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The EU’s New Budget: Europe’s Recovery at The Expense of Its Long- Term Ambitions

After a four day marathon run of negotiations, the 27 Heads of State of the EU reached an agreement on both the Recovery Fund—a large fund to support the post-COVID recovery across the EU—and its new long-term budget and priorities, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027. While leaders across the EU are now hailing the deal as a “win” for their own voters and priorities, inevitably the negotiations were fundamentally driven by domestic interests and priorities, and predictably, international development has suffered as a result of the cuts.

A chart showing that IFC spend is concentrated in middle-income countries

Making the International Finance Corporation Relevant

Philippe Le Houerou, the Chief Executive of the IFC has announced his intention to step down in September. His legacy will include a significant effort to focus the work of the corporation on development impact and the world’s poorest countries. Le Houerou has had some success. But a look at IFC’s portfolio suggests how far the institution still has to go to have the biggest impact.

A photo illustration of a seesaw out of balance. Adobe Stock.

Mobilization: Much Less than Meets the Eye

Imagine the young George Washington said, “I cannot tell a lie. I did not cut down the cherry tree,” then added sotto voce, “’twas the hatchet that did it.” Multilateral development banks (MDBs) and development finance institutions are dissembling in the other direction when it comes to their impact—not unreasonably shifting blame but implausibly taking credit.

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