The Future of EU Budget Support to Third Countries?
Budget support is coming under increasing scrutiny as a means of providing aid. Unfortunately, many of the common criticisms owe more to donor risk aversion than to flaws in budget support, while other more valid criticisms are not being adequately researched and discussed.” Geoff Handley’s comments are as valid now as they were two years ago1. The use of budget support is under pressure because of questions about the impact and results of this aid modality, questions also about quality and value for money. The Court of Auditors, the European Parliament, and civil society have all raised critical questions about budget support, with some EU Member States interrupting or reducing their budget support programmes or shifting to other aid modalities when political or other crises emerge in partner countries. To respond to these questions, and to open the debate about how to improve the approaches to budget support, the European Commission (EC) has launched a consultation process on the future of budget support.