EU Development Assistance

The Committee is to begin an inquiry into the comparative advantage of EC development assistance. This will build on the analysis contained in DFID’s Multilateral Aid Review and examine the benefits of disbursing UK aid through EC institutions


Total EC external assistance in 2010 was €11.1 billion. The UK share of this was approximately  €1.66 billion or 15% of the UK aid budget. In combination with Member States’ own aid budgets the EU as a whole provides 60% of global Official Development Assistance (ODA) making it the largest donor. 

Despite some improvements, concerns have been expressed about the effectiveness of EC development assistance, the failure to meet funding targets, the slow disbursal of aid, the geographical distribution of EC aid, and poor coordination between Member States.  

A new Commission policy paper, “An Agenda for Change” was published in October 2011 for approval by the Council in May 2012. At the same time, negotiations are proceeding for the Multi-Annual Financial Framework, and the replenishment of the European Development Fund. Together these will set the parameters for EC development aid from 2014-2020.

The Committee invites evidence on:

The comparative advantage of the EU as a channel for UK development and humanitarian assistance and the UK’s ability to influence EU development policy;
  • The proposals set out in the “Agenda for Change”;
  • The proposals for future funding of EC development cooperation;
  • Progress towards policy coherence for development in climate change, global food security, migration, intellectual property rights and security.
  • Written evidence submitted should:

    • Be no longer that 3000 words in length
    • Have numbered paragraphs
    • Avoid the use of colour or expensive-to-print material
    • If possible, be provided electronically in MS Word or Rich Text  format by e-mail to  If submitted by e-mail or e-mail attachment, a letter should also be sent validating the e-mail. The letterhead should contain your full postal address and contact details

    Submissions can also be sent by post to International Development Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA. 

    A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at:  

    EU building Brussels