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Eritrea: no EU money in the hands of authoritarian regimes


09 Mar 2016


Development Policy
Global Europe

The EPP Group has reiterated its concerns over the development cooperation agreement signed with Eritrea worth €200m over the next five years under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).

"People are fleeing Eritrea due to its oppressive regime. Many of them are coming to Europe seeking asylum. It is important to ensure that EU aid does not assist authoritarian regimes with our taxpayers' money", said Davor Ivo Stier MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the European Parliament's Development Committee.

"The EPP Group has repeatedly emphasised that democratic governance, the building of transparent and inclusive institutions, and the protection of human rights should be the basis of an eventual National Indicative Programme (NIP) under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for Eritrea. The European Commission did not take this into account when proposing the NIP for Eritrea as the programme focuses on energy and public administration efficiency in the energy sector", added Stier.

The Development Committee scrutinised the proposed NIP and a consensus was reached between political groups to reject the priorities for Eritrea as proposed by the Commission. However, despite the Parliament's opposition, the NIP was unanimously adopted by the EDF Committee without any substantial changes.

"The Parliament's opinion was ignored and this severely undermines our role in ensuring the effective implementation of the EU's development objectives. Thus, the EPP Group strongly advocates for parliamentary scrutiny powers over the EDF. We need more transparency in development programming and better cooperation between the EU Institutions", he concluded.