European Year For Development


The story

As the European Year for Development is launched, Labour MEPs are vowing to pressure the European Commission and national governments to deliver ambitious commitments to end extreme poverty at a crucial UN summit later this year.



The EU is a crucial player in the fight against global poverty and inequality and has declared 2015 as the European Year for Development. Labour MEPs are vowing to use their parliamentary muscle to put pressure on the European Commission and national governments to ensure that warm words on development are matched by ambitious commitments to end extreme poverty at a crucial UN summit in September.

The Millennium Development Goals, agreed through the UN in 2000, have played a crucial role in efforts to help the world’s poorest people lifting 700 million people out of extreme poverty and providing clean water to an extra 2.3 billion people.

But there is still a lot of work to do and, with the MDGs expiring this year, progress could be lost unless new ambitious targets are agreed by the international community in New York in September.

Plans are underway to agree a new set of Sustainable Development Goals at the summit, but if we are to achieve the aim of ending extreme poverty we need strong, ambitious goals, alongside commitments from developed countries to match Britain’s commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development spending.

The European Commission and European governments have significant negotiating strength and must use their influence to ensure that the September summit delivers a strong result.


Our Stance

We have launched the international campaign for Sustainable Development Goals, which will set targets for the eradication of extreme poverty and a life of dignity for all across the world.

As a Labour MEP, I am proud to be part of a team that is taking a lead on this vital issue.

  • More than one billion people still live in extreme poverty;
  • 800 million people suffer from extreme hunger;
  • 750 million people rely on unsafe drinking water;
  • nearly 60 million children are without full primary education;
  • 1.6 million people die every year from AIDS…

No more, no longer can this ongoing tragedy endure. By 2030, all these figures must be zero!

2015 is the European Year for Development, the year Europe needs to take the lead in global talks to set new goals for the elimination of poverty, in all its forms, all over the world, and as Labour MEPs we will be pushing hard for action.

Already, much has been achieved. Over the last 15 years we have seen the UN’s Millennium Development Goals make a concrete difference to the lives of millions of the poorest people on Earth. Millions have been lifted out of poverty and been protected from malaria; millions more children have gone to school; and more than two billion people gained access to clean water and sanitation.

There is, though, much more to be done, which is why we are pushing for action, for ambitious targets for the next 15 years.

The year 2015 presents an opportunity for European countries to discuss global development policies, and will redefine how the EU leads on global development framework. It is a vital year for international development policy, and a chance to galvanise public support. Development works, but there is still much more to be done.

You can read more about it in here:


Our Campaign

The EPLP will continue to keep the pressure up for a strong deal. Over the coming months it will highlight specific goals that we believe should form part of the final deal, including:

  • To end extreme hunger and malnutrition by 2030
  • To ensure all children, both boys and girls, receive a decent education
  • To end systematic violence against women and girls and empower women to play an equal role in their societies
  • To provide access to safe drinking water and sanitation for all by 2030


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