The Future of EU Development Policy Post-2020

23 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2020

See all articles by Amelia Hadfield

Amelia Hadfield

University of Surrey

Simon Lightfoot

University of Leeds - School of Politics and International Studies

Date Written: January 8, 2020


Under the current proposals, the EU development cooperation budget would increase by 30%. This paper explores how this potential increase is designed to assist the EU in consolidating its international identity in line with the aims of the Global Strategy (EUGS) by better aligning the money in the development budget to the global ambitions of the EU. This has reignited concerns that this represents further politicisation of the development activities of the EU beyond the Treaty commitment to poverty reduction and once again highlights the tension between development goals and broader strategic goals. This paper explores this tension between development and strategic goals in what is clearly a moving target area. Comparing how the vision for EU development policy has evolved between the 2006 and 2017 Consensus’ on Development provides the context for a comparison to broader vision for external action set out in the EU’s Global Strategy. The paper then explores the proposed budget reforms in light of this comparison highlighting the implications for the EU as a development actor. It shows how discussions around the size of the EU budget coincide with Brexit and the renegotiation of the EU’s relationship with a key group of developing countries, the ACP. It shows that the future negotiations will focus on the overall amount of the EU development budget, how the budget will be used and where – decisions that will shine a light onto the priorities of the EU as a development actor.

Keywords: Development policy, European Consensus on Development, European Union, external action, Multiannual Financial Framework.

Suggested Citation

Hadfield, Amelia and Lightfoot, Simon, The Future of EU Development Policy Post-2020 (January 8, 2020). GLOBUS Research Paper 1/2020. Available at SSRN: or

Amelia Hadfield (Contact Author)

University of Surrey ( email )

School of Politics (I4)
Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH
United Kingdom
01483689063 (Phone)

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Simon Lightfoot

University of Leeds - School of Politics and International Studies ( email )

United Kingdom

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