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January 2019
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EDITO
Tuesday, 22 January 2019
The European Council has endorsed on June 17 2005 the raft of measures intended to strengthen the EU’s role in the fight against poverty. These EU commitments offer leadership in the run up to the meeting of world leaders in New York on 14-16 September 2005. The EU has promised a great deal. But will it really deliver on those promises?
Indeed these nice words come at a time when European institutions cannot agree on a clearly defined legal instrument that unreservedly targets global poverty for the years 2007-2013. Eurostep believes that "On the basis of recent legal opinions, this can only be done with a distinct, separate instrument for the EU’s co-operation with developing countries based on Treaty article 179."
At its 81st session in Brussels on 21 and 22 June, the ACP Council of Ministers adopted resolutions on bananas, cotton, sugar, rum, REACH, the Millennium Development Goals, on the recommendations of the Commission for Africa and a declaration on the EPA negotiations.
The whole set of resolutions and declarations is attached at the bottom of this page.

The Declaration on EPAs is pasted below.
Highlights are:
THE COUNCIL
- Expresses grave concern that the negotiations have not proceeded in a satisfactory manner having failed to start addressing most issues of interest and concern to the ACP regions, in particular the development dimension and regional integration priorities;
- Stresses the need for WTO rules to be modified to incorporate legally binding operational S&D provisions in order to create flexibilities for developing countries engaged in Regional Trade Arrangements with developed countries. The revised RTA rules should take into account the specificities and development needs of the least developed, landlocked and small, weak and vulnerable ACP States so as to facilitate the conclusion of EPAs which will be economically, socially and politically sustainable;
- Regrets the disconnect between the public statements of the Commissioners of Trade and Development on the development aspect of EPAs and the actual position adopted during EPA negotiating sessions; calls on the Commission to ensure consistency and coherence in their trade and development policies;
- Emphasizes that additional resources are required to enable the ACP countries to benefit from trade opportunities by building their supply side capacities, including the building of infrastructure, transport and communication systems and measures to enhance their export competitiveness and therefore welcomes and supports the EU Council Decision with regard to providing (i) additional support for trade adjustment and integration in view of the expected high integration costs faced by developing countries; and (ii) substantive financing of trade related assistance;
- Emphasizes that each ACP State and Region should be allowed to make its own decisions on the timing, pace, sequencing, and product coverage of market opening in line with individual countries’ national development plans and poverty reduction strategies.
Sahel food crisis: Commission earmarks €6.6 million in humanitarian aid for Niger and Mali
The European Commission has moved to provide significant emergency funding for vulnerable populations living on the southern fringe of the Sahara Desert. The package, consisting mainly of targeted nutritional support, involves €4.6 million for Niger and €2 million for Mali. The funds will be managed by the European Commission’s humanitarian aid department (ECHO), which comes under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel. Mali and Niger were badly affected by a destructive cricket infestation last year followed by drought. As a result, the 2004 harvest was poor, and many pastoralist families have now used up their reserves. The poorest families are being forced to sell underfed animals at low prices to purchase increasingly expensive food. Many are surviving on a diet made up almost exclusively of wild roots and herbs. Children are the hardest hit. Infant mortality and malnutrition rates have increased sharply. The two decisions will provide supplementary and therapeutic feeding for malnourished children in the worst-affected areas (the central regions of Niger, and northern Mali). Targeted food distribution is also envisaged for families of malnourished children and other highly vulnerable groups. The Niger decision will benefit an estimated 300,000 people, including special help for 6,000 under-fives. The funding for Mali involves targeted nutritional support for 1,200 infants, food security actions for an estimated 110,000 people and support for livestock and nutritional surveys in areas where there are currently no humanitarian operations.This aid, like all European Commission humanitarian support administered by ECHO, is provided free.
The planned intervention addresses immediate needs and is coordinated with longer term food security operations administered by the Commission. These focus on boosting early warning systems, ongoing food aid for the most vulnerable, improved seed distribution and cereal storage, and efforts to improve nutrition through schools. The Commission also has a longer term development strategy aimed at reducing poverty in Mali and Niger (for the period 2002-2007, it has allocated €392.2 million for Mali and €332.8 million for Niger). The Commission will continue to follow the nutritional situation in the Sahel region closely and is ready to provide additional humanitarian funds should the situation continue to deteriorate.
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Erasmus Mundus: European universities to welcome almost 1000 third-countries graduates and academics to study and teach in the EU in 2005-2006
The European Commission has selected 803 third-country students and 133 third-country scholars from all over the world to receive Erasmus Mundus scholarships for the next academic year (2005-2006). The students will study in Europe for one or two years to obtain a European masters’ degree from one of the 35 Erasmus Mundus masters courses. They will follow their courses in at least two universities in two different countries, giving them the opportunity to familiarise themselves with European lifestyles, cultures and languages. The scholars will instead spend an average of three months in Europe working for one of the Erasmus Mundus masters courses.
Monday, 04 July 2005
At the 24th meeting of ACP-EU Economic and Social Interest Groups, which took place at the headquarters of the European Economic and Social Committee on 28-30 June 2005, Louis Michel, Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, and Peter Mandelson, Commissioner for Trade, launched strong calls in favour of greater involvement of ACP economic and social interest groups in the development and trade policies of their countries.
"I am committed towards making social partners privileged partners in development cooperation", stated Mr Michel, while Mr Mandelson called for "...institutionalising dialogue with civil society on the Economic Partnership Agreements" via, for example, the creation of Regional Social Dialogue Committees composed of representatives of socio-professional organisations, which could explore the economic, social and regional impact of the proposed new trade agreements.
The statements of the two Commissioners were reflected in the Final Declaration of the meeting, adopted on 30 June. The Declaration, which will be transmitted to European, ACP and international organisations, addressed the involvement of non-state actors in the implementation of the Cotonou Agreement, the negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements and regional integration and sustainable development. Delegates stressed the following:
Implementation of the Cotonou Agreement by non-state actors
- The importance of institution-building or structuring of non-state actors;
- The necessity for more information on the Cotonou Agreement;
- The limited consultation to date;
- The fundamental need to increase the capacity of non-state actors, particularly economic and social actors, through enhanced access to funding and reinforced dialogue among actors.
Negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA)
- The negotiations are welcome, under certain conditions, particularly of a social nature;
- Economic and social interest groups must be regularly informed and consulted at all stages of the negotiations of the EPAs;
- Trade liberalisation should not be an end in itself, but must foster development, the establishment of regional markets and must also contribute to poverty eradication.
Priority issues for regional integration and sustainable development:
- The promotion of sustainable rural development;
- The opportunities of sustainable tourism;
- The threats of global climate change;
- The necessity for the sustainable use of natural resources;
- The challenge of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis;
- The importance of education and human resource development;
- The promotion of gender equality.
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