+ EU Elections a mix bag for NGOs
EU elections saw Nigel Farage’s Brexit party win the most support in the UK. Meanwhile a new leader of the ruling Conservative Party looks likely to be more willing to push the ‘no deal’ button, taking the UK, and Northern Ireland out of the EU.
According to analysis from Politico
, it appears that centre-right nationalist movements across Europe did well, which doesn’t immediately bode well for international aid organisation.
But despite the success of the Brexit party in the UK, after 99% of the votes counted, Remain parties collectively reached over 40%
in the UK (final number still to come), arguably making Remain the winner on the night. Also it’s worth noting that turn out in the UK was lower than the last EU election and considerably lower than the Brexit referendum.
Here’s a reminder of what a no deal could look like for aid
and development in the EU.
The U.K. right now is the continent’s second-largest aid donor overall, and the third-largest contributor to the EU aid budget (delivering £1.5 billion of ODA) of official development assistance.
“One of the big questions has been whether the U.K. could continue channeling aid funds through EU mechanisms after Brexit. It currently contributes to various instruments, with two-thirds of the £1.5 billion
going through the official EU budget and a third through the European Development Fund
, which sits outside the budget and is dedicated to development cooperation with countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific,” wrote Sophie Edwards at Devex (back when we all thought Brexit would be over by now!
Access to EU funding for British NGOs could be at risk.
”Another key issue is whether U.K. NGOs and contractors can continue to bid on EU aid contracts post-Brexit. The bloc’s humanitarian arm, ECHO
, and development arm, DEVCO
, collectively spend billions of euros in aid each year; and in 2016, about 25 percent of ECHO funding to civil society groups was granted to U.K.-based organizations, according to a report
by international development network Bond
Meanwhile, whatever happens to Brexit, the French are still wary of the EU plans for a single mechanism for EU aid.
”France is “reticent”
about the European Commission’s idea for a single budget tool to cover the EU’s work outside its borders for the period 2021-2027. Brussels proposed
the idea last year to combine the different EU funding streams
currently dedicated to issues such as human rights, development cooperation, and supporting countries neighboring the EU,” writes Vince Chadwick at Devex.