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EU Aid

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if his Department will make it its policy in EU negotiations to ensure that aid conditionality with particular reference to acceptance of (a) International Criminal Court and (b) Cotonou provisions does not prevent aid reaching those for whom it was intended; and if he will make a statement. (269323)

The Cotonou agreement is the legal basis by which European development funds (EDF) are provided to Africa, Caribbean and Pacific partner countries. The Cotonou agreement has clear references to the adoption of the International Criminal Court and has other conditions which must be adhered to by all parties. The UK Government believe that all countries receiving EDF support must be signatories of the Cotonou agreement. This is fundamental to the partnership between these countries and the European Union, and should be upheld.

When situations arise where partner country governments do not meet the conditions outlined in the Cotonou agreement, then the UK will explore options with the European Commission to find alternative sources of aid funding to reach those in need.