On the 19th of August, we celebrate those who dedicate their time, effort and skills to others. Humanitarian workers may not be Olympic athletes, but on their working marathons, they often put their lives at stake to protect others. They thrive not to achieve the best time, but the most effective result. They carry the torch of solidarity and altruism. The EU honours all humanitarian workers saving lives and helping the most vulnerable in times of crisis worldwide. Their courage, will and determination is the victory of us all.
What started as a symbolic gesture in a few countries, with a few volunteers, has now become a global movement, involving hundreds of people and collecting tons of waste on beaches, rivers and lakes across the world, reaching more than 80 countries in the 2019 edition. On the 18th of August, we officially launch the 2021 edition of the #EUBeachCleanup, together with the UN and with the support of the bluest of friends, the Smurfs. This year’s campaign focuses on the protection of marine life, with physical and digital actions for everyone to join. The campaign will reach its climax around the World Coastal Clean-up Day on 18th September.
12/08/2021 - HR/VP Blog - Extreme weather events in Europe and around the globe and the recently published IPCC report underline how much climate change threatens humankind. With its new climate law and the “Fit for 55” package proposed by the Commission, the EU is ready to assume its responsibilities ahead of COP26 in Glasgow.
On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we celebrate the resilience and resourcefulness of indigenous peoples around the world. This year, we join the United Nations in the call for a new social contract, where no one is left behind.
World Youth Skills Day 2021 will again take place in a challenging context due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. UNESCO estimates that schools were either fully or partially closed for more than 30 weeks between March 2020 and May 2021 in half the countries of the world. In late June, 19 countries still had full school closures, affecting nearly 157 million learners. And 768 million more learners were affected by partial school closures.
The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified human rights and democracy challenges in many parts of the world. That is why the EU has placed human rights front and centre of its foreign policy. This is one of the main features of the freshly adopted 2020 European Union Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World. While the world is confronted with unique challenges, the EU maintains its leading role in supporting human rights, democracy and rule of law, within its borders and across the globe.