The European Union increases its 2019 budget for development cooperation, including sexual and reproductive health and rights and family planning, by €32.56 million. We welcome this renewed commitment and hope it will be a stepping stone towards the future EU multiannual budget.
The annual budget 2019 for the European Union (EU) was finally approved today by the European Parliament, after the Council gave its green light on Tuesday. This approval comes after the European Commission was asked to propose a second draft following the failure to reach an agreement by the end of the trilogue negotiation period.
The EU has agreed to increase the commitment appropriations for the “Human Development” budget line, which funds health, education, and social protection, including universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and family planning (SRHR/FP). Investments in human development are critical for health systems strengthening, the achievement of gender equality, the fight against poverty-related diseases, and overall the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, the budget line on “Civil society in development” has increased by €11.37 million. This is a positive step as civil society is an instrumental actor to effectively deliver on human development, particularly serving the most marginalised and hardest to reach.
The European Parliament and Council had initially agreed to allocate €60 million to human development, however the second draft finally adopted proposed an increase of only €32.56 million. While this increase still represents additional resources for SRHR/FP, it falls far from the EU’s commitment to dedicate at least 20% of its total Official Development Assistance (ODA) to human development and social inclusion, as per the European Consensus on Development. Hence, the negotiation of the EU budget for 2020 and especially for 2021-2027 (the Multiannual Financial Framework - MFF) will be crucial to realise the EU’s commitments to human development and SRHR/FP.