In October 2009, the fourth edition of the European Development Days took place in Stockholm, Sweden. The forum took place at a critical crossroads – four weeks after the G20 Pittsburgh Summit, with a new European Parliament, and ahead of the institutional changes in the European Union after the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. Perhaps most importantly, EDD09 took place six weeks before the December United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where leaders from 190 nations gathered to address one of the most critical development issues of our time.
The European Development Days engaged the development family in debates around three themes that reflect the most pressing challenges ahead: responding to the global economic downturn, democracy and development, and tackling climate change. The programme included three thematic clusters composed of High Level Panels and workshops.
Nobel laureates, such as Muhammad Yunus and Rajendra K. Pachauri, made significant addresses in plenary sessions. In addition, EDD09 marked the first year in which Dominic Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, took part.
All in all, 25 roundtables, workshops, or seminars were held over the three days of the forum and 150 bilateral meetings took place within the framework of the forum. The plenary session on climate change in particular was an unmatched opportunity to give the floor to those states that were already suffering from the negative consequences of climate change and who would probably struggle to be heard at the Copenhagen conference: Haiti, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Burkina Faso especially.
With the growing size of the European Development Days it was vital to show that the development community could work together to make this forum greener. EDD09 made significant progress towards becoming a carbon-neutral forum. The forum was 60 % carbon offset thanks to the introduction of a new scheme whereby debate organisers and exhibitors pay a specific lump sum of carbon offset depending on a gross assessment of visibility. Exhibitors and High Level Panel organisers contributed by submitting carbon offset certificates for energy saving projects amounting to a total of over EUR 120 000. This approach has set a new green standard for fora with a global reach.
22-24 October 2009 (3 days)
6 000 delegates
• For the first time, the European Development Days attracted leaders from African, Caribbean, and Pacific states as well as non-ACP countries such as Bangladesh.
• Launch of the first European Report on Development, the Cost of Non-Europe Report, and the second Coherence Report.
• From a media standpoint, the fourth European Development Days set a new benchmark, with the recording of a BBC World debate, a Euronews debate, and an Al Jazeera debate, all of which were broadcast.
• For the first time, the Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize award ceremony attracted no less than a Prime Minister, a Nobel laureate, a Commissioner, the Vice-President of the European Commission, and one of the world’s best interviewers (Stephen Sackur).
• A new Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) agreement was signed with Vanuatu.
• 150 bilateral meetings took place – the European Development Days proved immensely useful for high-profile leaders.
• 140 exhibitors were represented in the Development Village.
• The forum was 60 % carbon offset thanks to the introduction of a new scheme whereby debate organisers and exhibitors pay a specific lump sum of carbon offset depending on a gross assessment of visibility.