Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2018
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EDITO
Monday, 21 May 2018
A wide group of stakeholders jointly publish today the strategic research agenda ‘Plants for the future’ on how Europe can improve the safe exploitation of the genetic diversity in plants using plant genomics and biotechnology. Input has been collected from research institutions, industry, farmers, politics, financial world, regulatory authorities, as well as consumer and environmental organizations.
The agenda defines the strategic research priorities for the two coming decades. The priorities are to produce healthy and safe food and feed, and to increase competitiveness of the agricultural value chain while contributing to sustainability.
Wednesday, 06 July 2005
EU policies and structures for supporting collaborative efforts in research and technology within the Union and beyond are long-established and have a proven record of achievements. But this effort needs re-shaping via a new strategy to strengthen ties between Europe and international research partners. Doing so will help address global research challenges, such as climate change and bring benefits to the Union’s economy in terms of higher competitiveness and quality of life. The EU has a long tradition of pursuing international science and technology (S&T) co-operation. It has supported collaborative research for more than 20 years with partners in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America, the Mediterranean basin, Russia and OECD countries. For instance, some 40 000 research personnel from both the EU and third countries participated in more than 3 000 agricultural, health and natural resource projects from1983 to 2002.
Such co-operation promotes development of long-term durable partnerships, says deputy director-general of the Commission’s Research Directorate-General, in a recent EU publication entitled Reinforcing European research policy – the international dimension. The focus of these partnerships “is the added value and cost effectiveness that joint research can generate.”
Noting that Europe’s S&T international co-operation stimulates socio-economic development and global competitiveness, and has been increasingly underpinned by bi-regional dialogues at political level, he also insisted that this dialogue must be broadened and developed in a more structured way.
Referring to a new understanding that “the production and use of scientific knowledge is in itself a driving force,” Stančič said “this new paradigm“ calls for a constructive and complex interplay of the Union’s policies. In other words, a new strategy to promote international S&T co-operation is needed.
According to the Research DG, the strategy should have three goals, namely to:
- reinforce and enlarge Europe’s competitiveness by forging strategic partnerships with third countries in selected sectors, thus attracting the best of their scientists to work in Europe
- address problems common to both Europe and its third-country partner(s)
- use S&T co-operation to strengthen Europe’s relations with third countries and to support its position regarding common scientific policy issues
Implementation of the strategy should be based on two integrated approaches, argues the Commission. One requires closer coordination of EU national policies with those of third countries. The other calls for promoting further the participation of third countries in the Union’s Framework Research programmes. This should be done on a case-by-case basis and focused primarily on FP projects designed to increase Europe’s competitiveness.
Besides the four accession and candidate countries of Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Turkey, the Commission has identified four geopolitical groupings of partners as primary participants in the new strategy. These are: countries bordering the EU; developing countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific; industrialised countries (Australia, Canada, USA and Japan, etc); and international organisations, such as the WHO, OECD and the UN.
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CIDSE (International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity)delegation including two partners from Africa attended the Civil Society Hearings organised in New York on 23-24 June in preparation for the UN September Millennium +5 Summit. On behalf of CIDSE, the Global Call to Action Against Poverty and the three networks that are facilitating NGO activities in the Financing for Development Process, Christiane Overkamp, CIDSE Secretary General, spoke in the cluster 'strengthening the United Nations' and addressed the linkages between UN reform and financing for development.
The Council authorised the Commission to negotiate, within the framework of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development a successor agreement to the 1994 International Tropical Timber Agreement.
Assessment of non-state actor participation in the mid-term review in Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo
The European Commission (EC) has recently published its assessment of non-state actor (NSA) participation in the mid-term review (MTR) process[1]. The mid-term review took place in 2004 as part of the programming process. Its purpose was to adjust strategies and resource allocations to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The Cotonou agreement states that Southern states should take the lead in determining how their societies and economies are to develop. Recipient governments must do this in collaboration with non-state actors. This means that, under the terms of the agreement, local development actors should be contributing to the formulation, review and, where possible, implementation of development policy for their country.
In the Great Lakes region, this has not been the case so far. While the European Commission acknowledges the importance of partnership with civil society, significant obstacles block the realisation of a truly effective working relationship. The EC’s paper recognises that there is room for further progress. The success of participatory approaches depends not just on the attitude of governments in partner countries or on the capacities of local actors, as the assessment indicators might suggest[2]. The EC delegations must fully assume their responsibility to invest time and money in relationship building with a complex and diverse range of actors. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work.
The aim of the paper is to complement the Commission’s evaluation by providing information and recommendations from non-state actors in the field. This paper takes the same structure as the EC’s draft assessment paper in order to establish a parallel analysis of the mid-term review process in three countries of the Great Lakes region, as observed by EurAC members and local partner organisations.