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International Partnerships

European development policy

European development policy fosters sustainable development and stability in developing countries, with the ultimate goal of eradicating extreme poverty.

Development assistance is one of the pillars of the EU’s external action, alongside foreign, security, and trade policies. The EU and its Member States are the leading provider of official development assistance worldwide. 

European development policy is based on the fundamental principles laid out in European treaties, agreements, and strategies. it implements international objectives which the EU helped develop and committed to achieve, such as the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, defining 17 concrete Sustainable Development Goals and reflected in our new European Consensus on Development.

We also strive to make European development policy more coherent and effective, in the face of the increasing challenges caused by conflicts and climate change. Policy coherence for development allows us to minimise contradictions and build synergies between different EU policies that are likely to affect our partner countries. And by focusing on effectiveness, we strive to reach better development results with smarter and more targeted investments.

Together with its member countries, the EU adopted the European Consensus on Development in 2017, as part of its response to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (2015). The consensus defines our shared vision and action framework for development cooperation.

Our long-lasting relations with African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries have evolved over time to adjust to new challenges.

Development effectiveness helps us ensure that European development aid yields the best results, through smarter financing.