The Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) brings together the majority of the EU's external action instruments
The various European Union institutions have, over recent years, been negotiating the Union’s budget for the next seven years (Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027). As part of the negotiation, the EU has provided itself with a cooperation instrument which establishes the budget for carrying out foreign action that seeks to play a leading role in the world and support multilateralism.
After intense negotiations, a week ago the European Parliament finally gave the green light to the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, renamed “Global Europe”, confirming the political agreement reached with the Council at the end of 2020.
The main new development is that “Global Europe” merges most of the multiple foreign cooperation instruments from the previous financial cycle, such as the Development Cooperation Instrument and the European Development Fund, which used to be outside the Union budget. “Global Europe” will therefore have a single instrument that will cover the EU’s cooperation with all its partner countries (except pre-accession and overseas territories). It also means that the procedures for managing European cooperation funds are simplified, thus increasing effectiveness and efficiency. Europe has equipped itself with an instrument to respond more effectively and coherently to the political priorities of the EU’s external action to ensure a fair, green and inclusive recovery after the COVID-19 crisis.
The instrument has been granted 79.5 billion euros distributed across three strands, with the geographical one being the most important, as it is allocated 75% of the total budget to achieve the greatest possible impact at a national level. Of the 60.38 billion euros, a minimum of 3.39 billion will go to the Americas and the Caribbean. “Global Europe” also has funds for thematic programmes and rapid response actions. It also has a “reserve” of unallocated funds to complement any of the programmes and the rapid-response mechanism in order to face unforeseen circumstances, new needs and emerging challenges, as well as to support new priorities.
To respond to EU sectoral priorities such as migration, a minimum of 10% of the funds will be set aside for working with partner countries in this area, 30% for the fight against climate change and at least 20% for human development. As far as gender equality is concerned, which is a cross-cutting priority for the European Commission, it has been established that at least 85% of the actions should have the empowerment of women and girls and gender equality as their main or significant objective.
The ways of working with partner countries based on the promotion of European interests and values include a specific reference to public technical cooperation and to the mobilisation of public sector expertise, a flagship FIIAPP initiative. This new cycle of European cooperation, in which public knowledge occupies a greater space, represents an opportunity for Spanish cooperation and European cooperation to nurture political and public policy dialogues with partner countries to jointly find innovative solutions to common challenges, as well as bringing the EU and its partner countries closer to common values and building alliances to implement a shared agenda, such as the 2030 Agenda.