The Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) was established under the regulation of the European Parliament and the Council No 1905/2006 adopted on December 18, 2006. It is one of the mechanisms of the EU for supporting its external policies. The DCI was created by combining different geographic and thematic mechanisms of EU development aid over the years in a unified financial instrument. It applies to all developing countries of Latin America, Asia and Middle East included in the list of aid recipients of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD/DAC). The first financial perspective of the DCI functioning covered a 7-year period from 2007 to 2013.
The primary objective of the development cooperation within DCI is the reduction and, in the long term, the eradication of poverty. The DCI also contributes to fostering sustainable economic, social and environmental development towards faster integration of developing countries into the world economy. Another important prerequisite for cooperation is to consolidate and support democracy, the rule of law, good governance, human rights and the relevant principles of international law.
According to the new regulation of the European Parliament and the Council 233/2014 from 11 March 2014 the EU development aid will be implemented through geographic, thematic and pan-African programme that will complement the existing EU actions addressed to the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) and support the strategic partnership between Africa and the EU.
Among all the financing instruments of the EU external actions, the DCI has the largest financial envelope for the period 2014-2020. Its budget has risen to €19.7 billion in comparison to €16.9 billion in the previous financial framework. The possibility of using the differentiated approach towards each partner and setting up the eligibility criteria for grant-based bilateral aid, which allows the EU to adapt to the developing country’s needs, are the most significant changes.
Programming, implementation and monitoring of programs and projects under the DCI is coordinated by the European Commission in association with the DCI Committee. DCI Committee operates according to the management procedure in the framework of the “comitology” and decisions are making, as well as the EU Council, by a qualified majority using the weighted votes (QMV).
 With the exception of the signatories to the Partnership Agreement between the ACP and the EU (excluding South Africa) or those eligible to receive funds from the European Development Fund, the European Neighbourhood Instrument and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance.