Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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Monday, 23 October 2017
The past two years emphasis to tackling world poverty has been welcome. Stimulated by key international events in 2005, particularly the World Summit to review the implementation of the 2000 Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals, as well as by actions of citizens across the world in the Global Call for Action Against Poverty, this focus has given prominence to Europe’s co-operation with developing countries and their people. However, while much has been done to stimulate development in poor countries, there is general recognition that these efforts fall far short of what is needed if the modest goals established by the Millennium Summit are to be achieved. The European Union, which seeks to give leadership in promoting global sustainable development, must not only ensure that its commitments are honoured, but that they are also built upon. This is all the more important after 2005’s high profile poverty focused events have ended and attention turns to other things. With the repeated warnings that development targets will not be met, that globalisation is widening inequalities, and that global warming could increase climatic instability more action is required to address these issues, not less. The following pages set out what is needed over the coming months if a Responsible Europe is to be realised.
Wednesday, 05 October 2005
SFP Info is the new newsletter of the SFP programme (Strengthening Fishery Products Health Conditions in the ACP/OCT countries). With this bilingual quarterly publication, the SFP plans to keep you regularly updated on the projects and activities launched to improve the sanitary conditions of fishery and aquaculture products in the ACP States and Overseas Countries and Territories.
SFP Info is for everyone concerned by the programme: Competent Authorities in charge of health controls for aquatic products, laboratories, fishermen, fish farmers and the fish industry, framework companies, as well as European and ACP institutions. Each issue of SFP Info will address a topical issue "On the Front Page", with interviews and reports. The "In the Field" section will present one or more projects under way in a beneficiary region or country. The "Profile" will spotlight a public- or private-sector actor. And each issue will also include "News Briefs".
This week the European Parliament holds its plenary session in Strasbourg. This is the opportunity for the 732 members of the EP to vote in or to reject EU legislation.
MEPs also have a chance to question EU Commissioners and national ministers from whichever country is currently chairing the EU. The Commission holds its weekly meeting in Strasbourg whenever the Parliament is meeting there, giving MEPs a forum to quiz them on upcoming proposals for legislation. The Commission proposes new laws and rules, while the EP and the Council of ministers have the power to adapt and approve legislation.

Reflections on a changing institution
1979 marked the first direct elections to the European Parliament. In total 410 members from 9 countries were elected through universal suffrage.
The role of the European Parliament is key also for the ACP countries since it approves the EU development policy and the corresponding budget.
Louis Michel advocates greater involvement of civil society in the EU development policy

Speaking before the European Economic and Social Committee during the adoption of a key opinion on the future development policy, Louis Michel, the Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, advocated greater involvement of the civil society. During his speech on the "New EU Development Policy" Mr. Michel presented the Commission's Communication on promoting greater cohesion and coordination between EU and EU Member States' policies to make the EU development policy more efficient. With input from ILO and other international organisations, the document highlights the consultative function and the promotion of the social dialogue, especially in policies of particular interest to the civil society such as social cohesion and decent work. Mr. Michel is counting on the EESC "to support us in this work and assist us through stronger dialogue with the partner countries, including the economic and social partners".

The future development policy – viewpoints of civil society
Mr. Michel than attended a discussion on the Committee's opinion set out in "The Future EU Development Policy - Viewpoints of the Civil Society" prepared by Mr. ZUFIAUR (Group II, Wage-earners, Spain). In this opinion, the Committee proposes that the EU development policy be given the same status as the security policy.Considering the world's current globalisation, promotion of the European social model should be a central pillar in the EU development policy. The Committee feels that the reduction of subsidies would contribute considerably to the reduction of poverty. The EESC recommends the inclusion of a social dimension in association agreements between the EU and the various countries.
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Saturday, 01 October 2005
European Commission discusses Africa Strategy with Africa’s regional organisations
Commissioner Louis Michel meets today Africa’s regional organisations to discuss the European Commission’s proposal for a new EU Strategy for Africa to be adopted on 12 October. The meeting follows on in-depth written consultation over the past two months on the major ideas of the Strategy. This Strategy should provide a common, comprehensive, and coherent framework for action for all EU Member States and the European Commission to support Africa’s efforts to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
On Thursday 29 September, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Mr Louis Michel, met with representatives from Africa’s regional economic communities (RECs) and the African Union (AU). This meeting marks the conclusion of a process of consultation where Africa’s organisations have been invited to share their views on the proposed EU Strategy. Commissioner Michel insisted on the importance of this consultation: ‘Too many times, policies have been written about or for, rather than with the African partners. It is absolutely crucial that this strategy reflects Africa’s vision and priorities.’
Recent years have seen the emergence of strong regional organisations in all parts of Africa and a continental level of political governance, namely the African Union (AU). Africa’s regional organisations are the key actors in the efforts to promote more regional trade and integration, which are key factors for peace and prosperity in Africa. “It is these organisations that will be the engines of Africa’s integration and cooperation and we should offer them our political and economic support and our experience of regional cooperation and integration”, said Commissioner Michel.

The Council and the Commission are preparing a strategy for Africa that is to be adopted in December. There are four parts to the strategy — Peace and Security, Governance, Regional Integration and Trade, Development Aid —with the following main commitments
i) Peace and Security
- Facilitate the African Peace Facility to support the African peace-keeping forces
- Strengthen the conflict prevention programmes
- Increase financial resources for post-conflict countries
- Study the question of natural resources management
- Stop the flow of weapons to conflict zones
ii) Governance
- Strengthen the African institutions, the African Union, NEPAD, and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM),
- Provide support for states fighting corruption, with more aid for states considered to be 'well governed',
- Provide support for political governance through, inter alia, election monitoring missions.
iii) Regional Integration and Trade
- Strengthen the infrastructures for regional integration
- Strengthen Africa's capacity for trade by a) supporting the development of a capacity for exporting, b) obtaining access to quota-free markets for the EPA countries, and c) simplifying the rules on product origin for products from Africa.
iv) Development Aid
- Bigger volumes and better quality (0.56% of the GDP in 2010, half is intended for Africa)
- A commitment to deliver humanitarian aid more quickly and efficiently
- Debt relief for the poorest countries
- Emphasis on the health and education sectors, including objectives for financial support for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.