August 2015
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Sunday, 02 August 2015

At the Third International Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the European Union (EU) pledged to remain the world's most open market, by continuing to import from developing countries and develop schemes, which benefit developing countries. On imports, the EU currently imports €860 billion worth of goods annually from developing countries and it has already indicated funds of up to €6 billion to support trade schemes with developing countries. Via the EU’s Sustainable Energy for All project , €3.5 billion will be allocated to the energy sector  and this is expected to leverage a further €30billion from now until 2020. The EU’s budget support programmes, annually disburse of €1.6 billion to 80 developing countries, while EU direct support to domestic public amounts to €140 million annually.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi visited Kenya and Ethiopia. In Kenya, he met with President Uhuru Kenyatta and also gave a public lecture at the University of Nairobi. Addressing the students and professors at the University of Nairobi, PM Renzi spoke about the challenges of development and building bridges to combat extremism. During bilateral talks at the State House, issues on cooperation in the war on terror and investment, as well as innovation, renewable energy and rural development. Renzi also announced that Italy plans to increase its aid contributions to the continent and added, “But we need to stop viewing Africa simply as an aid recipient.” He underlined that Africa’s prosperity and stability benefit the continent and reduce the risk of migrants crossing the  Mediterranean and take the pressure off Italy, which serves as the  “bridge” between Africa and Europe.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Third Meeting of the Joint CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Council under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was held in Guyana on 16 July 2015. The Joint Communiqué published by both parties underscores the importance of the Five Year Implementation Review to determine the Agreement’s impact. During the meeting, it was agreed to (i) develop a joint monitoring system, as continuous  monitoring of the EPA, is provided for in Article 5 of the Agreement and (ii) to establish a Special Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries to exchange information, consult and take action in these fields, in order to contribute effectively to the existing CARIFORUM Food and Nutrition Security and sustainable development plan. It was regrettable that the meeting noted that CARIFORUM States had not yet been able to fully convert the market access offered by the EPA into meaningful market presence.

The 'Addis Tax Initiative' is a new joint initiative of developed and developing countries, which aims to avoid the negative spill-over effects of domestic revenue policies and to improve domestic public finance in developing countries. It was formally launched at the Third International Financing for Development Conference. In his speech on  International Support to Domestic Resource Mobilisation,  European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica underlined that "effective domestic revenue mobilisation is a powerful driver and a prerequisite for good governance and economic growth".

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis delivered a keynote address to the open a high level conference in the EU Pavilion at EXPO Milan on food safety and nutrition in 2050. The first results of a two-phase foresight project were announced and they provided insight and guidance on future policymaking to preserve high standards of safe, nutritious, high quality and affordable food for EU consumers in the face of emerging challenges. The study identified the critical challenges to the EU food legislation and gave broad indications of potential impacts on food safety and nutrition policy areas towards 2050. It was underlined that the future of the global food chain will be largely determined by five major drivers: (i) population growth, demography, (ii)  availability and management of resources and the environment, (iii) innovation & technology, (iv) social attitudes and (v) public policy.