International cooperation and development
Fighting poverty in a changing world
The European Union (EU) and its Member States are the largest donors of official development assistance (ODA). Together, in 2013, they provided aid to the tune of €56.5 billion, which amounted to 52 % of the total global ODA donated during the year. In 2013, the EU committed a substantial sum — €14.86 billion — to external development assistance. Lowincome and least developed countries were the principal beneficiaries. The EU has a global presence in 140 countries, wide-ranging expertise and a unique credibility and neutrality when it comes to human rights, electoral observation, governance... and crisis resolution. The EU programmes stretch over several years, thus mobilising long-term and predictable aid. Both are essential factors in achieving sustainability in development. The EU plays a role in coordinating the actions of the different donors. Thanks to its supranational dimension, it can set ambitious joint objectives and map out comprehensive solutions to global development challenges. In the current economic climate, avoiding duplication makes more sense than ever. Finally, the EU has the critical weight to respond to global challenges. The EU’s development activities are coordinated with its efforts in other fields, such as humanitarian aid, environment, security and trade policy. This publication is a part of a series that explains what the EU does in different policy areas, why the EU is involved and what the results are.
- Corporate author(s): Directorate-General for Communication (European Commission) Themes: International policy, Development policy, Activities of the European Union, Development aid
- Subject: aid policy, developing countries, development aid, development plan, development policy, economic development, EU aid, European cooperation, European Union, integrated development programme, international aid, poverty, public awareness campaign, social development, sustainable development
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