It’s the European Year of Development

Find out what development means for Europeans!

Written by Tricia Purcell


Each year the European Union chooses a theme to bring a common issue or goal to prominence among all member states. This year is the European Year of Development and it’s a little different than previous years as the ‘Development’ theme looks at working together to make change globally and not just on our EU doorsteps.

And what does this mean for you and me as EU citizens? At the recent launch in Dublin Castle, President Michael D Higgins explained the issue:

“Too often has the term ‘development’ been used interchangeably, in public discourse, with the terms ‘aid’ or ‘charity’. Development has been presented as something that needed to happen in the so-called ‘developing’ world, outside of the sphere of industrialised nations, and remote from the daily existences of Western citizens.” 

Video-maker, Laura Gaynor, wanted to find out about what some European citizens thought about the concept of development. Watch the results below:



And this year is all about encouraging the direct involvement, critical thinking and active interest of all citizens in development cooperation.

The great thing is that this has already started in Ireland. Through theatre, science, environmental groups, fashion and music, Irish citizens have started to challenge our definition of development and how we contribute to the world around us for the better. Examples of this can be seen in innovators like Émer Hickey, Ciara Judge, and Sophie Healy-Thow. The Kinsale based 17 year olds were recent recipients of the grand prize at Google’s Science Fair, previous Young Scientist winners and named on Time’s list of Influential teens.

Listen to some inspiring words from them below:

Droichead Youth Theatre were also on hand with a powerful performance, commenting on our ideas of how we currently ‘aid’ developing countries.

Droichead youth Theatre perform at Dublin Castle


Find out more about the European Year of Development.

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