Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

January 2018
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 1 2 3 4



Follow the CTA Brussels Daily


twitter logo


facebook logo cta

Friday, 19 January 2018
They say ‘great minds think alike’ but the essence of large-scale integrated projects is to put the best minds – frequently from different disciplines – towards solving major scientific problems. One European project, called Ensemble, takes this grouping principle to the next level, assembling partners from all over the world to come up with more accurate predictions for climate change.
Predicting climate change – whether from natural or man-made causes – is notoriously difficult because of uncertainties in weather forecasting and problems with data reliability and key processes used, lament scientists. For the first time, thanks to European Union funding, a group of research teams spanning the globe will develop a common aggregated climate forecasting system covering various timescales and spatial spreads – i.e. regional, local, national.

More accurate climate prediction has a number of immediate and longer-term benefits. Scientists – and other users of the systems that the Ensemble projects aims to develop – will be able to forewarn authorities when there is greater risk of unnatural weather extremes, causing disasters, such as floods, landslides and avalanches. Farmers will be able to plan ahead for potential droughts or unseasonal weather that could damage crops. Policy-makers will be better informed about the environmental impacts of climate change, and act accordingly.

The Ensemble research consortium is made up of 70 partners from the EU, Switzerland, Australia and the USA who will spend five years and €15 million in EU funding developing what it calls an "ensemble prediction system based on state-of-the-art high-resolution, global, regional and whole Earth system models". Led by the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research at the UK Met Office, Ensemble (short for Ensemble-based predictions of climate changes and their impacts) will validate these models against current weather data to come up with more accurate forecasts of future climate aberrations – seasonally, over decades and even longer timescales.
  • Bookmark and Share
  • Email
  • Print
Monday, 20 June 2005
16 and 17 JUNE 2005
Presidency conclusions interesting the ACP countries

Relations with the ACP
The European Council welcomes the conclusion of the negotiations on the revision of the Cotonou Agreement, and the agreement reached on this subject with the ACP States on 23 February 2005. This revised agreement, while maintaining the Cotonou acquis, represents an improvement of the partnership between the ACP States, the Community and its Member States, in all its component parts.

Relations with Africa
The European Council welcomes the increase in dialogue and cooperation between the EU and all the African countries, made possible by the affirmation of the African Union (AU) as the political framework able to put forward African responses to the challenges of development. The purpose of this dialogue is an EU-Africa strategic partnership focusing on four main lines: four peace and security, governance, regional integration and trade, and development. The European Council welcomes the boosting of peace-keeping and security maintenance capabilities in Africa and the fact that the relevant structures have been made operational, particularly in the framework of the African Union and the sub-regional organisations which the EU has pledged to support.
In view of the close link between peace and security, on the one hand, and the development of the African countries, on the other, the European Council reaffirms the EU's determination to continue supporting the development of the African continent in compliance with the principles of equality and African ownership. In this context, holding the second EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon as soon as possible is an important objective. The European Council also commends the priority treatment given to Africa in the G8 proceedings and has taken note of the contribution by the "Commission for Africa".
Sunday, 19 June 2005
In the run-up to the G8 meeting in Gleneagles, this Oxfam brief proposes a EU trade agenda for both the multilateral and bilateral arenas, which will enable the EU to ‘make poverty history’. It points out that the EU must look towards its longer-term enlightened interests and rein in its search for short-term commercial advantage if real progress is to be made in 2005 on reducing poverty through trade.
The brief suggests that the EU trade agenda should:
- press at the WTO for an early end-date for export subsidies and reform of domestic subsidies which also contribute to dumping
- make sharp cuts in domestic sugar production and increase imports from the poorest countries at remunerative prices
- support the West African cotton initiative at the WTO and press for a solution to the cotton-dumping issue before Hong Kong
- promote the right of poor countries to decide their agricultural policies within WTO and regional trade agreements
- allow developing countries to choose the pace, scope, and coverage of tariff reduction in the NAMA negotiations, in line with their development needs
- at the WTO, agree to reduce EU tariff and non-tariff barriers to developing-country manufactured exports, and support LDC demands for duty-free, quota-free access to industrialised-country markets
- ensure that any Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries include the principle of non-reciprocity, and exclude the Singapore Issues, unless requested. The EU must also offer an alternative to EPAs
- stop pressing for basic public services to be included in the WTO services agreement
- support developing countries which wish to limit patent rights in order to ensure access to medicines
- regulate EU business in developing countries in order to increase social, economic, and environmental benefit
- offer substantial new trade-related aid, without economic policy conditions attached and without adding to the existing debt burden.
  • Bookmark and Share
  • Email
  • Print
Friday, 17 June 2005
European migration policies are characterised by a fundamental paradox: they are getting tighter and tighter just while public opinion is becoming more favourable to migrants and the immobility of European citizens expands the scope for spatial arbitrage, accruing the benefits, of immigration. This paper, written byTito Boeri andHerbert Brücker and published by theInstitute for the Study of Labor (IZA), considers two possible explanations for this puzzle.
Extracts of Commissioner Peter Mandelson, EU Trade Commissioner,to the EPC-KBF Conference on Trade and Development held today in Brussels.

Take Africa. Its plight is indeed a scar on the conscience of the world. Because of abject poverty, civil war, poor governance. Africa is a continent in dire need of capital, of investment, yet capital flight from Africa is massive. But Africa’s problems also stem from opportunities lost. Africa is not taking its share of the benefits of globalisation. The continent remains at the margins of the international trading system.

Second, the relationship between trade and poverty is not a simple one. There is, incontestably, a positive association between open markets and growth in developed countries. In recent years, no country has successfully developed by turning its back on international trade, or long term capital flows.
The link of trade to poverty is more complex. Trade liberalisation is not a silver bullet for development. It may be a necessary condition for sustainable development. But such development also requires an appropriate proper institutional framework and above all supply side capacity to facilitate trade.
The conclusion from this, is simple. In the WTO, the notion of a “development round” – our main objective, our mandate – cannot be met within one narrow policy area – ie trade policy – alone. It requires a virtuous interaction of the development triad of aid, trade and debt.
What, then, do we need to do to deliver on the development promise of the multilateral trade talks under the Doha agenda?
We must complete the Doha Development Round on a basis from which we all gain clear benefits, but has as its driving purpose the promotion of sustainable development for developing countries. This requires action from all WTO members. Including, but not exclusively, the richer countries.
Last summer, Europe, along with the rest of the developed world, made a huge in principle down payment to ensure the success of the Doha Round. We signed up to a text in Geneva that committed us to far reaching agricultural reforms, including the phasing out of export subsidies and all their equivalents. We stand ready to flesh out our plans on agriculture and to negotiate for real improvements in market access to our markets for agricultural exporters, but this can only be done on the basis of fair reciprocity.
In particular, to make the Round a success we now need from the more advanced developing countries a new willingness to make a commitment in principle to cut their industrial tariffs from the rates they currently apply, not theoretical upper limits – and genuinely to open up their markets in services in business sectors that are critical to their future successful development. One single statistics captures it all: 70% of the tariffs currently paid by developing countries are to other developing countries.
Fair reciprocity does not require equal and precisely balanced reciprocity from all developing countries alike. We are not asking for concessions to be made by the poorest developing countries or those vulnerable economies that have special problems, as a result for example of preference erosion in commodities on which they are critically dependent. I accept the argument for special and differential treatment.
But let’s be clear here: pro development outcomes require an ambitious result of the DDA. Poor countries’ benefits will be commensurate with the depth of liberalisation that will be agreed. And they will only benefit if they sign up to international trade rules, not if they shy away from them.