European Union flags in front of European Commission headquarter in Brussels, Belgium

European Union

The European Union (EU) and its member states collectively form the world’s largest development cooperation donor. As a German federal enterprise, GIZ contributes to the implementation of the political objectives and international obligations of the EU and the German Government through its work. To this end, GIZ works worldwide with and for the EU on a broad range of issues, as well as providing support to the EU on behalf of the German Government, ranging from expert advice to project implementation on the ground.

Under delegated cooperation arrangements, GIZ is accredited to manage European Commission funds set aside to support partner countries. GIZ implements these funds in the form of joint activities commissioned by the German Government (cofinancing). It also carries out EU commissions through GIZ International Services. 

GIZ works with various Directorates-General of the European Commission. In addition to the Directorates General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) and European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR), it also acts as a partner for specialist expertise and dialogue and as a service provider for the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) as well as the Directorates General for Climate Protection (CLIMA), Energy (ENER), Migration and Home Affairs (HOME), Research and Innovation (RTD) and Health and Food Safety (SANTE), among others. In order to offer European solutions to global challenges, GIZ often cooperates with other European implementing organisations or national and international partners when putting projects into practice. Cooperation with the private sector is increasingly important in this process, for example when it comes to promoting sustainable investment, vocational training and the development of labour markets in partner countries. 

GIZ is implementing a number of different projects within the framework of the EU Trust Funds set up over the past few years. One of these is the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, ‘Madad’, which is administered by NEAR. GIZ is supporting Syria’s neighbours in coping with the refugee crisis by improving infrastructure, administration, dialogue and practice-oriented vocational training, in cooperation with French, Spanish, Hungarian and Belgian implementing organisations. In addition to the funds provided by the EU Trust Fund, the programme is also financed by the German Government. 

Projects financed by the EU Trust Fund for Africa, administered by DEVCO, are a further instance of how GIZ is contributing to improving peoples’ livelihoods, for example in Niger, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Sudan and the Horn of Africa.