Commissioner Piebalgs signs Development programmes for 21 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries
Today, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and representatives from 21 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, have co-signed the National Indicative Programmes (NIP) under the 11th European Development Fund for the period 2014-2020 in Apia (Samoa), for a total amount of €339 million.
The signing ceremony took place in the margins of the UN Third International Conference on Small Islands Developing States. The list of signatory countries includes 10 Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago), 10 Pacific (Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu), and one African country (Cape Verde).
After the signing ceremony, Commissioner Piebalgs said: “Today's signatures mark the official go-ahead to continue strengthening our development cooperation with the concerned countries. These documents lay down the priorities for our joint work for the next seven years and will allow us to move ahead with the preparations of the concrete projects and programmes.”
“For the European Union it is essential that our programmes are drawn up in close cooperation with our partner countries, based on governments’ own policies and strategies and reflecting their stated needs. This is how we ensure that programming documents really support areas where the EU can add value”, added Commissioner Piebalgs.
What is a National Indicative Programme?
The National Indicative Programmes represent an important step in the programming of EU aid. EU Member States agreed in 2013 the overall amount for development cooperation that will be channelled to 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries through the 11th European Development Fund EDF during the financing period 2014-2020 (total amount €30.5 billion).
In parallel, the preparations of a NIP for each of these countries started, defining the strategy and priorities for EU aid in each particular country. These preparations are done in close cooperation with the partner countries so as to ensure that NIPs support national priorities and reflect the local context.
This is in line with the EU’s vision for future development cooperation, the “Agenda for Change”, which calls for resources to be targeted where they are most needed and can be the most effective. EU funding will focus on a maximum of three sectors per country (possibly four in the case of fragile countries) to achieve maximum impact and value for money of EU cooperation.
What are the next steps?
It is foreseen that by early 2015, the remaining NIPs will be finalised and signed. In parallel, work on preparing concrete projects and programmes has also started in all countries.
Table: National Indicative Programmes signed on 2 September 2014, by region