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Monday, 10 December 2018
European Commission discusses Africa Strategy with Africa’s regional organisations
Commissioner Louis Michel meets today Africa’s regional organisations to discuss the European Commission’s proposal for a new EU Strategy for Africa to be adopted on 12 October. The meeting follows on in-depth written consultation over the past two months on the major ideas of the Strategy. This Strategy should provide a common, comprehensive, and coherent framework for action for all EU Member States and the European Commission to support Africa’s efforts to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
On Thursday 29 September, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Mr Louis Michel, met with representatives from Africa’s regional economic communities (RECs) and the African Union (AU). This meeting marks the conclusion of a process of consultation where Africa’s organisations have been invited to share their views on the proposed EU Strategy. Commissioner Michel insisted on the importance of this consultation: ‘Too many times, policies have been written about or for, rather than with the African partners. It is absolutely crucial that this strategy reflects Africa’s vision and priorities.’
Recent years have seen the emergence of strong regional organisations in all parts of Africa and a continental level of political governance, namely the African Union (AU). Africa’s regional organisations are the key actors in the efforts to promote more regional trade and integration, which are key factors for peace and prosperity in Africa. “It is these organisations that will be the engines of Africa’s integration and cooperation and we should offer them our political and economic support and our experience of regional cooperation and integration”, said Commissioner Michel.

The Council and the Commission are preparing a strategy for Africa that is to be adopted in December. There are four parts to the strategy — Peace and Security, Governance, Regional Integration and Trade, Development Aid —with the following main commitments
i) Peace and Security
- Facilitate the African Peace Facility to support the African peace-keeping forces
- Strengthen the conflict prevention programmes
- Increase financial resources for post-conflict countries
- Study the question of natural resources management
- Stop the flow of weapons to conflict zones
ii) Governance
- Strengthen the African institutions, the African Union, NEPAD, and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM),
- Provide support for states fighting corruption, with more aid for states considered to be 'well governed',
- Provide support for political governance through, inter alia, election monitoring missions.
iii) Regional Integration and Trade
- Strengthen the infrastructures for regional integration
- Strengthen Africa's capacity for trade by a) supporting the development of a capacity for exporting, b) obtaining access to quota-free markets for the EPA countries, and c) simplifying the rules on product origin for products from Africa.
iv) Development Aid
- Bigger volumes and better quality (0.56% of the GDP in 2010, half is intended for Africa)
- A commitment to deliver humanitarian aid more quickly and efficiently
- Debt relief for the poorest countries
- Emphasis on the health and education sectors, including objectives for financial support for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Eldis Trade Resource Guide has undergone a radical transformation. This is to facilitate the exploration of various key themes and sub-themes within the broad area of trade policy and development. New themes include 'EU and trade', with categories on the Everything but Arms and Economic Partnership Agreements; 'Intellectual Property Rights'; trade and agriculture; and trade liberalisation and protection.
Thursday, 29 September 2005
EU requests second WTO arbitration on its revised proposal for the banana import regime
The EU today submitted a request for a second arbitration on its proposal for a new import tariff for bananas from countries benefiting from Most Favoured Nation status. The Commission has carefully analyzed the award from the first arbitration. It is confident that its revised proposal for an import duty of € 187/tonne for MFN suppliers and a tariff quota of 775,000 tonnes at zero duty for bananas originating in ACP countries maintains market access for MFN suppliers and an equivalent level of preference for ACP suppliers as the current regime. The intention remains to have a tariff only system in place on 1 January 2006.
Economic Partnership Agreements: EU and Caribbean Region launch third phase of negotiations
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson travels to St Lucia today to launch the third phase of Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations between the European Union and the Caribbean region. The crucial third phase will launch negotiations on the text of a final agreement, encompassing the continued integration of the Caribbean regional economy and access to the European goods and services market. He will also exchange views with his Caribbean partners on the WTO Doha trade talks.

Wednesday, 28 September 2005
CIDSE press communiqué on outcome of UN World Summit, 16 September 2005
The World Summit fell far short of expectations but we cannot simply write it off.
'Judging from its outcome, it is merely a reiteration of old promises. But alongside the agreed bottom line, individual member states have lined up in a kind of beauty contest to set out their own initiatives and commitments to international co-operation,' observed Paul Chitnis, President of CIDSE. 'The 350,000 citizens who have participated in the CIDSE postcard campaign and the millions involved in the Global Call to Action against Poverty will hold their governments accountable to these commitments. They will challenge them to finally translate all their long made promises into action.

The first test will be the Annual Meetings of the International Financial Institutions next week when the modalities of the July G8 Summit's decision to cancel the debts of 18 highly indebted countries will be hammered out. While debt relief was strongly endorsed by the World Summit, many governments of rich countries are in fact attempting to undermine the decision on debt cancellation. 'Rich countries cannot afford to go back on this decision', Chitnis said. 'It will not only put their leadership in question but will come at a high cost for those to whom every dollar spent in paying off their countries' debts is a dollar less to spend on food, education and fighting diseases.'
Viewing the challenge at a larger level, he observed, 'Multilateralism was gravely compromised in the final preparatory phase of the Summit when some countries held the success of the summit hostage to their own interests. It is urgently necessary for world leaders to address this breakdown and prove their commitment to a global partnership for development and renewal.'
'The Millennium Development Goals, which were developed to tackle the most urgent crises including the lack of food security, inequitable distribution of resources and debt, demand global action. A strong United Nations is crucial in this endeavor,' he ended.