GIZ supports the development goals of the European Union
Interview opportunity relating to Germany’s EU Council Presidency
Brussels, 10 August 2020. At first it might seem strange that the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has an office in Brussels – what kind of development cooperation could possibly be needed in the heart of the European Union?
As Europe’s largest implementing organisation, GIZ is currently working in around 160 projects worldwide that are cofinanced by the EU, says Siegfried Leffler, who has headed up GIZ’s Representation in Brussels since 2016. ‘The EU is our second-biggest donor. EU funding has more than doubled since 2015 and totalled EUR 375 million last year’. There is a particular focus on projects in Africa.
With a lot of money comes a lot of responsibility – for example, when assisting Syria’s neighbouring countries with hosting refugees and, of course, supporting refugees themselves. GIZ has been working in this area since 2016 as part of the Qudra programme on behalf of the German Government and the EU. In Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, GIZ has repaired schools and sports facilities and procured school buses, benefiting around 80,000 children and young people. In northern Iraq, support has reached a total of 330,000 people; for example, in the form of improved water and power supplies.
In Brussels, the GIZ Representation is in direct contact with the European Commission. The key topics for GIZ include climate change mitigation, migration and displacement, and digitalisation. These are areas in which GIZ has extensive expertise, making the company a valuable partner. ‘GIZ works in all these areas and can provide effective support with its long-standing experience and presence in 120 countries across the globe,’ says Leffler.
In a telephone interview, Leffler will explain why GIZ’s presence in Brussels is so important. He will answer your questions and outline how GIZ contributes to implementing the EU’s development policy projects, what this cooperation involves specifically and how successful the projects are.
Interview languages: German, English or French.