BRUSSELS - The European Union's foreign policy chief will on Wednesday propose a 30 percent rise in its foreign aid budget for 2021-2027, according to a document seen by Reuters, as the bloc seeks to increase its influence while the United States pulls back.
As the European Commission sets out its common budget proposal on Wednesday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will also propose a single fund responsible for managing most of the 123 billion euros ($148 billion) planned for the 2021-2027 period, an internal document shows.
The increase compares to 95 billion euros for the 2014-2020 external financing budget, split between 19 EU "instruments," each with separate geographical and administrative procedures.
A few separate EU funds would still remain, for instance for funding Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Seeking to support Ukraine after its 2014 pro-EU uprising, stem a migrant crisis in Syria and deal with failing states on its borders, the European Union is also seeking to reduce its reliance on the United States.
The United States spends about $50 billion a year in foreign aid, but that includes running diplomatic missions and giving academic grants. US President Donald Trump has withheld aid in the Middle East and at a recent Syria donor conference, questioning its value and calling on others to pay.