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Majority of MEPs Promise to Take Action on Extreme Poverty

Friday, October 17: Today, MEPS have made a collective ‘decision’ to support the world’s poorest countries, with more than half signing a pledge committing them to use their time in this parliament to do all they can to help eradicate extreme poverty.

376 have now signed the ONE Vote 2014 pledge, either during the election campaign period or once they were elected. As the world marks The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty today, it is fitting that so many of the continent’s representatives have put their money where their mouth is and committed to do what they can during their term in office.

Elmar Brok MEP (Germany, EPP), Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, was the 376th MEP to sign the pledge. In reaction, he said:

Europe is the world leader in development assistance, and it is reflected by the significant level of support shown by Members of the European Parliament. But it is by far not enough.

It is fantastic that so many young people came together to show how much they care about this issue. Their passion is an asset to the EU and will help in our work to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people.

Parties from across the political spectrum signed up to the ONE Vote 2014 pledge, indicating a wide range of support for the fight against extreme poverty from all sides of the European Parliament. European Parliament President Martin Schulz (Germany, S&D) signed the pledge on the very day the campaign was launched, and political group leaders such as Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium, ALDE) and the spitz-candidates of the Greens/EFA and GUE/NGL did too. Europe’s contribution to development is essential, with the EU as a whole being the largest donor in the world*.

Tamira Gunzburg, Brussels Director of ONE, said:

Getting half of the continent’s representatives to commit to take action on ending extreme poverty shows that the issue is widely viewed as something that Europe can – and must – do something about.

Now it’s up to the MEPs who signed the ONE Vote 2014 pledge to keep their word and ensure the EU remains a world leader in partnering with developing countries to help citizens everywhere lift themselves out of poverty.

Today’s announcement that more than half of the European Parliament has signed the pledge marks the conclusion of this year’s ONE Youth Ambassador Programme. Over the past six months these 134 young people from across Europe have been the driving force behind persuading their representatives in the Parliament to support the campaign. They have been backed by tens of thousands of ONE members, who signed a petition calling for their MEP to endorse the ONE Vote 2014 pledge.

Extreme poverty has been halved in the last 20 years, and could be virtually eliminated by 2030, but only if leaders rise to the challenge. The ONE VOTE 2014 pledge is a promise by the MEPs that they will work to end extreme poverty and ensure Europe continues to help the world’s poorest people.


For more information please contact:

Tamira Gunzburg by phone: +32 (0)478 70 6114 or email: [email protected]


  • The 28 member states plus the European Commission provide the world’s largest contribution to overseas aid.
  • The number of MEPs who have signed the ONE Vote 2014 Pledge is accurate at the time of issue.

About ONE

ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of nearly 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programmes. ONE is not a grant-making organisation and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funding. ONE is funded almost entirely by foundations, individual philanthropists and corporations. We achieve change through advocacy. Our teams in London, Washington, New York, Johannesburg, Brussels, Berlin and Paris educate and lobby governments to shape policy solutions that save and improve millions of lives. To learn more, go to ONE.org.

About ONE Youth Ambassadors

The ONE Youth Ambassadors project is a new initiative that empowers more than 120 young activists across Europe to carry out the fight against extreme poverty – campaigning locally, nationally and online. This project has been launched simultaneously in France, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands and runs for six months until October 2014.
Their activities included trips to national parliaments, as well as a hugely successful ‘ONE Summit’ earlier this year. More than 100 of the Youth Ambassadors descended on the European Parliament and met with MEPs to show them the level of passion that young people around Europe feel for overseas aid in their first weeks in office.

ONE VOTE 2014 Pledge text

Ending extreme poverty is in our hands. Together, we can make sure it is virtually eliminated by 2030. In the next 5 years, we need to build support for the poorest countries, especially through investments in agriculture, healthcare and access to energy, and to make governments and businesses transparent and accountable.

As a representative of the European people, I will make sure we keep our promises in the fight against extreme poverty, and help ensure that our laws make it easier for the world’s poor to lift themselves out of poverty.