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Involvement of civil society in the EU development policy

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Saturday, 01 October 2005

Involvement of civil society in the EU development policy

Louis Michel advocates greater involvement of civil society in the EU development policy

Speaking before the European Economic and Social Committee during the adoption of a key opinion on the future development policy, Louis Michel, the Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, advocated greater involvement of the civil society. During his speech on the "New EU Development Policy" Mr. Michel presented the Commission's Communication on promoting greater cohesion and coordination between EU and EU Member States' policies to make the EU development policy more efficient. With input from ILO and other international organisations, the document highlights the consultative function and the promotion of the social dialogue, especially in policies of particular interest to the civil society such as social cohesion and decent work. Mr. Michel is counting on the EESC "to support us in this work and assist us through stronger dialogue with the partner countries, including the economic and social partners".

The future development policy – viewpoints of civil society
Mr. Michel than attended a discussion on the Committee's opinion set out in "The Future EU Development Policy - Viewpoints of the Civil Society" prepared by Mr. ZUFIAUR (Group II, Wage-earners, Spain). In this opinion, the Committee proposes that the EU development policy be given the same status as the security policy.Considering the world's current globalisation, promotion of the European social model should be a central pillar in the EU development policy. The Committee feels that the reduction of subsidies would contribute considerably to the reduction of poverty. The EESC recommends the inclusion of a social dimension in association agreements between the EU and the various countries.
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