Next year, 2015, will be the European Year for Development.

01/11/2014 at 9:01 am Leave a comment


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Since the early 1980s, the European Union has been designating thematic European Years, to highlight specific issues of relevance. But few of these Years have lived up to their potential, as they have not been resourced and have focused unduly on high level conferences for specialists and policy makers.

2015 will be different. We intend to use the European Year for Development to encourage people in Ireland to take action, and to think of themselves as change makers.

Years of austerity in Ireland and sheer endless crises abroad have left the public in Ireland often feeling helpless. Yet there are hundreds of thousands of people who donate, volunteer and campaign for a better world, on a daily basis. We believe 2015 is the year to celebrate the power of ordinary people to make a real difference. This is not going to be a European Year of Conferences. It is going to be a Year of citizen action for a better world. A Year that honours and encourages people standing up for what is right.

The European Year for Development aims to change the way people in Ireland think about, talk about, and act on global issues.

We hope that, by the end of the Year, we have increased the number of people who feel that they do have a degree of influence on global issues. We hope to have encouraged people to recognise their potential as change makers, and to have dented the feelings of powerless that people experience when it comes to global issues.


Key Messages:

  • You can make a change.
    We are all global citizens. Our lives in Ireland are inextricably linked to those of everyone else on the planet. The choices we make on a daily basis have a direct impact on people around the world.
  • Every day, around the world, ordinary people are making an impact.
    They may not be making headlines, but citizens’ initiatives around the world are achieving remarkable successes. Let yourself be inspired by their examples. “People power” does work.
  • ‘Development’ is not just about overseas aid.
    It is not about “what we give” but about “how we live”. It is about creating a change in people’s lives, and there are many ways in which you can do this. The breadth of global issues is such that there is scope for myriads of initiatives. Together, we can shape “Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future”.
  • Global challenges need global answers. The world is facing big choices. Globalisation means that local problems often have global causes, and vice versa. International cooperation is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
  • 2015 a pivotal year, and you can help shape it.
    Ireland, and the world, are at a turning point. During the year, the UN is hosting a number of high level summit meetings, to formulate new approaches to how we live, work and interact with the planet. These events provide us with an opportunity to reflect and reshape our priorities, and to re-think our place in the world.

Feeling inspired?
Who or what inspires you to help make this world a better place?
Let us know, and we can add your voice to the growing group of people who are getting inspired to get up, stand up, and take action for a better world.

Eva from Stillorgan admires Malala. Have a listen (1 min.)

Why Dóchas?

Dochas is a network. A meeting place of organisations committed to tackling poverty and inequality around the world. Dóchas has been chosen to coordinate the Irish action plan for the European Year of Development. As a membership organisation of over 60 Development NGOs, Dóchas is uniquely placed to mobilise people across Ireland, and provide inspirational examples of citizen action for a better world.




Events marking the European Year for Development:


  • Opening conference, with President Michael D. Higgins (22 Jan) – Dublin
  • Young Scientist Awards (Jan) – Dublin
  • Women’s Day events (March) – Dublin
  • Europe Day (May) – Dublin
  • Africa Day (May) – Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway
  • SARI Soccer Fest (Sept.) – Dublin
  • JFK Summer School (Sept.) – New Ross, Co. Wexford
  • World’s Best News action day (Sept.) – Dublin, Cork, Galway
  • One World Week (November) – nationwide
  • The Wheel’s Citizen’s Dialogue process – nationwide
  • The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative – nationwide

EU wide:

  • Opening conference (9 Jan) – Latvia
  • Gender and Development (2 March) – Latvia
  • European Development Days (10-11 June), Brussels
  • Kapuscinski Development Lectures – in 28 member states
  • Thematic conferences at the Info Point – Brussels
  • EU Expo (May) – Milan, Italy
  • Closing event (December) – Luxembourg

Entry filed under: Government, MDGs. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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