European Year for Development 2015


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At the moment Latvia is one of 50 most developed countries in the world. European Union and its member states are the biggest development financiers in the world. Latvians successfully use their knowledge and experience to foster democracy, social and economical equality, women rights and other, especially in our neighborhood regions such as Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and other countries in Central Asia. Development cooperation is not only solidarity and providing assistance, but also a story of “how we live”. Every person, every organization and institution is linked with global processes and is responsible for the impact of action to our common and sustainable future.

Why is 2015 the European Year for Development? 

This is the first thematic year dedicated to foreign policy since creating this tradition in 1983. The aim for Europe’s thematic year is to encourage Europe’s residents to think and get involved in a problem solving process for a specific theme.

  • it is important to explain to the residents why and what are the results achieved, since EU allocates funds around 60 milliards EUR per year to development cooperation;
  • it is necessary to foster each individual’s involvement and a responsible action for fostering sustainable development;
  • this year the UN Millennium development goals accepted in year 2000 come to an end, which aimed to decrease the world poverty by half. This year a new agreement about Sustainable development goals needs to be made, this will influence all countries, including Latvia. The new framework is not only to eradicate poverty, but also solve environmental and climate change issues, by fostering democratic government and human rights compliance worldwide.

Why is it important? 

! You create the change. Decisions you make every day have a direct influence on other people’s lives elsewhere in the world. Your actions create the change. Get inspired by initiatives of people, communities, organizations and institutions for a better world in different parts of the world.

! Development cooperation in not just helping countries far away.  Development cooperation is not a story  of what “we give”. It is a story of “how we live”. It is about creating changes in people’s lives, that will affect your life here as well – in Latvia. Piece and security in world means piece in Europe. Thereby Latvia provides help to countries in crises such as Ukraine.

! We share our experience with others and it is evaluated. Latvian governmental institutions, companies, municipalities and NGOs have shared their experience with other countries.  Moldova and Georgia have created associations based on the module of  the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments, Moldova’s borders are guarded by Latvian Border Guards’s dogs, in Uzbekistan there are community organizations funded to reduce violence against women.

Everyone is responsible for positive change, that is why motto of the year is “Our world, our dignity, our future”

What happens in Latvia? 

The main objective of the European Year is to inform, involve and activate you and  people around you. During this year there will be different activities:

! movie month and discussions in more than 100 places in Latvian communities in spring and autumn;
! traveling photo exhibitions;
! creative competitions – video competition for youth  “Shining Stars of Europe”, contest of students’ creative work, „Lorenzo Natali”  prize for journalists, the European parliament photography prize, and others;
! informative tent in the biggest events in Latvia;
! a cycle of lectures and discussions about social cooperate responsibility and fear trade;
! video lectures about development cooperation;
! valuation conference for development cooperation;
! as well as different NGO activities for schools and other target groups.

Ambassadors – the European Year for Development ideas have promised  to popularize good will ambassadors and youth ambassadors:

Good will ambassadors:

Andris Piebalgs – ex European Commissioner for Development
Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga – ex president of Latvia
Normunds Bergs – „SAF Tehnika” chief executive
Ināra and Boriss Teterevs – philanthropists – founders of „Teterev Foundation”
Band „Instrumenti” – musicians
Agita Hauka – Board Chairman of Latvian Farmer’s Federation and leader of organization “Iecava women’s club Liepas”
Hosams Abu Meri – parliament member, doctor
Egons Reiters – organizer and participant of expedition „1000 miles”
Mudīte Priede – Chief executive of Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments (LALRG)

Youth ambassadors:

Carnival Youth – musicians
Paula Āboliņa-Ābola –  organization „IDEJU MĀJA” in Aizpute
Mārtiņš Zvīdriņš – mountain marathon runner
Ansis Kolmanis (ansis) – hip hop / rep artist „Dirty deal Audio”
Rūta Kronberga – „Humana People to People”, development education NGO
Inga Greiškāne, Emīls Hlevickis – Eco organization in Lucavsala
Dāvis Landorfs – journalist
Kārlis Lesiņš – journalist
Mārtiņš Kreilis – „QUO to domā?” Latvian Debate association

We invite all interested individuals,organizations,  institutions and communities. We offer knowledgeable expert participation in your events, travailing exhibitions and other options. To get more information contact Madara Kalnina, LAPAS project coordinator via email or by calling to 25155009.   

Find out more:


European Year for Development in Latvia is implemented by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia in collaboration with Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation, with the financial support from European Union. 

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