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March 2018
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Sunday, 18 March 2018
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will adopt, at its plenary session of 26-27October 2005, an opinion on the reform of the sugar market. The Committee considers that the reform proposed by the Commission goes too far in terms of production and price reductions. The EESC warns of the risk of considerable job losses, in particular in regions which are often already vulnerable.
In its draft opinion, prepared by Mr. BASTIAN (France, Group I - Employers), the EESC recognises the need to reform the sugar market, but considers that the proposed reform goes too far in terms of production and price reductions.
According to the Committee, the implementation of the proposed reform will have an important impact on the European sugar sector, and will result in particular in the loss of at least 150,000 jobs in regions which are often already vulnerable.
In its opinion, the European Economic and Social Committee
- supports the demand of less developed countries to negotiate sugar import quotas with the European Union;
- stresses the need for price reductions to be spread over time and strictly limited to international commitments;
- recommends maintaining the intervention system;
- calls for the partial compensation to be paid to planters, for the loss of income resulting from reductions in beet prices, to be increased, as far as possible, and allocated in full;
- supports the Commission’s proposal regarding the restructuring programme, but calls for a right of codecision for planters, and for aid to be granted to planters affected by closures of mills, to enable them to restructure their operations;
- stresses the need to mobilise the European Structural Funds and Social Funds in order to ensure, over and above the necessary compensation, that the employees affected by the restructuring of the European sugar industry are given the broadest possible access to retraining opportunities;
- considers that it is necessary and urgent for the sugar sector to be included in the energy debate (a biofuel policy) as a means of offsetting the negative effects of the reform;
- calls on the Council to be attentive to the situation.
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The not-for-profit association “Groupe One” is launching a new site on sustainable development, Brussels, Belgium, 13 October 2005.
“Groupe One”, a sustainable development and local economic development research and action group announces the opening of its site, devoted to sustainable development and aimed at the general public providing daily news, useful links, practical advice, etc. to help you participate in sustainable development.
Two new articles will be published every week on sustainable development themes which affect all our lives: housing, well-being, mobility, climatic change, etc.
Over the months, quizzes, games and competitions and numerous other surprises will be added to the vast range of useful information published on the site.
In March 2005, UNESCO launched the decade of education for sustainable development. On that occasion, several dozen associations met in the framework of the CNCD-11.11.11 with a view to forming a partnership with the French Community. The aim: to systematize on a multi-annual basis a framework bringing together movements devoted to education for sustainable development.
Numerous such movements exist, but often operate in a fragmented way. The aim behind the idea of bringing together the relevant associations and pooling their services in a common framework is not only to enhance the visibility and consistency of their actions, but also to develop complementary approaches: respect for the environment, international cooperation, citizen participation and health are the different pieces of the same jigsaw puzzle, that of sustainable development. It is therefore indispensable to combine the different concepts within an integrated educational approach.
The concept “Mon assiette, ma planète”, translates the interconnection between the local, everyday aspects and the global aspects of sustainable development
What is “Mon assiette, ma planète” in concrete terms. It is two weeks every year of coordinated events on the theme of sustainable development in the primary and secondary school network in the French Community. In the autumn (from 10 to 18 November 2005), the aim of “Mon assiette” will be to raise awareness among young pupils about the fact that their everyday behaviour has an impact on global realities. In the spring (from 22 to 28 April 2006), the aim of “Ma planète” will be to convey the message that the planetary challenges also affect everyone where they live. These two windows, open two weeks every year, are therefore intended to offer teachers a wide range of educational events. Obviously, the approach will be gradual and must be developed on an ongoing basis over time. It is intended to facilitate contacts between associations and schools and to provide interested teachers with a wide and consistent range of educational aids. The aim is also to develop and build on the learning-rich experiences which already exist in this field, among both teachers and associations.

How does “Mon assiette, ma planète” work?
In very concrete terms, the web site of “Mon assiette, ma planète” will list the various events proposed by the associative sector and aimed at schools. What type of teaching aids or events are available? From which associations are they available? For which age groups are they intended? Are they implemented by the association or by the teachers themselves? How long does the event last? Which criteria are addressed: health, North-South solidarity, environment, citizenship? Which themes are addressed: water, culture, food, mobility, fair trade, others? On the basis of this inventory, teachers will be able to contact directly the association which proposes the educational aids or events that interest them. The aim then is to develop successfully this collaboration and educate together pupils on the concepts of sustainable development. Obviously, more permanent partnerships may emerge over time and the concept will evolve and be shaped by the various actors. It is therefore to some extent a wager: that of a sustainable, extensive partnership between schools and the associative sector, to integrate fully the concept of sustainable development in the education of pupils in the French Community.
Tuesday, 25 October 2005
Open-source software is gaining ground in Europe, with users attracted by lower costs and accessibility, according to a recent study.
The study of 12 European countries conducted by the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in the Netherlands found that nearly 49 per cent of local government authorities are using Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) and those using it would like to increase its use. The survey netted 955 respondents in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
Around 70 per cent of FLOSS users wanted to increase its use, said program leader Rishab Aiyer Ghosh. But the survey also found that some 29 per cent of respondents who said they did not use FLOSS did in fact use open source software such as GNU/Linux, MySQL, or Apache. The average number of computers serviced by an IT administrator was 66, 13 more than administrators who were not using open-source software, Ghosh said. The statistic implies that fewer administrators are needed for open-source software, he said.
An Informal EU Ministerial Meeting on Development Co-operation will take place today and tomorrow (24 and 25 October 2005) in Leeds, United Kingdom.
The Development Informal will bring together EU Development Ministers from the 25 Member States and the candidate countries, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid and the Chair of the Development Committee of the European Parliament to discuss issues related to poverty reduction, the Millennium Development Goals and Africa.
Hilary Benn, the UK Secretary of State for International Development, will chair the meeting. Although the Informal Council will not take any binding decisions, the discussions will help lay the foundations for the formal meeting of Development Ministers as part of the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) on 21/22 November in Brussels.
The agenda for the Development Informal is being finalised and will be available at least a week before the meeting.
- Development Policy Statement
- Putting Trade at the Service of Development
- EU-Africa: A Partnership for Africa
- Is the International Development System equipped to deliver more and better aid?