European Commissioner for Development
“The situation has really changed politically in Haiti.” – Piebalgs
Adrian Lancashire, Euronews: Commissioner Piebalgs, how is post-disaster emergency help for Haiti evolving towards longterm reconstruction…? and not only in terms of financial promises.
Andris Piebalgs: Well, actually we are already doing on the ground… we are supporting the Haitian government. We also are making some reconstruction of needed infrastructure and we also are supporting education. So it’s an ongoing process. Today what is important is: pledges. And we also have a Hiatian programme for reconstruction. So, we try to bring two things together.
Euronews: What’s your view on corruption risks? What guarantee is there that the resources given by the Europeans or other donors will go into the right pockets? Is this a gamble?
Piebalgs: No, it’s not a gamble, because, well, we have very clearly our experiences how to deal with these situations. We have our procedures. I could never authorise any money outlay if I haven’t established that the money will be used for that purpose. So, I think European taxpayers could rest assured: the money will go exactly where it should go. The situation has really changed politically in Haiti. It’s not just some government agencies. The whole Haitian society is involved.
Euronews: Then you are satisfied with the performance of the Haitian government?
Piebalgs: After the earthquake, yes. They did a marvellous job.
Euronews: The European Union as the world’s most generous donor in development aid… what does it get in exchange, apart from the status of donor superpower?
Piebalgs: Well, it’s a good point. I believe that the world needs a global governance. And global governance means that there is no poverty. The poeple are going out of the poverty from the countries where they still are [emigration]. So, I believe that by creating development assistance we create a better world for our citizens. It is for us, for our kids, for next generations. And I believe also that it’s important in the globalised world to very strongly stand on values. On values you can stand if you are noticed. And with our development policy we are noticed in the world. We are a voice in the world. And we believe that our values and their universal application make this world better, safer for everybody, including us.