Europe Fails to Live up to its Promises

In 2005, European Member States promised to give 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) to developing countries across the world. However, a recent NGO report shows that European governments are not delivering on these promises. Many of them are inflating their aid figures with debt cancellation and money spent on refugees and foreign students' education in Europe. In 2006, these inflated figures accounted for almost 1/3 of European aid. Development NGOs across Europe are monitoring the quality and quantity of genuine aid and are advocating for an end to fabricated figures. The report - "Hold the applause! European governments risk breaking aid promises" - has been produced by CONCORD, the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development :

For the second year in a row, an unprecedented number of European development NGOs have come together from all the major networks, national NGOs and NGO platforms from 27 EU countries to produce a report called "Hold the Applause! EU governments risk breaking aid promises", under the umbrella of CONCORD, the European NGO confederation for relief and development. Following the release of OECD aid figures for 2006, NGOs from across Europe are calculating how much European governments and Commission have effectively given. First figures show that they are over inflating their aid figures and failing to live up to their promises. The European Union has only spent 0.30% of its Gross National Income (GNI) on genuine aid in 2006 missing their collective target for 2006 of 0.39% of GNI. Close to one third of EU development assistance in 2006 did not deliver any fresh resources for poor countries. Of this:

  • Nearly €11 billion euros reported as ODA was in fact debt cancellation - primarily for Iraq and Nigeria.
  • €1.6 billion went on educating foreign students in Europe and
  • €1 billion was spent on housing refugees in Europe.

NGOs want European governments to:

  • Provide genuine increases in European aid
  • Agree clear and binding year-on-year timetables to reach, at a minimum, the 2010 and 2015 targets with genuine aid resources
  • Stop including refugee, student costs and debt relief in official aid reporting
  • Improve transparency in aid reporting
  • End all tied aid
  • Ensure aid is focused on helping the world’s poor
  • Take further steps to make aid more effective

Press activities

Click here to see information on the launch of the report in Brussels on 11th May

Symbolic demonstration on 14th May from 9am to 10 am

CONCORD will lead a "mocking" demonstration at the arrival of the Development Ministers in front of the Council of the European Union in Brussels (métro: Schuman). The participants will wear a mocking mask with the face of the Finance Ministers of the European Union. Development Ministers will be asked to put pressure on their finance colleagues to improve aid to developing countries.

BBC show around CONCORD report

On Monday 14th May, the BBC s building its show "THE RECORD Europe" around CONCORD report. Watch it it at 11.30 (Brussels time - 10.30 GMT) on BBC World, News 24 and BBC Parliament. Find more on BBC website

Sending a protestation letter to the politicians

NGOs and citizens from all over Europe will be writing from all over Europe to the Ministers for Finance, Foreign Affairs and/or Development regarding progress towards aid commitments and targets. Click here for a proposal of letter


See also the sections:

My cartoon published in European Voice

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