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Ashton signs European Consensus on Development

Catherine Ashton, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, signed on Thursday, 3 April the 'European Consensus on Development' in the presence of Parliament President Martin Schulz, Development Committee Chair Eva Joly and rapporteur Charles Goerens.
"The signature underscores that the EU's determination to eradicate poverty is as vital today, the last year for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, as it was when the Consensus was first signed at the end of 2005, before the creation of the EEAS", declared Schulz and Ashton jointly. 
In a resolution prepared by the Development committee and adopted in July 2012, Parliament had emphasised the need to preserve the "consensual character of all EU institutions regarding development cooperation" and had called on the High Representative "to add her signature to the European Consensus on Development, since the European External Action Service over which she presides has significant programming responsibilities" for development cooperation.

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New studies: 'ACP Countries on EPAs' and 'Mali: Economic Factors behind the Crisis'

The study on EPAs presents the current viewpoints of stakeholders in Africa and the Pacific about the on-going negotiations between the EU and ACP countries in order to conclude WTO-compatible Economic Partnership Agreements.
The study "Mali: Economic Factors behind the Crisis" commissioned by the DEVE Committee examines economic and social trends and policies in Mali prior to the recent crisis and assesses to what extent they have triggered or contributed to the crisis. Among those factors are vulnerability to climatic and price volatility
shocks, weak governance, widespread corruption and a growing criminal economy, as well as persistent structural weaknesses that have led to limited economic opportunities and rising unemployment in recent years.

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2015 will be the "European Year for Development"

2015 will be designated the 'European Year for Development', following a plenary vote on 2 April in which the EP plenary overwhelmingly approved the legal act which had been negotiated over the past few months. The motto of the European Year will be "Our world, our dignity, our future", thus underscoring that human aspiration and the right to a "life in dignity does not stop at the borders of our continent", explained MEP Charles Goerens, Parliament's rapporteur.
The Council adopted the Decision on 14 April as voted by Parliament. On 16 April the legal act was signed into law by the Presidents of Parliament and Council.  
According to the Decision adopted by Parliament, the European Year for Development shall foster the direct involvement, critical thinking and active interest of citizens in development cooperation and help "explain why it is important that Europe contributes to eradicating poverty" beyond its borders, said Goerens. Development Committee Chair Eva Joly recalled that 2015 will be the year in which the world 'takes stock of the achievements and failures of the Millennium Development Goals' and decides on the future development agenda.

Committee Meeting 7 April: Forced marriages, Sudan, Pacific and ECHO

Forced marriages of girls, EU development cooperation in the Pacific region and feedback on a recent visit of committee Members to Sudan were among the items on the agenda of the last DEVE meeting before the election recess. MEPs also heard about the role of the social economy for local development in Africa and exchanged with the Director General of the Commission's humanitarian aid department, DG ECHO.

“One of Us” Citizens’ Initiative – Public Hearing

On 10 April 2014, a public hearing was held in Brussels to allow for the presentation of the Citizens’ Initiative 'One of Us'. The initiative requests the prohibition of EU financing of activities which involve the destruction of human embryos, especially in the areas of research, development cooperation and public health.
The Treaty of Lisbon provides the possibility for one million EU citizens to request a legislative proposal from the European Commission and to present their case in a public hearing organised by the European Parliament.
The 'One of Us' hearing was organised jointly by the Committee on Development, the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, in association with the Committee on Petitions.

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PETI DEVE JURI ITRE 09-04-2014 - 15:13  

The “One of Us” European Citizens’ Initiative campaign to ban EU funding for activities that “presuppose the destruction of human embryos” will get a public hearing in the European Parliament on Thursday 10 April at 09.00. Its petition has been signed by 1.7 million EU citizens.

Presentation and competencies
Committee responsible for:
1.   the promotion, implementation and monitoring of the development and cooperation policy of the Union, notably:
(a)  political dialogue with developing countries, bilaterally and in the relevant international organisations and interparliamentary fora,
(b)  aid to, and cooperation agreements with, developing countries,
(c)  promotion of democratic values, good governance and human rights in developing countries;
2.   matters relating to the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement and relations with the relevant bodies;
3.   Parliament's involvement in election observation missions, when appropriate in cooperation with other relevant committees and delegations.
The committee coordinates the work of the interparliamentary delegations and ad hoc delegations falling within its remit.
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Welcome words

Hello and welcome. My name is Eva Joly. I am a Green MEP from France and I chair the European Parliament's development committee.
More than a billion people around the world live in extreme poverty. Many more face hunger and disease or have no access to healthcare or education. And, increasingly, people in poor countries face the devastating effects of climate change.
The citizens of Europe firmly believe that the EU has a duty to put a stop to poverty and suffering in a world where there is enough for everybody, if fairly shared. Most Europeans are, like me, proud that Europe gives more in development aid than anyone else — billions of euros every year.
It is my job — and the job of the members of the development committee — to make sure the EU does as much as it can to help those who need our help. And to make sure we are spending our money wisely overseas.
So what do we do? We help set the budget. We keep a close watch on the European Commission and everyone else who puts Europe's development policies and humanitarian aid into practice. And, together with EU member countries, we make the laws that frame our development activities.
We also meet frequently to discuss with politicians and experts from around the world about the situation on the ground and what's really needed. And when we can we go and see for ourselves, in places like Gaza, Haiti and Nepal.
You'll find lots more details on our site.