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Tuesday, 13 November 2018
Trade liberalisation is crucial to the fight against hunger and poverty but it is not enough on its own, Members of Euorpean Parliament were told by experts at a hearing of the International Trade Committee on 13 September. Domestic reforms, such as scrapping farm subsidies in the rich countries, are also needed.

MEPs broadly supported this view but added that the linkage between liberalisation and poverty was not always clear cut and that every country's circumstances were different. Agriculture was seen as a key area by most experts and MEPs, as it accounts for between 50% and 90% of employment in developing countries. There was a broad consensus that the benefits of trade liberalisation must be accompanied by domestic reforms in both developed and developing countries.
Patrick MESSERLIN, professor of economics at Sciences Po, Paris, argued that the main responsibility for fighting poverty in developing countries lay with the OECD countries, especially the EU. He said the elimination of export subsidies was certainly not enough: domestic subsidies and price support must be dismantled too. Apart from trade liberalisation, he added, there was a need for sound domestic governance using a wise mix of regulatory reform, domestic subsidies and taxes.
According to Veena JHA, Coordinator of the UNCTAD India Programme, trade liberalisation, in particular liberalisation of the agriculture, textile and clothing industries, generally had a positive impact on poverty reduction. However, she believed differentiated trade liberalisation would yield the best results.
Pierre DEFRAIGNE, director of EUR-IFRI, said the EU's contribution to eliminating poverty and hunger should go beyond trade because trade could only create opportunities, not deliver development.
Rashid KAUKAB, of the Trade and Development Programme, South Centre, Geneva, criticised the EU for not always adhering to its multilateral trading system commitments. "The EU has been quite good at selling some promises against down payments by developing countries", he said. He called on the EU to make a commitment at the highest level to turning its trade policy into a tool for achieving broad-based and widely shared development.
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Thursday, 15 September 2005
M. Peter Balas was appointed today Deputy Director-General in the Directorate-General for Trade. In his new function Mr Balas will supervise the services responsible for the coordination of WTO and OECD matters, agricultural trade, services, sustainable development as well as textiles, new technologies, intellectual property and public procurement.
Ambassador Peter Balas, aged 55, has been the permanent representative of Hungary to the World Trade Organization since 2002, where he participated in formulating Hungary’s multilateral trade policies concerning the Doha Development Agenda and other WTO activities. Since April 2003, he participated in EU coordination activities in Geneva and at Committee 133 meetings in Brussels.
M. Peter Balas has gathered multilateral experience on international economic relations at the GATT representation of Hungary, from 1986 to 1991, where he represented Hungary at the GATT Uruguay Round negotiations as Deputy Head of the Representation. From 1996 to 2000, he had also been in charge of the supervision of Hungary’s international relations and trade policy as Deputy State Secretary for international economic relations in the ministry of economic affairs, and held the same functions in the ministry of foreign affairs, from 2000 to 2002. M. Balas will take up office in the next weeks.
The 2677th session of the Council of the European Union (Agriculture and Fisheries) will take place on 19 and 20 September 2005 (11.00), in the Justus Lipsius Building, Brussels, under the Presidency of Ms Margaret BECKETT, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom.

Presidency's briefing on sugar
The Presidency will brief the Council concerning the informal meeting with Ministers of the sugar producing ACP countries and LDCs and will proceed to an exchange of views on the envisaged themes to be discussed. The issues proposed by the Presidency are likely to focus on the legal and political aspects of the reform of the Common Market organisation (CMO) of the sugar sector, on the price cuts,on the economic impact of the reform on these countries and on the action plan and accompanying measures.
A first joint informal meeting of this kind had already been held on 24 January 2005 under the Luxembourg Presidency. Since then the Commission issued its three proposals on sugar at the end of June, the World trade Organisation condemned the European Union for its cross-subsidies sugar regime, and works have continued on the preparation of the next trade ministerial meeting at the WTO in Hong-Kong in December 2005.
In the margins of the council, an informal meeting with Ministers of the sugar-producing African Caribbean Pacific Countries (ACP) and the Least Developed Countries (LDC) will be held starting at 14h30 on 19 September on the sugar sector. the European Commission will be represented by Ms Fisher-Boel, Mr Michel and the DG Trade representative.

Attached the speech of Mariann Fischer Boel, Member of the European Commission responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development on the Reform of Sugar CMO at the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development held on
Brussels 13 September 2005.
The European Commission will today consider measures to aid a European fishing industry hit by declining fish stocks and EU catch restrictions. This week’s ‘college’ of 25 commissioners have a slimmed down agenda as senior EU executives are in the US for the world UN summit. European Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg will outline the economic difficulties facing the fishing industry and propose action that could be taken by EU member states to help the industry. In light of continued decline to fish stocks, Borg will table long-term measures to bring relief to embattled fishing communities in some of Europe’s most deprived regions. On the economic aspect, Borg has previously stated that “if EU fisheries are to have a future, we must do what is necessary to address the problems of the competitiveness and the profitability of the sector in a globalised market”.

The European Commission will table the package of measures to next week’s meeting of EU fisheries ministers. Also on the agenda for commissioners are proposals amending the approval of EU regional funding – under Objective One – for the Free State of Saxony in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Wednesday, 14 September 2005
This year has witnessed a revival of development policy at global level. In this paper "Revamping Development Efforts: An assessment of development policy in the EU", produced by EPC, renowned experts and practioners address the key issues ahead of the review of the Millennium Goals that will take place in New York later this month, as part of a collective effort to raise awareness and maintain pressure on the EU not only to keep up its efforts, but also to lead the way with a more proactive and coherent approach towards achieving results.

The European Policy Centre (EPC) is an independent, not-for-profit think-tank, committed to making European integration work. The EPC works at the ‘cutting edge’ of European and global policy-making providing its members and the wider public with rapid, high-quality information and analysis on the EU and global policy agenda. It aims to promote a balanced dialogue between the different constituencies of its membership, spanning all aspects of economic and social life.