Berlin Declaration

Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International Development Cooperation, and its Newsletter.

Berlin Declaration on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the EU: European success means commitments worldwide.

Press release, Berlin/Bonn, 23rd March 2007 – On the occasion of the signing of the Berlin Declaration on the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome on the 25th March, the Association of German Development Non-Governmental Organisations (VENRO) calls for increased European engagement in achieving world-wide social justice. “The EU must not rest on its laurels but has to campaign for world-wide solidarity and fair globalisation. This is the only way to ensure that it can cope with future challenges,” said VENRO Chair Claudia Warning.

“With the Berlin Declaration, the European Union is going to show what role it wishes to play in the world,” Warning added. The EU had to recognise that eliminating poverty world-wide was among its political priorities. “It is committed to this by its own fundamental principles of democracy, equality, solidarity, tolerance, social justice and respect for the human rights,” Warning said. The 50-year process of European integration was a peace history success story and, at the same time, a commitment. The Berlin Declaration had to contain a clear pledge to prevent violent conflicts and underline the EU’s responsibility for civil conflict resolution. Security must not be defined merely as the security of the EU borders, the VENRO Chair explained.

At the same time, Warning criticised the formulation of the Berlin Declaration for its not addressing the citizen. “This process is a good example of how Europe should not work, and why scepticism about Europe is continuing to grow. Instead of consultations behind closed doors, Europe needs involvement.

Civil society organisations from Europe and the developing countries represent the people’s interests too. Their participation in the formulation of politics has to be ensured.”

VENRO, the Association of German development non-governmental organisations (NGOs), is the umbrella organisation of independent and church-related NGOs working in the fields of development co-operation, emergency relief, development education, and advocacy. Currently, VENRO has more than 100 member organisations.

The VENRO project “Prospects for Africa – Europe’s Policies” is a critical and constructive monitoring of the German EU Council Presidency from African and German civil society organisations. The project is financially supported by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Up-to-date information:

Contact: VENRO e.V., Dirk Bange (V.i.S.d.P.) Phone: +49/ (0)228/ 94 677-14, Marc Baxmann Mobile: ++49/ (0) 172/ 20 27 482, Kaiserstr. 201 E-Mail: , D-53113 Bonn Web.

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