Proposal of 2015 as European Year for Development
The EU's proposal that 2015 should be the European Year of Development has been adopted by the Commission and will now be considered for adoption by the Council and European Parliament. 2015 will be a pivotal year for development; it is the last year for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the year in which the major decisions will be taken on what their replacements will look like.
The EU is the biggest donor of the official development assistance (ODA) in the world. Four years after the adoption of the Agenda for Change (the European Commission's blueprint to refocus its development aid to make sure that it reaches those sectors and countries which need it most), 2015 is the ideal time for donors and stakeholders to come together to look at what has been achieved so far, and most importantly, what still needs to be done. Despite the current economic downturn, support for development remains high across the EU, with some 85% of EU citizens saying that Europe should continue helping developing countries despite the economic crisis, according to a recent Eurobarometer survey.
The European Year of Development 2015 will be a key opportunity to raise awareness of development across Europe, and to show European taxpayers know that every euro spent on development benefits both people living in some of the world's poorest countries, and EU citizens themselves.