The idea for the European Year for Development (EYD) came from CONCORD. It was CONCORD that initiated, inspired and coordinated the lobbying of the relevant EU institutions to make it happen. Once the idea had been turned into a political reality, CONCORD had considerable – and substantial – input into shaping and preparing the year.
Recognizing CONCORD’s pivotal role in the genesis of this special year, the EU institutions lent it their support in this project and invited it to convene and coordinate the activities of a broad alliance of civil society actors, recognising them as a group of stakeholders that were essential to achieving the objectives of the European Year for Development.
This EYD Civil Society Alliance succeeded in mobilising hundreds of very different organisations – from the social sector, the humanitarian sector, the environmental sector, the fair-trade sector, local authorities, youth movements, women’s movements and many others – all of which felt that, in one way or another, there was something at stake for them in the European Year for Development. They all shared the belief that greater awareness and a stronger engagement of citizens across the EU were vital, in order to achieve their objectives and increase public ownership of development cooperation in the EU and its Member States.
As a tangible legacy of the partnership and cooperation between civil society organisations from many diverse sectors, and our year-long dialogue with and between citizens, we wish to anchor our involvement in this European Year in the following set of policy recommendations which we put to decision-makers around the world, in particular those within the European Union and its Member States.
These recommendations reflect the engagement of citizens, and their critical thinking, in the dialogue about development cooperation.