Directorate General Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid was formed on 1 January 2011 following the merger of the EuropeAid Cooperation Office (AIDCO) with the Directorate General for Development and Relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific – ACP – States (DEV).
EuropeAid focused on maximising the value and impact of aid funding by making sure support provided in a manner which complies with EU development objectives and the United Nations‘ Millennium Development Goals in a speedy and accountable fashion. Effective implementation and delivery of aid also helps the Commission and the EU as a whole to attain a higher profile on the world stage. The European Union is the world’s largest aid donor.
The Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) is responsible for designing European international cooperation and development policy and delivering aid throughout the world. Its mission is to help reduce and ultimately eradicate poverty in developing countries through the promotion of sustainable development, democracy, peace and security.
It works on policy formulation at a global and sectoral level. The main intervention areas covered are: Trade and regional integration, Environment and the sustainable management of natural resources, Infrastructure, communications and transport, Water and energy, Rural development, Governance, democracy and human rights, Peace and security, Human development, Social cohesion and employment.
Directorate-General awards grants and contracts to implement projects or activities that relate to the European Union’s external aid programmes. To ensure that EuropeAid’s work to improve people’s lives is recognised, a set of visibility guidelines have been produced. These guidelines ensure that aid projects acknowledge the funding support they receive from Commission budgets. They also help to raise the general profile of the EU across the world.
Grants are direct financial contributions provided to organisations, or to projects carried out by them. Most of the time, the Commission attributes them through calls for proposals.
Contracts are awarded through tendering procedures to purchase services, supplies or works.
Both contracts and grants are awarded for activities contributing to specific development goals.