The European Parliament website has launched a monthly "guest photographer" contest, which will focus on the monthly themes of the European Year for Development 2015. Each month the best photos will be showcased on Parliament's social media pages where everyone can vote for their favourite. The most liked photo overall will be awarded the public prize, next to the best photo chosen by a jury. The two winners will be invited to Parliament's plenary session in November 2015. The theme for the month of January is "Europe in the World"; the deadline for submitting photos for this theme is 31 January. The theme for February is "Education".
2015 is the European Year for Development, and a high-level meeting kicked off the year in Riga where EU institutions, Member States, and civil society representatives met to formulate expectations for an important cross road for development cooperation globally. The Chair of Parliament's Committee on Development, Linda McAvan, along with the President of the European Commission, the Latvian Prime Minister and the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, were among the first to address the auditorium in Latvia's National Library in the morning of 9 January in Latvia, Riga.
In her speech, the Committee Chair outlined what should be achieved in the course of the year. She mentioned broader appreciation of the successes of development aid, broad public ownership of the future post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), concrete targets and strategies for the EU how to implement the SDGs, and concrete and tangible project to be launched during the year which show that the EU works to address people's concerns.
She underlined the need to address violence against women and stressed that "poverty will never be history unless we tackle climate change". She also praised NGOs for their contribution to development projects and in particular Latvian NGOs for having pushed for 2015 to become the European Year for Development.
You can watch the opening speeches via the links below.
The priorities of Latvia’s EU Council Presidency will be outlined to the various parliamentary committees by Latvian ministers in a series of meetings to be held during the last two weeks of January. (Read more)
Welcome to the website of the Committee on Development (DEVE). I have had the honour of being Chair of the committee since July 2014.
Nearly a billion people around the world live in extreme poverty. Many more face hunger and disease or have no access to healthcare or education. Yet global development efforts, under the framework of the Millennium Development Goals, have led to measurable progress, and we have seen millions being lifted out of poverty in recent years. At the same time however, we are also see growing inequalities and need to find ways to make economic growth more beneficial for a greater number of people.
The EU’s contribution to supporting development is vital and parliamentary support and scrutiny is an important element. Our committee participates in deciding the budget for EU aid spending, we keep a close watch on the European Commission, External Action Service and all those using EU aid funds, and we push for better coordination between donor countries and agencies. We participate in making the laws that frame EU development aid. We also meet with officials, stakeholders and experts from around the world to discuss solutions and hear what's really needed on the ground. I invite you to regularly check the news and announcements, consult meeting documents or even watch our committee meetings live as they happen.