For the next 2021-2027 programming period, the European Commission has proposed a 30% increase to the external action budget, from the current €94.5 billion to €123 billion in 2021-2027. The aim would be to simplify the use of funding and make it much more flexible and effective to address today’s global challenges.

The external action budget will be the EU’s main tool for supporting its partner countries in their political and economic transformations towards sustainable development, stability, consolidation of democracy, socio-economic development and the eradication of poverty. This will also be the tool to help the neighbourhood countries in their economic approximation to the EU’s Single Market.

The first proposal for a regulation concerns the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) with €89.2 billion foreseen: a new innovative instrument that didn’t exist before. The second proposal is about the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III), which would consist in €14.5 billion and will offer increased support to EU candidate countries and potential candidates on their path towards fulfilling the EU accession criteria through reforms.

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