SPOTLIGHT ON EUROPE
TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS FROM SELECT EUROPEAN DONORS
The data show that, with few exceptions, there is a sustained political focus on international family planning in Europe, despite the current challenging political and economic circumstances, which have often led to cuts in official development assistance (ODA) or in countries’ overall public spending. In fact, European donor support to UNFPA increased by nearly 30% from 2009 to 2012, with the UK making a notable surge of investment, from providing UNFPA with €28 million in 2009 to €94 million in 2012 (an increase of 238%). This is primarily due to an increase in funding committed to UNFPA’s GPRHCS at the London Summit on Family Planning.
Denmark has met its commitment made at the London Summit and has already provided more than US$13 million since the Summit, as Denmark’s contribution to UNFPA has increased by approximately US$18.9 million for the financial years 2012–14 compared to the formerly planned targets.
The Commission reports that the pledge made at the London Summit has been fully achieved and in fact exceeded: €28 million has been committed to a call for proposals on promoting universal access to reproductive health including family planning. Contracts with six selected beneficiaries from this call are currently being signed for actions that will run up to three to five years. Another contract has been signed and fully disbursed (UNFPA’s GPRHCS) for €8.3 million. The total realized EU contribution to the Summit pledge is therefore €36.3 million.
French political commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights remains strong despite recent changes in government and budgetary constraints. In particular, France’s commitment to the Muskoka Initiative and FP2020 defines how it apportions funding to multilaterals, including UNFPA, to work in countries. 
The Netherlands committed €370 million in 2012 for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including HIV and health, and pledged to extend this amount to €381 million in 2013 and to €413 million in 2015. The Dutch report that disbursements for SRHR alone have exceeded US$400 million since 2012, including family planning. These financial investments are complemented by the fact that SRHR and women’s rights are one of four priority themes in a policy document released in 2013.
As of December 2013, Norway disbursed US$742 million against its Global Strategy commitment, with a vast majority of funding disbursed through multilateral channels including UNFPA, landing Norway on the top of the donor list for the institution. Funding disbursed against the specific FP2020 commitment amounts to US$25 million, US$13 million of which is channeled through UNFPA, with further amounts channeled through Marie Stopes International (MSI) and Population Services International (PSI) to scale up contraceptive implants.
Sweden’s commitment to sexual reproductive health and rights remains robust and is exemplified through policy and financial support. In June 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a summary report regarding the health sector ODA report for 2013, pointing to the prioritization of SRHR (including access to modern methods of contraception) and the need for Sweden to take a strong stance on these issues in global forums and through bilateral support to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development. Sweden has also invested in innovative funding mechanisms such as the Global Health Investment Fund (together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), and in a price reduction for contraceptive implants in order to lower the prices when ordering in large batches from pharmaceutical companies. Sweden is also on track to fulfill its FP2020 commitment with disbursements for contraceptives amounting to US$45 million in 2013.
While 11 FP2020 pledging donors, in addition to the US, make up a large majority of all international family planning assistance, notable contributions have also been made by non-pledging countries in Europe to address the global unmet need for family planning. Belgian core support to UNFPA, as well as support to specific UNFPA projects, actually increased in 2013 and 2014 compared to previous years. Sexual reproductive health and rights, including family planning, continue to feature strongly in Finnish development policy and despite a freeze on Finnish ODA due to the challenging economic situation, funding has increased for sexual and reproductive health and rights.
20. Countdown 2015 Europe is a consortium of 15 leading European nongovernmental organizations working to ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights in developing countries. Countdown 2015 Europe tracks European donor spending on international family planning and works nationally with their own governments to increase support and accountability for family planning and reproductive health.
21. FP2020 commitment self-report
22. FP2020 commitment self-report
23. Countdown 2015 Europe
24. SEEK interview
25. Countdown 2015 Europe
26. SEEK interview
27. Countdown 2015 Europe
28. SEEK interview
29. Countdown 2015 Europe
30. Countdown 2015 Europe