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Commissioner Piebalgs visits Poland

Commissioner Piebalgs will hold a lecture on challenges of EU development cooperation, especially New Member States (NMS). The lecture will take place at the Warsaw University during Commissioner's visit to Poland on 17th May 2010.

The lecture will launch Poland's preparation to hold European Development Days during Polish EU presidency in 2011.

The visit comes less than a month after the publication of Spring Package, a set of documents which set EU development policy focuses this year.

Poland is one of EU countries that clearly fail to deliver on its aid promises in terms of both aid quantity and aid quality. Poland should spend 0.17% GNI on development cooperation in 2010 but it remained at a level of 0.08% GNI in 2009 and is very unlikely to meet it's international aid obligations.

Similarly, the effectiveness of Polish Aid is still disputable, as Polish NGOs state in their annual Aid Watch report. The report was published by the Polish platform of development NGOs, Grupa Zagranica in September 2009.

Poland increased ODA (Official Development Assistance) sharply after its accession to the EU in 2004, mostly due to obligatory payments to EU budget.

However, in 2010, project aid to Africa was cut almost by half and the overall amount of funds for NGO projects decreased significantly - according to our recent analysis.

In his lecture, Commissioner Piebalgs will pay a special attention to a specific responsibility of New Member States of the EU to deliver development assistance and contribute to achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Hi will also present his views on Polish EU presidency which is scheduled for second half of 2011.

The lecture will take place at the Warsaw University on 17 May at 3 p.m. (old BUW, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28). Paweł Wojciechowski, Under-Secretary of State responsible for development cooperation will be in the experts panel.