Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Multi-Stakeholder Process on Development Education in Europe on the right track

Source: Concord Flash 51, April 2008

Last November the European Development Education Consensus was officially unveiled during the European Development Days in Lisbon. Since then this framework on objectives, principles and challenges for development education (DE) has been receiving growing recognition: Commissioner Louis Michel stated that “this Consensus on Development Education is as important as the European Consensus on Development”. The European Parliament “welcomed” the DE consensus in its 13 March plenary session and adopted a resolution highlighting the “importance of a report on development education and its role in the implementation of the European Consensus on Development”. The European Commission will provide translations into all 22 official EU languages and will publish the document on the DG Development website.

The initial purpose of this multi-stakeholder process seemed to have been fulfilled: the European Union now has a reference document for DE which is gaining increasing support from different players. However, these stakeholders (from the European Parliament, European Commission, Member States, international organisations and civil society), think differently: “The real work starts now”, insisted Robert Zimmerman from the OECD Development Centre. If the DE Consensus were to become a real political strategy for DE in Europe, the group would need a new mandate for implementing it, with precise political objectives, indicators and an action plan. As host Hannu Takkula (MEP, Vice-Chair of the Culture and Education Committee) said in his opening speech: “Now the challenge is to put [the Consensus] into practice, at the local, national and European levels!”.

At the international conference on “Development Education and Intercultural Dialogue” on 9 and 10 June in Slovenia, the multi-stakeholder steering group will seek to be given this new mandate until after the EU elections in June 2009, in order to transform the DE Consensus into real politics. One more reason to come to Ljubljana and join the European Multi-Stakeholder Process on Development Education, Version 2.0!

For more information contact Tobias Troll (DEEEP Advocacy Officer)


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