At a meeting in Brussels on MDG Contracting held by civil society organisations with other stakeholders including the European Union on 3 July, EI joins in the call for long-term, predictable funding for the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).The call was made unanimously at the meeting organised by Oxfam Novib, in collaboration with EI, Social Watch, the Global Campaign for Education (GCE), Eurostep, Action for Global Health, Eurodad, Alliance 2015 and Europe External Policy Adivisors (EEPA). Participants included representatives of various civil society organisations, some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), representatives of European Union (EU) member states, the European Commission and other stakeholders. The participants agreed that the achievement of the MDGs depends, to a very large extent, on increased long-term, predictable funding. For this to happen, donor countries need to adopt MDG Contracting as a funding instrument and enter into long-term funding contracts (for a period of six years) with their partner countries. Currently, funding may be guaranteed only for a year to a maximum of three years. The benefits of long-term predictable funding are enormous for the partner countries. For example, in the case of education- and health-related MDGs, long-term, predictable funding would enable low-income countries to hire staff adequate for the job, such as fully-trained education and health personnel, knowing that they will be able to pay their salaries over a longer period of time. The European Commission is currently putting in place an instrument to ensure long-term, predictable funding. Bernard Petit, Deputy Director of the Directorate General for Development of the European Commission, explained that such an instrument would guarantee a minimum level of funding for General Budget Support (GBS) to meet recurrent expenditure such as teachers' salaries, for six years. The instrument will also have less conditionalities. To ensure that the partner countries are on track, the Commission will monitor the results every year. Speaking at the same meeting, EI Deputy General Secretary Elie Jouen stressed the importance of qualified teachers in the achievement of quality education: "In many low-income countries, the achievement of Education For All depends very much on the need to train and hire more qualified teachers. Long-term, predictable funding contracts with donor countries is a major step in the right direction." Elie Jouen also talked about how the abolition of school fees would increase access to education. EI was represented by Elie Jouen, Dennis Sinyolo Coordinator (Education and Employment) and Donatella Montaldo Professional Assistant (Child Labour).