EU: Arab Spring sparks change in bloc's aid plans

Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — The EU says the Arab Spring has sparked significant changes in the way the bloc plans to deliver aid to developing nations.

EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said Thursday that the pro-democracy uprisings demonstrated that just giving assistance to repressive regimes will not improve their peoples' living standards. He is proposing that the EU conclude good governance contracts with national governments to ensure an emphasis on human rights, democracy and rule of law.

The 27-nation bloc provided nearly euro54 billion ($74.34 billion) in global aid in 2010, with the EU directly responsible for euro11 billion ($15.1 billion).

Piebalgs said the EU would henceforth focus aid to the least developed nations, rather than middle-income ones.

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