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Multiannual programming defines the priorities, specific objectives, expected results, performance indicators and the indicative financial allocations, both overall and per priority, of EU international cooperation at country, multi-country/regional and global level.

The Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) - Global Europe is the main financing instrument of the EU's international cooperation for the period of 2021-2027. It consist of three pillars: geographic, thematic and rapid-response, complemented by a flexibility cushion, whose aim will be to respond to unforeseen needs and address emerging challenges and priorities. Moreover, it include a new investment framework (European Fund for Sustainable Development+ and External Action Guarantee), enlarging the toolkit available to EU Delegations and HQ services for their actions. Cooperation and interventions under the NDICI will be programmed for the geographic and thematic pillars.

The programming guidelines for 2021-2027 cover in an unprecedented manner several regions (Sub-Saharan Africa, Neighbourhood, Asia and the Pacific, Americas and Caribbean) and all types of programmes (country, multi-country/regional, Erasmus+ and thematic). The principles of “geographisation’ and “policy first” should inform the programming exercise, ensuring that cooperation with partner countries is further guided by EU strategic policy objectives and that the bulk of cooperation materializes at country level, on the basis of complementarity and subsidiarity. Thematic programmes will focus on actions having a global or trans-regional nature or actions undertaken without the consent of partner countries’ governments.

Programming will pursue in particular the overarching policy priorities of the geopolitical Commission: Green Deal (including climate change, environment, energy and food systems), digital transformation and data technologies, alliances for sustainable growth and decent jobs (including trade and investment), better management and governance of migration, migration partnerships, and governance, peace and security (including human rights, democracy and the rule of law) as well as other relevant external action priorities as they emerge.

EU cooperation remains guided by the EU policy framework and partner countries priorities, with the 2030 Agenda, the SDGs and the new European Consensus on development at the core of the programming process.

Programming procedures in INTPA

The outputs of the programming phase are Multi-Annual Indicative Programmes (MIPs). Additionally, under the NDICI, joint programming of EU and Member States’ cooperation will be the preferred option for country programmes, possibly leading to joint implementation (see Operational guidance on Working better together as Team Europe). The Team Europe approach aims to provide a strategic European response to the multiple challenges faced by the partner countries and provides an opportunity to combine the most appropriate mix of implementing modalities to obtain maximum results in joint programming and joint implementation, including through Team Europe Initiatives (TEIs). TEIs should be embedded in the geographic programming. TEIs focus on large-scale, transformational projects and are designed, funded and implemented collectively with Member States to make a discernible impact in the partner country.

Synchronized reviews with partner’s country cycles, mid-term, ad-hoc and final reviews of the geographic, Erasmus+ and thematic programming documents may be carried out and results’ indicators should be provided for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

The NDICI programming guidelines frame the programming process with a set of principles to guide EU Delegations and HQ services. They not only provide practical guidance, but also include the political and policy context – answering the why, how, what and when of the programming exercise.


The EEAS is responsible for preparing jointly with Commission services (INTPA, NEAR and FPI) proposals for the funds allocations, the multiannual programming of geographic programmes and certain thematic programmes (Human Rights and Democracy, Peace, Stability and Conflict Prevention, Nuclear Safety), in close consultation with the other Commission services. INTPA is responsible for preparing jointly with the EEAS, NEAR and FPI, the thematic programmes on Civil Society Organisations and Global Challenges in close consultation with the other Commission services.

Programming documents are discussed in country team meetings involving various directorates-general and are the object of an inter-service consultation.

Documents are adopted by the Commission after consultation, as appropriate, of Member States, as well as of the European Parliament and the Council.

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