Friday, September 30, 2011
European Development days will focus on democracy and dévelopment this year
The annual European Development days (EDDs) – have been launched today by the Polish Presidency, Under-Secretary of State, Krzysztof Stanowski and EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs. This year, the EDDs will focus on democracy and development in the wake of the recent Arab Spring events and the proposals of the European Commission for a new EU development policy. Speaking on a visit to Warsaw, Commissioner Piebalgs confirmed that the conference would take place in Warsaw from the 15th – 16th December. Now in their sixth year, the EDDs have become a key event on the international development calendar and a major political discussion forum which bring together current and former Heads of State and Government from Europe and many other parts of the world, especially from Africa, as well as academics, media and civil society. Speaking at the launch Commissioner Piebalgs said that the he events across North Africa this year have confirmed that economic and social development has to go hand in hand with democratic development. The European Development Days will be a key opportunity to bring together leading voices on development from across the world to feed the EU development agenda and improve our impact. This year Warsaw will host the event and the commissioner is looking forward to discuss Polish experiences in transition from authoritarian regime to democratic, free-market society. These lessons can be very fruitful elsewhere in the world. Minister Stanowski added that Poland is delighted to be hosting the European Development Days in Poland, the birth place of the Solidarity movement which kick-started the transformation process in Central and Eastern Europe over 22 years ago. The first edition of the EDDs in this part of Europe gives us the opportunity to encourage new actors to engage in discussion on the future of international development co-operation. Through this open forum it will be possible to debate many challenges facing the developing world and the whole international community these days. Polish President, Bronisław Komorowski, and Commission President, Jose-Manuel Barroso, will deliver a keynote speech at the opening of the two-day conference. They are expected to be joined by Radosław Sikorski, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland, and Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament. More high-profile speakers will be announced ahead of the event. Background: The European Development Days were launched in 2006 as an opportunity for key partners to come together to talk about how to make aid more effective and how to build on European development cooperation. The five previous editions have featured 36 Heads of State, 60 Heads of Government or ministers and 7 Nobel Prize winners. The last edition in 2010 in Brussels attracted a total of 5000 participants.
Source : European Commission - Press Room
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