Statement by Commissioner Piebalgs on the adoption of the 2014 Accountability Report on Financing for Development

July 3rd, 2014
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P024024003702-788739The EU Annual Accountability Report on Financing for Development has just been published, and it shows progress on a range of commitments. Financing played a key role in development: in 2013 and the EU and its Member States alone provided €56.5 billion to global efforts to overcome poverty, remaining the world’s most generous donor. Read the full entry

A battle worth the fight

June 18th, 2014
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From right to left:  Commissioner Piebalgs, Mr de Merode, Mr de Donnea (Belgian Minister of State), and a Commission high level public servant

From right to left:
Commissioner Piebalgs, Mr de Merode, Mr de Donnea (Belgian Minister of State), and a Commission high level public servant

Today I had a very enlightening meeting, the result of a long fight that we should be winning despite the odds. I have had the opportunity to meet personally with Emmanuel de Mérode, the director of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This park, declared as World Heritage by UNESCO, is one of the most extraordinary places in the world in terms of biodiversity and the variety of its landscapes. It is also a source of revenue and food for the population based around it. For instance, the Edouard Lake alone provides livelihood and food for 27,000 Congolese families. The European Union has supported its sustainable management since 1988. Read the full entry

An image is worth a thousand words – some say…

May 14th, 2014
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So, let me just add a few words here!

foto1 I recently had the privilege to visit some very remote islands in the Pacific, such as Samoa, in the picture, accompanying New Zealand Minister for Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully. There, we are jointly implementing different projects with a focus on renewable energy. Read the full entry

Girls kidnapping: This can’t be business as usual

May 7th, 2014
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Rating: 4.8/5 (5 votes cast)

bringBack.2jpgOne can only condemn again and again the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by the extremist group Boko Haram in Nigeria last month, and the fact that even more girls continued to be abducted afterwards, supposedly by the same group. This can’t be business as usual. Attacks on schools are never acceptable.

The video released this week with the leader of the extremist organisation, claiming that the militants intended to sell the girls, can only infuriate us even more.

In the video, it is even said that the girls should not have been in school in the first place, but rather should get married. Read the full entry

Making progress on TB – battle far from being won

March 24th, 2014
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TBToday, on World Tuberculosis (TB) Day I take the opportunity to put this issue in the spotlight. With modern antibiotics, TB is much less common in Europe nowadays than in the past, and usually treatable, if diagnosed in time, but in lower income countries it remains a deadly killer.

Globally, TB is a leading cause of death from an infectious disease worldwide, second only to AIDS. 1.3 million people die from it each year, and over 95 percent of those deaths occur in developing countries. It is also known as a disease of poverty, affecting mainly young adults in their most productive years. Read the full entry

Stepping-up the team work towards development objectives

January 22nd, 2014
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seminarCAThe European Union is often criticised for the difficulty it has in transforming its well-intended policies into action. In the past days, we have seen some concrete measures to prove that argument wrong. I am talking about increasing coherence between the different EU policies which interlink with development and with our goal of overcoming poverty worldwide; the so-called Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). Read the full entry

Statement by Commissioner Piebalgs on new report on EU Development assistance to Central Asia

January 14th, 2014
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img2407-medI welcome today’s report and recommendations by the European Court of Auditors about EU’s development cooperation with Central Asian countries. It’s gratifying to see that the Court considers the planning and allocation of our development support to be satisfactory, despite working in a politically challenging environment.

The report highlights as well that the priorities in EU spending are well aligned with national priorities and that differences in levels of prosperity among the various countries are well taken into account. This proves our efforts to have partner countries in the driving seat of their development paths, and to focus our aid to help those countries that need it most. Read the full entry

13 things well done in 2013

December 19th, 2013
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Rating: 3.9/5 (11 votes cast)

headlineEurobarometerAnother year has almost gone by. And it has certainly not been an easy one in the international scene, with the worsening of Syrian conflict, the Central African Republic outbreak and, unfortunately, many others that could be added to the list. The European Union’s development department,  EuropeAid, present all over the world, has continued to do its best to increase the wellbeing of the world’s most vulnerable people, reacting to crises, supporting stabilisation efforts, and proposing a number of initiatives to make poverty a story of the past. Read the full entry

EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT DAYS – Building a universal approach to a better future

December 9th, 2013
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How should Europe address global poverty and sustainable development post-2015? That is the question on the table of last week’s European Development Days in Brussels. There were two days of passionate and fruitful debates and, even though the discussions still have a long way to go, it was both inspiring and reassuring to see such a huge interest in the next development framework. After all, it is about making a better life possible, a decent life for all.

Representatives of developing and developed country governments, international agencies, NGOs and academia, colleagues from the European Union, all there together, confirmed the growing belief that development is an issue for every country, and every citizen; an agenda for the whole of humanity. Read the full entry

Winners of the Young voices against poverty video contest announced

November 15th, 2013
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Tulkojumu latviski skatiet zemāk

You may remember a recent post about the ‘Young Voices Against Poverty’ video contest, launched in the context of the European Development Days 2013,  which will take place this month (26-27 November) in Brussels. Well, we finally have the winners from amongst all the people aged 13 – 24 from all around the world who dared to raise their voice and express in a less than 2 minute video how they would fight poverty. Read the full entry