The first Preparatory meeting on the European Development Days 2016, in Brussels, on 15-16 June 2016

At the Committee of the Regions in Brussels on 12th January 2016, there was an info day, the first Preparatory meeting on the European Development Days 2016 under the slogan “Sustainable Development Goals in Action: Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future“ to be held in Brussels on 15-16 June 2016.

The European Development Days (EDD) are Europe’s leading forum on development and international cooperation, organized as an incubator of new ideas to bring about real change towards a poverty-free, sustainable and fairer world where everyone has a chance at a decent life. Organized by the European Commission, the forum brings the development community together to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Over the past decade, EDD has served as the voice of the international development community. That is the place where all interested parties are invited to share their views, build common understanding and plan for the development cooperation future. The forum is based on the basic belief that cooperation is the cornerstone of achieving a fairer world and its aim is to facilitate networking and inspire the desire to work together in a spirit of true partnership.

In 2015, EDD brought together 5000 participants and 1200 organizations from 140 countries. On the occasion of 10th anniversary, EDD 2016 will focus on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which makes it one of the first major events to address the document. This year’s event will be held under the slogan “Sustainable Development Goals in Action: Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future“, which creates the conditions for giving an opportunity for eradicating poverty and establishing a system for sustainable, inclusive and prosperous way of development.

In 2016, five areas have been defined, within which there are sub-topics, on basis of which panels, workshops and debates will be organized:

Sub-topics: Inequalities; Gender; Leave no-one behind

Sub-topics: Climate change; Circular economy/sustainable consumption and production; Water-energy-food nexus

Sub-topics: Inclusive, sustainable and resilient cities; Science, technology and innovation (STI); Trade, growth and sustainable development

Sub-topics: Working with fragile states; Migration and refugees; Inclusive and peaceful societies

Sub-topics: Means of implementation; Ensuring accountability – a shared commitment; Engaging the private sector.

During today’s explanatory meeting, Caterina Giuliano, EDD Program Manager, pointed out that according to plan, 120 sessions of different formats will be organized. Florence Barel, EDD Program Manager, explained that the plan was to organize four formats of events, depending on the objective to be achieved: 1. Auditorium debates with high-level profile; 2. Lab debates; 3. Brainstorming, 4. Project/Report labs.

Explanation of different concepts:

1. Auditorium debates with high-level profile speakers: High officials, representatives of the civil society, the duration is 90 minutes, with up to 5 speakers and a moderator, who plays an important role and maintains the exchange of discussion between the audience and the speakers. One speaker will be elected by the registered youth leaders. The criteria for the evaluation of submitted applications: content 40%, inclusiveness 30%, communication 15% and interactivity 15%.

2. Lab debates / Project/Report labs: Maximum 4 speakers and a moderator, the duration is up to 75 minutes, the hall capacity up to 70 participants, with the aim of presenting measurable, visible results in an innovative way. The criteria for the evaluation of submitted applications: content 40% / 50%, inclusiveness 30%, communication 10% and interactivity 20% / 10%.

3. Brainstorming: Hands-on discussion in small groups to generate solutions to the challenges defined by the development day themes, record new ideas, the maximum duration is up to 75 minutes, the participation up to 40 people, no moderators, but facilitators to moderate the audience’s participation. The criteria for the evaluation of submitted applications: content 35%, interactivity 35%, communication 20% and inclusiveness 10%.

Claire Veale, EDD Youth Coordinator, pointed out that the aim was to involve young people in the development issues, their activation on stands, including the setting up of exhibitions, organization of games and performances, in a way acceptable for young people. The program for young leaders involves the selection of 16 young speakers aged between 21 and 26 years, who will take part in the development days. The selection will be made according to the following criteria: leadership, results, knowledge and public speaking skills.

Emmanuel Viatour, EDD Village Coordinator, explained the concept that aimed at serving as a place for networking, experience exchange and presentation of new solutions and innovative projects. The size of the regular stands is 9 m2 and 15 m2, and of the cluster stand is 36 m2, with additional opportunities for promotion and equipment. The applications will be evaluated in the following way: 40% for content (presentation of projects, programs or results with clear results, promotion of local initiatives and field stories), 20% for interactivity (the content should be creative and innovative) and 20% for communication (new ways of interaction with the users).

Valerie De Oliveira, EDD Communication Manager, presented the part regarding promotion and communication, and emphasized that EDD 2016 official logo, videos, photos, podcast and banners were available for the participants on the website: www Media partnership was expected involving 12 media companies, such as the first channel of the Belgium national television, RTL Belgium, whereas a press room, studio equipment and media center were available for the print and electronic media.

The financial aspects of participation: The organizers of Lab debates shall pay the costs of co-financing in the amount of EUR 1400, and of large Auditorium debates in the amount of EUR 2800. The stands shall be co-financed by EUR 1400, EUR 2000 and EUR 4000 for a stand of 9 m2, 15 m2 and 36 m2.

01 February: Open applications for Young Leaders
12 February: Deadline for submission of session and stand proposals
18 March: Deadline for Young Leaders applications
21 March: Announcement of sessions and village selection results
04 April: Choice of carbon offset programme
25-29 April: Second preparatory meetings with the European Commission
End of April: Announcement of selected Young Leaders for Auditorium Debates
15-16 June: European Development Days (EDD)

The registration will start on 17 March 2016 online: