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European Development Days Summary

A series of events related to the European Union development co-operation activities and especially those directed to African countries were held in Brussels during one week.

During the Governance Forum which was visited by two thousand people, including the President of European Commission - Jose Manuel Barroso, EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid - Louis Michel, President of World Bank - Paul Wolfowitz and the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General - Mark Malloch Brown, and twenty African leaders, a series of roundtables on the most current topics related to development co-operation were organised. The European Development Days as an international initiative has given Poland - a new development assistance donor - a chance to present its activities in the field. Owing to the participation of Jerzy Pomianowski, Director of the Development Co-operation Department, in the debate entitled "Shifting Donor Paradigms" we had an opportunity to exchange opinions on the matters related to effectiveness improvement of development assistance activities and new development assistance methods.

The European Development Days have become a discussion forum where the participants had an opportunity to share different experiences and good practice. At various stands at Global Village in Brussels Expo Hall, tens of international and non-governmental organisations, as well as government agencies working in the field of development assistance presented their projects. At the Polish stand organised by the Development Co-operation Department the visitors had an opportunity to get to know Polish assistance activities undertaken in 2005 and 2006, as well as Polish system of development assistance provision. The stand turned out to be of great interest to representatives of development agencies from various European Union member states, NGOs and partners from Africa dedicated to development assistance.

Numerous cultural events were also organised as a part of the European Development Days, among which the following could be mentioned: an exhibition of African comics, African films show and a fashion show of designers from African Countries.

One of the events of extreme importance which took place during the European Development Days (November 14-15, 2006) was the EU Development Director General Meeting. The event was assisted by Andrzej Skrzydło, Deputy Director of the Development Co-operation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Matters related to the European Development Fund (EDF) were the main topic of the discussion. The Fund is an instrument of development assistance provided by the European Communities. The participation of Poland in the Fund is foreseen for its tenth edition in the years 2008-2013. Moreover, during the event, the participants talked about the issues related to the Economic Partnership Agreement between European Communities and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.

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