Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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EDITO
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Meeting with ministers of ACP sugar exporting countries, the Commission presented its “action plan”, aimed at mitigating potential impacts of the EU sugar reform and at accompanying the adjustment process in ACP countries signatories of the Sugar Protocol. Several ACP economies are significantly dependent on sugar exports to the EU and may experience, following the EU sugar reform, a certain disruption of their sugar sector, with consequences on their socio-economic development. The Commission proposes a partnership to support them in meeting this challenge, by means of a set of trade and development measures.

Tuesday, 25 January 2005

The European Commission has adopted a series of humanitarian packages for the victims of protracted crises in Africa. These include Coastal West Africa (€31.3 million), Uganda (€20.62 million), Burundi (€20.99 million), and Tanzania (€13.5 million). Projects will be implemented by humanitarian agencies operating in the target regions. The funds are managed by the European Commission’s humanitarian department (ECHO) under the responsibility of Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel.

Monday, 24 January 2005

The European Commission adopted today a Green Paper “On an EU approach to managing economic migration”, presented by the Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security, Vice-President Franco Frattini in agreement with Commissioner Vladimir Spidla, responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. The Green Paper aims at stimulating a public debate on the need to develop a comprehensive EU strategy to manage migration for economic reasons. The Commission has sought to launch an in-depth discussion on this issue ever since the Tampere European Council meeting in October 1999. The Green Paper, transmitted to all EU institutions concerned, notably the Economic and Social Committee, will serve as a basis for transparent discussions involving these institutions, as well as civil society, including in particular the social partners, on the most appropriate form of Community rules for admitting economic migrants, while not impinging on the responsibility of Member States to decide on the numbers of immigrants to be admitted. The Commission will organise a hearing on this issue in July 2005, and incorporate the findings of this comprehensive debate in a policy plan on legal migration, as requested by the Hague Programme, for the end of 2005.

Monday, 17 January 2005
The Management Board of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has nominated Mrs Zsuzanna Jakab, a senior public health official from Hungary, to be the Centre’s first Director. This marks a crucial stage in the start up of the ECDC, a new EU agency designed to strengthen Europe’s defences against infectious diseases. Outbreaks such as SARS in 2003 and bird flu in 2004 have shown how rapidly such diseases can spread internationally. With the resurgence of HIV/AIDS in Europe and preparedness against a possible influenza pandemic high on EU health ministers’ agenda (see MEMO/04/283), the ECDC is seen as having a key role to play in delivering the EU’s public health agenda. Markos Kyrpianou, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection has welcomed today’s decision. “Mrs Jakab has an impressive track record in international public health cooperation. I am sure she will provide the ECDC with the leadership it needs to start up its activities and establish its reputation”. Mrs Jakab will appear in front of a European Parliament committee in early 2005 before her appointment. Once the appointment is confirmed the Director can begin recruiting staff for the Centre and establishing its Europe-wide network of disease control experts.

Three facilities totalling EUR 54.6 million for West African small and medium-sized enterprises were signed today in Dakar with BOAD,[1] the West African Development Bank. The EIB, the European Union’s long-term lending institution, is to provide support for BOAD with an EUR 25 million global loan from the Bank’s own resources, and a EUR 25 million guarantee facility and EUR 4.6 million equity participation under the Cotonou Agreement’s Investment Facility. The guarantee facility is the first operation of this type under the Investment Facility.

The objective of the EIB's support for SMEs in West Africa is to increase the number and diversity of financial instruments and to strengthen the financial markets. The guarantee facility will allow BOAD to guarantee loans or counterguarantee capital market operations in the BOAD region (public and private issues). This facility will enable BOAD to increase the volume, number and diversity of its operations.

The EIB will also increase its equity participation in BOAD and take part in the general capital increase proposed by BOAD in the coming months. The EIB’s increased participation from 0.5% to 1% of the capital indicates continued support for the West African regional development banking institution.

The global loan will give BOAD greater access to stable sources of long-term finance. The final beneficiaries of the global loan will be small and medium-sized companies in the productive and human capital sectors engaged in foreign exchange and/or export-oriented activities.

The loan agreement was signed with the West African Development Bank in Dakar, where the BOAD Board of Directors held its meeting this month.

The global loan operation signed is the fourth such loan with BOAD and, together with the equity participation and guarantee operations, underlines the importance the EIB attaches to the regional diversity and quality of BOAD’s operations

The Investment Facility focuses on the private sector and thus aims to improve the access of SMEs to long-term finance on competitive terms and to strengthen the financial sector in the ACP countries. Global loan credit lines strengthen the ability of banks to finance smaller-scale and SME investment projects by providing funding that would otherwise not be available for the targeted projects. The intermediary banks and institutions – in this instance the West African Development Bank – act independently and use their own decision-making criteria and pricing.