The 11th edition of European Development Days opens tomorrow, 7 June, with a specific focus on investing in development.
Europe’s leading forum on international cooperation and development promises to be the biggest ever with some 7,000 participants expected. The event’s debates, panels, and special events will provide insights into the most pressing development challenges facing the world, and various approaches to dealing with these challenges.
On this occasion, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker stressed: “Europe is the smallest continent, but it is also the richest. And as the richest, we have to help others not so fortunate in the lottery of birth to catch up. Development aid is a word of the past. It is about partnership, not aid. And it is time we invested more in that partnership.”
A key moment of the European Development Days will be the signature of the European Consensus on Development, a strategic document, outlining the future of European development policy. For the first time, the Consensus will apply in its entirety to all EU Institutions and all Member States, who are committed to work more closely together.
Neven Mimica, Commissioner in charge of International Cooperation and Development commented: The European Union is not only the biggest contributor to global development – we also strive to be the best at it. With the new Consensus on Development that will be signed at the beginning of the European Development Days, we are aligning our action on European level to the internationally agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and we are committed to work even more closely together. This way, we want to make a giant leap forward towards the eradication of poverty and truly achieve sustainable development everywhere on this planet”.
During the European Development Days, discussions will bring together Heads of State or Government, business leaders and stakeholders to debate and share new insights into sustainability, inclusivity, peace and prosperity, focusing on the roles of youth, women and the private sector in development cooperation.
Among the high level speakers of the event are Her Majesty Mathilde, Queen of the Belgians, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. From the European Commission, the debate will be joined by President Jean-Claude Juncker, together with High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini, Vice President Andrus Ansip, as well as Commissioners Neven Mimica, Margrethe Vestager, Vytenis Andriukaitis, and Tibor Navracsics.
In parallel, this year’s EU-African Business Forum will be held on 7 June, focussing on the key theme “Investing in job creation”. Sixteen bright and talented Young Leaders from around the world will join panels with policy makers and world leaders to share their own ideas and experiences. Furthermore, the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize will award outstanding journalists in the fields of development and poverty eradication around the world. A web release presenting the winners will be published on 7 June at 19:30.
A full cultural programme featuring international artists, musicians and filmmakers will complement the event, while the Global Village, with 76 stands, will bring together international stakeholders to share projects.
Compliments of the European Commission