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Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

July 2019
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Saturday, 20 July 2019
Commission welcomes Parliament’s approval of new law.
Markos Kyprianou, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, has welcomed today’s vote by the European Parliament approving a new EU law to ban pressure selling and misleading marketing. The new legislation to harmonise Member States’ rules on unfair commercial practices was proposed by the Commission in June 2003. It will clarify consumers' rights and facilitate cross-border trade by establishing common, EU-wide rules against aggressive or misleading business-to-consumer marketing. This will give consumers the same protection against sharp business practices and rogue traders whether they buy from the shop around the corner or from a website in another Member State. Companies who comply with the rules will be able to do business in all EU countries. Independent economic studies predict the new law will increase consumer choice, stimulate competition and enlarge the horizons of small and medium sized businesses in Europe. The law is expected to be formally endorsed by the Council of Ministers in the coming weeks and should be implemented EU-wide by 2007.

Friday, 25 February 2005
The Committee of the Regions of the EU(CoR) urges Commission to support young farmers and encourage strengthen the role of more women in the rural economy to create a ‘living countryside' to work in agriculture. The Plenary Assembly has given its backing to the European Commission's rural development aid plan for 2007-2013, but expressed some concerns that its proposal does not go far enough. The importance of maintaining a multifunctional countryside by striking a balance between three major objectives (“axes”) identified by the Commission: (i) creating more jobs in agriculture and forestry; (ii) improving the environment and natural landscape; (iii) enhancing quality of life in rural areas and promoting diversification of economic activity. The CoR believes further steps could be taken in order to strengthen employment in rural areas – both on and off the farm. encourage diversification in the rural economy. It recommends financial incentives for young farmers and greater participation of women in the rural economy , as well as , funding for retraining of farm workers. The Committee supports the Commission's proposal for a budget of EUR 88.75 billion to finance EU rural development policy for the period 2007-2013.

This two issues of the role of young farmers and women is critical to ACP countries too. See work of CTA on both issues.
Thursday, 24 February 2005
The ACP-EU Ministerial negotiation meeting held today in Brussels on the revision of the Cotonou Agreement looked at the joint report on the revision of Cotonou and the financial plurianual framework. Both parties reached an agreement which indicates that the EU will maintain for the coming period the same assistance level than the 9th EDF for ACP countries increased by, based on EU estimations, three parameters: inflation rate, growth and enlargement. The support to the envisaged actions for the reform of the sugar market were incorporated. An agreement was reached on the non proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the international criminal court. The revised Agreement should be signed in the ACP-EU Coundcil to be held in Luxembourg mid-June 2005.
Thursday, 24 February 2005
In preparation for its consideration of medium and longer term emission reduction strategies, including targets, the European Council requested that the Commission prepare an analysis of benefits and costs of action against climate change, which takes account both of environmental and competitiveness considerations.

In response, the Commission on 9 February 2005 adopted the Communication on “Winning the Battle Against Climate Change” and a more detailed Staff Working Paper. The Communication outlines key elements for the EU’s post-2012 strategy. It highlights the need for broader participation by countries and sectors not already subject to emissions reductions, the development of low-carbon technologies, the continued and expanded use of market mechanisms, and the need to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. The EU position on the participation of developing countries is reflected in paragraph 6 and includes differentiated responsibilities and capabilities.
The chairs of the International Trade (Enrique Barón Crespo) and the chair of the Development Committees (Luisa Morgantini) will be putting oral questions (23rd February) to the Council and Commission on the New York Declaration on Action against Hunger and Poverty. This was signed in September 2004 by representatives of 110 countries at the United Nations, following an initiative from President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil. The same initiative led to proposals for innovative funding mechanisms for overseas development assistance. The MEPs want to know whether the Commission and Council are planning to take up these proposals.

The oral question is as follows:
"At the initiative of President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, of Brazil, on 20 September, the eve of the United Nations General Assembly’s annual debate, President Lula and the Presidents of France, Spain and Chile, as well as UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (the "Quintet against Hunger") gathered to discuss further international action to fight hunger, overcome poverty and increase finance and development. The Quintet rallied representatives of 110 Member States - including the more than 50 Heads of State and Government present - to adopt the New York Declaration on the Action against Hunger and Poverty.The Quintet had established a Technical Group on Innovative Financing Mechanisms, whose report served as the basis of the discussion. On 20 September they presented the idea of a Global Fund Against Hunger and Poverty based on innovative financing mechanisms. This initiative is part of the international effort to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek, among other things, to achieve universal access to primary education and reduce by half the levels of hunger and extreme poverty in the world by 2015. Among the various proposals for innovative ways of financing development, the report numbered taxation of financial transactions, taxation of the arms trade, creation of an international financial facility through which States could securitize their increases in future Official Development Assistance (ODA) on the bond markets, special drawing rights for financing development, international action against tax evasion and tax havens, increasing the benefits of remittances, establishing a mechanism for voluntary contributions through credit cards and the creation of ”ethical funds” providing opportunities for socially responsible investing. What is the preliminary assessment of the Commission concerning these mechanisms and which possibilities does the Commission envisage in implementing them?"

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