Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 18 December 2017
The Commission intends to use the assessment of the Scientific Committee as a basis for establishing thresholds for GM traces which are scientifically-based, feasible in the field and economically sustainable. These threshold values will only be applied to GM crops authorised for cultivation which have already been subject to a complete assessment of risks to human health and the environment. These thresholds obviously have a financial impact on the production costs for seed producers, as well as for farmers (the GM content in seeds will have an impact on the costs of measures for ensuring co-existence in the crop production). The European Commission considered on 8 September 2004 that further additional technical and economic data were needed in order to establish scientifically-based, feasible and economically sustainable threshold values.
The Commission will take a decision on this issue as soon as additional data will be available. Currently, as no thresholds for the adventitious presence of GM seeds in other products are established, any seed lot containing GM seeds authorised for the cultivation in the EU has to be labelled as containing GMOs. Seed lots containing GM seeds that are not authorised for cultivation can not be marketed in the EU.
Tuesday, 22 February 2005
The European Commission has adopted a plan aimed at strengthening the rights of passengers in all modes of public transport. It has also adopted two legislative proposals on air transport: the first guarantees people with reduced mobility the same access to this form of transport as any other passenger; the second aims to ensure that all passengers have the right to be informed in advance of the identity of their carrier. This overall plan complements the rights already established for air passengers which entered into force on 17 February and the proposals already on the table at the Council and Parliament on the rights of international rail passengers.

Air transport: Europe reinforces passengers’ rights
As of 17 Febuary, citizens will enjoy new rights when flying. Thanks to a new Regulation applicable in all the Member States, greater protection is being afforded to air passengers in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellation or long delays. See detail of indemnisation in attached document.

The European Commission launches a dedicated Environmental Information System based on satellite and computer-mapping technologies. This tool, developed by the Joint Research Centre, supports EU development activities in Africa, by providing information on food needs, helping the European Commission Humanitarian Office provide aid in the aftermath of natural disasters and other emergencies, and assisting long-term development through sustainable management of natural resources.
The Joint Research Centre’s crop monitoring and forecasting system assesses agricultural productivity in over 30 countries vulnerable to crises and food shortages; the Horn of Africa is particularly important because of recurrent food crisis and the absence of a regional monitoring system. Monthly reports describing current crop condition, yield prospects and the likelihood of food shortages are issued from April to October. During this period, continuous exchange takes place with the EU offices in Africa, African institutions and UN partners. In 2004 the focus was on North-Sudan’s Darfur region, and the regions of Mauritania and Mali suffering from desert locust plagues

The European Commission and European Space Agency have launched an initiative to establish, by 2008, a European capacity for global monitoring for environment and security (GMES) to support the Union’s political goals regarding sustainable development and global governance. GMES will facilitate and foster the operational provision of quality data, information and knowledge, this Observatory will help extend the application of the GMES initiative to Africa.

NGO's have some concerns on how the EU will tackle poverty issues. They have contacted their Ministers to highlight issues such as focus aid spending on tackling poverty in the EU financial perspectives; HIV/AIDS; lacl of development perspective in trade issues.
Monday, 21 February 2005
New website of the European Commission where you find booklets that explain what the European Union is and what it does, maps, posters and postcards the EU for young people in the 20 official languages of the European Union!

At the occasion of CTA observatory in September 2004 on "ICTs for rural youth livelihoods in ACP countries", a visit to policy-makers in Brussels underlined the need for more understanding and information on the EU-ACP relations. This new portal will certainly be useful for them.