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Council of Ministers approves Cooperation Bill

May 31, 2022

The Council of Ministers today approved the Cooperation Bill for Sustainable Development and Global Solidarity to be submitted to the Lower House of Parliament – the start of its passage through Parliament with a view to its definitive ratification this year.

The future legislation updates the current International Development Cooperation Act 23/1998, of 7 July 1998, and responds to the demand from the sector and the government’s commitment to renew the legal framework of Spanish Cooperation in light of the changes observed in global development, and in particular the adoption of the UN 2030 Agenda, along with the changes in cooperation between the Central Government, regional governments and local authorities.

The new law is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris climate change agreements and other international instruments. Furthermore, it is the first step towards the reform of the system of Spanish Cooperation, which provides for an overhaul of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spanish acronym: AECID), the new statute for aid workers and the regulatory implementation of financial cooperation and of the rules on subsidies to provide the system with greater efficacy and speed.

In addition, Spanish Cooperation will be provided with new instruments to improve evaluation, monitoring and accountability. The approval of the law, should this take place this year, would coincide with the largest increase in a decade in the cooperation budgets: almost 400 million euros more by way of Official Development Assistance (ODA). In this regard, the future law would give legal status to Spain’s commitment to allocate 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) to ODA with 2030 as the horizon.

This law shows Spain’s commitment to the fight against inequality and poverty, and reinforces the principles of the just ecological transition and gender equality. Global public goods (such as public health and the fight against climate change) occupy a privileged position in the new Bill, together with the consolidation of the governance of the system of Spanish Cooperation by improving coordination, agreement and collaboration instruments amongst such stakeholders as regional governments, local authorities, civil society and the private sector.