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The EuropeAid Co-operation Office is a Directorate-General of the European Commission. Founded on 1 January 2001, EuropeAid's mission is to implement the external aid instruments of the European Commission, which are funded by the European Community budget and the European Development Fund.

Contents

Introduction

EuropeAid is the Directorate-General of the European Commission that is responsible for implementing external aid programmes and projects around the world. Its focus is on maximising the value and impact of aid funding by making sure support is provided in a speedy and accountable fashion.

EuropeAid operates under the guidance of Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who is responsible for External Relationsand the European Neighbourhood Policy. Commissioner Karel De Gucht, who is responsible for Development and Humanitarian Aid, also has an important stake in EuropeAid's work. Both Commissioners are part of the Barroso Commission, which will be in office till 31 October 2009. EuropeAid Director-General Koos Richelle is responsible for the overall realisation of the DG's mission, which consists in the implementation of the European Commission's external aid instruments financed by the European Community budget and the European Development Funds.

EuropeAid works hard to ensure that the aid it distributes makes a significant contribution to the development objectives of both the EU and the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. Effective implementation of aid also helps the Commission and the EU as a whole to attain a higher profile on the world stage. The European Union, composed of the Member States and the European Commission, is the world’s largest aid donor.

From policy to action

When implementing projects, EuropeAid takes account of EU strategies and long-term programmes for the delivery of aid. These strategies and related policies are designed by other Directorates-General of the European Commission, including DG Development for the ACP regions and DG External Relations for the other regions and countries of the world.

It translates these policies into practical actions and develops new ways of delivering aid, such as budget support and through sectoral approaches. It also issues guidelines and makes evaluations of aid implementation. In addition, it is responsible for the proper management of funds and must use clear and transparent tendering and contracting procedures.

EuropeAid is responsible for all the steps of an aid delivery project: after identifying needs, it carries out feasibility studies and prepares all the necessary financial decisions and controls. It then moves on to drawing up the required tendering, monitoring and evaluation procedures. EuropeAid often publishes this evaluations in its website, aiming to improve management, in particular by taking into account the lessons of past public actions and to reinforce capacity to account for, and to ensure, better transparency.


EuropeAid is a highly decentralised organisation. Two out of three Commission staff members working on aid implementation are based in the field. That is why most of the preparatory and implementation work is done through the Commission Delegations in the recipient countries. EuropeAid is made up of seven directorates and four units directly attached to the Director General.

Promoting joint effort

To ensure coherence, complementarity and coordination in implementing external assistance programmes worldwide, EuropeAid works in close collaboration with its various partners. The overall aim is to make external aid more effective. Civil society, international organisations and governments of EU Member States are all important actors in this field.

Funding and visibility

EuropeAid awards grants and contracts to implement projects or activities that relate to the European Union’s external aid programmes. For more details consult the Funding pages. To ensure that EuropeAid's work to improve people’s lives is recognised, a set of visibility guidelines have been produced. These guidelines ensure that aid projects acknowledge the funding support they receive from Commission budgets. They also help to raise the general profile of the EU across the world.

See also

External links

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