Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI)
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Together with the new European Recovery Instrument (‘Next Generation EU'), the European Commission is proposing a targeted amendment to its initial proposal for the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) adopted in 2018. The new proposal reinforces the EU's capacity to support partners – in particular in the Western Balkans, the EU's wider Neighbourhood and Sub-Saharan Africa – in their efforts to fight and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in cooperation with partners such as international financial institutions, the United Nations and the World Health Organization. The External Action Guarantee and the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus will be the key instruments in this regard.
The Commission proposes a budget of €118.2 billion for external action in 2018 prices (€132.6 billion in current prices) in the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021 to 2027, including €15.5 billion under Next Generation EU. This represents an additional €16.5 billion in comparison to the proposal of the President of the European Council of February 2020.
The instruments for EU external action proposed in the 2018 MFF proposal are maintained, namely a Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, complemented by a European Instrument for Nuclear Safety; an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance; a humanitarian aid instrument; a Common Foreign and Security Policy budget; and an instrument for cooperation with Overseas Countries and Territories and Greenland. In addition, and outside the EU budget, the High Representative, with support of the Commission, proposed to establish a European Peace Facility.
The Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), the main instrument for EU cooperation and development with partner countries, will be increased to €86 billion in 2018 prices (€96.4 billion in current prices), of which €10.5 billion come from the Next Generation EU. €12.9 billion will be maintained for Pre-accession assistance (€14.5 billion in current prices) and humanitarian aid will be increased to €14.8 billion (€16.5 billion in current prices), of which €5 billion from Next Generation EU. €2.4 billion will be provided for Common Foreign and Security Policy (€2.7 billion in current prices)
The new proposal for NDICI increases the overall amount to €96.4 billion in current prices (€86 billion in 2018 prices), of which €85 billion in current prices (€75.5 billion in 2018 prices) will be financed within the MFF ceilings and €11.4 billion in current prices (€10.5 billion in 2018 prices) by Next Generation EU. The latter amount will be exclusively used to top up the provisioning of the External Action Guarantee to fight the negative consequences of COVID-19, which will allow increasing the maximum volume of this Guarantee from the initially proposed €60 billion to €130 billion. All other key elements, such as objectives, principles, areas of cooperation, implementation, remain unchanged.
Overall, the new MFF proposal increases the NDICI funds by over 8% compared to the proposal of 2018, more than doubling the firepower of the External Action Guarantee, a powerful implementing tool aiming at leveraging funds from the private and public sector and promote investment in partner countries and thus multiplying the effect of the EU assistance.