European Development Fund (EDF)

The European Development Fund is the main source of funding for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, supporting co-operative activities in the sphere of economic, social and human development, as well as regional co-operation and integration.

The fund is governed under the terms of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (Cotonou Agreement) signed in 2000 for a duration of 20 years.

It is financed by member states’ budgeted contributions, the allocation of which is administered by the European Commission (EC).

The 11th EDF was created under the terms of the current Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-2020), of an allocated budget of €30.5 billion.

As an instrument for development co-operation, the EDF is designed as a way of ensuring that the European Commission’s undertakings with each beneficiary country are in line with their national development priorities (Country Strategy Papers) and the Cotonou Agreement, as well as European commitments agreed under the terms of the European Consensus on Development, the Sustainable Development Goals and various other regional and international agreements.

European development aid is channelled through programmes on a national, sectoral and regional level. National assistance is made in the form of a National Indicative Program (PIN) and Regional Indicative Programs (PIR) on a regional level in the four regions of Africa as well as the Caribbean and the Pacific.

A PIN programme is a management tool that identifies and defines the actions to be taken in order to achieve the goals set out by the national strategy agreements of the beneficiary countries.

PINs consist of:

  • Sector and cross-sector priorities;
  • Financial envelopes;
  • Specific goals and expected results for each area of co-operation, including performance indicators.

The group of Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP) and East Timor is considered a special region for co-operation with the EU in the context of ACP-EU co-operation, with the aim of strengthening the relationship between the Portuguese-speaking African countries and East Timor and the EU member states. It has been active since 1992, with East Timor joining in 2007.