The European Union is the largest donor in the world. The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, describing the EU’s role in international development, said: “The EU will continue to play a leading role in making sure we agree on an ambitious, transformative and universal agenda that delivers poverty eradication and sustainable development for all, backed with adequate and credible means of implementation.”
In Europe, Sightsavers engages with the EU through its membership of the European NGO Confederation of Relief and Development (CONCORD). CONCORD regularly holds discussions with EU institutions, to ensure the EU and member states are fully committed to implementing policies in developing countries that aim to address the causes of poverty and conflict, and promote sustainable economic and social development.
In Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, Sightsavers regularly engages with European Union delegations on issues including health systems, eye health, education, social inclusion and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The European Union supports a number of Sightsavers initiatives, including a multi-million-pound project to combat high levels of avoidable blindness and visual impairment in four Caribbean countries.