My thoughts on the day before the EDDs
Published: 05 December 2010
Meagan Baldwin from CONCORD gave the Young Reporters some food for thought yesterday.
When asked what she hoped that the EDDs would achieve, she cynically responded that the days had cost 2 million euros, and were operating without any clear objectives.
"It's so easy to talk among like-minded people...but let me ask, where are the finance ministers at this event? Where are the trade ministers? Where are the outcomes?"
Meagan continued to tell us that the cost of the days equate to 3 years worth of the funding received by an organisation like CONCORD. To put the figures even more starkly, this is what £2 million would have bought with the charity I volunteered with over the summer (CARE INTERNATIONAL UK, photos courtesy of):
3650 complete water systems for a whole community
133333 support for entrepreneurs to start their own business
It seems like everyone present will have to be doing a lot of talking to make the days worth the money.
Meagan also raised the interesting suggestion that "Democracy is overrated".
She cited an example from her time in Africa of a woman being stoned to death for saying hello to her neighbour, who was a man. A parliamentarian defended this decision, and Meagan asked how we can call a country which represses women in this way a democracy. She also points out that the EU are pouring huge amounts of money into Pakistan, allowing such a abuse to continue. She calls for a re-evaluation of the definition of democracy when the EU is assessing where to distribute aid.
Meagan was a hugely inspirational, controversial and though-provoking speaker and raised some questions for us as young reporters covering poverty, asking us to question the grey areas in EU aid.