19 Feb 2019

A Jumbo Financial Instrument for EU External Action?


In preparing for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), that is the EU budget for the years 2021-2027, the European Commission has proposed to integrate 11 existing financial instruments in the realm of external affairs into a unified Neighbourhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI). With this proposal, the European Commission hopes to both simplify its spending on external action and make it more effective. This commentary discusses if the new instrument can overcome the traditional budgetary fragmentation and overlap and can be also an instrument to facilitate the Union’s ‘integrated approach’ as set forth by the EU Global Strategy to external conflict and crisis.

Authored by Loes Debuysere and Steven Blockmans, this commentary was written in the framework of a new research project in which the Bertelsmann Stiftung and CEPS have joined forces. The project aims to assess whether, how and with what success, whole-of-government approaches (WGAs) are implemented in the external action of the EU and its member states.

The commentary, published by Bertelsmann Stiftung, is accessible here.

Loes Debuysere is Researcher in the Europe in the World research unit at CEPS and Steven Blockmans is Head of EU Foreign Policy at CEPS and Professor of EU Law and Governance at the University of Amsterdam.