Trade unions present key asks on NDICI

In June 2018, the European Commission (EC) proposed to create a new instrument called the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) as an attempt to merge the EU external action into a single tool. This new instrument represents a radical change in the financing set-up of the EU as it merges most of the existing instruments for external action. In practice, this means merging crucial areas –and interests- of EU’s work, such as development, international cooperation, neighbourhood policies and blending instruments.

Although trade unions welcome the efforts to promote major coherence by simplifying the EU external funding architecture, a thorough assessment of the EC’s proposal reveals that the main driver behind the NDICI seems to be the EU’s urgency to safeguard its own interests, both geographically (focusing on the EU Neighbourhood and Africa) and thematically (emphasising security and migration).

In this light, trade unions reaffirm that simplification of the EU external funding architecture cannot come at the cost of diluting the values and principles of the EU. More specifically, development cooperation commitments cannot be subordinated to
broader EU’s external relations objectives.

The ITUC and the ETUC have submitted the European Commission eight key recommendations, divided in three main pillars:

  • Defending the values of the EU
    • Development cooperation commitment cannot be subordinated broader EU’s external relations objectives.
  • Rethinking priorities
    • A better balance between the geographic and thematic programmes;
    • Reducing allocations for vague objectives;
    • Promoting Decent Work and Social Dialogue;
    • A Human Rights Based Approach to Migration;
    • Avoiding securitization of cooperation.
  • Improving the governance
    • An effective and inclusive monitoring, reporting and evaluation system;
    • Ensuring blending delivers on development results.


- Download the full document: Key trade union messages on the EC Proposal for a Regulation establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI)



For more information on this topic, contact:
Giulia Massobrio, Advocacy Officer with the ITUC