The proposal for a new decision on the association of OCTs with the Union is in line with the intended simplification of the next MFF. The proposed integration of the EDF into the EU budget would make it possible to bring together the Greenland instrument, currently in the EU budget, with the funding for other OCTs, currently provided by the EDF. In the 2021-2027 MFF, a new budget line under Heading 6 would cover funding for all OCTs.
The objective of the proposal is to ‘preserve what works well’: its structure is similar to the 2013 Overseas Association Decision, with updates in respect of achievements to date and new context (for example, reference to the UN sustainable development goals). The main changes are that:
the proposal concerns all OCTs, with special arrangements for Greenland;
funding is provided by the general budget instead of the EDF;
the use of funds may extend over several years (article 80): this derogation to the principle of budgetary annuality mirrors the current situation under the EDF;
the proposal earmarks allocations for cooperation between OCTs, ORs and third countries in the same region;
OCTs would be eligible for thematic programmes under the new Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation instrument (in addition to being eligible for the Humanitarian Aid instrument as currently);
if adopted, the decision would be implemented after the UK has left the Union, therefore the 12 British OCTs would no longer be covered.