Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018
The Commission has undertaken a significant effort to improve the quality of the planning and organisation of its work. The ‘Basic facts’ section of this site will answer some of your initial questions about the Commission, including those you might have regarding its role in the legislative process, in decision-making and in other areas of its competence.
Saturday, 26 March 2005
The Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA)will take place in Bamako (Mali), from 16 to 21 April 2005. The Assembly will consider the reports of its Standing Committees on:
- Progress made in achieving universal primary education and gender equality in the ACP countries in the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)
- Budgetisation of the European Development Fund
- Post-conflict rehabilitation in the ACP countries
Urgent topics with resolution will cover the situation in Sudan and in the African Great Lakes Region. A debate on the consequences of the tsunami for the ACP countries will also take place.
In addition to the statements of the Commission and of the Council, the Question Time and the debates with these two institutions, the Assembly will also hold a debate on the progress of the negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements with Mr Peter Mandelson, Member of the Commission in charge of trade. Within the framework of the debate on the report of the Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment and in view of the adoption of a Bamako Declaration on the Millennium Development Goals, the Assembly will also listen to Mrs Evelyne Herfkens, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Campaign.
Attached details on the 3 standing committees and report of previous sessions.
- Committee on Political Affairs
- Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade
- Committe on Social Affairs and the Environment

To learn more about the JPA see weblog under ACP-EU institutions.
Friday, 25 March 2005
Statement of the Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson to the Development Committee of the European Parliament on 17 March 2005.

Trade is the third leg of the development triad. Actions on trade, aid and debt need to complement one another. Action on one dimension alone is not enough. Neither are all three sufficient in combination.

Mr Mandelson underlined that trade can help promote development, but only if accompanied by the right domestic policies, and only if developing countries integrate trade into a broad programme of development that includes action on infrastructure, killer diseases, education, better governance and corruption – something the Commission for Africa report, published last Friday, has unambiguously brought home. First, market opening must be properly sequenced and adapted to development situations and needs. In other words, in contrast to the neo-liberals, don’t expect open markets to work like a magic wand. Second, open markets must be underpinned by an open, equitable, rules-based multilateral trading system, that has protection of the weaker nations of the world explicitly built into its rulebook and modus operandi. That principle has to become second nature to all involved in trade negotiations. Third, the creation of new opportunities to trade must be combined with the active support for building the necessary capacities to trade for the poorer countries. That means in practice - aid directed at promoting trade. 2005, with the Monterrey and United Nations reviews, with a G8 Presidency focussed on Africa, is presents a real window of opportunity for progress – in all meanings of that word. The EU must through its trade policy make a strong contribution.

On Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA's), he declared that the multilateral route is not the only route to development. We must also nurture and renew our traditional bilateral relationship with the ACP family, using the Economic Partnership Agreements under Cotonou as positive development tools. This is why he decided, in agreement with Commissioner Michel in charge of Development, to put in place a new monitoring mechanism, to check on a systematic basis what benefits our money and assistance and money is actually bringing our ACP partners in terms of capacity building. In other words, is it addressing their ‘real needs’? Is there enough help available? And is it being effective in what it aims to do? Within the Commission a dedicated structure of people will be in place to review the progress of our aid programmes to our EPA partners and identify any possible bottlenecks that may arise across the whole range of programs and projects that constitute our EPA-related assistance. We have to be coherent if our aid is to be effective.
The European Council held in Brussels yesterday and today examined, among other issues, the climate change.

The European Council notes with great satisfaction the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. In this respect, it wishes in particular to congratulate the Russian Federation on having ratified the Protocol. The European Council welcomes the Commission communication entitled "Winning the battle against global climate change" and calls on the Commission to continue its cost-benefit analysis of CO2 reduction strategies. The European Council emphasises the EU's determination to reinvigorate the international negotiations by:
– exploring options for a post-2012 arrangement in the context of the UN climate change process, ensuring the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response;
– developing a medium and long-term EU strategy to combat climate change, consistent with meeting the 2ºC objective. In view of the global emission reductions required, global joint efforts are needed in the coming decades, in line with the common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, including significantly enhanced aggregate reduction efforts by all economically more advanced countries.

See document on: Sustainable Development in Africa:is the Climate Right? by the International Research Institute
for Climate Prediction
Wednesday, 23 March 2005
Today the European Commission took stock of the EU legislative framework on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). During the debate, the Commission confirmed its full confidence in the existing regulatory framework on GMOs, one of the strictest in the world, which provides for a high level of scientific assessment and at the same time safeguards the consumers’ right to choose. The Commission concluded that it would continue to comply fully with its legal obligations and proceed with the approval of pending authorisations as appropriate. While continuing to fulfil the responsibilities imposed on it by the EU legislative framework, the Commission has reflected on the need to develop consensus between all interested parties.

The attached file on Questions and Answers on the Regulation of GMOs in the European Union gives details and links on questions such as:
- What are GMOs?
- Overview of EU legislation on GMOs
- What are the principles introduced by Directive 2001/18/EC?
- What is the procedure for authorising the placing on the market of GMOs as such or as a component in products?
- What is the procedure for authorisation of the experimental release of GMOs into the environment?
- How does the environmental risk assessment procedure work?
- Have GMOs already been authorised for release into the environment?
- Have GMOs already been approved for use in food products?
- Labelling and traceability of GMOs
- What are the rules on co-existence between transgenic crops and traditional or organic crops?

The main features of the Regulation concerning the rules governing the movement and international trade of GMOs which can affect developing countries are:
- the obligation to notify exports of GMOs intended for deliberate release into the environment and secure express consent prior to a first transboundary movement; - the obligation to provide information to the public and to our international partners on EU practices, legislation and decisions on GMOs, as well as on accidental releases of GMOs;
- a set of rules for the export of GMOs intended to be used as food, feed or for processing;
The Regulation (EC) No 1946/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council
of 15 July 2003 on transboundary movements of genetically modified organisms is attached.