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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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

Putting people at the heart of our joint vision

October 25th, 2013
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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

Commissioner Piebalgs response to NGO Report on aid efficiency

October 17th, 2013
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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

Commissioner Piebalgs welcomes EP support to EU-Mauritania fisheries partnership

October 8th, 2013
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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 DRC

October 1st, 2013
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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