Financing for development: EU countries to stick to foreign aid commitments
MEPs urged EU member countries to respect their Official Development Assistance (ODA) target of 0.7% of national income and to set timetables for reaching it by 2020 in a resolution adopted on Tuesday. They also stressed the need to mobilise domestic resources efficiently in developing countries as a key source of financing.
"The European Parliament sends a powerful political message to the Commission, the Council and the member states on the leading and highly responsible role that the EU should play in the negotiations to be held at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa," said Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D, PT), the author of the non-binding resolution, passed by 582 votes to 79, with 28 abstentions.
Official Development Assistance (ODA): a key instrument for financing development
The EU should assert its political leadership throughout the process of defining the sustainable development framework and maintain its position as a major development aid donor, says Parliament in the resolution. It stresses that ODA remains a key instrument for financing development and ask member states to re-commit to their ODA target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI), with 50% of ODA and at least 0.2% of GNI being earmarked for least-developed countries (LDCs). MEPs also want member countries to present multiannual budget timetables for scaling up to these levels by 2020 "taking into account budgetary constraints".
Mobilising domestic resources and fighting tax evasion
Domestic resource mobilisation is more predictable and sustainable than foreign assistance and must be a key source of financing, says the text. It calls on the Commission to enhance its capacity-building assistance in the areas of tax administration, public financial management and fighting corruption and on the EU and its member states to "actively crack down on tax havens, tax evasion and illicit financial flows".
Parliament stresses that "international corporate tax rules should include the principle that taxes should be paid where value is extracted or created".
The role of the private sector
MEPs recall that public aid alone is not sufficient to cover all investment needs in developing countries and call on the EU to set up a regulatory framework together with developing countries that "stimulates more responsible, transparent and accountable investment, contributing to the development of a socially conscious private sector in developing countries".
In 2005, EU member states committed to raising their official development assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of their gross national income (GNI) by 2015. Member states that joined the EU in 2004 or later have pledged to strive to reach 0.33% by 2015.
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