The European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), the Office of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) to the European Union, and the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP) welcome the European Commission’s resolve to develop a new Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) that will contribute to a safe and secure, prosperous, competitive, sustainable and socially responsible European Union (EU), and provide the capacity for the EU to play a leading role in global affairs.
We support an MFF that brings more simplicity, flexibility and agility, as well as greater efficiency, to the EU’s external action instruments. However, we are also concerned the European Commission’s proposal of a single External Instrument in the next MFF could lead to a less strategic approach to democracy support, reduced financial resources, less predictability and funding specificities, and reduced accountability, transparency and oversight, amongst others.
As actors in democracy support and partners of the EU, we would like to make the following recommendations in relation to democratisation and external democracy support in the next MFF 2021-2027:
- Increase the funding for the external action component compared to the current EU budget to reflect the importance of external relations on the long-term interests of the Union and its citizens.
- Guarantee that all current operating modalities for external democracy support under the EIDHR are maintained and further improved.
- Expand funding and ensure long-term financial commitment to external democracy support in line with the scope of current and emerging challenges.
- Simplify and streamline the rules and procedures of external action instruments.
- Ensure wide consultation, coordination and policy coherence among EU Institutions, EU Member States, and with democracy support actors.
Please find the full statement with further explanations here.