On January 9th, the EU opens the European Year for Development
(EYD2015) in Riga. “2015 is a special year for development”, writes the EU on its website. “It is the first ever European Year to deal with the European Union's external action and Europe’s role in the world. For development organisations all over Europe it is an unparalleled opportunity to showcase Europe's commitment to eradicating poverty worldwide and to inspire more Europeans to get engaged and involved in development. 2015 is also the year in which the Millennium Development Goals that the world agreed to reach in 2000, and in which the international community will agree on the future global framework for poverty eradication and sustainable development.”
The EU says that the 2013 Eurobarometer gave a surprising insight into how EU citizens see development.
- “More than 80% believe that development aid is important and 60% actually think we should be giving more aid.
- Two-thirds believe that tackling poverty in developing countries should be one of the European Union’s main priorities.
- At the same time, 50% say they know nothing about where European Union aid goes.”
In 2015, the EU wants to explain to European citizens how EU development aid works and will demonstrate that it makes a real and lasting difference. “We will show taxpayers how their money is being put to the best possible use in empowering our fellow human beings around the world who are mired in poverty through no fault of their own to make a living for themselves, their families and their communities”, writes the EU.
“During the year we will shine the spotlight on people in our partner countries and highlight work in the field. Also, in a fast-changing world, the lines between the developing and developed worlds have become increasingly blurred. Some former developing countries have become emerging donors, while others remain trapped in poverty. Meanwhile, new sources of finance and new development partners have come forward. The development landscape has seen the traditional donor-recipient relationship give way to a world of cooperation, mutual responsibility and mutual interest. Helping developing countries worldwide to build peaceful and prosperous societies is not just about fairness. It will also make for a safer world with more economic and trading potential for Europe, too.”
The EYD2015 will have a thematic focus each month (education in February). Also in Belgium a lot of activities will take place on these development themes.