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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Details emerge on “European Year for Development 2015”

The European Union is launching the “European Year for Development 2015” with some details emerging during a public event held in Brussels yesterday (9 November). The European Year for Development 2015 is the first year designated to such a global theme, since European years have been designated from 1983 up to now. The initiative originated in Latvia. The European Year for Development 2015 will take place in Riga on 8 January, as part of the events marking the beginning of the first Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The second half of the European Year for Development will be during the Luxembourg presidency. Seamus Jefferson, Director of CONCORD Europe, the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development who was instrumental for the launch of the “European Year for Development 2015”, called the coming year “seminal” in terms of expected events and decisions.

He mentioned the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December, as well as the expected decisions concerning the post-2015 development agenda. But 2015 is also the year of expiry of the Millennium Development Goals, with many European Union states falling off track on anti-poverty aid targets. Commission representatives, communication experts, as well as figures from the NGO and business sector all agreed that the European Year for Development 2015 should provide an opportunity to reach out to a wider public regarding the importance of the development agenda. Possible new alliances are being sought with youth and women's organisations, local authorities, and unions. A study made by Weber-Shandwick highlighted the fact that a new “swing” audience could be reached, especially if messages are better thought. As an example, Julian Lambertin, head of Strategy, said that “self-reliance” or “empowering women” worked better than goals such as “ending poverty”, which act like trigger for sceptics.

Source: euractiv.com