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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 229]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 229]
Send date: 2010-06-25 16:22:45
Issue #: 45
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. NEW SERVICE: You can register to a thematic Newsletter!
  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 28th June to 2nd July 2010
  3. Our video guest: Mr. Giulio Groppi, EuropeAid
  4. Increase in non-tariff barriers causing concern in Comesa
  5. EU orders industrial tuna fishing ban
  6. EU leaders to end dispute over 2020 targets
  7. OECD, UN predict 40% rise in food prices by 2020
  8. Kenya’s horticulture sector hit by the Greek debt crisis
  9. Health group calls for ‘usable’ information on food
  10. Dwindling EU development aid spent on deporting refugees
  11. Biofuels cannot come from ripped-up rainforest, says Brussels
  12. Simulations on The Special Safeguard Mechanism
  13. EU sees solar power imported from Sahara in five years
  14. ACP Press Statement-Revision of the Cotonou Agreement
  15. Signature of the revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement
  16. Commission sets rules for green biofuel label
  17. SOMALIA: Questions Abound about EU’s "Combating" of Piracy
  18. Commission teams up with EIB on climate finance initiative
  19. EU to let member states to decide on GMO approval
  20. EIB President welcomes second revision of Cotonou agreement
  21. E.U. Diplomatic Service Moves Closer to Birth
  22. ACP and EU nations to sign revised trade deal
  23. Guyana represented at key ACP-EU Council meeting in Burkina Faso
  24. MEPs set out clearer and more consistent food labelling rules
  25. MEPs call for strong European aquaculture sector
  26. The 11th ACP-EU regional seminar in Ethiopia
  27. Piebalgs to attend the signature of the revised Cotonou Agreement
  28. Council conclusions on the MDGs


  1. NEW SERVICE: You can register to a thematic Newsletter!
    2010-06-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    Dear subscribers of the CTA-Brussels Office Newsletter,  you will have now the opportunity to receive a newsletter which will cover only the thematic categories of your choice. This option was the most popular wish according to the survey we have conducted earlier this year. Please be advised that it is a selective option! It means that if you choose this option, you will not receive the complete Newsletter but only a Newsletter that covers the thematic categories of your choice.
    What you need to do:
    -If you want to keep the Newsletter in its actual format, you do not have to do anything.
    -For those of you who want to receive the thematic Newsletter in future, you have the possibility to edit your account by clicking on the link ‘Change Your Subscription’ at the end of the newsletter. You will be then invited to choose the thematic categories you.  You will then receive a customised newsletter with all the stories relating to your interests
    -For new subscribers, they can edit their themes upon their subscription. By default, the new subscriber will receive the complete Newsletter.


    If you have any problem please contact: kamuhinda@cta.int 




  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 28th June to 2nd July 2010
    2010-06-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    - 28th June: Meeting of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee
    EU Presidency:
    - 28th to 29th June (Luxembourg): Council of Agriculture and Fisheries
    - 1st July: Belgium takes over the Presidency of the  European Union


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


    Link European Parliament
    Link Spanish EU Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  3. Our video guest: Mr. Giulio Groppi, EuropeAid
    2010-06-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Food Security

    Our video guest this week is Mr. Giulio Groppi. He is Head of sector at the Training and knowledge Management Unit. Together with Stephane Devaux, he was at the origin of the creation of the Operational Food Security Network (ROSA). The ROSA is an interesting case study in the role of information and communication technologies in development cooperation. First, Mr. Groppi explains what a network is. He elaborates then on the activities of a virtual training and working community. Although, the ROSA brings together policy makers, experts and practitioners in the field of food security, it is an open network. It has also a web-coordinator that allows the network to be constantly updated despite the heavy workload that faces professionals in food security.
    Link Watch the video
    Link Join the ROSA
    Link EuropeAid


  4. Increase in non-tariff barriers causing concern in Comesa
    2010-06-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The increase of non-tariff barriers  in the $350 billion Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa  in the recent past  is causing  concern among some member states. The countries are  expressing fear that efforts  to establish a fully functional customs union, launched last year, in the 12 million square kilometre trade bloc may be hampered if the problem is not tackled fast and swiftly. Numerous meetings held at Comesa headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia, and other cities  in the  region to solve the problem  has failed to solve the issue. Even a major resolution by the council of ministers, one of the top decision-making organs in Comesa, that non-tariff barriers  be  removed by March last year was ignored by as member states came up with new barriers to dodge the declaration. “Though some non-tariff barriers were eliminated after the council of ministers’ resolution, other new non-tariff barriers quickly came up,” says Geoffrey Osoro, senior trade policy  expert at Comesa secretariat. Some countries are now calling for stiff penalties on those flouting rules regarding the indiscriminate use of non-trade barriers.
     
    Source: The East African

    Link Read more
    Link More on COMESA
    Link Trade within COMESA


  5. EU orders industrial tuna fishing ban
    2010-06-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    In the wake of huge depletion in stocks of bluefin tuna, EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki decided on the 9th June to ban large-scale bluefin tuna fishing in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic. The ban has already come into effect. The ban will apply until the end of the 2010 fishing season, explained European Commission spokesman Oliver Drewes. The ban applies to ships with large fishing nets, called purse seines, that hang vertically in the water with weights along the bottom edge and floats along the top, making it easier to make quick, big catches. The fishing season started on 15 May and was due to last until 15 June. Damanaki decided to order the purse seiners back to port after data from the Commission's in-house control room and inspectors from the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) showed that the seiners were about to reach their 2010 quotas.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link ICCAT
    Link Bluefin Tuna Management Plan


  6. EU leaders to end dispute over 2020 targets
    2010-06-24

    The European Council confirms the five EU headline targets which will constitute shared objectives guiding the action of member states and the Union," read the draft conclusions. The objectives include employment, research, climate change, education and poverty . The text stresses that the European Council "agrees on the quantification of the education and social inclusion/poverty indicators," which have been a matter of dispute for many months. On education, leaders are set to agree on the target of reducing school drop-out rates "to less than 10%" from their current 15%.They will also back the objective of "increasing the share of 30-34 year olds having completed higher education to at least 40%," reads the draft text. Germany had long opposed these targets, arguing that education is a national and regional matter, and that EU meddling in these issues would be counterproductive. However, after strong pressure from the EU institutions, Germany accepted the targets. The objective also indicates a more limited age group for which the education targets are considered. Rather than seeking to increase the number of diplomas for youngsters, as initially foreseen, the new more specific target focuses on tertiary education for people in their mid-thirties.

    Source: euractiv.com


    Link Read more
    Link Council of the EU


  7. OECD, UN predict 40% rise in food prices by 2020
    2010-06-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Growing demand from emerging markets and biofuel production are expected to drive up farm commodity prices leading to increased food insecurity, warns the latest outlook on global agricultural markets.While farm commodity prices have fallen from their record peaks of two years ago, they are "unlikely to drop back to their average levels of the past decade," stresses the Agricultural Outlook 2010-2019, jointly prepared by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).Instead, the report published on 15th  June warns that the average wheat and coarse grain prices will be between 15-40% higher in real terms (adjusted for inflation) over the next ten years compared to their average levels during the 1997-2006 period.Real prices for vegetable oils are projected to be more than 40% higher and dairy prices have soared by an average of 16-45%.The report covers biofuels, cereals, oilseeds, sugar, meats and dairy products over the 2010-19 period. Its market assessments are based on "a set of underlying assumptions regarding macroeconomic factors, agricultural and trade policies and production technologies" and assume normal average weather conditions and long-term productivity trends.

    Source: euractiv.com


    Link Read more
    Link Agricultural Outlook 2010-2019
    Link FAO


  8. Kenya’s horticulture sector hit by the Greek debt crisis
    2010-06-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The raging Greek debt crisis has filtered into Kenya’s horticultural industry, causing foreign exchange losses running into billions of shillings as the country reassesses its overdependence on the turbulent European Union market. Players say the crisis that has battered investor confidence across Europe and pushed the euro to its lowest level in 13 months has significantly eroded their earnings, delaying their recovery from other recent shocks like drought, the global financial crisis and the recent export interruption by the Iceland volcano eruption. Kenya sells 82 per cent of her horticultural exports in EU countries where payment is made in the euro, leaving only 18 per cent to the dollar dominated destinations of US, Middle East, Japan and Russia. For many years, the industry has relied on the stability of the euro to navigate through tough economic times, including the global economic crisis of last year. “It is not easy for the industry to come to terms with a falling euro because for a long time investors have relied on its attractiveness to grow,” said Jane Ngige, the Kenya Flower Council CEO. The economic turbulence in Greece, triggered by a deep fiscal crisis after the country’s public debt rose to 115 per cent GDP, has changed the tide against the euro, weakening it against other world currencies, including the Kenya shilling.


    Source: businessdailyafrica.com


    Link Read more
    Link Kenya flower council


  9. Health group calls for ‘usable’ information on food
    2010-06-24

    The European Heart Network (EHN) called on MEPs to back "fair presentation" of the nutritional content of food products and called on the industry to be "more modest with marketing" ahead of a European Parliament vote  on an EU proposal to regulate food information to consumers. The Commission's proposal for a Regulation on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers includes "a significant amount of health aspects" as far as nutrition labelling is concerned, said EHN director Susanne Løgstrup in an interview with EurActiv. If there is no clear nutrition labelling, consumers will be unable to understand the nutritional content of food products and avoid overconsumption of salt and saturated fats, which are both detrimental to cardiovascular health, she said.


    Source: euractiv.com


    Link Read more
    Link European Parliament


  10. Dwindling EU development aid spent on deporting refugees
    2010-06-24

    'Charity begins at home' goes the old maxim, and when it comes to aid for the third world, Europe very much adheres to this motto.  As the economic crisis pinches national budgets, EU member states' funds set aside for development are dwindling and increasingly being used instead as channels for public cash for domestic companies and promoting national vested interests rather than poverty reduction in the poorest of countries. Some states are even counting the cost of deporting refugees back to their home countries as 'development aid'. "The EU is becoming very opportunistic in terms of aid. The definition of aid is changing," says Hussaini Abdo, country director for Action Aid in Nigeria, a UK-based development group. "Spending can go instead on debt relief, repatriating migrants." "There is even talk of counting remittances - the money sent home by immigrants. This is taking the fruits of the labour of migrants and calling that aid." According to an annual report from Concord, an alliance of Europe's main development NGOs and charities, published on 10 June, EU development aid for 2009 amounted to €49 billion, one billion less than in 2008.
    Source: euobserver.com

    Link Read more
    Link CONCORD
    Link ActionAid


  11. Biofuels cannot come from ripped-up rainforest, says Brussels
    2010-06-24

    A long-awaited European Commission communication outlining guidelines on what constitutes genuinely sustainable biofuels has already run into strong criticism.  Environmentalists and development groups say the rules overlook the key aspect of the controversial energy source that turns what was once thought of as a green alternative into a net producer of greenhouse gas emissions.  On 10th June, the commission is to unveil guidelines aiming to clarify rules contained in a 2008 law on biofuels, aiming to counter a massive backlash against the fuels.  Two years ago, a cavalcade of expert reports revealed that many forms of the fuel source both increase greenhouse gas emissions and put pressure on food prices. The new guidelines however now underscore that ripping up rainforests or draining bogs to grow the plants that produce the fuel defeat the purpose of a green energy source, as the emissions released when forests or peatlands are transformed can actually put more CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Source: euobserver.com


    Link Read more
    Link EC-biofuels


  12. Simulations on The Special Safeguard Mechanism
    2010-06-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    This paper aims to provide policy-makers, negotiators and other stakeholders with a clear technical assessment of how the December 2008 draft modalities (TN/AG/W/4/Rev.4) and the accompanying working document (TN/AG/W/7) could affect the functioning of the proposed special safeguard mechanism, and, in particular, accessibility of the mechanism and its effectiveness.

    Source: ICTSD


    Link Read more
    Link ICTSD
    Link DG Agriculture and rural development


  13. EU sees solar power imported from Sahara in five years
    2010-06-24

    Europe will import its first solar-generated electricity from North Africa within the next five years, European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said in an interview on Sunday. The European Union is backing projects to turn the plentiful sunlight in the Sahara desert into electricity for power-hungry Europe, a scheme it hopes will help meet its target of deriving 20% of its energy from renewable sources in 2020."I think some models starting in the next five years will bring some hundreds of megawatts to the European market," Oettinger told Reuters after a meeting with energy ministers from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. He said those initial volumes would come from small pilot projects, but the amount of electricity would go up into the thousands of megawatts as projects including the €400 billion Desertec solar scheme come on stream. "Desertec as a whole is a vision for the next 20 to 40 years with investment of hundreds of billions of euros," said Oettinger. "To integrate a bigger percentage of renewables, solar and wind, needs time."The EU is backing the construction of new electricity cables, known as interconnectors, under the Mediterranean Sea to carry this renewable energy from North Africa to Europe. Some environmental groups have warned these cables could be used instead to import non-renewable electricity from coal- and gas-fired power stations in north Africa.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link DG Energy
    Link Energy-EU


  14. ACP Press Statement-Revision of the Cotonou Agreement
    2010-06-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group with its principal development partner, the European Union, today signed the second five-yearly review of the Cotonou Agreement in a historic event in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. After more than a year of negotiations with the EU, both parties signed the revised agreement in a colourful event – witnessed by ministers, ambassadors and officials from the ACP and the EU countries at the close of the 35th Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers. At the 91st Session of the ACP Council of Ministers that took place a few days earlier in Ouagadougou, ACP ministers gave their approval on the revised agreement and commended the ACP Committee of Ambassadors for successfully negotiating with the Europeans. The President of the ACP Council of Ministers, His Excellency Mr. Paul Bunduku-Latha, the Gabonese Deputy Minister to the Ministry of Economic Planning, Trade, Industry and Tourism said the signing of the Second Revised Cotonou Agreement in Ouagadougou signified a rewarding relationship that has grown from strength to strength and spans over 30 years. Mr Bunduku-Latha and H.E Ms. Soraya Rodriguez, Secretary of State for International Cooperation of Spain (EU Presidency), presided over the signing ceremony. Ministers and government representatives from the ACP and the European Community signed the revised agreement.

    Source: ACP Secretariat


    Link Read more
    Link The Cotonou agreement
    Link ACP-EU Relations


  15. Signature of the revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement
    2010-06-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Rural development, ACP-EU Trade

    The official ceremony of a signature of the second revised Cotonou Agreement took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on 22-23 June 2010 in presence of EU Development Commissioner and representatives of the ACP countries. Changes to the agreement highlight an emphasis on climate change, and regional integration to combat problems affecting neighbouring countries. Other goals include coordinated efforts to maintain food security, and prioritisation of fragile states. Commissioner Piebalgs also inaugurated a street "L'Avenue de L'Europe" next to the EU delegation, and met with Burkina Faso's President, Blaise Compaore.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The Cotonou agreement
    Link Regional Strategy Papers 10th EDF


  16. Commission sets rules for green biofuel label
    2010-06-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    To ensure that biofuels contributing to the EU's 20% renewable target are produced in a sustainable manner, the European Commission called for industry and governments to set up certification schemes. The Commission  adopted a package on the sustainability criteria of biofuels.  The package, which includes two communications and one decision, aims to ensure that biofuels produced and imported into the EU are produced without damaging the environment. Only biofuels that meet the conditions set out in the package will count towards the targets that each of the EU's 27 member states has to reach by 2020. Under the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive, companies are eligible for national support such as tax relief.No sanctions or bans on the use of biofuels that do not carry a sustainable label are foreseen. The Commission paper explains what industry, governments or NGOs need to do to get a sustainable label for their biofuel use. Issues addressed include standards to be met both in the EU and third countries, as well as independent auditing of the whole of the scheme's production chain. A Brazilian sugarcane farmer, for example, must prove that his land was not converted from tropical forest to farmland since January 2008, and producers, traders and importers also need to prove a number of criteria related to farming, production, transport and distribution.


    Source : Euractiv.com


    Link Read more
    Link DG Energy
    Link EU strategy for biofuels


  17. SOMALIA: Questions Abound about EU’s "Combating" of Piracy
    2010-06-23

    Modern German justice had never handled a case of piracy until Jun 11, when 10 Somali seafarers, including children, were presented at a tribunal in the city port of Hamburg, some 300 km west from Berlin, on charges of robbing cargo in the Indian Ocean. The accused are the first Somali people to be prosecuted in Germany as part of Operation Atalanta, the European Union’s military surveillance of the Indian Ocean officially established "to help deter, prevent and repress acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia". According to the Hamburg prosecutor’s office, the Somali seafarers on Apr 5 attacked the German container ship Taipan. The EU claims that the operation's objectives are "the protection of vessels of the World Food Programme delivering food aid to displaced persons in Somalia, of vulnerable vessels cruising off the Somali coast, and the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast".  To that effect, since Dec 2008 EU war ships and planes and several hundred soldiers patrol the Indian Ocean to chase what the EU calls "Somali pirates".  However, critics of the operation suggest that its hidden mission is to protect European vessels accused by Somali seafarers and international organisations of another form of piracy: illegal fishing and the dumping of toxic waste, including radioactive material, in Somali waters.

    Source: IPSnews.net


    Link Read more
    Link DG Maritime Affairs


  18. Commission teams up with EIB on climate finance initiative
    2010-06-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB)  agreed to explore a joint climate finance initiative to provide funding for developing countries. They also made public a political agreement on mobilising billions for clean energy projects from the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme reserves. The joint climate finance initiative would help deliver the billions of climate finance the EU pledged at the Copenhagen climate conference last December during international negotiations over a new climate treaty.The idea behind the joint efforts is to combine grants from the Commission and member states with loans from the EIB and other European financial institutions, explained EIB Vice-President Simon Brooks. The two institutions are already cooperating in implementing the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF), which has since its launch in 2008 provided finance to renewable energy funds in Southern Africa and Asia. The EIB's role in climate finance is on the rise as the EU executive proposed in April to increase the bank's overseas lending by €2 billion between 2011 and 2013. The extra money will be directed towards climate protection.

    Source: Euractiv.com


    Link Read more
    Link The European Investment Bank
    Link GEEREF


  19. EU to let member states to decide on GMO approval
    2010-06-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    In mid-July, the European Commission plans to officially propose that the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament should allow member states the possibility of prohibiting – on all or part of their territory – the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) approved at Community level. At the same time, it will recommend strengthening the criteria agreed in its 2003 recommendation for coexistence between genetically modified, conventional and organic crops, in order to avoid the presence of GMOs in other products. In practice, this will boil down to authorising, under certain conditions, GMO-free regions if coexistence cannot be guaranteed at farm level. This initiative fulfils the political orientations established at the new Commission in September 2009 by its President, José Manuel Barroso, who aims to unblock the Union’s decision making system for GMOs.The draft of the services of Health Commissioner John Dalli does not specify the reasons that will allow a member state to prohibit the planting of GMOs. However, it excludes those linked to the protection of public health and the environment and those linked to the risk of the fortuitous presence of GMOs in other products already covered by current legislation.

    Source: europolitics.com


    Link Read more
    Link GMO and the EU
    Link EFSA


  20. EIB President welcomes second revision of Cotonou agreement
    2010-06-23

    Earlier today the European Union and 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) proceeded to the signature, in Ouagadougou, of the second revision of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. The latter will notably allow the European Investment Bank to enhance its financing of regional infrastructure projects together with ACP sponsors. It will also offer the possibility for the Bank to accompany South African intermediaries in their drive towards regional economic integration for projects located in the rest of Africa. During the ACP-EU Joint Council, EIB President Philippe Maystadt reiterated the Bank’s commitment to actively contribute to the financing of climate change projects in developing countries and proposed to launch an EU climate action initiative together with the European Commission and EU Member States. Alongside the ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers, President Maystadt also signed a technical assistance agreement with Mr. Amadou Diallo, Secretary General of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) for the preparation of the “Mount Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project”. The signing of the agreement took place in the presence of EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, as well as the Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy of Liberia, Dr. Eugene Shannon and the Managing Director of the Liberia Electricity Corporation, Mr. Joseph Mayah. The implementation of the hydropower rehabilitation project will enable Liberia to respond to its power needs as well as those of the sub-region through the WAPP interconnected grid. The overall project will contribute to economic development, poverty reduction and trade in post-conflict Liberia. This EUR 1.5 million assistance programme will
    be funded by the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, managed by the EIB.

    Source: European Investment Bank


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund
    Link The Cotonou agreement


  21. E.U. Diplomatic Service Moves Closer to Birth
    2010-06-22

    After months of delay, the creation of the European Union’s new diplomatic service took a significant step forward Monday, opening the way for it to start phasing in operations by autumn.  The new diplomatic service will employ several thousand diplomats but will be based on the European Commission’s network of offices around the globe.  That in itself is triggering tensions, with commission staff reportedly trying to hold on to key political jobs in individual delegations ahead of the anticipated arrival of national foreign ministry officials, who may have greater political experience than commission counterparts whose expertise is in disbursing billions of euros of E.U. development aid.  The breakthrough came after a political deal was agreed to among the bloc’s different institutions, particularly the European Parliament, which had blocked moves to establish the new service.  The creation of the new diplomatic corps was made possible by the 27-nation bloc’s Lisbon Treaty, which went into force at the end of last year and was designed to give the European Union a more powerful role in the world. But progress on setting up the so-called European External Actions Service had proved painfully slow before negotiations in Madrid on Monday led to the breakthrough. The process underlined the extent to which institutional turf wars and divergences among its member states continue to undermine the European Union’s effectiveness and cohesion.  Creating the new service has been fraught with difficulties and has been one of the main obstacles confronting Catherine Ashton, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, as she seeks to use her role to present a more unified European stance on the international stage.  Ms. Ashton first had to balance the competing interests of the European Council, where national governments meet, and the European Commission, the bloc’s executive, which controls European spending on areas like development aid.  She then encountered difficulties placating the European Parliament, which has also received greater powers under the Lisbon Treaty in an effort to give the workings of the European Union more democratic accountability.

    Source: The New York Times


    Link Read more
    Link EEAS
    Link Lisbon Treaty


  22. ACP and EU nations to sign revised trade deal
    2010-06-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations are to sign in Burkina Faso Tuesday a revised development agreement with the European Union, an official said Friday.The ACP and EU reached agreement in March on revising the 2000 Cotonou Agreement to make improvements in the distribution of development aid and tweak trade components to lessen barriers to 78 ACP countries."The challenge for the ACP group is to define the level of its ties with the EU... We must fight the asymmetry that has characterised this relationship too much," said Gabon's junior economy minister, Paul Bunduku-Latha, who is the president of the ACP's council of ministers, its top decision-making body. The revised agreement also aims to tackle the proliferation of small arms and the threats posed by organised crime, and people and drugs trafficking.

    Source: eubusiness.com


    Link Read more
    Link The Cotonou agreement
    Link EU and Guyana


  23. Guyana represented at key ACP-EU Council meeting in Burkina Faso
    2010-06-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Trade

    THE African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Council of Ministers met in Quagadougou, Burkina Faso from the 17th –19th June, 2010.  The Joint ACP-EU Council will also hold their Meeting from the 21st – 22nd June, 2010. Guyana is represented by the Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Patrick Gomes, Guyana’s Ambassador to Belgium. The ACP Council discussed several important issues including the status of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), trade in bananas, sugar and cotton, climate change and the Millennium Development Goals.

    ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS
    Not unlike previous Council Meetings, the EPAs generated much discussion. Since the EPA process was launched eight years ago, only 27 of the 78 ACP countries have signed full or interim agreements including the CARIFORUM group.An additional 9 have simply initialled Agreements.  Member States of the various groupings expressed concern regarding the many issues that still remain unresolved including Most Favored Nation (MFN), Rules of Origin, market access, export taxes and the need to be sure of the net fiscal impact on the economy before agreements on the reduction of tariffs.These were the very issues that Guyana had raised prior to signing the EPA but eventually had to sign to avoid trade disruptions, as was the case with several others who signed or initialled interim Agreements. The EU is being asked to revisit some of these conditions which the ACP finds difficult to accept. It should be noted that the other five negotiating groups are advocating for an automatic five year review to be included in the EPAs.  It was Guyana that had advocated for this provision for the CARIFORUM EPA. It was expected that there will be a Joint ACP-EU Declaration on EPAs at the end of the Joint Council. However, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett expressed the view to her colleagues that such a Declaration will not encapsulate most of the concerns expressed by Members States in the several hours of discussion. She indicated that while efforts should be made to find common ground on a Joint ACP-EU Declaration on EPAs and indeed on the issues that remain unresolved, it is incumbent on the ACP Council to itself issue a Declaration. This suggestion received widespread support from the Member States and an ACP Declaration is being finalized.

    Source: guyanachronicleonline.com


    Link Read more
    Link EPA
    Link ACP-EU Trade


  24. MEPs set out clearer and more consistent food labelling rules
    2010-06-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Food labels should feature mandatory nutritional information and guideline daily amounts, according to draft EU legislation as adopted by MEPs on Wednesday.  However, they rejected a proposal for 'traffic light' values to highlight the salt, sugar and fat content of processed foods. Following a lively debate, MEPs voted for labelling rules that will enable consumers to make healthy, well-informed choices, while limiting as far as possible the administrative and financial burden on food businesses. "Overall I am satisfied with the result of today's important vote on clearer food information rules. Personally, I am pleased that MEPs did not support traffic light labelling, but I also feel that we can continue to improve the current proposal to better inform consumers", commented German MEP Renate Sommer (EPP), who drafted Parliament's report.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link MEP Renate Sommer
    Link DG Health and Consumers


  25. MEPs call for strong European aquaculture sector
    2010-06-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    A stronger aquaculture in Europe could help meet growing the consumer demand by providing alternatives to wild fish species. However, safeguards are needed to prevent environmental and public health risks, says a resolution adopted by the European Parliament on Thursday.  MEPs argue that clearer rules, less red tape and research investment are needed for the sector to take off. The resolution drafted by Italian Socialist MEP Guido Milana and adopted by 420 votes to 15 with 7 abstentions, suggests ways of boosting the European aquaculture sector, which is lagging behind the industry in other parts of the world. Speaking to us ahead of the vote Mr Milana told us that: "the European aquaculture sector should not be underestimated. Whereas the demand for farmed products for 2/3 is covered by imported products from third countries, it will be essential to assess the potential of the sector, both in terms of employment, than of environmental sustainability, raising the threshold of farming quality standards and contributing to reduce the pressure on fish stocks."

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Building a sustainable future for aquaculture
    Link DG Fisheries


  26. The 11th ACP-EU regional seminar in Ethiopia
    2010-06-22

    The European Economic and Social Committee will organise the 11th Regional Seminar of ACP-EU Economic and Social Interest Groups in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 7–9 July 2010. During the three day seminar, 12 EESC members will be joined by representatives of economic and social interest groups from the 16 countries of the East African Community (EAC) and of Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) to discuss the future of the EU-Africa Strategic Partnership, the 2010 Revision of the Cotonou Agreement and the role of non-state actors in its implementation, the negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements, sustainable food security and the role of the African social economy in combating poverty. Invited keynote speakers include H.E. Mr Meles Zenawi , Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mr Michel, European co-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Dr. Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba, Commissioner for Economic Affairs for the African Union Commission, Mr Muna, President of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union, H.E. Mr Sufian Ahmed, Minister of Finance and Economic Development of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and National Authorising Officer for the EU-Ethiopia Cooperation and Mr Milupi, ACP co-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. A press conference will take place on 7 July at 12.30 p.m. in the 2nd Conference room of the United Nations Conference Centre. At the end of the regional seminar the delegates will adopt a final declaration on each of the five topics to be discussed during the event.

    Source:


    Link Read more
    Link The European Economic and Social Committee
    Link EU-Africa Strategy


  27. Piebalgs to attend the signature of the revised Cotonou Agreement
    2010-06-22

    On 22 June, Commissioner Piebalgs will attend the joint EU-ACP Council of Ministers in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The EU and 79 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) States will sign the revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which was initialled last 19 March. They are also expected to adopt joint statements on the Millennium Development Goals and on climate change. This should strengthen the EU and ACP countries position in the upcoming international negotiations, such as the UN High Level Summit on MDGs in New York in September and the UN Climate change conference in Cancun in December. As part of the bilateral visit, Commissioner Piebalgs will meet with President Compaoré and inaugurate the "avenue of Europe" in Ouagadougou.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The Cotonou agreement
    Link Andris Piebalgs


  28. Council conclusions on the MDGs
    2010-06-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The 3023rd Foreign Affairs Council meeting held in Luxembourg on 14 June 2010 discussed Supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015; Increasing ownership towards achievement of MDGs; Focusing efforts;Making more effective use of development resources;Improving the impact of policies on development and on the MDGs;Mobilising more and predictable financing for development.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read the report
    Link The MDGs
    Link EU and the UN




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Isolina BOTO
CTA
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