The ‘Global Europe’ instrument is a key component of a stronger Europe for a better world with a global reach and a game changer in the field of international cooperation. ‘Global Europe’ gives us the financial tools and means to reinforce the policy-driven approach to EU cooperation to make it more strategic and responsive to EU and partners’ common priorities, in line with EU values.

International Cooperation & Partnership

Global dynamics and trends are changing the nature of international cooperation and partnerships. From climate change and biodiversity loss, to geopolitical rivalry and undermining of multilateralism, without forgetting disinformation or attacks on human rights and roll back on liberal values. The setbacks on recent development progresses generated a decline in human development for the first time in 30 years.

The European Union (EU), more than ever, needs to work closely with its partners to face these challenges. Joint actions, based on common interests, will more successfully lead to a safer, greener, more prosperous and equal world.

In doing so, the EU intends to apply the ‘policy first’ principle. The EU’s participation in international cooperation and partnerships is carried out in a more strategic way to achieve wider political priorities whilst remaining strongly committed to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The creation of ‘Global Europe’ provides more coherence, simplification and flexibility to support our external action and underpin the EU’s international alliances and partnerships, at national, regional and international levels, to confront today’s global challenges and seize opportunities for political engagement to support our vision to build back better.

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    Participant in the ‘Youth Empowerment’ project in Jordan, which strengthened the media and information literacy capacities of public universities and schools, media, youth organisations and education professionals in the country

    Participant in the ‘Youth Empowerment’ project in Jordan, which strengthened the media, universities and schools, youth organisations and education professionals in the country. © UNESCO

The new ‘NDICI - Global Europe’ (2021-2027)

Moving beyond a traditional developmental approach

The entry into force on 14 June 2021 of the new ‘Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation instrument – Global Europe’ (we call ‘Global Europe’) is a historic achievement for the EU external action.

It simplifies the external financing architecture by replacing and merging ten financing instruments under the previous budgetary cycle (2014-2020) into one comprehensive instrument, and strengthens the Union’s capacity to deliver on its strategic priorities and commitments by providing flexibilities and innovative tools to forge stronger partnerships with EU partner countries.

‘Global Europe’ is a game changer in the field of international cooperation, as it is adapted to the EU policy priorities rather than vice versa. It is driven by a ‘policy first’ and ‘value-driven’ approach that will enable the EU to take a stronger geopolitical approach to its external action.

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Enhancing the European Financial Architecture for Development (EFAD)

Build back better and greener

The European Financial Architecture for Development (EFAD) plays a central role in Europe’s efforts to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, to work towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and to tackle climate change. The structure builds on a multiplicity of EU and national actors, from both public and private sectors, as well as financial instruments. Together, as ‘Team Europe’, they all hold sizeable financial firepower and solid technical assistance capacity, as well as significant decision-making power in multilateral financial institutions.

Reflections on how to make it more coherent, strategic, inclusive, impactful and visible started in 2019. The objective has been to make EFAD fit to the current and future global development challenges and establish the EU leadership to ‘build back better and greener’, leaving no one behind. Since 2019, a significant amount of work has taken place analysing the current EFAD and possible ways of strengthening it in order to maximise the delivery and impact of EU policy objectives.

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    Lettuce seedlings being planted

    ‘Build back better and greener.’ Growing onions in Mauritius. © GCCA+/EU 2020. Photos by Diksh Potter

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    Standing stronger together as Team Europe

COVID response and 'Team Europe'

Standing stronger together

The COVID-19 crisis has proven to be a real-life stress test for the resilience of national systems. 

The EU and its partners are working relentlessly to ensure a sustainable, green, digital, resilient and inclusive post COVID-19 recovery, first and foremost through international cooperation and multilateral action. We stand firmly behind the UN 2030 Agenda and its SDGs, which continue to guide global action as a shared blueprint both for achieving sustainable development and a better recovery from the COVID crisis.

The EU and its 27 Member States are the biggest global provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA), currently accounting for 46.2% of total ODA by members of OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). We have stepped up our efforts to support developing countries in their response to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to the previous year, our ODA budget went up by 15% (in nominal terms).

The COVID pandemic created severe challenges for millions of people around the globe. It demanded swift and decisive action. ‘Team Europe’ proved to be the backbone of the response. On 8 April 2020 the EU and its closest partners launched the ‘Team Europe’ package to support EU partner countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences.

The package allowed us to pull together significant resources in record time to support partners in coping with the pandemic. The initial Package more than doubled since its launch, from EUR 20,5 billion to EUR 40,5 billion (January 2021). In January 2021, 65% of the package had been spent.

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Global recovery linked to Sustainable Development Goals

Prioritising the SDGs (i.e. human development and vaccines)

Global challenges remind us that the full implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is crucial to build back better and greener after the global health crisis. Providing a comprehensive response to COVID-19 remains the EU’s top priority, including strengthening preparedness and resilience to better prepare for future shocks.

Currently, more than ever, the world needs effective multilateralism, with a reformed UN at its core, and a rules-based international order that defends universal values, promotes shared public goods and delivers benefits for all.

In this crucial Decade of Action, the EU stands ready to step up efforts to achieve the SDGs by 2030. The SDGs are thus at the heart of our EU policymaking on internal and external action across all sectors and serve as our joint roadmap going forward. Our Global Recovery Initiative is linking debt relief and investment to the implementation of the SDGs.

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    Female ABE Learners in Class

    ‘Human development and education are top-priorities’, schoolgirls in Somalia. © Somalia Delegation: : SABUL Mohamed

Bringing together humanitarian, international cooperation and peace interventions

Triple nexus…. Connecting the dots

As challenges multiply and resources are limited, we have been working on a comprehensive approach to crisis and conflicts, to better articulate the humanitarian, development and peace interventions – the so-called triple nexus. By preserving the roles of each service involved and ensuring a do no harm and conflict sensitive approach, as well as full respect for the humanitarian principles.

In 2019, the OECD-Development Assistance Committee (DAC) adopted Recommendations on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus. The European Commission Communication on the EU’s humanitarian action: new challenges, same principles of March 2021 highlights the nexus approach and proposes a list of concrete actions in this area, to address root causes of fragility and conflict and eventually reduce humanitarian need.

Building on the pilot process agreed upon by Council in 2017 in six countries (Chad, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Uganda), the EU has made substantial progress to move from the pilot phase to a systematic and tailor-made implementation of the triple nexus in conflict and fragile situations. This approach is key for having more strategic and effective EU interventions in a variety of countries around the world, namely Burkina Faso, CAR, Mozambique, Somalia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Burundi, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

The Multiannual Financial Framework process has provided a strong momentum to the nexus implementation. The implementation of the triple nexus is strongly embedded in the new ‘Global Europe’ Instrument as an important approach for ‘strengthening the resilience of states, societies, communities and individuals and to linking humanitarian aid and development action and, where relevant, peacebuilding.'

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Who does what?

Working Better Together

President Ursula von der Leyen’s geopolitical objective of making the EU a global player able to shape a better global order requires a new way of working together. Von der Leyen’s ‘Geopolitical Commission’ attaches great importance to the EU's external action and the coherence with the EU internal policies.

Mr Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Commission Vice-President (HR/VP) coordinates the external aspects of the EU polices working closer together with all Commissioners. This has been translated into our international cooperation priorities and the way the EEAS and Commission Services work together.

Traditionally, the European External Action Service (EEAS) has ensured synergies between international cooperation and other areas of external action. From human rights, to security, from stability to conflict prevention, and much more; and the European Commission, in particular International Partnerships (DG INTPA), Neighbourhood (DG NEAR), have been responsible for the development and neighbourhood policy respectively and for the implementation and delivery of financial assistance (ODA).

The new approach to our international partnerships has placed the EU priorities at the centre or our external action and of our political and policy dialogue with partner countries and organisation.

Through the new ‘Global Europe’ financing instrument, EEAS, NEAR, INTPA, FPI will work together with other Commission DGs to support policy-driven actions that underpin the external dimension of the EU internal policies, building strong international partnerships based on shared objectives and EU value added.

Country, regional and thematic multi-annual programmes have been prepared jointly by the EEAS, INTPA, NEAR and FPI with the close involvement of Commission DGs. The EU and its Member States through ‘Team Europe’ Initiatives have joined forces to delivered stronger partnerships and greater transformative impact on the ground. When formulating and managing these programmes, the EU consults with national and regional authorities as well as the civil society, international Organisations and the private sector in partner countries. This results in country and regional strategies, which identify areas for funding.

The European Parliament contributes to the process through regular dialogue with the EEAS and Commission services as well as annual high level geopolitical dialogues between MEPs, the HR/VP and Commissioners Urpilainen and Varhelyi on EU international cooperation.

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    Josep Borrell, EU HR/VP, and Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen

    Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Commission Vice-President (HR/VP) coordinates the external aspects of the EU polices working close together with Jutta Urpilainen , European Commissioner for International Partnerships. © European Union, 2020