European Consensus on Development

The European Consensus on Development is an important document on EU development policy, which has wide-reaching implications for both EU governments, the European Commission and NGOs alike. Endorsed by 25 Heads of State and the European Commission in December 2005, it sets out, for the first time in 50 years, a common vision for development to guide both Member States' bilateral efforts and EU activity in the field of development aid.

The Consensus reflects the EU's willingness to make a decisive contribution to the eradication of poverty in the world and to help build a more peaceful and equitable world. It is composed of two parts:

- part one laying out a common vision, objectives and principles for European aid; and

- part two establishing how these will be implemented through Community aid using EC funding and tools.


The Consensus presents a common approach to development based on:

  • The eradication of poverty as the overarching objective for all EU development;
  • Priority for least developed countries and other low-income countries with a special focus on Africa (half of EU aid increases will go to Africa);
  • Aid based on common principles of ownership, partnership, participatory approaches, gender equality and political dialogue;
  • More effective delivery of aid in line with the Paris commitments on aid effectiveness;
  • Better coherence among EU policies that affect developing countries;
  • A focus on areas of comparative advantage in the Community's country programmes.


Download the full Development Policy Statement

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