Thursday, 23 January 2014

The European Economic and Social Committee on the European Year of Development 2015

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the fact that the European Commission has responded to the joint initiative by civil society and the EESC to nominate 2015 as the European Year of Development.

The aim of the proposed European Year of Development (EYD) 2015 is to inform EU citizens about EU development cooperation, highlighting what the European Union can already achieve as the biggest aid donor in the world and how it could do even more with the combined strength of its Member States and its institutions. The European Year of Development will be the first European Year with a strong global and rights-based dimension.

The EESC calls on the EU institutions to do their utmost to reach the goals as stated by CONCORD: this Year is "a unique opportunity for a broad public discussion and meaningful civic engagement on the vision of Europe on Global Development, within Europe as well as for other continents, with its dimensions of Human Rights, environmental sustainability and social cohesion." Engaging and involving European citizens and civil society organisations and their partners throughout the world in development and in a political dialogue on global development and global justice is seen as the key to the success of the Year and development as such.

The EESC comments that CSOs play a key role not only in implementing development activities, but also in political processes and expresses its concern that at this stage only a very small percentage of the funding for the EYD is earmarked for civil society engagement and activities.

The EESC is providing an overview on the initiative to nominate 2015 as the European Year of Development and is gathering opinions how the Year could be designed. HAVE YOUR SAY!  

Find the full opinion here (section “Related documents”).

Source: CONCORD / European Economic and Social Committee


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