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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 218]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 218]
Send date: 2010-04-01 18:10:08
Issue #: 34
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. 18th Brussels Briefing on Humanitarian Assistance and Rural Development
  2. Our video guest: Mr. Neil Datta
  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 5th to 9th April 2010
  4. EU pledges over 1.2 billion euros for Haiti
  5. MEPs mull over merits of an EU tax on financial transactions
  6. UK calls for bold new plan to get MDGs back on track
  7. EU rules to benefit Papua New Guinea tuna sector
  8. EU leaders to back conditional climate aid pledge
  9. ECOWAS demands EU's commitment to development fund
  10. EU to realign development aid towards water
  11. GMOs, scientists against EU 'secret draft'
  12. EU official warns climate aid 'will not come for free'
  13. German aid agencies face government shake-up
  14. 2020 strategy undermines economics of biodiversity, says WWF
  15. Germany supports plans for European monetary fund
  16. EU biofuels target borderline sustainable, report finds
  17. EU subsidizes illegal fishing
  18. What next for the Joint Africa-EU Strategy?
  19. NGOs take Commission to court over biofuels reports
  20. ECOWAS, EU to resume EPA negotiations shortly
  21. European Parliament identifies priorities for 65th UN General Assembly
  22. UK Scientists Devise Worldwide Food Alert System
  23. Can a non-integrated Caribbean relate to a single European approach?
  24. EU-Marocco controversed fisheries agreement
  25. EU farm ministers seen split on food chain rules
  26. Council prolongs appropriate measures for Fiji Islands


  1. 18th Brussels Briefing on Humanitarian Assistance and Rural Development
    2010-04-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The 18th Brussels Development Briefing will be on natural disasters, humanitarian assistance and rural development and will take place on 12th May 2010 (8h30-13h00) at the Borschette Center, Room 1A. This Briefing will discuss Humanitarian needs and responses looking first at recent trends and challenges and innovative and responsive approaches to future challenges.  The earthquake in Haiti as many other recent natural disasters have highlighted the fragility of some States and the need for strong institutions able to strengthen risk reduction mechanisms and disaster preparedness and increase the effectiveness of response to disasters. The need for coordination and effectiveness in interventions by donors and actors is also key issue. We would like to share lessons learnt from recent experiences as to minimize the scale of future negative impact and long-term recovery. We would like to look at the impact on rural development and also the role of agriculture and rural development in rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts.

    For more information contact boto@cta.int or pruna@cta.int and read material online at http://brusselsbriefings.net


    Link Read more
    Link Past Briefings
    Link Video material


  2. Our video guest: Mr. Neil Datta
    2010-04-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    Neil Datta is the Secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development. In this interview, Mr. Datta presents the activities of this Forum in Brussels. He also speaks about reproductive health in the development policies of the European Union towards ACP countries. He points out that everywhere in the world, an average woman must use contraception between 16 and 20 years of her life, if she wants to have between 2 and 4 children. Finally, Mr. Datta explains what the EU should do, with regards to maternal health, if the Millenium Development Goals are to be met.
    Link Read more
    Link European Parliamentary Form
    Link Brussels Briefing


  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 5th to 9th April 2010
    2010-03-31

    European Parliament (Brussels): 
    - 7th April: Plenary Session
    - 7th April: Vote on the catch documentation programme for bluefin tuna
    - 8th April : Hearing on the Common Fisheries Policy Reform
    EU Presidency (Spain):
    - 9th April: Informal session of the 133 Committee (foreign trade)
    - 9th April: EU-US High Level Consultative Group on Development Cooperation
    ACP Secretariat (Brussels):
    - 6th April: Sub-Committee on Trade and Commodity Protocols 
    - 9th April: Sub-Committee on Investment and Private Sector

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


    Link European Parliament
    Link Spanish Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  4. EU pledges over 1.2 billion euros for Haiti
    2010-03-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Commission Vice-President, Catherine Ashton along with Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs and Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva will attend the ministerial-level International Donors’ Conference "Towards a New Future for Haiti" that will take place on March 31 at the UN Headquarters in New York. The Conference will be co-chaired by Brazil, Canada, the European Union, France, and Spain as leading donors to Haiti. The first goal of the donor conference is to secure the foundation for Haiti’s recovery and reconstruction through pledges from all sources – public, private, non-governmental and multilateral institutions – to meet the $3.8 billion required over the next two years. Secondly, the EU delegation will stress the need for a long-term strategy over the next ten years to complete the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) projects to rebuild the country which it is estimated will cost in the region €10 billion.EU High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton said: "This earthquake has been a terrible tragedy, but it has galvanized a tremendous global response. The European Union's Member States and the European Commission have come together and as a result, I can announce that the EU will contribute over 1.2 billion euros to Haiti's reconstruction and development process. But the EU recognizes that re-building Haiti also implies long-term commitment on the part of its development partners. Therefore, I and my fellow Commissioners will stress the need for a 10-year economic plan to be put in place to allow the Haitian people recover from this tragedy and emerge stronger to face a better future that they clearly deserve." European citizens and civil society organizations have shown their solidarity and overwhelming support for Haiti by jointly mobilizing more than €600 million to support relief and rebuilding. During their visit to New York, the EU delegation will meet with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and High Representative Catherine Ashton will hold a bilateral meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Solidarity of the EU with Haiti
    Link EU Delegation to Haiti


  5. MEPs mull over merits of an EU tax on financial transactions
    2010-03-31

    The economic crisis has exposed weaknesses in the financial system, forcing governments to pump billions of euros of taxpayers' money into ailing banks and other financial institutions to safeguard the stability of their economies. MEPs think that now is the right time to think about how financial institutions could pay back their debt to society. In a March plenary session they called on the European Commission to explore the impact of a financial transaction tax. The idea of such a tax has been floated by economists and politicians around the world for years. Colloquially called the "Tobin Tax" after the economist who put forward the idea, the economic crisis has given it a new lease of political life. On Monday 10 March MEPs adopted a Resolution (536 votes in favour to 80 against) calling for the financial sector to contribute fairly towards economic recovery since the costs of the crisis are being borne by taxpayers. They also called on the Commission to analyse what the impact of implementing the tax would be.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Economic Crisis Committee
    Link EU’s response to the financial crisis


  6. UK calls for bold new plan to get MDGs back on track
    2010-03-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The UK will press world leaders to agree to an ambitious action plan to get the Millennium Development Goals back on track to be achieved by 2015. The International Development Secretary used a gathering of development experts to put forward bold proposals that will input into the international negotiations ahead of a key UN summit in September, including a doubling of aid for basic education and for health services for mothers and children. Douglas Alexander said that the UN Summit in September must be used as a turning point towards achieving the MDGs and will set out that the UK will be pushing for more to be done.
    This conference will set out proposals for:
    • International partners to double aid for basic education in low income countries from $3 billion to $6 billion per year;
    • A global programme to tackle malnutrition;
    • The global community to increase levels of aid to fragile countries from the current 30% to 50% by 2015; and,
    • A doubling of global aid for maternal, newborn and child health from $4 billion to $8 billion per year.

    Source: Department for International Department


    Link Read more
    Link MDG
    Link MDG Monitor


  7. EU rules to benefit Papua New Guinea tuna sector
    2010-03-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    PNG can now export to EU markets fish caught anywhere, says Pokajam. The inclusion of PNG on European Union (EU) competent authorisation list of the illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) regulation 1005/2008 is a boost to the country’s fish exports to EU markets, The National reports. Prior to this official inclusion last Feb 4 (2010), under the then Cotonu Agreement, PNG (and others) could only export to EU markets duty-free on fish caught only in archipelagic and territorial waters, Na- tional Fisheries Authority (NFA) managing director Sylvester Pokajam said. With the inclusion, PNG can now export to EU markets fish caught anywhere in the world and not just restricted to archipelagic and territorial waters, he said. Archipelagic waters are those internally-owned by sovereign nations such as ownership of land, while territorial waters are those located 12 nautical miles from archipelagic waters to the start of the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

    Source: Bilaterals.org


    Link Read more
    Link Papua New Guinea
    Link EU in Papua New Guinea


  8. EU leaders to back conditional climate aid pledge
    2010-03-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    European Union leaders meeting in Brussels today (24 March) are set to confirm their commitment to providing €2.4 billion in immediate support to help poor nations tackle global warming, but only if other industrialised nations also make similar contributions, according to draft summit conclusions obtained by EurActiv. "The EU and its member states will implement their commitment to provide €2.4 billion annually over the 2010-2012 period for fast-start financing," read the draft conclusions of the European Council, which is taking place on 25-26 March. Speaking at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso stressed the importance of "respecting our pledges on fast-start finance" in order to build trust with developing countries. EU leaders will discuss climate change issues on Friday, leaving the first day of the meeting for economic debates.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU and Climate Change
    Link UN Convention on Climate Change


  9. ECOWAS demands EU's commitment to development fund
    2010-03-31

    The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is urging the European Union (EU) to show real monetary commitment to a proposed development fund for the subregion. The call, announced in a press release, follows an ECOWAS Ministerial Monitoring Committee held in Cotonou, Benin. Negotiations are expected to commence to lay the foundation for a new trade regime, which aims to create a free trade area of the two regions. Some issues that remain to be resolved related to the Economic Partnership Agreement Development Programme (EPADP) fund are: what each partner will give to the fund, and how it could be accessed. The experts-level MMC meeting showed how the Partnership Agreement could be integral to West Africa's integration process. The fund could also boost competitiveness, leading to an economic partnership pact that would help the 16-member ECOWAS take advantage of potentially greater access to European markets. West Africa wants EU negotiators to make clear the "dedicated source and accessibility" of the fund, according to the press statement.

    Source: next.com


    Link Read more
    Link ECOWAS
    Link EPA-ECOWAS


  10. EU to realign development aid towards water
    2010-03-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    With the UN Millennium Development Goals set to be reviewed this year, the European Commission is stressing the need for an increased focus on access to water, as the achievement of other UN development goals depends on it. Climate change will alter completely the EU's aid policy to developing countries in the future, and "water and land use will gain in importance," said Luis Riera Figueras, director at the European Commission's development department, addressing the European Parliament's intergroup on water on 24 February. As more than 1.2 billion people still lack access to safe drinking water, including more than 40% of Africans, there is "a strong case" for more progress on the matter, he said.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU Water Initiative
    Link ACP-EU Water Facility


  11. GMOs, scientists against EU 'secret draft'
    2010-03-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    A formal protest has been presented by a group of European scientists to the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek and the President of the EU Council Herman Van Rompuy, as the EU seems to be ready to turn into rule the liberalization of GM crops. According to the group, a "secret draft" of regulation has been submitted to the World Trade Organization for an opinion. "It is surprising how 'irregular' is the behavior of the EU Commission, which appears very clearly aimed at accelerating the process of GMOs approval in Europe", claims a group of scientists from all EU countries, after finding on the WTO (World Trade Organization) website the draft of a new "application rule" of EU legislation for the GMOs approval, presented in great secrecy by the Commission for a WTO opinion. A behavior that is considered a "misconduct'', as "the European Parliament and all competent authorities for GMOs are completely unaware of this draft." 

    Source: Green Planet.net


    Link Read more
    Link SPS Information Management System
    Link  Genetically Modified Food and Feed


  12. EU official warns climate aid 'will not come for free'
    2010-03-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    China and India's hesitation to formally back a Copenhagen climate agreement could jeopardise $30 billion of climate aid to the developing world, a senior European Union official said. Copenhagen Accord for fighting climate change, two months after it was agreed at a summit in December, documents showed. China, India and Russia are the largest greenhouse gas emitters yet to make clear if they fully endorse the deal, which sets a goal of limiting a rise in world temperatures to less than two degrees Celsius. Under the non-binding pact, rich nations also plan to give $30 billion in climate aid from 2010-12, rising to $100 billion a year from 2020, largely channelled through a 'Copenhagen Green Climate Fund'. Karl Falkenberg, director-general for environment at the European Commission, said on Wednesday that the fund would be only available "in the context of an international framework that leads to the reduction of CO2 emissions".

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link UN Climate Change Conference
    Link Copenhagen_Accord_1.pdf

  13. German aid agencies face government shake-up
    2010-03-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The German government has defended plans to merge the three main state-funded aid agencies, GTZ, DED and Inwent, into a more efficient organization. Development Minister Dirk Niebel says no job cuts are involved. German development minister Dirk Niebel on Monday defended plans to merge Germany's three aid organizations, the German Association for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the German Development Service (DED) and Inwent. Niebel stressed that the new streamlined agency would be able to deliver German aid more efficiently and with less bureaucracy. He pointed out that the government would hold on to what he called its "ambitious" target of increasing German aid to 0.7 percent of gross domestic product until 2015 despite press reports to the contrary. Niebel added that there would be no job cuts involved.  The GTZ is the biggest of the three organizations. It helps implement the government's development projects in 87 countries. DED specializes in providing experts for developing countries and Inwent focuses on training.

    Source: Deutsche Welle


    Link Read more
    Link Inwent
    Link GTZ


  14. 2020 strategy undermines economics of biodiversity, says WWF
    2010-03-30

    Despite recognising the key role that biodiversity and ecosystem services play in delivering economic prosperity, the 'Europe 2020' strategy fails to highlight nature protection, according to WWF's European director Tony Long. "Biodiversity is a huge part of our economy and this is why it is even more surprising that the EU 2020 strategy does not pay proper attention to it," Long said. The Commission's final draft 'Europe 2020' strategy was published on the 3rd  March. Long referred to European Commission's own statements, according to which the annual loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services totals some €50 billion. As for EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, he said that "as an economist, I understand how biodiversity affects our economic prosperity". Commission estimates show that the cost of doing nothing to protect biodiversity by 2050 would be 7% of global GDP, he added.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU Biodiversity
    Link WWF


  15. Germany supports plans for European monetary fund
    2010-03-30

    German chancellor Angela Merkel has backed plans for a European monetary fund (EMF) but warned such a move would require a new treaty, reports the FT. German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble's proposal to set up an EMF would allow the eurozone to bail out any members under strict budget conditions. Merkel has expressed support for the plans, saying the sanctions at the EU's disposal to deal with the Greek crisis "were not good enough". The creation of an EMF is likely to require treaty change, which has highlighted differences between Paris and Berlin who are struggling to come up with a common position, reports the paper. According to the Irish Times, a spokesman for economic and monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn has said it is too early to say whether a change to the treaties would be required.The Wall Street Journal adds that the idea of an EMF has gained favour with the European commission, with proposals from the EU's executive likely to be put forward later this year.

    Source: The Paliament.com


    Link Read more
    Link Economic and Monetary Union
    Link Economic and Financial Affairs


  16. EU biofuels target borderline sustainable, report finds
    2010-03-30

    Going beyond a 5.6% share of biofuels in transport fuel could harm the environment, found a new report made public by the European Commission (25 March), suggesting that the EU's current target is only borderline sustainable. The report, compiled for the Commission by the International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI), concludes that indirect land-use change has "an important effect on the environmental sustainability of biofuels". Nevertheless, it argues that current EU renewable energy targets are small enough to safeguard the environmental sustainability of biofuels. The EU's Renewable Energies Directive mandates a 10% share of renewable energies in transport fuels by 2020. The report assumes that only 5.6% of this would come from first-generation biofuels. The report is the first in a series of four studies the EU executive has commissioned as a contribution to its own report on indirect land-use change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. That report, due out by the year's end, will measure the extent to which the production of first-generation biofuels contributes to emissions by replacing crops grown for food production and accelerating deforestation. It will outline measures to address the issue.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Directive on renewable energy
    Link  Consumption of biofuels


  17. EU subsidizes illegal fishing
    2010-03-30

    Fishsubsidy.org published a list of 42 convictions of fishing vessel owners that have also received EU subsidies under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The study, which focuses on two major EU fishing nations, Spain and France, involves matching records of court convictions with data on EU fisheries subsidy payments. Between them, the 36 law-breaking vessels received 13,510,418 euro in EU subsidies between 1994 and 2006.  Illegal fishing contributes to the overfishing of valuable fish stocks, many of which are at dangerously depleted levels. While previous studies have shown that many EU fisheries subsidies have directly contributed to the overfishing of fish stocks, this is the first study that draws the link between subsidies and illegal fishing. While there is no obligation to take criminal behaviour into account when deciding which vessels should get subsidies, EU Member States are free to consider this information. There is little evidence that any of them are.

    Source: Fishsubsidy.org


    Link Read more
    Link Combating illegal fishing
    Link Bilateral fisheries partnership agreements


  18. What next for the Joint Africa-EU Strategy?
    2010-03-30

    The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) was agreed upon at the 2007 Lisbon Summit. The purpose of the
    new policy framework was to “take the Africa-EU relationship to a new strategic level with a
    strengthened political partnership and enhanced cooperation at all levels”2. It reflected a bold,
    ambitious and innovative response to new geopolitical realities (e.g. emergence of new players such as
    China, Brazil, India) as well as major changes in Europe and Africa. It was meant to provide an
    “overarching long-term framework for Africa-EU relations”3, to be implemented through eight
    thematic partnerships and successive Action Plans (AP). Two years later, the mood seems less euphoric. Many stakeholders on both sides, argue that the JAES is not moving in the right direction –or not fast enough- in terms of modifying substantially the nature and quality of EU-Africa relations as originally intended, despite some qualified successes and the best efforts of many. The 13th Africa - EU Ministerial Troika in October 2009 acknowledged this state of affairs and invited all stakeholders to proceed to a “fundamental review” of the structures and functioning mechanisms of the first Action Plan and to come up, if necessary, with proposals for “significant changes”, to be discussed at the next Troika at the end of April 2010.

    Source: European Center for Dvelopment Policy Managment


    Link Read more
    Link Africa-EU Partnership
    Link EU's relations with Africa


  19. NGOs take Commission to court over biofuels reports
    2010-03-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Four environmental groups have sued the European Union's executive for withholding documents they say will add to a growing dossier of evidence that biofuels harm the environment and push up food prices. The lawsuit, lodged with the EU's General Court, the bloc's second highest court, alleges several violations of European laws on transparency and democracy.The suit was filed on 8 March by ClientEarth, Transport & Environment, the European Environmental Bureau and BirdLife International. At stake is the EU's commitment to its goal of getting a tenth of its road fuels from renewable sources such as biofuels by 2020 - a target that has spawned an EU industry worth around five billion euros ($6.8 billion) a year and a big market for imports from Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia. Some of the documents raise the prospect of higher EU farm incomes, but cite concerns that plant-based biofuels could create food shortages for the world's poorest. Others suggest biofuels can drive up demand for land, encouraging farmers in tropical areas to expand cropland into sensitive areas such as wetlands and rainforests - which would have a detrimental environmental impact.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Client Earth
    Link Renewable Energy


  20. ECOWAS, EU to resume EPA negotiations shortly
    2010-03-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    West African negotiators expect unequivocal commitment from the European Union (EU) to a proposed Development Fund for West Africa when both regions resume negotiations on 17 March for a new trade regime to create a free trade area, according to a press release from the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. This follows an experts-level workshop of the Ministerial Monitoring Committee (MMC), which oversees the negotiation for the region.The size of the Fund, the Economic Partnership Agreement Development Programme (EPADP), the contributions expected from the two regions and the conditions for accessing the Fund are among the outstanding issues in the negotiations. At the end of an experts-level workshop in Cotonou, Benin, the experts stressed the importance of the EPADP to West Africa's integration process and competitiveness to ensure a mutually-beneficial EPA. This will ensure that the region benefits from the liberalized access to the European market envisaged by the agreement.

    Source: Afrique jet


    Link Read more
    Link Aid for Trade
    Link TradeCom Facility


  21. European Parliament identifies priorities for 65th UN General Assembly
    2010-03-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    In a resolution presented on 17 March, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) listed six priority issues they want the Council of the European Union to address at the 65th United Nations General Assembly: the EU's place at the UN, world governance and UN reform, peace and security, development, human rights and climate change. MEPs called on the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, to co-ordinate Member States' positions better with regard to reform of the UN Security Council. A seat on an enlarged Security must remain a long-term objective of the Union, said the resolution. MEPs asked that EU Member States agree on a common position on the Human Rights Council reform scheduled for 2011, and that the commitment to reaching Millennium Development Goal targets by 2015 be reconfirmed, notably on maternal health (MDG 5), where progress has been limited.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link MDG
    Link High Representative of the Union


  22. UK Scientists Devise Worldwide Food Alert System
    2010-03-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Countries producing food containing harmful bacteria and toxins could be named and shamed more quickly using a worldwide alert system devised by a team of scientists from Kingston University in South West London. The team, led by Professor Declan Naughton, says the easy to use computer tool can be used to monitor contaminated products; helping to prevent them reaching shop shelves and ensuring that food is safe to eat. Thousands of alerts about contaminated food are produced each year, particularly by developed countries, but there is no single international system for monitoring food safety. This prompted Professor Naughton and his colleagues, from the School of Life Sciences, to develop a program to analyse alerts and produce a global picture of the countries that trade and detect contaminated food that can be deadly or cause health problems from food poisoning to long term degenerative diseases. Professor Naughton recently presented a summary of the team's findings to a conference organised by the European Food Security Authority, the EU's food safety and security watchdog.

    Source: Science Daily


    Link Read more
    Link Kingston University
    Link EU Food Safety


  23. Can a non-integrated Caribbean relate to a single European approach?
    2010-03-30

    This month, senior Caribbean officials will meet in Jamaica with their European counterparts to consider the nature of the future Cariforum-European Union (EU) relationship. Their objective is to develop a first outline of a joint Caribbean-EU political strategy which may be used to inform the EU-Cariforum and EU-Latin American and Caribbean Heads Government meeting due to take place in Madrid on 17- 18 May this year. The meeting in Jamaica follows from a broader event organised in Barbados earlier this month involving officials, representatives of civil society and the private sector. At that meeting the objective was to develop an agenda of shared interests and priorities. According to those who attended from both the Caribbean and Europe the Barbados encounter suffered from an absence of debate about the fundamental political and institutional issues that need first to be addressed if the future relationship between Europe and Cariforum is to be based on reality. That is to say it avoided addressing key questions that require resolution before a strategic partnership is possible. It failed to explain why, at this time, a joint EU Cariforum strategy is required when both parties are struggling to make work existing institutional arrangements such as the Cotonou Convention and the Economic partnership Agreement; it did not ask how a Caribbean that is far from integrated, without regional institutions with executive authority and with differing foreign and economic policies, is to relate to a single European approach; and it did not address how a more political approach would ensure that development and other aspects of the transatlantic relationship would improve in practical terms the everyday life of Caribbean and European citizens.

    Source: Starbroek News


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Caribbean partnership
    Link The Cotonou agreement


  24. EU-Marocco controversed fisheries agreement
    2010-03-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The European Union has signed since several years a series of unfair fishing agreements with Morocco and warnings that these agreements could be applied to waters within the Western Sahara territory were ignored. Already when the 2006 Agreement was initially passed, Sweden expressed its concerns stating that the vagueness of the territorial applicability could allow for European Union to fish in Western Sahara, which would be illegal. At that time, it was still unclear whether fisheries would in fact take place offshore
    the territory, although such had been the case under previous agreements and in point of
    fact the current one proved to be no exception. The 2007 EU-Moroccan Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA)4 - to be in force for 4 years - has been considered quite controversial since its beginnings and has raised quite a number of questions not only as regards its legality which is inexistent by international law but also because the southern coordinates of the territory under the Agreement were not stipulated,
    thus leaving to Morocco free how to interpret where the European vessels could fish. According to the Agreement, fishing can take place in “the waters under sovereignty or jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Morocco.” Since the EU refused to clearly demarcate the area of application of the Agreement upon signing it, the latter opened for European member countries the fishing in Western Sahara waters – an area over which Morocco has no legal claims being a de facto occupying power and not even appearing on the United Nations’ list of administrative countries.

    Source: Fish Elsewhere


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Marocco
    Link EU Delagation to Marocco


  25. EU farm ministers seen split on food chain rules
    2010-03-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    An ideological split over European Union regulation of agricultural markets could prevent farm ministers from agreeing on measures to boost the power of producers in the food chain at a meeting in Brussels on Monday (29 March).  EU nations that favour strong intervention by Brussels - led by France - want to give producers more power to negotiate favourable prices for their goods with suppliers and retailers, who they regard as having too much influence over farm prices. Options floated by the EU executive and backed by these countries include possible changes to EU competition rules to allow producers to jointly agree prices for their produce, or the mandatory use of standard contracts in the food supply chain. But opposition from a handful of more liberally-minded countries - led by Britain and Sweden - is expected to block agreement on the plans.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link CAP Reform
    Link Agriculture and Fisheries Council


  26. Council prolongs appropriate measures for Fiji Islands
    2010-03-30

    The Council today extended by six months appropriate measure towards the Fiji Islands in order to facilitate its return to democracy, respect of human rights and the rule of law. This decision follows the delay in implementing commitments the Fiji authorities made to the EU, notably concerning the abrogation of the constitution, human rights violations and the postponement of parliamentary elections. The appropriate measures are designed to assist the Fiji Islands in the transition. The EU will maintain humanitarian operations and direct support to civil society and democracy building. Development projects that were already initiated in 2007 are to be executed as planned. But as long as the commitments on human rights and the rule of law are not fulfilled, no new support from the European Development Fund will be assigned. Fiji's sugar allocation for 2010 also depends on the democratic process whereas sugar allocations for the years 2007 to 2009 were cancelled. The EU will continue to closely monitor the political situation in Fiji.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Human rights protection in EU-ACP relations
    Link Delegation of the EU to Fiji



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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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