Pupils playing outside a school in Haiti built with EU funds  

Europe’s economy might not be running at full throttle, but that doesn’t mean it has forgotten about others. The EU is still the world’s largest aid donor and according to a 2012 Eurobarometer survey, 85% of Europeans believe Europe should continue to help developing countries. Next year will be the European Year for Development, to celebrate what has already been achieved and seek what still needs to be done. The development committee will discuss the theme year today.

The motto of the European Year for Development in 2015 will be “Our world, our dignity, our future”. In a resolution on the year adopted in April 2014, MEPs stated: “Continued support for development cooperation is vital in a rapidly changing world. Around 1,3 billion people still live in extreme income poverty and the human development needs of many more are still not being met.”

Development committee members also stressed the importance of development. Committee chair Linda McAvan, a UK member of the S&D, said: "The European Year for Development is an important chance to engage citizens in the work of the EU institutions in development policy. The Parliament played a key role in creating the year and so it is vital that we actively engage throughout 2015 across our whole European Union. Our planned activities will ensure we work in cooperation with national European Parliament offices, the European Commission, civil society and other stakeholders to ensure it is visible as widely as possible."


Charles Goerens, a Luxembourgish member of the ALDE group who wrote the EP resolution that was adopted in April, said: "If politics is about choice, development policy is about dignity."

To follow the discussion live, click on the link on the right.

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