European Commission cannot have carte blanche on foreign affairs priorities: EU foreign policy - EU monitor

EU monitor
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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Source: Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) i, published on Thursday, June 14 2018.

The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament has today expressed strong concerns about the European Commission's proposals to bundle multiple peace-building, defence and security policies under one budget line.

European Commission has today presented its proposals for a Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), which would see the merger of 12 external financing instruments.

Greens/EFA budget spokesperson Jordi Solé comments:

"By merging nearly everything into one big pot, the European Commission wants to give itself carte blanche to change priorities as it chooses. We would be happy to see a smart and considered simplification of the number of financing instruments for implementing the EU’s foreign policy. But the Commission has gone too far.

"The proposals leave a whopping €17.5 billion of flexible funding over which the European Parliament will have no scrutiny. It is important that the EU budget is able to respond quickly to emerging crises, but we are concerned that this will in fact just be used to pump yet more money into the Commission’s obsession with border management. Given the Commission already wants to nearly triple funds for migration and border management, we need reassurances this will not just be yet more money for Fortress Europe.

"We welcome the budgetisation of the European Development Fund."

Greens/EFA security spokesperson Bodil Valero comments:

"The sharp decrease in spending and scope of the Commission's proposals for the EU civilian crisis response, conflict prevention, security and peacebuilding policy raises alarm bells about their new priorities. The EU’s peace and security instrument would disappear entirely. Crucial policies such as conflict prevention and mediation are now in the same pot of money as military capacity building for third countries. To compound matters, there is a serious lack of checks and balances to make sure the money continues to deliver on development and conflict prevention policy. The parliament will have barely any opportunity to review spending.

"We urge the Commission to reconsider its plans. We will do our utmost to make sure that human rights, development and civilian conflict prevention remain visible priorities for the EU, with their own dedicated budgets and policy instruments."

Background

The Greens/EFA group counterproposal to the “single” External Instrument for the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) is available here.


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