European Year of Development 2015

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Our world, our dignity, our future

The EU is the world’s most important donor providing over half of global official development assistance, but Europeans are not really aware of how it works. The European Year of Development 2015 aims at increasing this awareness, providing a unique opportunity to engage with EU citizens, and show the EU’s commitment to eradicating poverty worldwide. For this purpose the EYD2015 website has been created.

15 things you may not know about EU development cooperation in 2015

  1. EU aid focuses on the countries which need it most;
  2. The EU is helping to improve the lives of millions;
  3. EU aid is transparent and it is easy to find out where the money goes;
  4. To prevent fraud and corruption, EU aid is regularly audited and controlled;
  5. The EU and its Member States together are the most generous donors of official development aid in the world;
  6. Developing countries have a strong say in how EU aid is spent, what will be done and where;
  7. The EU relies on organisations with the right experience to carry out its development projects on the ground;
  8. The EU involves civil society organisations when it plans its cooperation with partner countries;
  9. About 25% of EU aid is given directly to governments so they can do their work, following priorities that they define themselves, in close dialogue with the EU;
  10. The EU has 139 delegations and offices across the world, more than any EU member state. At the same time its external aid equals less than a tenth of its budget;
  11. In many countries the EU and its Member States combine their development efforts to ensure that we work more hand in hand and don’t do the same thing twice;
  12. The EU works hard to ensure that its work in areas such as trade and finance, agriculture, security, climate change, or migration helps overcome poverty in developing countries;
  13. EU humanitarian aid and development cooperation are different but work hand in hand;
  14. The world has managed to reduce the share of extremely poor people by more than half since 1990;
  15. Europeans believe that we have a responsibility to help people in poor countries, and many are ready to play their part in this.

The European Documentation Centre holds several publications regarding the European Year of Development, including the following:

From A to ZFar from frozenEuropean report on developmentDevelopment and cooperation European consensusAction on health inequalities






  • Find out more on EU publications and documents at the European Documentation Centre pages.
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