MEPs want aid to Latin America maintained
By Lénaïc Vaudin d’Imécourt | Tuesday 12 June 2012
Although the Latin American countries have not been as badly affected by the economic crisis as the European states, the EU executive should not make any radical cuts to its development assistance to the region, MEPs said in a resolution adopted on 12 June. Latin America’s growth rate is projected to be 4.5% in 2012. However, it is also the region with the greatest disparities, MEPs argued, as ten of the world’s 15 most unequal countries are Latin American and some 180 million people live below the poverty line in the region.
The European Commission has tabled a proposal for the EU’s next development cooperation instrument (DCI) for the 2014-2020 period, putting forward a differentiated approach – ‘Increasing the impact of EU development policy: An agenda for change’ – which intends to target development aid resources to those countries most in need (least developed and low income countries). According to the proposal, this new strategy should be implemented first in terms of eligibility to bilateral development cooperation programmes and secondly in terms of aid allocation.
In their resolution – which is exclusively focused on the Latin American region – MEPs urge the Commission to “maintain the volume of DCI cooperation for Latin America at one third of the total geographical amount” for the next financial period. They also expressed their concerns regarding the lack of rigour in the implementation of the established eligibility criteria contained in the Commission proposal, “which withdraws access to bilateral programmes from eleven LAC MICs (Latin American countries; middle-income countries).”
The current DCI regulation will expire on 31 December 2013.