The European Union is one of the main actors on the international economic and political scene. Its presence is felt globally through the implementation of a foreign and security policy as well as through bilateral and multilateral co-operation. It confirms its solidarity with other countries and regions of the world through its development policy and by providing large scale humanitarian assistance.
The leading goods and services exporter in the world, the EU also contributes to the harmonious development of world trade through the progressive abolition of barriers to international exchanges.
Additionally, the EU has embarked upon a unique, historic task of furthering the integration of the European continent by peaceful means, extending a zone of stability and prosperity towards new members.
Poul Nielson European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid World Solidarity and Global Stability: The role of the EU Development Policy
Annual report 2001 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the EC development policy and the implementation of the external assistance
2002 Progress Report on the implementation of the Northern Dimension Action