The European Parliament has today adopted its first reading on the EU 2020 budget. MEPs voted in favour of a €2,7 billion increase of the EU’s budget compared to the Commission’s proposal: an outright rejection of the Council’s proposed cuts. 

A budget increase that could save lives and improve health and wellbeing 

Dubbed as the last chance for the Union to meet key political commitments during this financial period, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the Parliament’s call for an ambitious budget for the last year of the current MFF is welcome news.

With the support of the Committees on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, and Development, the Parliament called for an increase of €10 million in commitment to the budget line on human development compared to the Commission’s proposal. This increase will finance projects on education, tackling diseases, gender equality and access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SHRH), focusing directly on the needs and rights of people in developing countries. In addition, the budget line on ‘civil society in development’ would be restored and the one on humanitarian aid would increase by €50 million. 

Eef Wuyts, Director of European and International Affairs at IPPF EN, said: “The Human Development line is key to effectively ensuring people can access health care and education, and to guarantee women and girls’ access to quality sexual and reproductive health services.’’ 

But this additional investment falls short of commitments

“While this proposed increase is a step in the right direction, it falls short of the EU’s commitment to dedicate at least 20% of its total Official Development Assistance to human development and social inclusion. We urge the Council not to cut this budget line any further’’, said Cécile Vernant, Head of the EU Office at DSW. 

“Europe has a responsibility to be a global leader on these issues, and this vote today is an important first step. The upcoming Nairobi Summit in November 2019 will be another important opportunity for the EU to make further concrete commitments – including financial ones – to accelerate progress to fully implement the International Conference on Population and Development’s Programme of Action’’, said Neil Datta, Secretary at EPF.

Investing in human development, in areas such as health and SRHR is key to empowering women and achieving gender equality. It is crucial that Member States support the €10 million increase proposed by the European Parliament to ensure access to healthcare and education for all. 


For more information, contact Ffion Storer Jones, Communications Officer at Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)’s EU office on or +32 2 504 90 62.


  • DSW is a global development organisation that focuses on the needs and potential of the largest youth generation in history. We are committed to creating demand for and access to health information, services, supplies, and economic empowerment for youth. We achieve this by engaging in advocacy, capacity development, and reproductive health initiatives so that young people are empowered to lead healthy and self-determined lives. DSW also advocates for investment in research and innovation to fight poverty-related and neglected tropical diseases. For more information, visit
  • The International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN) champions sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are one of the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s six regional networks. IPPF EN and our partners work in over 40 countries across Europe and Central Asia to empower everyone, especially the most socially excluded, to live with dignity and to have access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. This access is essential to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals in all countries. For more information, visit 
  • The European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF) is Europe’s only parliamentary network focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights. EPF serves as a platform for cooperation and coordination for its 33 all-party groups in Parliaments throughout Europe to promote and defend the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all individuals, to defend and advance gender equality and equity, women’s empowerment, and to eliminate all forms of discrimination, coercion and violence against women and girls worldwide. For more information, visit
  • The European Consensus on Development is a shared vision and framework for action for development cooperation for the European Union (EU) and its Member States. It is a blueprint which aligns the Union’s development policy with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For more information, go here