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Monday, 20 November 2017
Report on budgetisation of the European Development Fund-
Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade
Co-rapporteurs: David Matongo (Zambia) and Thierry Cornillet. Report to be discussed in the 9th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly to be held in Bamako, 16-21 April 2005.

The European Development Fund (EDF) is today the main European Community instrument for providing financial assistance for the development of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It does not form part of the general EU budget but it is financed by voluntary contributions from the EU Member States, and is the subject of negotiations (five-year financial protocol). The European Parliament requested the full inclusion within the general budget of financing for EU-ACP cooperation in order to be more closely involved in the control of public funds. The context is also shaped by the enlargement of the EU to 25 Member States and the need to incorporate aid to ACP countries within the financial perspective taking account of the accession of new Member States;the development of the European Union's development aid policy, which is in future to be integrated into the Union's wider external policy; efforts to ensure that resources allocated to development aid are used more effectively.

On the ACP isde, the current discussions on the prospect of budgetisation of the EDF are taking place at a time when the ACP Group faces many challenges which will have an impact on the substance of the partnership: mid-term review in 2004 and end-of-term review in 2006; improvement in the capacity to absorb resources; revision of certain provisions of and annexes to the Cotonou Agreement; the need to make a 10th EDF available to the ACP States in order to enable them to
achieve the objectives of the Cotonou Agreement; negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and the resulting financial requirements.

The attached draft report emphasises the need to address the concerns expressed by the less well-performing ACP countries that budgetisation of the EDF could entail a reduction in the funds allocated to them, and calls on the Commission to explain how it intends to guarantee that the interests of these countries are not affected. It alos notes the concerns expressed by the ACP countries about the possible effects of the annuality principle applied to the Community budget, even though the Commission has made it quite clear that this does not preclude multi-annual programming. It reiterates the importance of the resource predictability offered by the current EDF, which facilitates long-term programming in ACP countries and reaffirms the need, in any codecision procedure relating to a future EDF regulation, to safeguard the principles of partnership and ownership of development programmes by ACP countries and their involvement in all decisions regarding the use of funds.
Draft report on agricultural and mining commodities -Co-rapporteurs: Louis Claude Nyassa (Cameroon) and Nirj Deva

The development of agriculture remains an essential component of economic development as agriculture stimulates growth in other sectors and contributes substantially to poverty reduction both in rural and urban areas. Agriculture shall remain the backbone of strategies aimed at improving rural wellbeing provided its own long-term sustainability is addressed by adopting sustainable natural resource management practices.’
Emphasises the urgent need to develop national and/or regional strategies for the development of the commodities sectors with a view to reducing the ACP States' excessive dependence on those sectors and the consequent vulnerability of their economies;
- Calls on the ACP States and on the European Union to speed up the implementation of the action plans for commodities and cotton set out in the conclusions of the EU Council meeting of 27 April 2004;
- Notes the establishment of support programmes for the banana and rice industries and calls for their proper implementation and for the establishment of an appropriate and viable programme for sugar;
Reaffirms the urgent need to find solutions in the multilateral negotiations in the WTO and in the EPA negotiations so as to be able to maintain the viability of the agricultural commodities sector, in compliance with the spirit of the Cotonou Agreement;
- Calls on the ACP States and on the European Union to cooperate with recognised civil society organisations and private sector organisations in order to promote 'fair-trade' initiatives which will benefit ACP producers and improve the quality of natural products from the ACP States.
On the occasion of the commemoration of the 11th anniversary of the beginning of the genocide in Rwanda, on 7 April 1994, the ACP Group of States, bearing in mind the heavy loss in human life and the unforgettable suffering inflicted on the people of Rwanda, once again expresses its compassion and solidarity for the Rwandan people, and stands with them in commemorating this day, in memory of the victims of that tragic genocide in the hope that such atrocities will never again occur in that country or in any other ACP State.

See draft report of the Committee on Political Affairs of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly on Post-conflict rehabilitation in ACP countries
Co-Rapporteur: José Ribeiro e Castro and Ana Rita Sithole (Mozambique).

especially part on ermergency aid and the link between relief rehabilitation and development, since it has a direct link with the agricultural sector.
Over the next two decades the total population of the EU25 is expected to increase by more than 13 million inhabitants, from 456.8 million on 1 January 2004 to 470.1 million on 1 January 2025.
Population growth in the EU25 until 2025 will be mainly due to net migration, since total deaths in the EU25 will outnumber total births from 2010. The effect of net migration will no longer outweigh the natural decrease after 2025, when the population will start to decline gradually. The population will reach 449.8 million on 1 January 2050, that is a decrease of more than 20 million inhabitants compared to 2025. Over the whole projection period the EU25 population will decrease by 1.5%, resulting from a 0.4% increase for the EU15 and a 11.7% decrease for the ten new Member States. The share of the population of working age (between 15 and 64) in the total population is expected to decrease strongly in the EU25, from 67.2% in 2004 to 56.7% in 2050, that is a fall of 52 million inhabitants of working age. The share of the population aged between 0 and 14 will also be reduced, from 16.4% in 2004 to 13.4% in 2050, while the proportion of elderly people (aged 65 and more) is expected to almost double over th is period, from 16.4% in 2004 to 29.9% in 2050. Between 2004 and 2050, the largest declines are expected to be observed in most of the new Member States: Latvia ( -19.2%), Estonia (-16.6%), Lithuania (-16.4%), the Czech Republic (-12.9%), Hungary and Slovakia (both -11.9%), and Poland ( -11.8%). Over the whole period, the strongest increases will be recorded in Luxembourg (+42.3%), Ireland (+36.0%), Cyprus (+33.5%) and Malta (+27.1%). In absolute terms the largest population decreases are expected in Germany (-7.9 million), followed by Italy (-5.2 million) and Poland ( -4.5 million), while the highest rises are expected in France (+ 5.8 million) , the United Kingdom (+4.7 million) and Ireland (+1.5 million).
This issue has to be linked to our previous news on migration in Europe.
On 6 April the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new EU programme for Research (FP7). The proposal provides new impetus to increase Europe’s growth and competitiveness, recognising that knowledge is Europe’s greatest resource. The programme places greater emphasis than in the past on research that is relevant to the needs of European industry, to help it compete internationally, and develop its role as a world leader in certain sectors. The programme will also for the first time provide support for the best in European investigator-driven research, with the creation of a European Research Council.
A key feature of the new programme will be a significant simplification of its operation. Measures are being considered, in line with the future revision of the Financial Regulation, to make the programme as straightforward as possible for potential participants. The programme will have more focus than in the past on developing research that responds to the needs of European industry, through the work of Technology Platforms and the new Joint Technology Initiatives. These will be projects in fields of major European public interest on subjects identified through dialogue with industry, in particular in the European Technology Platforms. The programme will establish for the first time a European Research Council, funding the best of European science, as assessed by peer review of European scientists. Another new element will be the development of regions of knowledge, bringing together research partners – such as universities, research centres, enterprises and regional authorities - in a region to strengthen their research potential. The programme will also comprise a Risk-Sharing Finance Facility aimed at fostering private investment in research by improving access to European Investment Bank (EIB) loans for large European research actions. This mechanism will enable broader EIB lending to RTD actions.