EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘Brussels defends 5% budget increase for 2012’:

Oxfam is shocked that the proposed increase in the 2012 EU budget announced by European Commissioner Lewandowski remarkably seems to include a €70 million reduction in the budget for overseas aid.

We are astonished that development aid is seen as the easiest way to “reflect austerity” and “cut where it is needed” even though its impact on the poorest people has been proved time and time again.

While €70 million is a tiny amount compared to the whole EU budget, it represents a huge sum of money for developing countries.

EU aid is saving lives and increasing the economic prospects of millions of people, and in the last ten years alone international aid has helped 33 million children into school. As the world’s largest donor the EU has been instrumental in this achievement and we expect it to maintain this leadership.

But at a time when the EU looks to negotiate its budget for the period 2014-2020, the proposals now by the commissioner to cut the EU’s overseas aid is sending out a very worrying message.

We hope that the European Parliament and the EU member states will right this wrong when they state their positions on this proposal in the course of the coming months.

Nicolas Mombrial

EU Policy Advisor

Oxfam International

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