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France, Europe and Development Aid. From the Treaties of Rome to the Present Day

 | 
Gérard Bossuat
, 
Gordon D. Cummings

Statistics on fifty years of European Development Aid

François Pacquement

Texte intégral

  • 1 Bibliography: “Financing for Development – Annual progress report 2010, Getting back on track to re (...)

1In 2005, the Member States of the European Union set themselves the target of spending 0.7% of their GNP on development aid, an exceptional commitment by the standards of the donor community. A quantitative analysis of European aid based on fifty years of statistics will enable us to assess the contribution that the Member States have made through a common European framework of institutions.1

Official Development Assistance is measured by the OECD Development Assistance Committee

2Defined in the 1960s, official development assistance (ODA) is measured by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Set up in 1961, the OECD is heir to the OEEC (Organisation for European Economic Cooperation), itself established after World War II to link the United States and the countries receiving aid under the Marshall Plan. Thus, in the beginning, some OECD countries were themselves aid recipients. Today, the organisation is a club in which industrialised countries discuss various aspects of their governance in order to define “good practice”. The organisation does not grant funding: the term “development” is used to emphasise a concern for international cooperation which emerged at that time.

  • 2 In 1974, Portugal left the DAC and asked to be included on the list of developing countries drawn u (...)
  • 3 That is, 15 countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, (...)

3The Development Cooperation Directorate provides the secretariat for the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), which aims to promote the expansion of the aid which member countries grant to developing countries, and to improve the effectiveness of the resources allocated. While there were only nine founder members (Germany, Belgium, Canada, United States, France, Italy, Portugal2, United Kingdom and the Commission of the European Economic Community), the DAC now has 24 members (Australia, Canada, Korea, United States, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland and the major donor countries in the European Union,3 plus the representation of the European Commission).

4The DAC is a key element in the administrative and political supervision of official development assistance. It conducts regular peer reviews of the member countries’ systems of cooperation and development aid policies. It records aid efforts, makes recommendations on enhancing their effectiveness (“good practice” in aid, the Agenda for Development in the 21st Century, etc.) and checks the use of the aid via its peer reviews.

5Official development assistance (ODA) was defined in 1969. It designates all public expenditure exhibiting the following three characteristics:

  • it is granted to an eligible developing country included on an existing list;

  • it promotes the economic development and welfare of the country concerned;

  • it includes a minimum concessional element.

6The concessional element of a loan refers to the difference between the amount lent (the principal) and the expected discounted repayments (difference expressed as a percentage of the principal). A 40% concessional element therefore means that the loan repayments are equivalent to a current value of 60% of the principal. The longer the term, the farther away the first repayment, and the lower the interest rate, the more the concessionality increases. On repayment, the aid is reduced by the amount of the principal actually repaid.

7ODA also includes food aid and emergency aid, aid to refugees, debt relief, certain specific peace-keeping operations (restoring infrastructure, transportation of emergency aid, mine clearance, demobilisation, organisation of elections, etc.).

8European aid includes all these types of intervention, and takes the form of grants handed out by the Commission and loans from the European Investment Bank.

Development Aid can be Bilateral or Multilateral: European Aid is classed as Part of the Multilateral Effort

9Aid may be granted either directly by a State (bilateral aid) or via an international body (multilateral aid). Since 1975, the proportions of these two forms of aid have been stable, with multilateral aid making up around 30% of the total ODA of all OECD countries.

Chart 1. Share of Bilateral Aid and Multilateral Aid in Total Aid

Chart 1. Share of Bilateral Aid and Multilateral Aid in Total Aid

OECD Development Assistance Committee databank, consulted online on 29 April 2011.

10The percentage of multilateral aid represented by European aid has risen continuously.

Chart 2- Multilateral Aid is Stable, European Aid is growing

Chart 2- Multilateral Aid is Stable, European Aid is growing

OECD Development Assistance Committee databank, consulted online on 29 April 2011.

Chart 3. Aid granted by European Institutions in Comparison with that of the Member States ($ million, 2009)

Chart 3. Aid granted by European Institutions in Comparison with that of the Member States ($ million, 2009)

11OECD Development Assistance Committee databank, consulted online on 29 April 2011

12Several Characteristics emerge from the Upward Trend in European Aid

13Sustained growth is a feature of European aid, which even withstood the aid crisis of the 1990s: during that decade, it was only European aid that continued to increase steadily.

Chart 4. EU Aid is more Stable than that of its Member States ($ million, 2009)

Chart 4. EU Aid is more Stable than that of its Member States ($ million, 2009)

OECD Development Assistance Committee databank, consulted online on 29 April 2011.

14The geographical breakdown shows that Africa’s share is gradually being eroded. With the enlargement of the EU to include Central and East European countries, aid to Europe is declining in favour of Asia.

15The share taken by the least developed countries (LDCs) and other low-income countries (LICs) declined steadily until 2001, but picked up again following the adoption of the “Millennium Development Goals”.

16Overall, the trend in the amount of European development aid appears to be steady, despite variations in the number of Member States and the incidence of historic events. This remarkably stable aid has withstood competition from other forms of multilateral aid. It has increased continuously, and features three key periods: the initial phase (1957-1975), the era of enlargement and new aid paradigms (1975-1995), and the period of questioning Europe’ approach to development (1995-2010). This is undoubtedly a key quality of European aid.

Chart 5. Geographical Breakdown of Aid by Continent

Chart 5. Geographical Breakdown of Aid by Continent

OECD Development Assistance Committee databank, consulted online on 29 April 2011.

Chart 6. Breakdown of Aid between Least Developed Countries, Low-Income Countries, Upper and Lower Middle-Income Countries

Chart 6. Breakdown of Aid between Least Developed Countries, Low-Income Countries, Upper and Lower Middle-Income Countries

OECD Development Assistance Committee databank, consulted online on 29 April 2011.

Notes

1 Bibliography: “Financing for Development – Annual progress report 2010, Getting back on track to reach the EU 2015 target on ODA spending?”, Commission Staff Working Document, Brussels, 21 April 2010, SEC (2010) 420 final; Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2011 DAC Report On Multilateral Aid, 8 November 2011, DCD/DAC (2011) 21 final; François Pacquement “Bâtir des politiques globales : l’aide au développement, source d’inspiration ?”, Afrique contemporaine 2009/3, No 231 (English version: “Building global policies: development assistance, a source of inspiration ?”, Idées pour le débat, IDDRI Sciences Po, 2010/10, No 05); Julie Walz and Vijaya Ramachandran, Brave New World: A Literature Review of Emerging Donors and the Changing Nature of Foreign Assistance, Center for Global Development, Working Paper 273.

2 In 1974, Portugal left the DAC and asked to be included on the list of developing countries drawn up by the DAC; Portugal rejoined the DAC in 1991.

3 That is, 15 countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom and Sweden.

Table des illustrations

Titre Chart 1. Share of Bilateral Aid and Multilateral Aid in Total Aid
Crédits OECD Development Assistance Committee databank, consulted online on 29 April 2011.
URL http://books.openedition.org/igpde/docannexe/image/2937/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 179k
Titre Chart 2- Multilateral Aid is Stable, European Aid is growing
Crédits OECD Development Assistance Committee databank, consulted online on 29 April 2011.
URL http://books.openedition.org/igpde/docannexe/image/2937/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 169k
Titre Chart 3. Aid granted by European Institutions in Comparison with that of the Member States ($ million, 2009)
URL http://books.openedition.org/igpde/docannexe/image/2937/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 195k
Titre Chart 4. EU Aid is more Stable than that of its Member States ($ million, 2009)
Crédits OECD Development Assistance Committee databank, consulted online on 29 April 2011.
URL http://books.openedition.org/igpde/docannexe/image/2937/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 114k
Titre Chart 5. Geographical Breakdown of Aid by Continent
Crédits OECD Development Assistance Committee databank, consulted online on 29 April 2011.
URL http://books.openedition.org/igpde/docannexe/image/2937/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 169k
Titre Chart 6. Breakdown of Aid between Least Developed Countries, Low-Income Countries, Upper and Lower Middle-Income Countries
Crédits OECD Development Assistance Committee databank, consulted online on 29 April 2011.
URL http://books.openedition.org/igpde/docannexe/image/2937/img-6.png
Fichier image/png, 183k

Auteur

François Pacquement heads up the strategy and history unit at the AFD. He has worked in development aid for various institutions, notably at the French Treasury, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Commission. At the AFD, he has worked in the field and at head office, being involved in both operational duties and analytical and strategic functions. A lecturer at Paris I Sorbonne (UFR politics), he is the author of publications on the introduction to development aid and its history, such as: “Financement international du développement – Repères”, Afrique contemporaine, 2011/2 (No 236); “Belles histoires de l’aide – introduction thématique au dossier sur l’histoire de l’aide”, Afrique contemporaine, 2011/2 (No 236); “How development assistance from France and the United Kingdom Has Evolved: Fifty Years on from Decolonisation”, Revue internationale de politique de développement, 2010/1; “Building global policies: development assistance, a source of inspiration?”, Idées pour le débat, IDDRI SciencesPo, 2010/10 (No 05); Mieux gérer la mondialisation ? L’aide au développement, with Aurélien Lechevallier and Jennifer Moreau, éditions Ellipses, 2007.

© Institut de la gestion publique et du développement économique, 2013

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