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IP/10/568

Brussels, 12 May 2010

Visit of Commissioner Piebalgs in Poland to promote development policy

On 17 May, European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs will pay his first visit to Poland, in Warsaw. He will launch the second series of the "Kapuściński Lectures", designed to raise awareness on development cooperation. The EU Commissioner will also participate to a conference on Poland in the system of international development cooperation organised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He will hold bilateral meetings with Mr Radosław Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs and have exchanges with Members of the Parliament's and civil society to discuss Poland's role and contribution to EU development policy.

Ahead of the visit Commissioner Piebalgs said: "It is very important to value Poland's role and experience in EU efforts to have a more effective development policy and reach our aid commitments. We have only five years to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and Poland must play a significant role in EU Development policy. To accomplish this goal we also have to increase public awareness on development issues and engage NGOs and civil society."

The Conference organised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs will be an event to discuss the general framework of Poland's development cooperation.

In the afternoon at 15.00, the Kapuscinskilecture entitled "Solidarity - Made in Poland, exported by Europe. A new decade in the fight against poverty" will be delivered by the Commissioner at the University of Warsaw and will gather Government, NGO and civil society representatives. Commissioner Piebalgs will use this opportunity to present the European Commission's EU Action Plan to get back on track with the Millennium Development Goals. This event recognizes the role that recently emerged EU donors can play in helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by expanding their development cooperation and increasing aid to development countries.

Background

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland has been organising a number of international events related to development cooperation, and is in the process of consolidating and reforming the structure of its development cooperation.

The main objective of the Kapuściński Lectures is to raise awareness of development cooperation among students, NGOs and interested citizens. They are also useful build-up events to the European Development Days, the largest promotional event in the field of European and global development policy.

This series (Commissioner Piebalgs will deliver the last lecture of the first series) of Kapuściński Lectures was launched in October 2009, around the International Day for Eradication of Poverty, and took place at the most prestigious Universities in EU12. The second round of lectures on development cooperation will take place across Europe and will finish by July 2011.

The Kapuściński Lectures are named after Ryszard Kapuściński, a Polish journalist and writer, and form part of European Commission's "Development policy strategy for the EU12". The lectures are followed by open discussions with national and foreign experts on development.

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