European Commission ‘Expresses Disappointment’ Over E.U. Summit Failure To Determine Global Fund Contribution
The European Commission on Monday "expressed disappointment" about a recent European Union summit's failure to determine a concrete contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 6/23). E.U. leaders on Friday at a summit in Greece were unable to agree on a pledge of about $1 billion to the Global Fund, an amount that would have matched a U.S. pledge. Member countries instead simply reaffirmed their commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS. A draft conclusion statement said that Europe would contribute "up to" one billion euros ($1.17 billion) to the fund next year, but that language was not included in the final statement. The final amount will be discussed at the upcoming Global Fund supporters' meeting scheduled for July 16 in Paris (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/23). A spokesperson for the commission said, "The commission believes that the proposal of one billion euros in 2004 was a very good one so in that respect we regret it was not possible to agree on that [at the summit]," according to Agence France-Presse. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that the Netherlands and Germany "had reservations" about agreeing to a specific figure. DATA, an aid organization founded by Irish rock star Bono to promote debt relief, aid and trade in Africa, said it was "obviously disappointed" by the European Union's lack of specificity but added that it was "heartened" that a deadline was set to determine the E.U. contribution, according to Agence France-Presse (Agence France-Presse, 6/23).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.