Media release

Latvia’s EU Presidency to inaugurate the “European Year of Development 2015”

07 January 2015

On 9 January, Riga will host an official ceremony for launching the European Year for Development 2015 that will be dedicated to development cooperation.

The high-ranking participants at the event will exchange opinions on the role of states, international organisations, NGOs, and individuals in promoting global development. A special focus will be placed on the significance of the rule of law and good governance in ensuring growth.The event will include the opening of a joint Latvia-Luxembourg video competition for young people, a motorcycle expedition route planned by students for the Motorcycle Adventures Club apPasaule (“Around the World”), and NGO activities during the Year for Development.

The event will be officially launched by the Prime Minister of Latvia, Laimdota Straujuma, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. The launching ceremony will bring together about 300 high-ranking participants including Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development; Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries; Cihan Sultanoğlu, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States at the United Nations Development Programme; Ministers for Development from EU Member States, the EU and Latvia’s non-governmental organisations, project teams and researchers.

The event will be concluded with a presentation on the shift in development cooperation policy and post 2015 development agenda. One of the most renowned contemporary researchers in the field of development policy, the Deputy Director for the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution, Homi Kharas, will discuss these issues in his Kapuscinski Development Lecture.

It will be possible to watch the opening event online at Students of the Social Sciences Faculty of the University of Latvia will provide information via social media. Using the hashtag #EYD2015 on Twitter, all have the chance to put questions to the participants.

Members of the media will have an opportunity to interview the high-ranking participants at the press conference.

The media accreditation will be open till 7 January on the website for Latvia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU at

The aim of the Year for Development 2015 is to raise awareness among the general public on the development cooperation policy of the EU and Latvia, and its results, as well as explaining its significance and benefits to all stakeholders. This year the UN members will have to agree on the post-2015 global development agenda, and therefore it is important to reach out to, and engage the general public in attaining the future goals.

The launching of the European Year for Development is hosted by Latvia as the country presiding over the Council of the EU. The event is organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia in association with the European Commission.

Kārlis Eihenbaums
Ambassador - Press Secretary
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