Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 16 897 million

Official Journal Reference

L 378/41 of 2006-12-27

Legislative Reference

1905/2006/EC of 2006-12-18
The cooperation with developing countries, territories and regions that are not Member States of the European Community but are included in the list of aid recipients of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD/DAC).

The primary and overarching objective is the eradication of poverty in partner countries and regions in the context of sustainable development. This includes the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),as well as the promotion of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights and for the rule of law.


Cooperation with partner countries and regions shall:
- promote and consolidate human rights and fundamental freedoms, gender equality, the rights of the child and indigenous people's rights. In addition, particular attention shall be given to strengthening the rule of law, improving access to justice and supporting civil society, as well as to promoting dialogue, participation and reconciliation;
- foster the sustainable development of partner countries and regions. In particular, the least developed countries among them and low income countries shall be given priority in terms of overall resource allocation in order to achieve the MDGs;
- encourage their smooth and gradual integration in to the world economy. A differentiated approach shall be pursued so that partner countries and regions are provided with specific, tailor-made cooperation, based on their own needs, strategies, priorities and assets;
- help develop international measures to preserve and improve the quality of the environment and the sustainable development of natural resources, including addressing climate change and biodiversity loss;
- strengthen the relationship between the Community and partner countries and regions.

Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation.


Community assistance shall be implemented through geographic and thematic programmes.

- Geographic programmes
A geographic programme shall encompass cooperation in appropriate areas of activity with partner countries and regions determined on a geographical basis. Community assistance to the countries of Latin America, Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East, as well as South Africa shall include actions:

- supporting the implementation of policies aiming at poverty eradication;
- addressing the essential needs of the population, with prime attention to primary education, followed by vocational training and to increasing access to health services, by strengthening health systems and preventing human resource crises;
- promoting social cohesion as a policy priority, with focus on decent work and social policies, thereby fighting against poverty, inequality, unemployment and exclusion of vulnerable and marginalised groups;
- strengthening the institutional and legislative framework, particularly in the areas of national administration, design and implementation of policies and management of public finances and national resources in a transparent way;
- assisting partner countries and regions on trade, investment and regional integration, including capacity building to design and implement sound trade policies, favouring a more conducive business environment, with a view to partner countries and regions benefiting from their integration into the world economy;
- promoting sustainable development through environmental protection and sustainable management of natural resources, including protection of biodiversity and forests;
- supporting sustainable integrated water resource management, with particular emphasis on universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation, as well as on efficient use of water resources for agricultural and industrial purposes;
- contributing to the development of economic infrastructure and promoting the increased use of information and communication technologies;
- supporting sustainable rural development, including decentralisation and empowerment, particularly with a view to ensure food security;
- reconstructing and rehabilitating regions and countries affected by conflict, man-made and natural disasters, including support for mine-action;
- carrying out medium- and long-term activities aiming to integrate or reintegrate uprooted people.

- Thematic programmes
Each thematic programme shall be subsidiary to geographic programmes and shall encompass a specific area of interest to a group of partner countries not determined by geography. Actions undertaken through thematic programmes shall add value to, and be additional to, actions funded under the geographic programmes.

- Investing in people
The objective of Community assistance under this thematic programme shall be to support actions in areas which directly affect people's living standards and well-being, while focusing on the poorest and least developed countries and the most disadvantaged sections of the population.

- Environment and sustainable management of natural resources including energy
The objective of this thematic programme shall be to integrate environmental protection requirements in to the Community's development and other external policies, as well as to help promote the Community's environmental and energy policies abroad.

- Non-State actors and local authorities in development
The objective of this thematic programme shall be to co-finance initiatives proposed or carried out by civil society organisations and local authorities originating from the Community and partner countries in the area of development. At least 85% of the funding foreseen under this thematic programme shall be allocated to non-state actors.

- Food security
The objective of this thematic programme shall be to improve food security in favour of the poorest and most vulnerable people, and contribute to achieving the MDGs on poverty and hunger, through a set of actions which ensure overall coherence, complementarity and continuity of Community interventions.

- Migration and asylum
The objective of the thematic programme on cooperation with third countries in the areas of migration and asylum shall be to support them in their efforts to ensure better management of migratory flows in all their dimensions.

- African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Sugar Protocol countries
ACP Sugar Protocol countries affected by the Community sugar reform shall benefit from a programme of accompanying measures. Community assistance to these countries shall aim to support their adjustment process as they are faced with new conditions on the sugar market. It will take into account the countries' adaptation strategies.


The European Commission shall draw up a strategy paper and a multiannual indicative programme for each partner country and region. The multiannual indicative allocations will be determined using standard, objective and transparent resource allocation criteria, based on the needs and performance of the partner country or region concerned, alongside the specificity of the different programmes.

Annual action programmes shall specify the objectives pursued, the field of intervention, the expected results, the management procedures and total amount of financing planned. They shall contain a description of the operations to be financed, an indication of the amounts allocated for each operation and an indicative implementation timetable.

For the purposes of implementing the annual action programmes, the following inter alia shall be eligible for funding:

- partner countries and regions;
- decentralised bodies in the partner countries, such as municipalities, provinces, departments and regions;
- joint bodies set up by the partner countries and regions with the Community;
- international organisations, including regional organisations, United Nations' bodies, departments and missions, international and regional financing institutions and development banks;
- Community institutions and bodies;
- European Union's agencies.

Community financing may take the following forms:
- projects and programmes;
- budget support, if the partner country's management of public spending is sufficiently transparent, reliable and effective, and where it has properly formulated sectorial or macroeconomic policies positively assessed by its principal donors;
- sectorial import programmes in kind or providing foreign exchange to finance imports of a wide range of products;
- funds made available to the European Investment Bank (EIB) or other financial intermediaries on the basis of Commission programmes for the purpose of providing loans, risk capital or other temporary minority holdings in business capital;
- interest-rate subsidies, especially for environment related loans;
- debt-relief, under internationally agreed debt relief programmes;
- funding for twinning programmes between public institutions, local authorities, national public bodies or private law entities entrusted with public service tasks of a Member state and those of a partner country;
- contributions to international and national funds set up by partner countries to attract joint financing from a number of donors or for the purpose of the joint implementation of projects;
- capital investments in international financial institutions and regional development banks;
- human and material resources required for effective administration and supervision of projects and programmes by partner countries.

The European Commission shall regularly monitor and review its programmes, and evaluate the results of the implementation of geographical and thematic policies and programmes, and of sectorial policies and the effectiveness of programming. Where appropriate, independent external evaluations shall be solicited to ascertain whether the objectives have been met and enable it to formulate recommendations with a view to improve future operations.
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