After 37 years of collaboration, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research has decided to terminate funding the Austrian Commission for Development Research (KEF). Members of the EADI Management Committee and participants of the recent EADI Directors' Meeting have issued a statement of solidarity with KEF calling on the Minister to revisit this decision.
In September 2017, EADI issued a Statement “No Development Without Freedom”. It expressed “concern about the increasing restrictions imposed on scholars and the academic freedom as well as the freedom of speech in many countries, including within Europe”. Academic freedom includes the choice of subjects for research and teaching on relevant aspects of society and social developments. We therefore join the critical voices when it comes to the decision by the government in Hungary to eliminate Gender Studies from the academic courses offered at universities.
The negotiations on a new agreement between the EU and the ACP-Countries (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States) will start during the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2018. Considering the economic and geopolitical strategies of China in Africa on the one hand and the international consensus of implementing the Sustainable Development agenda on the other hand demands new political commitments and new strategies in the European relationship with Africa. This conference highlighted the importance of the African European relationship and offered space for discussions, information and facts about economic and political strategies from different perspectives.
What are the key features of last year’s development consensus of the European Union? How have the EU’s role and its financial instruments changed over the years and what is the status implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU? This year’s Directors’ Meeting kicked off with some reflections on these issues: