||Posted: Aug. 06 2011,09:21
Editor's Note: European leaders evidently consider that microcredit is effective for poverty allevation, as indicated by the following article:
Paris, 8th July 2011
Professor Yunus launches G20 international working group on microfinance in Paris, ahead of G8 Meeting
Responding to President Sarkozy’s invitation, sent last April, to collaborate within the framework of the French Presidency of the G20, Professor Yunus was invited to Paris to launch an International working Group on microfinance, ahead of the G8/G20 meeting in Cannes, to be held in November.
The President of the finance Commission of the Senate Jean Arthuis, governor of the Banque de France, Christian Noyer, and former IMF Director Michel Camdessus, all testified of the pioneering work accomplished by Professor Yunus and the Grameen Bank, highlighting the fact that the model of microfinance has since been replicated across the world. Referring to the situation in Bangladesh, Professor Yunus emphasized that the further development of microcredit would require more efficient global regulation, as well as a normalization of his relationship with authorities in countries where microfinance has proved to be a compelling tool for social and economic development.
Following his meeting with President Sarkozy in December 2010, when they discussed the social aspects of globalization, and the possibility of opening up the G20, Professor Yunus was also met at the Elysée by Secretary General Xavier Muscat. He reiterated the attachment of the French Presidency to the development agenda of the G20, and in particular, the social aspect, which Professor Yunus championed during his participation in the preparatory work carried out in 2010. He also emphasized the support of France in adopting a multidimensional approach to the fight against poverty. He said:”France strongly supports the work of Professor Yunus, not only in the field of microfinance, but also social business”. During this meeting, Professor Yunus was, once again, assured of the ongoing French support towards the independence of Grameen Bank, and the respect of the rights of the millions of women who own the Bank.
On 6th July, Professor Yunus spent the day in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where, during a series of private meetings, he discussed the global microfinance situation and the future of “social business”. Discussions were held with President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the Parliament Jerzy Buzek, and Commissioners Michel Barnier, and Antonio Tajani, and a number of members of the European Parliament. German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle expressed his support for Professor Yunus ‘work, and said: "I do hope that he will carry on with his commitment, and that he will be allowed to carry on."
Following his meeting with 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammad Yunus, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso made the following statement: "I would like to express the EU's recognition for the successful work of Professor Yunus, whose tireless commitment deserves our profound respect. Strengthening social business and promoting innovative methods of accessible finance is not only a matter of justice. It is also a concrete way to help the poorest of the poor and a smart investment in our shared future. The European Commission will therefore continue its substantial aid to micro-credit projects across the globe."