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EDITO
Tuesday, 19 June 2018
Publication of the General Report on the Activities of the EU in 2005: profiling the events of the past year
As it does at this time every year in accordance with its obligations under the Treaties, the European Commission has now published the General Report on the Activities of the European Union in 2005. Some 200 pages long and available in the twenty official EU languages, the Report highlights the main legislative activities and the key achievements which marked the last twelve months.
After a section devoted to the life of the institutions, this overview of 2005 focuses on the four basic strategic objectives set by the Commission both for its entire term in office - up to 2009 - and for its annual work programme: prosperity, solidarity, security and the presence of Europe in the world.
Wednesday, 15 February 2006
The 2707th Council Meeting on Economic and Financial Affairs held in Brussels today adopted a decision approving the signature of an agreement concerning the provisional application, for the period from 1 August 2001 to 31 July 2006, of an amended protocol on the fishing ppportunities and the financial contribution provided for in the agreement on cooperation in the sea fisheries sector between the EU and Mauritania. Amendments include a temporary reduction in the fishing effort for cephalopods, a second closed period of one month for demersal fishing, and an increase in the number of pole-and-line tuna vessels and surface longliners from 31 to 35 (+3 for Spain and +1 for France) and in the number of pelagic freezer trawlers from 15 to 25.
Civil society groups say European Union plans to launch a trust fund to disburse aid to Africa independently of the World Bank will contribute little to eradication of poverty. The European Commission, the European Union (EU) executive, launched its plan Thursday to fund development in Africa through the European Investment Bank (EIB), the soft lending arm of the EU. The fund, which should be operational by June, will mainly provide subsidised low-interest loans to finance water, energy, transport and telecoms infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on cross-border projects.
The EU says it wants the fund, initially 60 million euros (72 million dollars), to support the EU strategy for Africa which was approved last December. This strategy aims to promote the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).. The goals agreed in 2000 aim to cut poverty and improve access to health and education.
Launching the initiative, EU commissioner for development Louis Michel said he had high ambitions for the fund, and hoped national development agencies would contribute to it. Michel said he wants the trust fund to put the EU on "an equal footing" with the World Bank, and to make EU aid more visible. EIB president Philippe Maystadt said he hoped the fund would help raise Europe's profile as one of the biggest donors to development projects. "It's paradoxical that we are the largest donor but are not seen as such." Although some EU member states have welcomed the fund as an indication that the bloc is doing more for Africa, some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) say the EIB is not equipped to provide vital development aid or to help eradicate poverty in Africa. The groups have criticised the EIB for its lack of institutional transparency and proper assessment procedures, including social and environmental safeguard policies when investing in developing countries.
"The EIB does not have its own safeguard procedures on indigenous peoples or resettlement. There is also hardly any expertise within the EIB on development issues, poverty or especially on environmentally sustainable development," Magda Stoczkiewicz, policy coordinator for CEE Bankwatch Network told IPS Thursday. Klaus Schilder from the German anti-poverty NGO Weltwirtschaft, Ökologie & Entwicklung (WEED) welcomed the fact that the EIB is increasing its engagement with Africa, but he said that the organisation "currently lacks a comprehensive development mandate" that would govern its activities outside Europe. (IPS)
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The "Practical Guide to Contract Procedures for EC External Actions" is published on EuropeAid's (AIDCO) website. This Practical Guide describes the rules to be followed and explains the contracting procedures applying to all EC external aid contracts financed from the European Communities general budget (Budget) and the European Development Fund (EDF).
A prize of 500 Pounds will be awarded for the best paper published in The European Journal of Development Research
What can Europe do for Africa? What can Africa do for itself?
The profile of the African 'problem' has recently been raised immeasurably by the Prime Minister Blair's Commission for Africa Report and the United Nations' Millennium Project. In the context of the Cotonou agreement, the European Union, for its part, is promoting its Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) as a way of binding trade and economic relations with the continent. Simultaneously, Africa is struggling to implement its own programme of economic renewal, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). What will the developmental outcomes be of all these initiatives? Are they complementary, antagonistic or simply irrelevant?
- Submissions
Submissions for the EJDR Prize to write on the subject "The European Union and Africa- Towards a New Relationship?" can cover any aspect of European-African relationships, from any perspective (political, economic, sociological).
The deadline for submissions is 1st March 2006.