CONCORD welcomes the decision to make 2015 the official European Year for Development.

(Brussels, 3 April 2014) CONCORD welcomes the European Parliament’s vote, by overwhelming majority, to make 2015 the official European Year for Development.
Commenting was Marius Wanders, CONCORD Board member:
“The European Year for Development should not be only about aid – what Europe gives – but also about the consumption choices that we make as citizens that affect global development.
Having a European Year in 2015 for Development would be perfect timing. It’s the year when important global agreements to decide how to tackle global poverty will be negotiated. The next European year should aim to be an open public debate with citizens.”
• The European Year for Development 2015 would be the first designated to a global theme. European years have been designated since 1983.
• 2015 is the year of expiry of the Millennium Development Goals, with many European Union states falling off track on anti-poverty aid targets.
The 2015 European Year of Development is a CONCORD initiative that was taken up, supported and co-developed by the EESC, the European Parliament and by Mr. Barroso, the president of the European Commission.
For CONCORD, the European Year should aim to be:
• Inspiring: it should be a process in which all actors discuss and develop together a new thinking and new practice on development and develop a consensus on ‘what does global justice mean for Europe and its citizens?’.
• Participative: putting citizens and their views on global justice in the centre and making them the principal actors in the debate. This requires equal opportunity to voice their ideas and that of their organisations. It means going from ‘informing citizens to raise their awareness’ to a ‘joint discussion on their views of a just global development’.