European Development Fund (EDF)

European Development Fund (EDF)


The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for Community aid for development cooperation in the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) countries and the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT). Articles 131 and 136 of the 1957 Treaty of Rome provided for its creation with a view to granting technical and financial assistance to African countries that were still colonised at that time and with which certain countries had historical links.


Although, following a request by the European Parliament, a heading has been reserved for the Fund in the Community budget since 1993, the EDF does not come under the general Community budget. It is funded by the Member States, covered by its own financial rules and managed by a specific committee. The Member States set the EDF budget in the Council via agreements that are subsequently ratified by the national parliament of each Member State. The European Commission and other institutions established under the partnership play a key role in the day-to-day management of the Fund. However, the aid allocated to OCTs will be integrated into the Community general budget from 1st January 2008 on, while the aid granted to the ACP countries will continue to be financed under the EDF (10th) at least for the period 2008-2013.


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

1.     First EDF: 1959-1964

2.     Second EDF: 1964-1970 (Yaoundé I Convention)

3.     Third EDF: 1970-1975 (Yaoundé II Convention)

4.     Fourth EDF: 1975-1980 (Lomé I Convention)

5.     Fifth EDF: 1980-1985 (Lomé II Convention)

6.     Sixth EDF: 1985-1990 (Lomé III Convention)

7.     Seventh EDF: 1990-1995 (Lomé IV Convention)

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

9.     Ninth EDF: 2000-2007 (Cotonou Agreement)

    10. Tenth EDF: 2008-2013 (Cotonou Agreement)


The previous EDFs (up to the Eighth) consisted of several instruments, including grants, risk capital and loans to the private sector. The Stabex and Sysmin instruments designed to help the agricultural and mining industries respectively were abolished by the new Partnership Agreement signed in Cotonou in June 2000.


The instruments of the 9th EDF, concluded at the same time as the Cotonou Agreement, have been regrouped and rationalised in only two instruments: the EDF for support to long-term development and the Investment Facility for support to the private sector. The 9th EDF has been allocated 13.5 billion over a period of five years. In addition, the unexpended balances from previous EDFs total 9.9 billion.


Another change brought by the New Agreement is related to the resources allocation which is no longer automatic but based on an evaluation of needs and performance through a system of rolling programming. All allocations are therefore indicative and may be reduced or increased during the course of implementation of the programmes. This system will provide for greater flexibility and give the ACP countries greater responsibility.


The development aid provided by the EDF forms a part of a broader European framework. Within the European Union, the funds of the Community's general budget may be used for certain types of aid. Moreover, whilst managing part of the EDF's resources (loans and risk capital), the own resources contribution of the European Investment Bank comes to 1.7 billion for the five-year period of the ninth EDF.


Added to this, the Member States have their own bilateral agreements and implement their own initiatives with developing countries that are not financed by the European Development Fund or other Community funds.


The future of EDF after 2007 was the subject of a long and complex debate, whether to keep the EDF separated from the EU's general budget or to integrate it then we will talk about the budgetisation of the EDF. In December 2005, EU Member States finally decided to continue funding the ACP-EU cooperation through the 10th EDF which will cover the period 2008-2013 and represent a total amount of 22.682 billion.


Programming of resources:

In line with the new Cotonou Agreement, the system for programming of resources has been fundamentally reformed. The programming process is more continuous and result-oriented than has been the case in the past. At the outset of the programming process, one single Country Strategy Paper (CSP) is established for each ACP country for a period of five years. At regional level, we talk about Regional Strategy Paper (RSP). The CSP/RSP covers the implementation of all operations financed from the entire resources available including unexpended resources from previous EDFs. The CSP/RSP identifies a limited number of sectors where the Community is deemed to have a comparative advantage. It is complemented by a National Indicative Programme (NIP)/Regional Indicative Programme (RIP) which sets out the concrete operations to be financed in the focal sector(s) and a timetable for their implementation.

Note: This fund can not be directly accessed by NGO, EDF will work through local govt.


List of Country Strategy Papers:


List of Regional Strategy Papers:

For more info email to:


The NGO Funding Consultants


The Vegan Organization for Social Justice Worldwide