The EU and the Fight against Poverty: the Millennium Goals and the Development
Rapporteur Paul Ortega (2012)


  • Jean Marie Beaupuy – France
  • Silvia Costa – Italy
  • Daniela Drobnà – Slovakia
  • Lisa Gualtieri – San-Marino
  • Andreas Morphitis – Cyprus

The agenda of the UN Development

In 2000, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Millennium Declaration. The purpose of the declaration is to eradicate poverty. It establishes eight goals and 18 targets to be achieved by 2015, including eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal education for all, promote gender equality, reduce child mortality and the fight against proliferation HIV / AIDS.
Despite the various criticisms of the MDGs (including too little emphasis on the fight against inequality, insufficient participation of civil society in the formulation of objectives and link development and democracy not shown), the United Nations estimates that they were partially filled.


Three achieved objectives
  • Fight against extreme poverty.
  • Access to drinking water and sanitation services.
  • Reducing the number of people living in slums in outskirts of megacities.

However, the UN analyzed that progress was very unevenly distributed: inequality increases, and progress is mainly due to the growth of China and India, knowing that many African countries continue to stagnate. In addition, budgets for development aid in developed countries remain inadequate.

New international scene 

From development cooperation, most donor countries went to development policies. However, the economic crisis has reduced government budgets allocated to development. The MDGs are being redefined in light of the changes that have occurred since their adoption in 2000. The role of NGOs in aid delivery and implementation of sustainable policies for poverty reduction are two new aspects to take into consideration.

Proposal on the orientation of the EU development policy

  • Link the debate on poverty in Europe the debate on global poverty (the EU should promote the model of the welfare state on the international scene).
  • Better coordination between the Commission and the Member States.
  • Improve aid effectiveness and "appropriation".
  • Ensure coherence between different EU policies.
  • Offer a cooperation based skills and results.
  • Adapt development policies to the modification of global context (more holistic).
  • Emphasize job creation.
  • Promote a cooperation framework based on the Paris Principles.
  • Bring international attention to inequality.
  • Carry out an ambitious agenda for the period post-2015.


The EU has the opportunity to be at the forefront of development policy, which must be consistent with the rest of its policies. The European Union must also defend its own development model, based particularly on the welfare state and the goal of inclusive and democratic societies. In this regard, the EU needs to strengthen its model both within its borders and actively promote the international arena through an agenda of ambitious and innovative development.