerns in civil society. Vernant said: “While we welcome the fact that the mainstreaming of gender equality in EU development policies is at least referred to by the Commission, and that SRHR is included, we’re disappointment that the Commission isn’t connecting the dots when it comes to gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the feeling that it is retreating to a position of putting issues into silos, rather mainstreaming them into the whole approach.

“What’s more, the European Commission is stepping back from its own commitments on gender-mainstreaming targets and benchmarks. The European Parliament and the Council have their work cut out to reintegrate and reassess how the NDICI will support gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.”



Eoghan Walsh

Communications Officer, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)

T: +32 (0) 2 504 90 66 | Mob: +32 (0) 485 399 443 |


Notes to the Editor

  • Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) is a global development organisation that focuses on the needs and potential of the largest youth generation in history. We are committed to creating demand for and access to health information, services, supplies, and economic empowerment for youth. We achieve this by engaging in advocacy, capacity development, and reproductive health initiatives, so that young people are empowered to lead healthy and self-determined lives. With our headquarters in Hannover, Germany, DSW operates two liaison offices in Berlin and Brussels, as well as maintaining a strong presence in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. DSW also advocates for investment in research and innovation to fight poverty-related and neglected tropical diseases.