In keeping with a resolution passed at the EMI Federal Assembly 2014 (FA-2014-013 – Resolution on the European Year of Development 2015), the European Movement International has asked its various member organisations to engage with the monthly themes of the EYD2015 to showcase how they are actively working in these different areas.
The European Year for Development aims to inform European citizens about the EU’s and the Member States’ development cooperation, foster direct involvement and genuine interest in global challenges amongst diverse stakeholders, and raise awareness about the mutual benefits of development cooperation, both for the EU and for the countries targeted.
If you represent a member organisation of the EMI and would like to write a short blog piece on one of the upcoming EYD15 themes, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
January – “Europe in the world”
One cannot deny that European armed forces went through fundamental changes in the past decades. After the Cold War, several governments reformed their armed forces, justified by the change of the geopolitical situation. More.
February – “Education”
We have great ambitions, impressive ideas and high hopes for the future. Yet, our societies are facing some significant challenges, which are putting extra pressure on our new generation. This is reflected by the spectacular numbers of young people outside employment, education or training – 7 million. More.
The Erasmus Student Network’s motto (ESN) is “students helping students”. Since its creation in 1989, ESN has held the conviction that the presence of international students enriches society: ESN sees diversity as a chance. More.
March – “Women and Girls”
Although half of Europe’s population is women, politics does not reflect this and women are still underrepresented in decision making process at all levels. The ALDE Party Gender Equality Network empowers and trains women to become active members of liberal political parties across Europe and shows men how they can support these women. More.
Let’s face it, as a human being we can’t do everything! There are simply too many things to do and too little time. Sadly, this also rings true in our approach to politics, with many of us, especially women, not engaging in EU discussions. More.
April – “Health”
2015 is an important year in the fight for women’s rights. It marks 20 years since women around the world celebrated the Beijing Platform for Action at the United Nations’ ‘Fourth World Conference’. Yet, 20 years after Beijing, as the UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said at the opening of Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York on 9 March, not a single country around the world has achieved gender equality. More.
Health is a cornerstone of human development, at all times and in all places. Investing in health enhances economic, social and educational development, increases productivity, active participation and general well-being, and reduces costs for treatment and healthcare. More.
May – “Peace and Security”
The forthcoming UK general election on May 7th 2015 has led to increased discussion of a potential UK exit from the EU. If this were to occur, it could severely impact peace, prosperity and security in Northern Ireland, which would, in turn, affect the Republic of Ireland. More.
The European Union maintains great attractiveness to its immediate neighbours. Ukrainians are the latest people striving to join this community of democracy and prosperity. Bearing in mind that 2015 is also the European Year for Development, cooperation on the part of the EU and its member states to help Ukraine develop would bring mutual benefits. More.
June – “Sustainable green growth, decent jobs and businesses”
International trade is believed to exacerbate inequalities between Western countries and emerging countries. Some would argue that the world economy is dominated by transnational corporations which seek to maximise profits without any regards for the development needs of local populations. More.
From the moment the ‘LuxLeaks scandal’ gained the attention of the media last year, the continued prevalence of tax evasion and dubious tax avoidance schemes by big transnational firms such as McDonald’s or Amazon has triggered a veritable anti-tax fraud politicking in the EU. More.
July – “Children and youth”
Education about Europe in schools often takes the form of numbers, dates and facts. No wonder, then, that enthusiasm for the European project often does not reach children and young people. The European Competition has a completely different approach. More.
At the June 2015 Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP), former Scottish First Minister and current MP Alex Salmond was invited to speak to MSYPs. In his speech, among other things, he made a very convincing point about the Votes at 16 debate. It was over. More.
August – “Humanitarian aid”
When natural disasters hit, the people affected are in need of immediate and swift help. States have developed protocols and services to respond first; however sometimes not even good planning can anticipate the scales of some natural disasters, nor the area or number of people affected. More.
The Syrian crisis has had unprecedented social and economic impacts on host countries in the region, affecting their stability and exacerbating pre-existing vulnerabilities, and there is all the reason to expect that the humanitarian crisis will continue to deteriorate. More.
September – “Demography and migration”
The new millennium has brought unprecedented changes to society. Technology allows us to travel faster, we can communicate easily with someone on a different continent, and the possibilities to expand our activities internationally are more accessible through study or work abroad programs. The fact that the planet’s population grows along with the ease of mobility results in a migration rate that is higher than ever before. One could say that the world has grown smaller in our times. More.
Do you know about the origins of the church bells ringing at noon in most European countries? Well, in Hungary, this is among the easiest questions one can ask. Even young children know by heart: the ringing of the church bells at noon commemorates the 1456 victory of the Hungarian army against the Islamic-Ottoman troops in Belgrade that stopped their European advancement for several decades. More.
October – “Food security”
Food insecurity and malnutrition are truly global problems, however they require local, tailor made solutions, designed and developed in a transparent, democratic and participatory way, with local constituencies. More.
As the world’s largest agricultural exporter – ahead of the USA, Brazil, China and Canada – and its largest agricultural importer – ahead of the United States, China, Japan and Russia – the EU bears a twofold and growing responsibility for worldwide nutrition and food security. More.
November – “Sustainable development and climate action”
Two single statistics are enough to see why Europe’s towns and regions, development issues and climate change are closely intertwined. First, by 2050 two humans in three will be living in towns or cities. Second, in the future most of the causes of climate change will come from the developing world. More.
The European Union imports more that 80% of the energy it uses. Be it coal, gas or petrol, the EU is dependent on external providers, namely Russia, Norway, South Africa, Colombia or the United States. The quasi-total dependence of its most Eastern member States on Russia leads to political tensions and sometimes to the disruption of supply. More.
December – “Human rights and governance”
Democracy in Europe is increasingly under pressure. A fundamental disconnect between citizens and the European Union is threatening the legitimacy of the EU institutions, plummeting the public’s trust in EU governance, and risks bolstering populist, anti-European sentiments right across Europe. More.
ALDA – the European Association for Local Democracy – is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the promotion of good governance and citizen participation at the local level, focusing in particular on activities that facilitate cooperation between local authorities and civil society. More.