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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 209]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 209]
Send date: 2010-02-02 17:00:17
Issue #: 25
Content:
Bulletin CTA
 
1

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. CTA Weblog/Newsletter survey
  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week 1st-5th February 2010
  3. Our video guest: Mr. Mona Herbert, DSW
  4. CAP and climate change: agriculture can help slow global warming
  5. Rural development: €5 billion injected into rural development programmes
  6. EU associates itself with Copenhagen Accord
  7. Crushed aid: fragmentation in sectoral aid
  8. UNIFEM Launches Fund to Empower Women
  9. European Environmental Agency Releases Key Message for 2010
  10. Indicative Strategic Research Roadmap 2011-2013
  11. Ministers want to give farmers better bargaining power
  12. EU must increase efforts towards food security
  13. Spain proposal: EU should give Haiti surplus agricultural commodities
  14. Bulgaria's foreign minister drops EU Commission candidacy
  15. EU: Trilateral relationship between UN-AU-EU in making
  16. Why Italy is giving priority to Africa’s development
  17. Development: EU Aid to be Used for Fingerprinting
  18. The Spanish EU presidency: Opportunities in development finance
  19. The ‘great feeling’ of helping third world countries
  20. New EU Commission: Who's who?
  21. Spanish development NGOs call for another Europe to eradicate poverty
  22. UK: The National Beef Association
  23. Few products from developing countries make it to the EU markets
  24. Council discussions on Haiti
  25. EU resumes development cooperation with Mauritania
  26. Council conclusions on Somalia Training Mission


  1. CTA Weblog/Newsletter survey
    2010-02-02

    This week is your last chance to fill the questionnaire and give feedback on this news service. The Brussels Weblog team would be very grateful if you could spend a few minutes to reply to the questionnaire below on the quality of the Brussels ACP-EU News Service (http://brussels.cta.int). Your feedback is critical to us if we want to ensure that this service is still responding to your needs and expectations both in terms of content and format.

     

    Click here, it will not take more than 3 minutes:
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ACP-EU_Brussels_News

     

    Many thanks in advance for your responses.
    The Weblog Team


    Link Go to the Questionnaire
    Link CTA main website
    Link French Weblog


  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week 1st-5th February 2010
    2010-02-02

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    - 4th February (Brussels): Committee on Development: Recommendation to the Council on the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly - Exchange of views: Committee on Development (Spanish Presidency)

     

    EU Presidency (Brussels and Cadiz):
    - 3rd February (Cadiz): European Summit of Women Ministers and Information about the European Congress of Young Farmers.

     

    ACP Secretariat (Brussels):
    - 1st February:
    ACP-EC Thematic Group III of the Revision of Cotonou

    - 4th February: Thematic Group I – 2nd Revision of the Cotonou Agreement

    - 5th February: 3rd Joint ACP-EC Ambassadorial meeting

     

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


    Link Committee on Development
    Link European Council of Young Farmers
    Link ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors


  3. Our video guest: Mr. Mona Herbert, DSW
    2010-02-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Archive

    Our video guest this week is Mr. Mona Herbert, he works for the German foundation for World Population (DSW) in Uganda. On the occasion of his intervention at the Brussels Development Briefing on population growth and its implications for rural areas in ACP countries, Mr. Mona Herbert explained the challenges coming with population growth, especially with regard to the youth. He stressed the need of youth council centres and pointed out that one can not reach the millenium development goal concerning universal primary education without recruiting more teachers to educate the growing number of pupils.
    Link Watch the video
    Link Briefing on population growth
    Link More on DSW


  4. CAP and climate change: agriculture can help slow global warming
    2010-02-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, ACP-EU Trade

    Agriculture can help to slow climate change, but should be ready to adapt to the impact of global warming, said Agriculture Committee MEPs and scientists at a public hearing on Wednesday."Agriculture can provide solutions for the future", given its direct relationship with the earth and living things, said Parliament's rapporteur report on agriculture and climate change Stephan Le Foll (S&D, FR). A new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is therefore needed to take account of the impact of global warming and to mitigate climate change. "A new CAP", as "manager of the bio-sphere", would guarantee the transition to a new model of production and "ecologically, economically and socially efficient agriculture", he added.The future CAP can help mitigate global warming mitigation in three ways: limiting its own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, promoting carbon storage in the soil and producing sustainable and renewable energies, says Mr Le Foll's draft report. Wednesday's hearing contributed to discussion of this report, which is to be put to a committee vote on 17 March.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Agriculture and Rural Development Committee
    Link Agriculture and the environment


  5. Rural development: €5 billion injected into rural development programmes
    2010-02-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    The Rural Development Committee has voted on the last proposals from Member States/regions for using EU Recovery Plan and CAP Health Check funding and other transfers within the CAP to address issues including the economic and dairy crisis, and climate change. In the period October 2009 – January 2010, all rural development programmes were modified and the additional funding of about billion is now ready to be invested in agriculture, the environment and broadband in rural areas. The January 2010 RDC voted on the last 7 of these modifications. The majority of the funds will be concentrated in the areas of bio-diversity (31.2% of all funds, or 1.5 billion) and water management (26.9% or €1.3 billion). Dairy restructuring received 14.5% of the total budget (0.7 billion), climate change measures account for 14.2% or € 0.7 billion, with renewable energy re-enforcement being 5.6% of the total additional budget (€0.3 billion). The development of broadband infrastructure remains an important policy issue for rural areas. Member States have thus decided to invest 35% of the EU Recovery funds for broadband, which equals € 360.4 million out of the available € 1 billion.

    Source: Europa


    Link Read more
    Link The CAP
    Link Agriculture and climate change


  6. EU associates itself with Copenhagen Accord
    2010-01-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    In a joint letter, the EU and its member states today confirmed their willingness to be associated with the Copenhagen Accord negotiated during the UN climate change conference in December 2009. At the same time, the EU reiterated that it remains fully committed to negotiating a legally binding agreement on climate protection for the period beyond 2012 which limits the increase in global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.As required by the Copenhagen Accord, the letter also notifies the EU's greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2020: through the so-called "energy-climate package", EU already has legislation in place providing for a 20% cut in climate-harming gases compared to 1990 levels. As a contribution to a global and comprehensive agreement, the EU maintains its conditional offer of a 30% reduction, if other developed countries commit to comparable emissions reductions and developing countries contribute adequately according to their responsibilities and capabilities.

    Source: Council


    Link Read more
    Link UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
    Link DG Environment


  7. Crushed aid: fragmentation in sectoral aid
    2010-01-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    This paper is part of a series of studies on development aid issues published by the OECD Development Centre (following on from Frot and Santiso 2008, and Frot and Santiso 2009) and OECD DAC/DCD (OECD 2008). After exploring trends in aid delivery and issues related to aid fragmentation at a country level we deepen the analysis here and examine aid fragmentation at sector level. As with previous studies, this paper builds on information from unique databases, combining OECD official statistics on development aid. The overall objective is also to boost the analysis and policy recommendations related to aid developed by the OECD Development Centre, complementing other work related to the so-called “emerging donors” like China (Reisen and Ndoye, 2008) and to contribute to the forthcoming OECD Global Development(2010). The objective is twofold: to contribute to the analysis of donor allocation policies on key issues and to foresee the possibility of building an aid efficiency index. For that purpose, this paper offers a potential index on aid fragmentation at sector level. Combined with the previous companion papers, where fragmentation and volatility measures and methods have been developed along with measures of aid herding, it offers the possibility to build a benchmark and an aggregate index on aid efficiency, from the side of both donor and recipient countries.

    Source: OECD


    Link Read more
    Link Financing for Development
    Link DG Development


  8. UNIFEM Launches Fund to Empower Women
    2010-01-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has launched the Fund for Gender Equality, which will provide grants to support initiatives worldwide to empower women and to promote their political participation and property rights. The grants support Government and civil society partnerships, and focus on vulnerable women including indigenous women, high-risk groups and those affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as women who are small farmers facing food insecurity and exposed to the negative effects of climate change. The Fund is a US$68 million dollar multilateral initiative supported by the Governments of Spain and Norway. The initial allocation of the Fund, US$9 million, will benefit 27 initiatives across 26 countries supporting women in the informal sector in Cameroon, Egypt and the Philippines to promoting political participation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Dominican Republic, Uganda, Morocco and in the Pacific Islands.

    Source: UNIFEM


    Link Read more
    Link EU- Equality between women and men
    Link Gender and HIV/AIDS


  9. European Environmental Agency Releases Key Message for 2010
    2010-01-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Environmental Agency has released the first of “10 messages for 2010,” which focuses on climate change and biodiversity. The messages will be published each month with different themes until the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in October 2010. This first message highlights that the variety of life underpins social and economic wellbeing and will be increasingly indispensable in fighting climate change. It cautions that current consumption and production patterns are depriving ecosystems of their capacity to withstand climate change and deliver services. It includes recommendations to tackle the interdependence of biodiversity loss and climate change, and to adopt an ecosystem-based approach to mitigation and adaptation actions.

    Source: The European Environmental Agency


    Link Read more
    Link Convention on Biological Diversity
    Link Agriculture and environment


  10. Indicative Strategic Research Roadmap 2011-2013
    2010-01-31

    From 2011 onwards, research under the SSH programme will be following an overall integrated "Strategic Research Roadmap" covering the period 2011-2013. It should enable a better and comprehensive planning and coordination for the research community as well as for the European Commission. The roadmap is based on the objectives and activities set out in the Specific Programme "Cooperation". It takes into account the topics covered within previous work programmes and the funded projects within the activities. Furthermore current policy developments and policy needs (expressed for example through other Commission Services within the Inter-Service Consultations) are taken into account. In line with the new approach for the SSH Programme within each of the activities of the Specific Programme, the roadmap identifies major "Societal Challenges" that have to be tackled in a medium to long term perspective and/or "Topics" that in general will be approached by small-medium scale focused research projects or coordination and support actions that strive at either addressing urgent needs or complementing the research agenda of the societal challenges.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link DG Research


  11. Ministers want to give farmers better bargaining power
    2010-01-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Environment, Aid effectiveness

    EU-27 farm ministers agreed on the 18th January to push for measures that would ensure all actors in the food supply chain, and particularly farmers, receive fair compensation for their work.  EU agriculture ministers met to discuss Commission proposals on a better functioning food supply chain in Europe, which aims at improving commercial relationships between producers and consumers. Spanish Rural Affairs Minister Elena Espinosa, chair of the ministerial meeting, said that the discussions revolved around greater price and market transparency, combating unfair commercial practices, contractual relationships, 'inter-branch' cooperation between professional organisations and the overall "competitive edge" of the EU agri-food sector at international level. She said that all ministers welcomed the Commission's initiative, which sets out measures to ensure the proper functioning of the food supply chain, and expressed hope that EU measures would enter into force "as soon as possible". Furthermore, many delegations underlined the need for further steps to ensure "fair distribution of value added right the way down the food supply chain," stressing the need to make sure that "each link in the chain gets fair compensation" for work done in the process, the Spanish Council chair told the press.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link A better functioning food supply chain in Europe
    Link DG Agriculture


  12. EU must increase efforts towards food security
    2010-01-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    An international food security summit has been told that the EU wants to intensify its efforts to tackle world hunger and malnutrition. Addressing the summit on Tuesday, Simona Mari, a senior Commission official, said the EU already finances food security programmes around the globe. But she said that, in light of a growing food crisis in various countries, the EU has to get even more involved. Mari, speaking at the summit in Dakar, Senegal, also backed calls for regional authorities in Europe and elsewhere to be given a bigger role in helping combat the problem. The summit heard that the financing of local initiatives constitutes the "cornerstone" of local food security governance. But, despite there being a wide range of funding "instruments" this is "insufficient" and does now allow regions in places like Africa to meet the current challenge. This problem is due, the summit heard, to a lack of coordination, dialogue and clarity about what regions are doing on food security. Mari, who heads the commission's food security section, expressed hope that regions can play a bigger role in future.

    Source: The Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Dakar Summit
    Link EC Issues paper on Food Security


  13. Spain proposal: EU should give Haiti surplus agricultural commodities
    2010-01-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Aid effectiveness

    The Spanish presidency proposed, during the meeting of Ministers of Agriculture of the European Union, that they send their surplus food products such as milk, to treat victims of the earthquake that has ravaged the Haiti, announced the Minister of Agriculture Elena Espinosa. "We want Haiti to know it not only has the cooperation of Spain but also European solidarity," she told the meeting, who specified what food can be sent. The debate on the situation in Haiti has been added to the agenda at the last minute of the first Council of Ministers of Agriculture of the EU under Spanish presidency. Meanwhile, the Council of Foreign Affairs of the European Union, meeting in Brussels, supports the French initiative of convening an international conference for the reconstruction of the infrastructure. The 27 show that the reconstruction effort must focus on "national priorities", taking into account the risks of disaster, the principle of the "effectiveness" of aid and to take steps to "harden" the Haitian institutions so they can fulfil their basic functions of government. In this sense, the EU wants to examine as soon as possible a "comprehensive response" to the rehabilitation and development needs of Haiti's long-term use of resources, such as expertise and funds from the EU and its member states. This answer must integrate the European partners in development, taking into account the potential impact of this crisis in neighbouring countries and the great effort of the international community for Haiti. "The first priority has been to send rescue teams, including military and civilian workers to provide medical aid, water, medicine, shelter, food and telecommunications". The EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, convened in coordination with the Spanish presidency of the EU and the European Commission this special meeting of the Council as a "gesture" of solidarity with the victims and to emphasize the importance of a "quick and coordinated." humanitarian response.

    Source: Barcelona Reporter


    Link Read more
    Link Haïti Eartquake
    Link EC Delegation to Haïti


  14. Bulgaria's foreign minister drops EU Commission candidacy
    2010-01-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Food Security, Archive, Rural development

    Bulgaria's nominee for the post of EU commissioner, Rumiana Jeleva, withdrew her candidacy after fellow politicians accused her of concealing business ties. Bulgaria has named a World Bank official to replace her. Rumiana Jeleva, Bulgaria's EU commission nominee and her country's foreign minister, withdrew her candidacy on Tuesday after other Bulgarian politicians in the European Parliament questioned her competence and accused her of dubious business practices. Jeleva had been nominated to the EU post in charge of humanitarian aid. At her confirmation hearing on January 12, she faced allegations that she concealed potential conflicts of interest when she was named to the European Parliament in 2007. EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said that he accepts the nomination of a new candidate, top World Bank official Kristalina Georgieva. The last-minute nomination comes on the final day of hearings for EU Commission candidates. Once all candidates have been named, the presidents of the various groups in the European Parliament will convene to discuss the candidates and hammer out differences. Controversy surrounding the naming of Bulgaria's candidate for commissioner had caused fears that Barroso would be delayed in forming his commission. The EU Commission is appointed every five years and has regulatory, legislative and policy-shaping powers in the 27-nation European Union.

    Source:  Deutsche-Welle


    Link Read more
    Link More on Rumiana Jeleva
    Link More on Kristalina Georgieva


  15. EU: Trilateral relationship between UN-AU-EU in making
    2010-01-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment

    The European Union reaffirmed its strong engagement with the United Nations, particularly in Africa where a trilateral relationship between the UN, African Union (AU) and EU is already in the making to enhance regional cooperation. The statement came as the acting head of EU delegation, Pedro Serrano, spoke to an open Security Council debate on the cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security. "A genuine trilateral UN-AU-EU relationship is already in the making," Serrano said, adding that the EU maintains a high level of engagement with the UN, especially in Africa. The EU has deployed two military operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in support of the UN mission in the DRC (MONUC), Serrano said. Serrano reaffirmed EU's support for the regional integration agenda as a means to achieve economic growth and peace where he said the EU has developed regional strategies in partnership with all world regions. "The challenges facing the international community -- poverty, conflict, terrorism, non-proliferation, climate change, are closely interlinked and of a magnitude that requires collective action," Serrano said.

    Source: Xinhuanet


    Link Read more
    Link EU and the United Nations
    Link MONUC


  16. Why Italy is giving priority to Africa’s development
    2010-01-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness, Environment

    Italy is paying closer attention to Africa in the conviction that there is a different continent from the one traditionally depicted as a land of poverty, disease and conflict. Africa is a young continent with enormous potential in terms of human capital. It is a continent which is not just a major supplier of raw materials, but also a market of 900 million consumers, with great potential for investment. On the political level, Africa has become a key partner in the dialogue on strategic issues such as energy security. And it is a vital partner in addressing global challenges, from climate change to combating terrorism. I was able to see this for myself during my visit to West Africa in February 2009, and I wish to find out more during my forthcoming visit to Mauritania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Of course, none of this means that the serious problems and many contradictions that afflict Africa are close to a solution. This is so, especially at a time when the continent’s development has been brought to a sharp halt by the economic-financial and food crises. There is an awareness that the EU-Africa partnership could be the right instrument to make it easier to achieve two goals: the creation of an African peace and security architecture, and the economic integration of the continent. There are essentially four directions to follow to develop the Europe-Africa partnership: security and peace-keeping; regional crises and forgotten conflicts; rights and democracy; and a new way to “do” development.

    Source: Daily Nation 


    Link Read more
    Link Italian Development Cooperation
    Link Africa and Europe Partnership


  17. Development: EU Aid to be Used for Fingerprinting
    2010-01-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    Aid traditionally reserved for keeping victims of war and disasters alive may now be used for security-related projects such as the fingerprinting of refugees, European Union officials have decided. Although the European Commission's humanitarian office (ECHO) regularly publishes statements detailing how much food, medicines or blankets it gives to people in distress, it has drawn no attention to a widening in the scope of its activities in recent years. Through a partnership with the United Nations' Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the office has been financing the development of a computer system designed to store the fingerprints and other biometric data of refugees.  An internal ECHO paper from September 2009 suggests that support for such activities is necessary as part of an 'innovative' approach towards improving the response of international agencies to crises. But civil liberties activists are perturbed that humanitarian aid is being used to extend fingerprinting, a technique universally associated with criminal investigations, to refugee management projects. 'If the EU wants to finance security projects, it should be doing so from money earmarked for security projects (rather than from humanitarian aid),' Ben Hayes from the organisation Statewatch told IPS. Through a project known as Profile, the UNHCR has registered the fingerprints of more than 2.5 million refugees in some 20 countries since 2004. This project has received some four million euros (six million dollars) from the humanitarian aid section of the EU's budget. As well as taking fingerprints, the UNHCR has stored images of the eyes of Afghan refugees who were returning to their home country after fleeing to neighbouring Pakistan. Identity documents are issued to refugees as part of the project, in cooperation with the governments in the countries where the refugees are located.

    Source: Global Issues


    Link Read more
    Link Statewatch
    Link ECHO


  18. The Spanish EU presidency: Opportunities in development finance
    2010-01-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The start of 2010 sees Spain take the EU presidency for the second time since it joined the EU in 1986. As presiding country, Spain is in a key position to push for stronger deals on development finance. Addressing issues such as aid, capital flight, the Lisbon Treaty and why development money should not be channelled through International Financial Institutions, Eurodad’s director Nuria Molina speaks in a video interview about Spain’s responsibilities over the next six months.

    Source: Weber Shandwick


    Link Read more
    Link Programme of the Spanish presidency
    Link Eurodad


  19. The ‘great feeling’ of helping third world countries
    2010-01-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Some time ago, my university organized an international week. In the main hall, a short film was shown: African people were begging us for help. The film was made to promote an organization that helps students to go to third world countries and do ‘good work’ there. Is this useful? The university is not the only organization to promote ‘good work’ in the third world. The Dutch government is one of the most generous donors to these countries. Their goal is to strengthen democracy and civil society and to combat poverty. The Dutchs spend billions of euros on international help for the poor. Former member of parliament Arend-Jan Boekestijn wrote a book about it: ‘the price of a bad conscience’, in which he claims that these donations are largely useless.

    Source: Newropeans Magazine


    Link Read more
    Link Aid Statistics of the Netherlands
    Link Arend-Jan Boekestijn


  20. New EU Commission: Who's who?
    2010-01-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The nominees to the 27-member European Commission hope to get the backing of Euro MPs, after each has been questioned in confirmation hearings. Like the last Commission, this one is headed by veteran Portuguese conservative politician Jose Manuel Barroso. Commissioners serve a five-year term and are responsible for drafting EU legislation and ensuring compliance with it. So who are the main players in the new team?

    Source: BBC


    Link Read more
    Link Hearings at the European Parliament
    Link The President-elect of the European Commission


  21. Spanish development NGOs call for another Europe to eradicate poverty
    2010-01-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    The Spanish Development Cooperation NGOs Platform launched this week in Madrid its manifesto for the EU presidency. Under the slogan 'We want another Europe! Let's stop talking about poverty and eradicate it, the platform underlined the need for: Policy coherence for development; ensuring ODA level (i.e. respect the commitment to reach 0.56% of GDP in 2010) and its effectiveness; fulfilling the Beijing Platform objectives and the obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); and stronger EU-Latin America partnership.

     

    Source: Spanish Development Cooperation NGO Platform


    Link Read more
    Link The MDGs
    Link The Spanish presidency


  22. UK: The National Beef Association
    2010-01-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development, Food Security, Aid effectiveness

    The NBA is looking for an EU-wide approach to sweeping reform, with current, outdated, systems replaced by direct grant funding for farmers to make their businesses more proficient at producing food - and at the same time better able to meet national requirements for emerging issues like efficient energy use and waste management. "Easily available, direct investment funding for farmers must replace the inefficient and costly government executive agencies such as the RPA (Rural Payments Agency) and the RDA (Rural Development Agency), which are currently charged with administering Rural Development Programme funds but which have failed miserably with the delivery," explained NBA director, Kim Haywood. "More effective domestic food production is being demanded by a worried public which is becoming concerned about global shortages while at the same time wanting to be sure energy is used efficiently by agriculture while air and water are kept as clean as possible too". Farmers are frustrated because their ability to produce more food, in the cleanest possible conditions, is being curbed by excessive regulation that is a hangover from the time food production was a secondary consideration". "This means the demolition of the existing funding control system is a priority and a simple, effective, way of encouraging farmers to meet the new production and management targets being demanded of them must be developed". According to the NBA the amount of money wasted by almost useless agencies is scandalous, not just because the vast proportion of some funds are almost inaccessible to farmers but because much of the available money is soaked up by internal administration and quangos.

    Source: Meat Trade News Daily


    Link Read more
    Link Agriculture and rural development
    Link Agriculture and climate change


  23. Few products from developing countries make it to the EU markets
    2010-01-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness, Rural development, Archive, Food Security

    High import duties keep products from developing countries out of Europe. One particular problem is tariff escalation: Import tariffs increase the more processed a product becomes. This measure ensures that most imports to the EU are raw products like coffee, cocoa or pineapples which cannot be cultivated in Europe. While the import duties for unprocessed cocoa beans is rather small, the EU charges 30% for processed cocoa products like chocolate bars or cocoa powder, and 60% for some other refined products containing cocoa. In some cases, tariffs can reach up to 146%, for instance for some canned tropical fruit specialties, says Francisco Mari, an expert on agriculture and fishies at the German protestant development service, EED. "If Arabica coffee would be roasted in Africa, the import tariffs would be 100 or 120%", Mari said.This practise prevents competition from threatening European coffee roasting companies. The second problems is posed by the strict EU standards for imported food products, including hygiene and health standards as well as regulations for size, form and colour of a certain product. While the regulations are supposed to protect European consumers, they can have devastating impacts on small farmers in export countries. In Morocco for instance, 40% of the tomato crop that is cultivated to be exported to Europe does not fit the European standards. So, instead of being shipped abroad, the tomatoes are sold cheaply on Moroccan markets. Small local farmers have a hard time competing with the cheap produce and struggle to survive.

    Source: Deutsche Welle


    Link Read more
    Link German protestant development service
    Link EU Trade and Development


  24. Council discussions on Haiti
    2010-01-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    The 2922nd Council meeting on Foreign Affairs held in Brussels on 25 January 2010 continued the discussion begun at last week's extraordinary Council convened by the High Representative on the Union's response to the earthquake in Haiti. After the earthquake struck, the Union immediately mobilised search and rescue teams and earmarked EUR 122 million from the Commission and the Member States combined for urgent humanitarian assistance and a further EUR 100 million for the urgent restoration of government capacity in Haiti, as well as EUR 200 million for longer-term development. The Council focussed today on the coordination of the Union's overall response to the disaster in the different fields of humanitarian assistance, reconstruction and development aid and the contribution by Member States of military and security assets as well as civil protection resources for the relief effort. The Council agreed that the Union would provide, in response to the UN appeal: engineering expertise and equipment to open routes in order to facilitate the delivery of a maritime logistical capacity able to operate without port facilities; -a collective EU contribution, numbering at least 300 police personnel, to provide a temporary reinforcement of the police capability of the UN Stabilisation Mission. The Council also agreed to the High Representative's proposal to set up a cell in Brussels, EUCO Haiti, to coordinate contributions by Member States of military and security assets to meet needs identified by the UN.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link EU and the United Nations
    Link EU Delegation in Haiti


  25. EU resumes development cooperation with Mauritania
    2010-01-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    Today the EU has normalised its relationships and fully resumed development cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Following the elections and the appointment of Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz as president, the EU considers that a consensual solution to the political crisis has been implemented and that Mauritania has returned to constitutional order. It has therefore repealed all appropriate measures for Mauritania today while inviting the country to a close political dialogue with the EU aimed at strengthening the stability of the country (5012/10). The EU will support Mauritania's continuing efforts to overcome its economic and political difficulties, including new security and terrorist threats, while encouraging the national inclusive dialogue anticipated in the Dakar agreement signed between the political forces on 4 June 2009.The EU considered the coup in Mauritania on 6 August 2008 a violation of democracy and the rule of law, both essential elements of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement. It therefore opened consultations with the Islamic Republic. Concluding them on 6 April 2009, the Council set out a roadmap for the gradual resumption of cooperation if a consensual solution to Mauritania's crisis were found including new presidential elections. Since the signature of the Dakar agreement, the EU has gradually resumed its development cooperation with Mauritania.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Cotonou Agreement
    Link EU Development cooperation


  26. Council conclusions on Somalia Training Mission
    2010-01-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The Council adopted the following conclusions:"The Council remained concerned about the situation in Somalia and its regional implications, recalling its 27 July Conclusions. It expressed its continued full support to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia. It stressed the need for the full implementation of the Djibouti Agreement (19 August 2008). The Council reaffirmed the need to deal with the challenges of Somalia through a comprehensive approach. The EU should therefore continue to help stabilize Somalia by providing support to vital and priority areas such as the security sector, development, assistance to the population and capacity-building support, in addition to ongoing deployment of EU NAVFOR Atalanta and humanitarian assistance. The Council recalled relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, in particular UNSCR 1872, which urges the International Community to provide technical assistance to the Somali Security Forces. In this context, the Council agreed to set up a military mission to contribute to training of Somali security forces. This mission would take place in Uganda where Somali forces are already being trained, which would also facilitate the coordination of the EU action with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). It would be launched with the next intake of trainees, scheduled to start in spring 2010. The mission would be conducted in close coordination with our partners, including the TFG, Uganda, the African Union, the United Nations and the United States of America.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link African Union Mission in Somalia
    Link EU Navfor



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