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European Commission - Press release

European Development Days in Warsaw to foster the link between democracy, human rights and fight against poverty

Brussels, 14 December 2011 - The European Development Days (EDDs), one of the key events in the international development community, will take place tomorrow in Warsaw. Jointly organised by the European Commission and the Polish Presidency, this year's EDDs will focus on the recent Arab Spring events, and will include a keynote speech by the Interim Prime Minister of Tunisia, H.E. Beji Caid el Sebsi.

Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, today said: "This year’s European Development Days event comes almost one year after the protests in Tunisia led to what is now known as the Arab Spring. This year's European Development Days will be a key opportunity for donors, stakeholders and the private sector to come together to take stock of what has been achieved. Democracy and human rights will form a central part of our vision for EU development policy going forward and this event will help us to shape this agenda and put it into practice".

VIP guests

European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso; Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs; and Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva will all attend the two-day event. The Polish President, Bronisław Komorowski, will take part in the opening ceremony.

The event will also include appearances from an impressive list of high profile speakers from the international community; including the President of Niger, H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou, Dr Garry Conille, Prime Minister of Haiti, H.E. Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia, and Lach Walesa, Nobel Laureate.

Key topics of EDDs

As well as looking at this year's Arab Spring events, the EDDs will also be an opportunity to discuss the European Commission's own Agenda for Change; a commitment to focus more on good governance and human rights as well as concentrate on the poorest countries, in order to make sure that its aid continues to reach those who need it most.

The fact that this year's event is taking place in Warsaw is particularly pertinent. The key theme of European Development Days will be the link between development and democracy. Organized for the first time in a country from Central and Eastern Europe and in the context of the ongoing political changes in the Arab World, the 2011 edition will bring together key players from both regions. This will be an opportunity to discuss the transition experience of Poland (and other Central and Eastern Europe countries) and explore the ways to best use this knowledge in different political environments, such as Arab Countries.


The European Development Days were launched in 2006 as an opportunity for key partners to come together to talk about how to make aid more effective and how to build on European development cooperation. The five previous editions have featured 36 Heads of State, 60 Heads of Government or ministers and seven Nobel Prize winners. The last edition in 2010 in Brussels attracted a total of 5000 participants.


You will be able to watch the event online while it takes place or choose particular panels and speeches. Photos and videos will also be available for download and the website will also include a quote service. You can follow the event at

For more information:

European Development Days website:

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

Contacts :

Catherine Ray (+32 2 296 99 21)

Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)

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