The commissioner said the decision was taken to bring about “a shift in our relations with emerging countries and a focus of the aid on the poorest countries” between 2014 and 2020.
The decision was reached within a context of broader changes to the EU’s external spending as it adapts its long-term budget planning to tighter financial conditions and the rise of such rivals on the global economic stage.
The 27-state European Union is the world’s biggest donor, accounting for 50 percent of world aid with 53.8 billion euros ($72 billion) handed out last year. The European Commission manages 20 percent of that aid, or 11 billion euros.
The commission said in an October policy paper detailing the changes that it would increase the “volume and share of EU aid to the countries most in need and where the EU can have a real impact, including fragile states.”
This will mean drops in aid to the world’s emerging powers. Between 2007-2013, about 980 million euros are earmarked for South Africa, 470 million euros for India, 170 million euros for China and 61 million euros for Brazil.
Other middle-income countries such as Argentina will also see a fall in aid.