Development Aid

© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-1489/Holt

Children attend a community meeting in El Khatmia Village, Gadaref State.

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid was established on 3 January 2011. It is the result of the merger of parts of the former Directorate-General for Development and Relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific States with the former EuropeAid Co-operation Office. EuropeAid is responsible not only for defining EU development policy but also for ensuring the effective programming and implementation of aid. EuropeAid delivers aid through a set of financial instruments with a focus on ensuring the quality of EU aid and its effectiveness. It awards grants and tenders to implement projects or activities that relate to the European Union’s external aid programmes. EuropeAid promotes good governance, human and economic development and tackles universal issues, such as fighting hunger and preserving natural resources. In 2009 Andris Piebalgs became the European Commissioner for Development.

EuropeAid’s structure allows the European Commission to speak with one voice on development and cooperation issues. EuropeAid plays a crucial role in:

  • Designing state-of-the-art development policy for all developing countries
  • Enhancing policy coherence for development while improving implementation and delivery mechanisms
  • Defining future development policy both within the EU as well as contributing to the setting of international standards
  • Contributing to global challenges ahead


EuropeAid’s work is carried out with the ultimate aim of:

  • Reducing poverty in the world
  • Ensuring sustainable development
  • Promoting democracy, peace and security


As well as designing policies to achieve these objectives, EuropeAid is responsible for implementing the EU’s external aid instruments. EuropeAid coordinates the actions of the EU institutions, the EU Member States and other EU actors around the Union’s core values, objectives and priorities.