Co-rapporteur Maria Arena reiterates European Parliament strong support to local governments in NDICI negotiations

29 enero 2020

MEP Maria Arena (S&D, Belgium) made clear that the EU must guarantee funding for local and regional governments in post-2020 development policy. She was presenting to MEPs the state of play on the ongoing negotiations with the Council on the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI).

“It is important that we give local authorities a role when it comes to tools to finance foreign policy,” MEP Maria Arena said last week. She was presenting to colleagues from the Committees on Development (DEVE) and Foreign Affairs (AFET) the outcomes of the first “trilogue” meeting with Member States on the next Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) for 2021-2027, the main tool by which the EU finances international cooperation.

“The European Parliament position [adopted in March 2019] is strong and remains the basis for negotiation,” she insisted, a text in which MEPs proposed to add a budget line for local and regional governments to tackle global challenges, supporting our two Policy positions (August 2018 & March 2019).

“This position wasn’t shared by the Council but it is important that [the European Parliament] go[es] on defending this position,” she added.

MEP Arena added: “The more the decisions are taken at the level close to the citizens, the more visible and useful this tool would be in reaching out to the populations”.

The three other rapporteurs on the file for AFET and DEVE Committees are MEPs Michael Gahler (EPP, Germany), Charles Goerens (Renew, Luxembourg) and Rasa Jukneviciene (EPP, Lithuania).

Later in DEVE Committee, during a debate with the Croatian Presidency of the EU priorities for the EU in the field of humanitarian aid, Thomas Gass, the Co-Chair of the Global Partnership of Effective Development Cooperation, highlighted that decentralised governments should be a target for investment in partner countries, which tend to be more accountable to the people.

(Picture: © European Union 2020 – Source : EP / Emilie GOMEZ)

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