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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 204]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 204]
Send date: 2009-12-11 16:19:59
Issue #: 19
Content:
Bulletin CTA
 
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This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.


Date : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

Main events in the week
  1. Main ACP-EU events for next week (14-20 December)
  2. Our video guest: Mr. Eric Thys, expert at Be-troplive
  3. Spanish EU Presidency 'to set precedents'
  4. EAC exports to be taxed by EU due to delay in EPA
  5. Copenhagen Summit: EU and ACP countries coordinate strategies
  6. Kouchner: 'His' tax on financial transactions to be used to fight poverty
  7. Spain Pledges €15 million for UN-REDD Programme
  8. EU military operation against piracy off the Somali coast
  9. Ratification of the revised Cotonou Agreement
  10. Concrete measures for tax justice for development
  11. South Africa's corn, wheat and sorghum harvests predicted to grow
  12. Development more important than quick conclusion of Doha
  13. Kenya exports to EU face taxes
  14. EU Development Council backtracks on development commitments
  15. Paul McCartney calls for meat-free Mondays in Europe
  16. Closer ties with Latin America jolted by EU Banana deal
  17. Reform of Spanish development finance mechanisms
  18. ACP-EU: help developing countries combat climate change


  1. Main ACP-EU events for next week (14-20 December)
    2009-12-11

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    - 14 – 17 December: Plenary session

    EU Presidency (Brussels, Copenhagen):
    - 14 – 18 December: United Nations Climate Change Conference (Copenhagen)
    - 14 – 16 December: Agriculture and Fisheries Council; Integration of New Arrivals-Incentives and Work in Focus; Informal EU meeting of foreign ministry Directors-General responsible for international cultural promotion
    - 17 – 18 December: Transport and Telecom Council
    - 15, 18 December: Political and Security Committee (PSC)
    - 16 December: Coreper I
    - 17 December: Coreper II

    ACP Secretariat (Brussels):
    - 14 December: Management meeting; ACP-EC Joint Thematic Group I; ACP-EC Joint Thematic Group II
    - 15 December: PAHD Department; W/G on Fisheries
    - 15 – 17 December: ACP Films and ACP Cultures – 1st Stakeholders meeting
    - 17 December: PAHD Department; ACP Committee of Ambassadors meeting – 2nd Revision of the Cotonou Agreement; Committee of Ambassadors
    - 18 December: SADC Senior Officials; PPM Meeting

    SOS Faim (4 rue aux Laines, 1000 Brussels):
    - 17 December: Conference of the magazine “Défis Sud”

    Albert Borschette Conference center (Brussels)
    18 December: Information session (Questions & Answers) about the first call for proposals of the Second Energy Facility

    For more information please consult the calendar on our webpage http://brussels.cta.int/

    Link European Parliament
    Link EU Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  2. Our video guest: Mr. Eric Thys, expert at Be-troplive
    2009-12-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development, Food Security

    Mr Eric Thys, expert at Be-troplive, is our special guest this week. Be-troplive is an informal and multidisciplinary Belgian platform on tropical animal health and production, which is open to institutional or individual members involved in tropical animal health and production activities. Members are Belgian academic institutions and research institutes, Belgian development organisations, NGO's and study bureau's, Belgian government and parastatal services involved in development in general, and tropical animal health and production in particular and Individuals involved in tropical animal health and production activities, having worked for a project or organisation with a clear link to Belgium.
    Link Read more
    Link Watch the video


  3. Spanish EU Presidency 'to set precedents'
    2009-12-11

    Spain unveiled on Tuesday (8th December) its priorities for its six-month stint at the EU's helm during the first half of 2010. Spain will be the first country to take the rotating presidency since the nomination of a permanent EU president and a High Representative for Foreign Affairs. "Spain will create precedents", said Diego López Garrido, Spanish Secretary of State for EU Affairs, speaking at a public event in Brussels organised by the European Policy Centre, a think-tank. López Garrido, an experienced politician who represented his country at the convention in charge of drafting the now-defunct EU Constitution, said that his country's EU presidency will be "very particular", as it marks the transition "from the old Nice model to the new Lisbon Treaty era". He also stressed that Spain had coordinated its work programme with Belgium and Hungary, the next two countries to assume the rotating EU presidency, in the format of the so-called 'trio of presidencies" The three countries adopted a common programme for the next 18 months on 7 December, in the framework of the General Affairs Council, he said.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU Presidency
    Link Lisbon Treaty


  4. EAC exports to be taxed by EU due to delay in EPA
    2009-12-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    The European Union has informed the East African Community (EAC) that the failure or delay in signing the Economic Partnership Agreement would lead to taxes on the exports of the EAC-member states. In a recent release by the EU Delegation in Nairobi said that failure to finalise the EPA process could lead to putting non-Least Developed Countries such as Kenya on the Generalised System of Preferences list. According to the statement, some of the key export products particularly from Kenya would attract re-introduction or increase in tariffs. The EPA was supposed to be concluded by July 31, 2009-but missed the deadline due to lack of consensus on rules of origin-most favoured a clause on agriculture, trade in services and sustainable development. The head of the union’s delegation to Nairobi Eric van der Linden said that he was looking forward to the success of the EPA soon. Likewise, the head of EPA unit at the DG Trade of the European Commission Jacques Wunenburger said that talk should now move from the "cost of EPA" to talk about the "cost of non-EPA". A decision to tax EAC exports by the EU would be death knell to the future of cut flowers from Kenya as it is the largest exporter to the bloc. Besides, the country’s floriculture industry has been spending a lot of money to modernize its facilities for the past decade.

    Source: Toboc


    Link Read more
    Link Economic Partnership Agreements
    Link EC Delegation to Kenya


  5. Copenhagen Summit: EU and ACP countries coordinate strategies
    2009-12-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    On Friday 4 December representatives of the Swedish Presidency and the European Commission held consultations with the Ambassadors to Brussels of the 78 ACP countries. This was the most recent in a series of such meetings held during the Swedish Presidency, and the last one before the Copenhagen Conference. The main objective of the meeting was to identify key issues and areas where the EU and the ACP countries-together an alliance of 105 states-share interests and should work together during and after the Copenhagen Conference. The EU side-Ola Sohlström, Chair of the Council's ACP Working Party, and Stefano Manservisi, Director General for Development in the European Commission-outlined the EU's main objectives and priorities going into the negotiations. This was followed by a constructive debate during which ACP Ambassadors, chaired by the Malawi Ambassador HE Brave Ndisale, stressed the need for an ambitious outcome and one that allowed immediate action. There was a broad consensus on the need to continue to work together in order to reach an ambitious and comprehensive agreement with a common but differentiated responsibility to forcefully address climate change. It was also noted that for many countries-including small island developing states-climate change constitutes a challenge to their very survival. A number of concrete proposals for joint action and were also made and will be discussed further.

    Source: EU Presidency


    Link Read more
    Link Copenhagen Summit
    Link ACP-EU Declaration on Climate change


  6. Kouchner: 'His' tax on financial transactions to be used to fight poverty
    2009-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    Would the tax on financial transactions advocated by Foreign Affairs minister Bernard Kouchner and appropriated by the G20 be used to help poor countries develop, to fight climate change or to make the international financial system sounder? The French minister, who is campaigning vigorously for the development option, is now attempting to seize the initiative to prevent his plans going astray. His agenda on Thursday 3 December was to outline his "International Solidarity Contribution" to twenty-five NGOs (Attac, Action contre la faim, Greenpeace, Médecins du monde, Oxfam, Sidaction, etc.) and set out the conditions ensuring optimum use of the money collected. The proposal provides for a 0.005% charge on financial transactions. According to the minister, this "pain free" levy could raise around 35 billion Euros a year. The idea, he explained, "had nothing to do with the Tobin tax" (The latter tax is named after the Nobel Prize for Economics laureate James Tobin, who, in the early 1970s, articulated a proposal to tax foreign exchange markets more heavily as a means of discouraging speculation).

    Source: Le Monde


    Link Read more
    Link Copenhagen Summit
    Link Tax Justice for development


  7. Spain Pledges €15 million for UN-REDD Programme
    2009-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    On the 4th December 2009 Spain has become the third donor to the UN-REDD Programme, following the Governments of Norway and Denmark, by pledging €15 million to the trust fund. Yemi Katerere, Head of UN-REDD, commented that “there is a growing interest in the UN-REDD Programme by developing and developed countries and a clear recognition that reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) cannot happen without this partnership. Donor contributions support developing countries in building their capacity and readiness for REDD+, including methods for measuring and monitoring emissions, stakeholder consultations, and establishing linkages with existing national programmes. Donor funds also contribute to the Programme’s global activities to develop common approaches, analyses and guidelines, as well as to provide guidance and share knowledge on how to implement REDD+.

    Source: United Nations


    Link Read more
    Link More on the UN-REDD Programme
    Link Flegt and REDD Programme


  8. EU military operation against piracy off the Somali coast
    2009-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Aid effectiveness

    The 2985th Council meeting on Foreign Affairs held in Brussels on  8 December 2009 adopted a decision amending joint action 2008/851/CFSP on the EU military operation  against piracy off the Somali coast, in order to allow for the EU naval force to contribute to the monitoring of fishing activities in the area.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Somalia Donor Conference
    Link EU relations with Somalia


  9. Ratification of the revised Cotonou Agreement
    2009-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Food Security, Archive

    The 2985th Council meeting on Foreign Affairs held in Brussels on 8 December 2009 approved a draft letter to be sent to the ACP group of states outlining the implications of non-ratification of the revised ACP-EU (Cotonou) partnership agreement. The grace period for ratifying the revised Cotonou agreement expired on 30 June 2009. Three ACP states (Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and Sudan) did not meet this deadline.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link The Cotonou Agreement
    Link European Development Fund


  10. Concrete measures for tax justice for development
    2009-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    Intermón’s policy paper outlines specific policy asks for the Spanish government to push at the EU level during its presidency, starting on January 2010. These include the following: - To support and defend within the G20 and prior to the IMF; - World Bank Spring Meetings, the setting up of a multilateral and automatic information exchange models; - To support the inclusion of a Financial Transaction Tax at the International level and to include during 2010, at least in the Euro-zone, a Currency Transaction Tax of 0,005% to finance ODA; - To promote a reform in the International Accounting Standard Board (IASB) governance in order to increase its accountability and the political control from the EU and from the National Authorities; - To ensure that the coming IFRS 8 review (in 2010) becomes the opportunity to bind Multinational Corporations (MNCs) to submit, in the annual report, their accounting information on country by country (C-B-C) basis and to ensure that the already engaged procedure for a new IASB norm for the Extractive Industries (replacing the current IFRS 6) will include a compulsory C-B-C reporting requirement for MNCs; - To support the introduction of C-B-C reporting as a compulsory requirement for MNCs of all sectors through the Directive 2004/109/EC (TOD Directive) review, that will probably take place during the first half of 2010.

    Source: Eurodad


    Link Read more
    Link Read the full report (in Spanish only)
    Link Tax Justice for development


  11. South Africa's corn, wheat and sorghum harvests predicted to grow
    2009-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Security, Rural development

    The South Africa Agribusiness Report Q110 continues on the themes touched upon in previous issues as the continent's top agricultural producer seeks to diversify the sector in terms of both primary production and value-added processing. The South African agricultural industry possesses typical 'dual economy' characteristics of a local subsistence sector against a relatively well-developed commercial sector. Increasingly, capital intensive production is seen to drive industry dynamics as employment in more labour intensive farming dwindle, likely fuelling tensions, particularly along racial lines. Despite having one of the continent's more developed agricultural sectors, food security is still a concern in some sub-sectors. As the country seeks to improve self-sufficiency, we are increasingly seeing the drive for food production gathering pace via overseas production. South African farmers will be able to access up to 10mn hectares of farmland in the Republic of Congo under a recent deal signed by the two countries. The agreement is reported to be one of the largest land deals to have taken place in Africa, with South Africa gaining a 30-year renewable lease-amended from the original proposition of a 99-year lease-to cultivate grains, dairy products and poultry. The deal will give South African importers tax breaks on agricultural inputs and equipment and allows full expatriation of profits.

    Source: Official Spin


    Link Read more
    Link South Africa Agribusiness Report
    Link EU relations with South Africa


  12. Development more important than quick conclusion of Doha
    2009-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    Governments expressed the will at the seventh ministerial meeting of the WTO to finish the Doha Round of trade negotiations as soon as possible. But the Africa Group still deems development to be a more important priority than a speedy conclusion. Despite the decision of the seventh ministerial meeting to aim for a close to the Doha Round by the end of 2010, Hicham Badr, the ambassador of Egypt and coordinator of the Africa group, stressed that the Africa Group will continue to push for a Doha Round based on a developmental mandate. "If we had to choose between a quickly concluded round and a successful round, we would prefer a successful round where the developmental aspect remains at the core of the package". Most of the outstanding points of contention, such as cotton, still depend on the cooperation of Northern countries. African cotton producers are ready to use the WTO dispute settlement mechanism if the talks don’t deliver. The ministerial meeting, which took place last week, marks the growing power of developing countries. "We should not underestimate the power of developing countries", said Badr. "Today’s WTO is different from five or 10 years ago. Countries in the WTO may not make up 85% of the world’s GDP, but they represent 85% of the world’s population", symbol of the failure of the Doha Round. The C4 countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali) are still waiting for clear proposals from their interlocutors to start the negotiations.

    Source: Terraviva


    Link Read more
    Link Doha Round
    Link World Trade Organisation


  13. Kenya exports to EU face taxes
    2009-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Food Security

    The European Union has for the first time indicated that the failure by the East African Community to sign a new trade agreement will lead to introduction of taxes on Kenyan exports to Europe. Kenya exports about 450,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables to the EU annually and is the number one cut flower exporter to the region. Currently, these products enter the EU duty-free. Horticulture is Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earner, registering an impressive performance of over Sh73 billion from exports during the period ending December 31, 2008. A report by professional services firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, says that Kenya has become a major supplier of horticultural products, experiencing rapid growth in the past decade. However, without the duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market, the sector would collapse, according to the EU-ACP Sustainability Impact Assessment of Economic Partnership Agreements report. “If Kenya is unable to compete, that does not bode well for sustainability as Kenyan producers act as regional sector leaders”, says the report.

    Source: Daily Nation


    Link Read more
    Link Economic Partnership Agreements
    Link EU relations with Kenya


  14. EU Development Council backtracks on development commitments
    2009-12-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    At their meeting in Brussels on 17th November, European development ministers displayed once again the double standards that all too often prevail when it comes to rich countries’ positions on development policies. On the table for discussion were key challenges ahead for 2010, including financial support for climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries; improvements on EU’s aid effectiveness; and enhanced coherence between EU’s financial policies and development objectives. Council conclusions show how EU ministers are seriously backtracking on their promises on climate finance, and doing very little to ensure that EU’s financial (un)regulation plugs the leaks that allow $1 trillion a year to flow from the South to the North.

    Source: Eurodad


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU declaration on climate change
    Link Climate change and developing countries


  15. Paul McCartney calls for meat-free Mondays in Europe
    2009-12-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development, Food Security

    Paul McCartney has called on Europeans to make at least one day a week meat-free in order to save the planet. Speaking in the European Parliament last Thursday, the former Beatle warned that eating meat was doing more damage to the earth's climate than any other activity. "The livestock industry produces more greenhouse gases than all of transport put together - cars planes trains trucking," he said. "They used to be what we thought were the villains, but it turns out the livestock industry is worse," he continued, noting that agriculture as a whole was responsible for between 20 and 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. One of the world's most famous vegetarians and author of some of the world's most well-known tunes, he said that meat production was incredibly wasteful and contributed to deforestation. He also highlighted the intense water use involved in meat production." "To produce one burger requires the amount of water used in a four-hour shower," he added, speaking alongside Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a vegetarian as well.

    Source: EU Observer


    Link Read more
    Link Meat and GHG emmisions
    Link CTA Briefing 'Climate change'


  16. Closer ties with Latin America jolted by EU Banana deal
    2009-12-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    As the European Union gets ready to sign an agreement with Latin America to end a 16-year trade war over bananas, Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries are expressing their frustration at the perceived double standards of the Latin American leaders. The new accord slashes import taxes on bananas from Latin America, from 176€ a tonne to 114€ over the next seven years. But the region's top public servant, Edwin Carrington, told IPS that the decision by the Latin American countries to consistently seek to erode the position of Caribbean banana-producing states on the European market "raises for me a peculiar question".

    Source: IPS


    Link Read more
    Link EU banana trade
    Link ACP-EU Banana Agreements


  17. Reform of Spanish development finance mechanisms
    2009-12-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Food Security, Archive

    At the end of 2009, the Spanish parliament will vote on reforming the main public mechanisms that generate external debt owed by Southern countries to the Spanish state. The mechanisms that will be affected by the reform are the Development Aid Fund and the Spanish Company of Credit Insurance to Exports, the Spanish Export Credit Agency. If the reform goes ahead, impoverished countries risk falling further into debt and human rights violations will become more prevalent.

    Source: Eurodad


    Link Read more
    Link Spanish Development Aid Fund


  18. ACP-EU: help developing countries combat climate change
    2009-12-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    The principle of "differentiated responsibility" for reducing greenhouse gas emissions should be ratified by the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, says a resolution adopted by the Joint Parliamentary Assembly of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) MPs and Members of the European Parliament in Luanda (Angola) last Thursday. The JPA also condemned a coup d'état in Madagascar and debated the institutional crisis in Niger. The JPA sees helping developing countries to cope with climate change challenges as the key issue for the UN-backed Copenhagen conference, which starts on 7 December. It says the post-Kyoto protocol should be a legally-binding agreement which emphasizes equity and social justice and relies on "common but differentiated responsibility". In line with this principle, industrialised countries should set an example by substantially reducing their emissions. Developing countries and emerging economies should, for their part, undertake to introduce mitigation measures within their power, even if greenhouse gas emissions have considerably increased.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
    Link Copenhagen Summit



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Isolina BOTO
CTA
39 rue Montoyer
1000 Brussels
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Tel 02 513 74 36
Fax 02 511 38 68
http://www.cta.int/
http://bruxelles.cta.int/

NOTE
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For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
More information on CTA activities in Brussels at : http://brussels.cta.int/
CTA is an institution of the ACP Group of States (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) and the EU (European Union), in the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is financed by the EU.
Copyright © 2009 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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