At a public panel discussion held in the European Parliament, MEPs and civil society representatives emphasized the role of the media in implementing global development goals. The event was initiated by DW Akademie.
Discussions are well underway on the formulation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which are set to follow the current Millennium Development Goals after 2015. All panelists agreed that freedom of expression and independent media should become central elements within the new goal of "good governance". However, it is not clear whether they will be included in the SDGs. James Dean said he regretted that the European Union was not playing an active role in the field of media and development.
Even though the EU is one of the world's largest donors in terms of development funding, the European Parliament has only ever dealt in passing with the role that media development plays. "This was the first time that we were able to have media development as a focus topic in the European Parliament," says Patrick Leusch, Head of DW Akademie’s International Cooperation division. "We're very happy about that and believe that freedom of expression and information are central elements in development cooperation and that media should play a more prominent role within EU development policies."