Get involved!

European Year for Development officially launched in Germany

Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn at the launch event for the European Year for Development in Berlin

20.02.2015 |

Berlin – The European Year for Development will get off to its official German start this morning, when it will be launched in Berlin by Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn and Marcus Cornaro, the European Commission's Deputy Director General for Development and Cooperation. The event, with its motto "Our world, our dignity, our future", is appealing for a vibrant and packed European Year for Development and encouraging the general public to get involved.

Says Thomas Silberhorn, "Development policy relies on people's commitment and efforts. Policies and policy-makers provide the framework. But it is the people all across the world who are working towards development that bring those policies to life. And they do it in amazingly diverse ways – be it through fundraising in their club or association or by getting personally involved in projects in developing countries. 2015 is a very special year. We will be negotiating a new global contract for the future and the international community will be redefining its responsibilities and the way it works together. The European Year for Development is making a very practical contribution to that process."

Central to the European Year for Development is the online campaign "Get involved!", with associations, campaign groups and individuals being invited to post photographs of their activities and projects. The best entries will receive a prize. First prize is a trip to the European Development Days in Brussels in June.

A panel made up of representatives from politics and civil society will be discussing the question "Social and environmental standards, climate and food – what are we doing to help achieve the development goals?"

A number of projects being funded as part of the European Year aim to show how these questions are being tackled. Young people from the Saarland are producing a short film on environmental and social standards in the production of everyday objects. The city of Jena will be showing how it combines local and global activities in its role as a "fair town". And a competition for schools in Schleswig-Holstein is asking schoolkids to combine their footballing skills with development issues.

It was the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union that decided to declare 2015 the European Year for Development. The aim is to encourage all citizens of the European Union to find out about the development policies of the EU and its member states and to play an active part in shaping those policies.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has established a central point of contact for the European Year for Development at Engagement Global, its service organisation for development initiatives. The management unit for the European Year for Development provides interested members of the public with information and advice and puts them in touch with the relevant organisations.

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