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European Development Fund (EDF)

ACP-EU_doc 6 / 040913

European Development Fund (EDF)

Created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, and first launched in 1959, the European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for providing Community development aid in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the overseas countries and territories (OCTs).

What does it cover?

The EDF supports actions in the ACP countries and the OCTs in the following key areas for cooperation :

  • economic development,

  • social and human development,

  • regional cooperation and integration.

The EDF consists of several instruments :

  • grants managed by the Commission,

  • risk capital and loans to the private sector, managed by the European Investment Bank under the Investment Facility,

  • the FLEX mechanism, aiming at remedying the adverse effects of instability of export earnings

Each EDF is concluded for a period of around five/six years. Since the conclusion of the first partnership convention in 1964, the EDF cycles have generally followed that of the partnership agreements/conventions.

  • First EDF: 1959-1964

  • Second EDF: 1964-1970 (Yaoundé I Convention)

  • Third EDF: 1970-1975 (Yaoundé II Convention)

  • Fourth EDF: 1975-1980 (Lomé I Convention)

  • Fifth EDF: 1980-1985 (Lomé II Convention)

  • Sixth EDF: 1985-1990 (Lomé III Convention)

  • Seventh EDF: 1990-1995 (Lomé IV Convention)

  • Eighth EDF: 1995-2000 (Lomé IV Convention and the revised Lomé IV)

  • Ninth EDF: 2000-2007 (Cotonou Agreement)

  • Tenth EDF: 2008-2013 (Cotonou Agreement)

  • Eleventh EDF: 2014-2020 (Cotonou Agreement)

How much money is available?

The 11th EDF has a budget of €31,589 million out of which €29 089 million has been allocated to the ACP countries. This amount for the ACP countries is divided as follows:

  • €24 365 million to the national and regional indicative programmes,

  • €3 590 million to intra-ACP and intra-regional cooperation,

  • €1 134 million to Investment Facility.

The EDF is an extra-budgetary fund , and therefore is funded by the Member States according to a specific contribution key, is subject to its own financial rules and is managed by a specific committee. However, the Commission has repeatedly asked for it to be included in the EU budget , to increase public control of this aid, as well as transparency and effectiveness.

Since 2000, aid is based on a system of rolling programming , which gives the beneficiary countries greater responsibility for determining objectives, strategies and operations and for programme management and selection. Grants are allocated on the basis of an assessment of requirements and performances, following criteria negotiated between the beneficiary countries and the Community.

While some funds of the 11th EDF have been set aside for unforeseen needs (e.g., related to humanitarian and emergency assistance or to FLEX compensations), most are being programmed in a multi-annual framework for 2014-2020. Specific programming guidelines have been elaborated for national and regional programming and for intra-ACP programming. The Commission has adopted country strategy papers, regional strategy papers and an intra-ACP strategy paper.

Multi-annual framework for 2014-2020:


List of Country Strategy Papers: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/acp/overvie...

List of Regional Strategy Papers: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/acp/overvie...

Who is eligible for funding?

The entities which are eligible for funding are:

  • all natural and legal persons from ACP States and EU Member States,

  • international organisations and all natural and legal persons eligible according to the rules of these organisations,

  • when the Fund finances an operation implemented as part of a regional initiative: all natural and legal persons from a country participating in such an initiative.

In case of call for proposals and tenders: each of them will specify in related documents the eligibility criteria for that specific call or tender.

For further information: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/finance/edf_e...