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France and EU Development Policy

The European Union (EU) is the leading development aid donor in the world accounting for almost 60% of total aid including that of Union Member States and institutions. In 2012, the 27 EU countries accounted for a little over €50.5 billion in development aid.

The quantity, quality and coherence effort of EU policy on cooperation with developing countries are the outcome of a long process and distinguish the EU from other global donors.

Since the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, development cooperation is a competence shared by the European Union and the Member States. The European Parliament and the Council decide its implementation, in accordance with the legislative codecision procedure.

France is the second largest contributor to the European Development Fund (EDF). Through its contribution to the Community budget, it helps finance other EU instruments for development, including the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), and the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).

France is also seeking to leverage EU funding. Under the Agenda for Change, it promotes the convergence of its geographic and sectoral priorities with EU development policy.

France supports joint programming by the EU and the Member States and will contribute to the further efforts still required to synchronize the cycles of the different donors with those of partner countries.

France thus conducts a policy of influence and partnership in order to ensure real complementarity between its bilateral and EU action. It acts as a financier and partner in the implementation of joint projects. This is to enable France to be influential in setting priorities and strategies for the organizations concerned, to increase the visibility and impact of our bilateral aid and to reach sectors and countries that are difficult to access through an isolated action.

Updated : 26.12.13

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All rights reserved - French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development - 2014