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
Today I had the pleasure of attending the Joint Africa-EU Civil Society Forum and speaking to the participants. Civil society organisations (CSOs) form an essential part of any truly democratic system. As defenders of and watchdogs for pluralism, inclusive policy-making, people’s concerns and participatory democracy, they have a crucial role to play. Read the full entry
I welcome today’s report by Concord Aidwatch on financing for development and aid effectiveness.
It points out relevant facts that I agree with, mostly the need for the EU and its Member States to make substantial efforts to reach the collective target of spending the equivalent of 0.7% of Gross National Income on development aid by 2015. If the EU wants to address the problem of development, it needs to deliver on its promise, despite the economic downturn. We must protect these lifesaving efforts. Cuts must not cost lives. Read the full entry
I am glad to see the European Parliament’s wide support to the EU-Mauritania fisheries partnership agreement.
Today’s vote is a clear example of how different European policies can serve together to achieve the same purpose, which is what we pursue with the so-called ‘Policy Coherence for Development’ (PCD).
From today’s vote, EU’s commitment to coordinate both development and fisheries policies to foster results in our fight against poverty is clear, since it includes concrete measures to increase Mauritanian people’s food security and provide them with more job opportunities.
Statement by EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on ECA report on EU support for governance in DRCOctober 1st, 2013
I welcome today’s report from the Court of Auditors on the EU support to governance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). I am glad to see that the Court acknowledges that the Commission’s work is part of a sound cooperation strategy that addresses the main needs of the country.
Development cooperation in the DRC is taking place under extremely difficult conditions; the Court has recognised the “serious obstacles” we face in trying to improve governance in the country and these challenges need to be taken into consideration when looking at our achievements. In this context, I believe that EU development cooperation has a positive impact on the governance sector in DRC. Let’s not forget that as late as in the year 2003 the country had no functioning administration and the work of the EU and its partners in many ways started from zero.
While the Court’s report covers several projects which are at an early stage of implementation, I consider it premature to draw conclusions regarding their results at this point. The Commission has taken good note of the risks highlighted by the Court. Read the full entry
Today CONCORD published its Spotlight Report on EU Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). Let’s start by clarifying what PCD means: A lot of what the EU and its Member States do in areas such as trade, agriculture, climate change or migration, to name just a few, interlinks with development and our goal of overcoming poverty worldwide. Therefore, all involved policies should be well coordinated to foster results and synergies. I am glad to see that the authors applaud the EU for being the only region worldwide that has made PCD a binding concept across all policies and that they acknowledge the progress we have made in this area.
The report equally raises some critical points, some of which I fully welcome as well. We have, after all, some common goals and views: ensuring that development objectives are taken into account by other EU policies, and stressing the importance of combating illicit financial flows (IFF) for sustainable growth and poverty reduction. Read the full entry
In the run-up to European Development Days 2013 - Europe’s premier forum on development, poverty eradication and sustainable development – we want you to have your say!
This weekend we commemorate the International Literacy Day (8 September) proclaimed by UNESCO. As we come closer to the target date to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, it becomes clear that literacy has been a neglected area within the framework of global goals.
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said that “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope”. Currently, millions of people do not have access to that bridge, as more than 775 million adults are illiterate (lacking basic reading and writing skills) worldwide; and two thirds of them are women. This figure has not changed much in the last 20 years, and as you may be very well aware of, it’s not only an issue in developing countries. One in five European 15-year-olds lack the literacy skills required to successfully function in a modern society. Read the full entry
While in Bolivia last week, I heard the following quote from one of the EU projects’ beneficiaries: “We should not exploit the Earth; we should help it give birth to life”. I have to admit that this is an idea of sustainable development with which I can relate.
During my stay in the country, I have had the opportunity to witness some of Bolivian’s deeply-rooted traditions, lying on an incredibly rich and diverse ethnic landscape.
For instance, in the context of the inauguration of the new headquarters of the EU Delegation in La Paz, we attended a Challa, which is a ceremony of blessing symbolising the act of feeding and watering the earth. Read the full entry
Time has come to stop for a minute. In our busy, daily routines we are often more worried about what comes next than about reflecting on what we have achieved. But we need to know what we accomplished to make sure we’re doing the right things, and that we’re doing them right.
And here’s the thing, we are. I was taking a look at the Annual Report 2013, which takes stock of Development’ activities from the previous year (2012) and was published this week, and found some reassuring and interesting facts.
Despite economic crisis all over Europe, the EU as a whole remained the world’s largest donor of Official Development Assistance in 2012. European taxpayers can rest assured that their money is going to where it’s most needed, to get the maximum results. This is the principle behind the Agenda for Change, which received EU Member States support in May last year and it’s currently being implemented. Read the full entry