What are the priorities for the EYD 2015? Why these ones?
Next year, the Commission (DG DEVCO) will organise a European Year for Development 2015 (EYD2015).
European Years have been organised for the last 30 years to raise awareness of certain topics, encourage debate and change attitudes on specific EU policies. The main target group of European Years is the wider European audience.
The request came from the European Parliament and the European Economic Social Committee in 2012 and President Barroso formally approved the designation of 2015 as a European Year for Development. A co-decision procedure was chosen, and the EP and the Council were involved in setting up priorities at an early stage. This Decision was adopted in April 2014.
The main purpose of the EYD2015 is to inform and raise public awareness of the added value of European development cooperation in view of global interdependence and mutual interest and to promote direct engagement of European citizens.
2015 is collectively regarded as the right year to hold the EYD205 with the imminent deadline for meeting the Millennium Development Goals (or MDGs) and for their replacements to be agreed.
As the first ever European Year dealing with ‘external action’ of the EU, this will provide us with an unparalleled opportunity to engage with EU citizens, to showcase our strong commitment to eradicating extreme poverty worldwide and to inform them how every euro of support does make a difference in the lives of people in the world’s poorest countries.
The EP was one of the main initiators of the EYD2015 and has been instrumental in the concept of the European Year for Development. An inter-institutional Task Force was set up with MEPs Goerens (rapporteur), Berman and Boulland and representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee and Committees of the Regions, the Latvian Presidency 2015/Latvian civil society and CONCORD. Regular meetings have been held to support overall planning and implementation of the EYD2015 project with the Commission.
The EP has insisted throughout the process on there being a strong emphasis towards the dignity of every human being on this planet with no question of ignoring the more than 100 million poor people living in EU countries or of pitting them against the poor and destitute elsewhere whence the emphasis of dignity in the motto ('Our world, our dignity, our future').
The EP also regularly stressed the fact that as the world's largest donor of development assistance, a European Year needs to focus on result orientation, include Policy Coherence for Development, address especially young people, has to be included in national educational systems, include a wide range of stakeholders at national, regional and local level and be careful regarding diverging perceptions of communications on EU aid in different EU MS.