EU development ministers informally exchanged views on middle-income countries (MICs)- development in transition, and human development.
The first exchange of views on how to engage more strategically with MICs followed shortly the adoption of the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI-Global Europe), which will allow for a more integrated EU approach with partner countries.
In their exchange development ministers touched on how middle income countries have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they can play a key role in the global recovery having the largest potential by implementing effective and forward-looking reforms. The EU can contribute to make a difference in these countries by further supporting their recovery plans and share with them its vision for a green and sustainable recovery.
In their second debate ministers discussed concrete ways to effectively foster human development, including through a Team Europe approach.
Development ministers focused in particular on global health and vaccine action, as well as education and youth during the post-pandemic recovery.
In order to have an effective recovery we have to step up our support for education and health, especially for women and youth. They are key agents for change. This is why we agreed to reach an ambitious target, allocating at least 20% of official development assistance spending, in the current budget period, for human development and social inclusion.
Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
As concerns vaccines, the High Representatives reminded ministers that the EU has so far produced over 600 million doses, of which over 300 million have been exported outside the EU. 10% of these doses were distributed through the COVAX scheme, to which the European Union is one of the lead contributors.
Ministers then discussed how to further support COVAX, as a way to ensure safe, fair and equitable access to vaccines for all, and how to increase manufacturing and strengthen health systems in partner countries.
The Council, meeting in its Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council configuration, approved conclusions on:
-14 June 2021