The European Year for Development – the road towards an engaged and active citizenship

European Year for Development

The year 2015 will comprise many high-level events whose conclusions will prove decisive for the sustainable future, namely the adoption of the new sustainable development agenda and the Paris Climate Conference, and has most fittingly been designated as the European Year for Development, a thematic year dedicated to the global pursuit of human dignity.  

PLATFORMA had the opportunity to participate in a stakeholder meeting, organized by the European Commission’ Directorate General for Development Cooperation, where it was made clear that the European Year for Development (EYD) will foremost put a spotlight on the values that we share as human beings and, under the motto our world, our dignity,our futurewill share the personal stories of those most touched by European development programmes.

As the European Commission presented the aims and aspirations of the year-long campaign, it was underlined that, by highlighting the EU’s achievements and efforts in the creation of lasting partnerships and in improving people’s chances of becoming self-resilient, the campaign will seek to positively change the way development cooperation is perceived by EU citizens.

The EYD will concretely focus on three objectives which aim to draw citizens into the development debate: inform EU citizens about development cooperation; foster their active involvement, engagement and interest; and raise awareness of the mutual benefits of development cooperation, both for partner countries and for citizens in Europe. For this purpose, the campaign will rally around the key message of “think global, act local” and on how a single person can make a difference.

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What local and regional governements will contribute to the EYD

This thematic year will above all support the work which is consistently carried out by cities, regions, provinces and municipalities and it is up to everyone to ensure that it resonates throughout the territories closest to the citizens as well as across the thousands of partnerships that local and regional governments maintain with their counterparts in partner countries.

The European Year for Development represents, moreover, a unique opportunity for all elected representatives to inform and discuss with their citizens about the intertwined global challenges and the critical actions that they undertake to tackle said challenges, for example through decentralised cooperation.

From January onwards stay tuned for news and updates on the PLATFORMA website and twitter account to participate and get inspiration from the campaign the network will carry out in the context of the EYD.

Key Milestones

Unlike other European Years, the EYD will be structured around thematic months which will eachpromote specific themes: Women and Girls (March), Humanitarian Aid (August), Sustainable Development and Climate Action (November), Human Rights and Governance (December) etc. In addition to coordinating the action of the EU and the stories, events and reports highlighted during each month, these themes represent an opportunity for all stakeholders active in each of the relevant fields to contribute to the EU-led narrative and achieve greater visibility.

Lastly, the meeting presented the occasion to highlight the events planned throughout 2015 and which will be key to the EYD campaign and to all stakeholders, most notably the launch of the EYD in Riga (Latvia) on the 9th of January, the Assisses of Decentralised Cooperation on the 1st and 2nd of June, the European Development Days on the 3rd and 4th of June, both in Brussels (Belgium), and the closing event of the EYD campaign - due to take place in Luxembourg the 8th of December.

Source: PLATFORMA