Slovakia wants to continue helping poorer countries but every single euro coming from Slovak taxpayers for development aid needs to be used in a proper and transparent way, Foreign Ministry State Secretary Milan Ježovica (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)) said after meeting the EU Commissioner for Development Aid, Andris Piebalgs, on February 8, the TASR newswire reported.
According to Ježovica, Slovakia is saddened by the drop in the volume it spends on development aid but said the decrease “is also an outcome of decisions made in previous years”, a reference to the previous government. The European Commissioner paid a working visit to Slovakia to strengthen Slovakia’s identification with the concept of development aid, TASR wrote.
“This is one of the most significant in the range of EU activities,” stressed Piebalgs, as quoted by TASR, adding that there are six billion people in the world but only five billion are well-off. “The lives of a billion are ever-worsening. This growing inequality has a direct impact on the issues of peace, security and migration,” Piebalgs said.
EU countries have agreed on a commitment to devote 0.7 percent of their GDP to official development aid. Currently, Slovakia invests about 0.1 percent of its GDP in development aid but plans to more than triple this amount by 2015, according to the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for European Affairs, Ivan Štefanec, who also met Piebalgs. The commissioner is visiting all member countries to ask them to support the EU’s efforts.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
9. Feb 2011 at 14:00