The EU spreads World’s Best News

A Danish information campaign has been so successful that the EU has chosen to publish it across Europe. The aim is to bring good news from developing countries to EU citizens, as part of the European Year for Development

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European Year for Development

For the last 30 years, the EU has been focusing on a new issue every year. In 2015, the topic is international development, and it is the first time that the focus extends beyond the borders of Europe.

The goal is to engage more Europeans in the debate on aid and development, and to show what the EU is doing to fight global poverty.

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Since 2010, the Danish public information campaign Verdens Bedste Nyheder (World’s Best News) has been bringing constructive news and information about international development to the Danish public. Today, nearly a fourth of Danes are aware of the campaign, and this success has made the EU decide to bring World’s Best News to a wider audience in the European Union.

A new survey from Europol shows that 85 percent of Europeans agree that it is important to help people in developing regions. But Europeans need more information about the real progress that has taken place in the world’s poorest countries in recent decades. It is this message that World’s Best News has been chosen to bring across.

Constructive news in Europe

World’s Best News has five years of experience in constructive journalism, concerned with the serious issues the world is facing but focusing on progress and solutions. It is for this reason that the Danish initiative has been chosen to deliver news and campaign material to the 28 member states throughout this year.

The Europeans will encounter World’s Best News as weekly articles, a myth-busting campaign on social media, and printed newspapers that will be distributed in the street by volunteers and NGOs like it has been done in Denmark for the last five years.

The world’s biggest development donor

The European Union and its 28 member states constitute the largest donor of development aid in the world. In 2014, the EU and its member states sent out a combined 58.2 billion euros to countries across the world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, with the purpose of creating better opportunities for the world’s poorest people. This huge sum amounts to more than half of the world’s total development aid. The EU alone spent 14.86 billion euros in 2013. Considering the population of the EU, the cost is only eight cents a day per person.

Despite many European nations still feeling the aftereffects of the financial crisis, the majority of Europeans in each country, except for Bulgaria, believe that the EU should increase funding for development. But at the same time, 55 percent of respondents in the survey stated they do not know where the money is going.

In the last decade alone, funds from the EU have made it possible to send 14 million additional children to school. 70 million people have gained access to clean water for drinking, and trained health staff has been attending 7.5 million births, in order to save mothers and babies from childbirth complications.

These are just some examples of the progress that people in the EU will be able to read more about in the European editions of the World’s Best News throughout 2015.

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