For campaigners targeting 27 EU Member States with diverse national priorities, sometimes it can seem as if we’re shouting into the wind. As poverty- fighters, we’re competing with lobbyists and special interest groups for the time, attention, and political will of decision-makers. So when a key leader takes notice at a critical moment and mentions our work on the global stage, it says something about the dedication, initiative, and political reach of our tremendous ONE members.
Last night, in his address to European presidents and prime ministers ahead of the EU budget negotiations, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz said:
“At our last meeting, the singer with the band U2, Bono, urged me on behalf of the non-governmental organisation ONE to continue to campaign in favour of European development cooperation and to bring up this very topic with you, Prime Minister Cameron. Because you too, so Bono told me, are a proponent of European development cooperation. More than 110 000 Europeans have already signed a ONE petition calling for development cooperation spending to be safeguarded under the next MFF. As the umbrella organisation ‘Concord’ reminded me in a recent letter, European development cooperation costs only EUR 1.87 per EU citizen per month, but saves millions of lives. ‘Concord’ represents more than 1800 European NGOs and fears that in making disproportionate cuts in its budget the EU is seeking to evade its international responsibility for the poorest people on the planet.”
As our petition inches closer to 167,000 and ONE members continue to Tweet, write, and call European leaders, it is nice to know that on the day the budget negotiations were set to begin, the message was reinforced.
Keep up the fight!
Image of Martin Schulz courtesy of Mettmann