Helping us helps them
A Eurobarometer survey published this week at the European Development Days on global cooperation and development, shows that 66% of European Union (EU) citizens believe tackling poverty in developing countries should be one of the main priorities of the EU In a statement, the European Union Delegation to Namibia said seven out of ten people who took part in the survey believe that helping developing countries was also good for the EU, benefiting its own citizens.
Over 27000 people in all 28 EU Member States were surveyed to test Europeans’ opinion on the future of cooperation, on their personal commitment to solidarity and what priorities they see for future development cooperation. Despite the economic crisis, more EU citizens are now willing to pay more for groceries and products that support developing countries (48% of respondents, which represents an increase of 4 percentage points since 2012). 83% of respondents, meanwhile, think that it is important to help people in developing countries and 61% are of the opinion that aid should be increased. Speaking at the EDD forum held from 26 to 27 November, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs said:
“I am very encouraged to see that EU citizens support global solidarity and believe that together we can make a real difference in overcoming poverty. Big challenges lie ahead of us, ensuring that we achieve the Millennium Development Goals and make poverty a thing of the past. For the way forward we all need to work together – the global community should agree on an ambitious joint agenda for the eradication of poverty and sustainable development. Today’s survey has a clear message: Europeans stand ready to play their role in this.” The event brought together Heads of State and Governments from Africa with EU institutions, EU ministers, representatives of UN institutions, civil society, academia and the private sector. Discussions focused on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the need for a strong European position in addressing global poverty and sustainable development after 2015. The European Development Days provided a unique opportunity for stakeholders, donors and key players in development to come together to contribute to the EU vision for development, post-2015.