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European Development Fund (EDF)

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European Development Fund (EDF)

The European Development Fund supports actions in developing countries and territories to promote economic, social and human development, as well as regional cooperation.


Council Regulation (EC) No 215/2008 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the 10th European Development Fund.

Council Decision 2013/759/EU of 12 December 2013 regarding transitional EDF management measures from 1 January 2014 until the entry into force of the 11th European Development Fund.


The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for providing Community aid for development cooperation in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States and Overseas countries and territories (OCTs). The 1957 Treaty of Rome made provision for its creation with a view to granting technical and financial assistance, initially to African countries with which some Member States had historical links.

Even though a heading has been reserved for the Fund in the European Union (EU) budget since 1993 following a request by the European Parliament, the EDF does not yet come under the EU general budget. It is funded by the Member States, is subject to its own financial rules and is managed by a specific committee. The aid granted to ACP States and OCTs will continue to be funded by the EDF, at least for the period 2014-2020.

Each EDF is concluded for a period of several years. Since the conclusion of the first partnership convention in 1964, the EDF cycles have generally followed the partnership agreement/convention cycles.

  • 1st EDF: 1959-1964
  • 2nd EDF: 1964-1970 (Yaoundé I Convention)
  • 3rd EDF: 1970-1975 (Yaoundé II Convention)
  • 4th EDF: 1975-1980 (Lomé I Convention)
  • 5th EDF: 1980-1985 (Lomé II Convention)
  • 6th EDF: 1985-1990 (Lomé III Convention)
  • 7th EDF: 1990-1995 (Lomé IV Convention)
  • 8th EDF: 1995-2000 (Lomé IV Convention and the revised Lomé IV)
  • 9th EDF: 2000-2007 (Cotonou Agreement)
  • 10th EDF: 2008-2013 (Revised Cotonou Agreement)
  • 11th EDF: 2014-2020 (Revised Cotonou Agreement).

The Stabex and Sysmin instruments designed to help the agricultural and mining sectors were abolished by the new partnership agreement signed in Cotonou in June 2000. This agreement also streamlined the EDF and introduced a system of rolling programming, making for greater flexibility and giving the ACP States greater responsibility.

The 9th EDF was allocated €13.5 billion for the period 2000-2007. In addition, the unspent balances from previous EDFs total €9.9 billion.

ACP-EC Council of Ministers Decision No 6/2005 of 22 November 2005 commits €482 million of the conditional 1 billion to the ninth European Development Fund. This amount is allocated as follows: €352 million to support long-term development, €48 million for regional cooperation and integration and €82 million for the investment facility. Furthermore, a second instalment of €250 million for the ACP-EU Water Facility was established by ACP-EC Council of Ministers Decision No 7/2005.

The development aid provided by the EDF forms 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, in addition to managing part of the EDF's resources (loans and risk capital), the European Investment Bank (EIB) will contribute a total of €1.7 billion from own resources for the period covered by the ninth EDF.

The 10th EDF covered the period from 2008 to 2013 and provided an overall budget of €22,682 million. Of this amount, €21,966 million were allocated to the ACP countries, €286 million to the OCT and €430 million to the Commission as support expenditure for programming and implementation of the EDF. The amount for the ACP countries is divided accordingly: €17, 766 million to the national and regional indicative programmes, €2,700 million to intra-ACP and intra-regional cooperation and €1,500 million to Investment Facilities. An increased share of the budget is devoted to regional programmes, thereby emphasising the importance of regional economic integration as the basic framework for national and local development. An innovation in the 10th EDF was the creation of incentive amounts for each country.

The Member States have their own bilateral agreements and implement their own initiatives with developing countries that are not financed by the EDF or any other Community funds.

The 11th EDF will run between 2014 and 2020: it amounts to €30.5 billion and an additional €2.6 billion will be made available by the European Investment Bank in the form of loans from its own resources.

In June 2013, EU countries reached an internal agreement setting up 11th EDF, including the revised sharing out of contributions between them; this internal agreement still needs to be ratified. Council Decision 2013/759/EU lays down transitional EDF management measures until the entry into force of the 11th EDF.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 215/2008



OJ L 78 of 19.3.2008, p. 1-34

Decision 2013/759/EU



OJ L335, 14.12.2013, p. 48-49

Last updated: 29.04.2014