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Tough scrutiny of European aid

Alliance2015, the network of leading European NGOs, presented its rigorous review of European development aid to the European Parliament today.

The fifth annual 2015-Watch report measures the contribution of the European Commission (EC) development aid programmes to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. These goals will be at the centre of the high-level UN Summit on 25 September. With just one week to go, expectations of the Summit and Europe’s role in it are high.

Leadership needed

“While we found encouraging progress, there is still a long way to go to ensure that European aid is working towards achieving the Millennium Goals”, said Vagn Berthelsen, President of Alliance2015. “Two weeks ago at the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra, Ghana, we saw Europe at its best – showing leadership, working together, being ambitious and looking for impact. We need to see this side of Europe more often. Political leadership on the Millennium Development Goals cannot wait – we need it now.” 

Major challenges

This year’s report identifies several major challenges for the European Commision’s aid programmes. Firstly, the EC does not sufficiently measure the results of its massive aid spending. The report also finds inadequate consideration is given to issues such as democracy and human rights. 

2015-Watch also finds low levels of attention to health, education and hunger. “In 2009, the EC needs to demonstrate that 20% of its aid is allocated to basic health and education. The European Parliament should hold the Commission to account on this mutually agreed target,” added Mr Berthelsen.

Lack of scrutiny

The lack of parliamentary scrutiny over aid programmes to Africa is also raised in the report. MEP Gay Mitchell said: “We have made positive contributions in overseeing some aid programmes. We want to have a much greater involvement and provide the same democratic oversight of all programmes.”