2015 was a special year for development. It was the first ever European Year to deal with the European Union's external action and Europe’s role in the world.
For development organisations all over Europe it was an unparalleled opportunity to showcase Europe's commitment to eradicating poverty worldwide and to inspire more Europeans to get engaged and involved in development.
2015 was also the year in which the Millennium Development Goals that the world agreed to reach in 2000, and in which the international community agreed on the future global framework for poverty eradication and sustainable development.
The 2013 Eurobarometer gave a surprising insight into how EU citizens see development. - More than 80 % believe that development aid is important, and 60 % actually think we should be giving more aid; - Two-thirds believe that tackling poverty in developing countries should be one of the European Union’s main priorities. - At the same time, 50 % say they know nothing about where European Union aid goes.
In 2015 the EU did its utmost to explain to European citizens how EU development aid works and to demonstrate that it makes a real and lasting difference. Taxpayers were be shown how their money is being put to the best possible use in empowering their fellow human beings around the world who are mired in poverty through no fault of their own to make a living for themselves, their families and their communities.
The 2015 Eurobarometer showed an increase in number of people believing that development aid is important (89%)and in the awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (36%).
During the year, the spotlight was shone on people in the EU partner countries as well as the work in the field.
Also, in a fast-changing world, the lines between the developing and developed worlds have become increasingly blurred. Some former developing countries have become emerging donors, while others remain trapped in poverty. Meanwhile, new sources of finance and new development partners have come forward.
The development landscape has seen the traditional donor-recipient relationship give way to a world of cooperation, mutual responsibility and mutual interest. Helping developing countries worldwide to build peaceful and prosperous societies is not just about fairness. It is also about making a safer world with more economic and trading potential for Europe. Visit the EYD2015 website: europa.eu/eyd2015