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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 231]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 231]
Send date: 2010-07-09 16:20:18
Issue #: 47
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. Financing agriculture
  2. Our video guest: Ms. Karen Hoehn, DSW
  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 12th to 16th of July 2010
  4. Commission: Review of the Environmental Impact Assessment
  5. Parliament green-lights Iceland's EU accession bid
  6. New EU Investment package set to boost trade and underpin investor rights
  7. EU Agricultural Trade: Back on Track?
  8. Commission gives details of who received EU funds in 2009
  9. Drawing against poverty: meet the 14 winners of the 2010 competition
  10. EU diplomatic service: Foreign Affairs Committee gives green light
  11. Africa: Money no protection from HIV
  12. New Cocoa Agreement Is a Sweet One, Producers Say
  13. Chastel presents priorities for the Belgian Presidency programme
  14. CAP: Call for tenders for an evaluation of Rural Development Programmes
  15. The end of EPA acrimony may be in sight
  16. The international competitiveness of the European agri-food model
  17. EU’s 'divisive' trade deal comes under fire at SADC conference
  18. Unlocking cassava potential for food and industrial use
  19. Hungary seeks to extend ban on foreign land buys to 2014
  20. Group Bank of Africa and AFD sign partnership agreement
  21. New EU labelling rules including new EU organic logo came into force
  22. € 30 million EU support for the promotion of agricultural products
  23. Food prices: new legislation needed
  24. Project to develop legal framework for forest products in DRC


  1. Financing agriculture
    2010-07-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    The 20th Brussels Development Briefing will be on ‘Financing agriculture and will take place on the 15th of  September 2010. As an input to the UN Summit on MDGs to be held in New York on 22-26 September 2010, we will discuss issues related  to financing development in the context of agriculture and rural development. This will include issue such as Aid and ODA, taxation (Domestic tax revenues), private investment (new donors), revenue generation.

    For more information please contact: lopes@cta.int or boto@cta.int


    Link Brussels Development Briefings
    Link Videos of the last Briefing
    Link Past Briefings


  2. Our video guest: Ms. Karen Hoehn, DSW
    2010-07-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Archive

    Our Video guest this week is Ms. Karen Hoehn. She is Vice Executive Director and Director of International Affairs at the German Foundation for World Population (DSW) in Brussels. In this interview, Ms. Hoehn explains the work of the DSW Brussel’s office and the challenges faced by the DSW in reproductive health and Youth education. She pays a special attention on the issue of financing both in European and developing countries.  Ms Hoehhn also give some insights about at the holistic approach of the DSW in promoting Youth in African rural areas.
    Link Watch the video
    Link DSW Brussels
    Link Reproductive Health and Rights


  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 12th to 16th of July 2010
    2010-07-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    - 12th to 13th July: Meeting of the Committee on Development
    - 12th to 15th July: Meeting of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
    EU Presidency:
    - 12th July (Brussels)): Agriculture and Fisheries Council
    - 12th to 13th July (Gent): Informal Environmental Council
    - 13th July (Brussels): Economic and Financial Council
    ACP Secretariat (Seychelles)
    -13th to 16th July: 5th Regional meeting ACP-EU joint Parliamentary Assembly
    For more information please consult the calendar on our webpage http://brussels.cta.int/
     

    Link European Parliament
    Link EU Belgian Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  4. Commission: Review of the Environmental Impact Assessment
    2010-07-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Commission has launched a wide public consultation in relation to the review of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) legislation. The consultation covers issues, such as the screening of projects for EIA, the quality of the EIA process, the harmonisation of assessment requirements among Member States, cross-border difficulties when projects affect more than one Member State, the role of the environmental authorities, and development of synergies with other EU policies, such as climate change and biodiversity. The findings of the consultation will feed into a Commission review next year. All interested parties – citizens, stakeholders and organisations involved in environmental assessments – are invited to respond to the public consultation by 24 September 2010. The questionnaire is available in all 22 Community languages.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The consultation document
    Link Information on the EIA Directive


  5. Parliament green-lights Iceland's EU accession bid
    2010-07-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Trade

    The European Parliament has welcomed the prospect of Iceland joining the EU in the near future but also called on the country to cease all whaling as a prerequisite, in a resolution adopted on Wednesday (7 July). MEPs backed the recent decision by EU leaders to open accession talks with the Nordic country, which, following the devastation of its banking system in the global financial crisis, is hoping to join the bloc by 2012.The resolution, drafted by Romanian MEP Cristian Dan Preda (European People's Party), notes the country's "strong democratic culture" and states that Icelandic membership would allow the EU to play a more active role in the Arctic region. Iceland's membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) means that many of its laws are already in line with those of the EU. However, negotiations will be required in a number of policy areas – namely agriculture, fisheries, taxation, economic and monetary policy and external relations. The organisation and functioning of the financial supervisory system – "the key institutional weaknesses of the country's economy" – will require particularly substantial reforms, MEPs said.

    SOurce: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Iceland
    Link DG Enlargement


  6. New EU Investment package set to boost trade and underpin investor rights
    2010-07-08

    The European Commission today took the first step towards a comprehensive European international investment policy with two initiatives. A policy paper lays out how the new EU competence on foreign direct investment can be used to boost competitiveness and trade resulting in growth and jobs. At the same time a draft regulation sets up transitional arrangements offering guarantees on existing or pending bilateral investment treaties concluded between EU and Non-EU countries. Under the Lisbon Treaty, investment policy will be developed and managed at the European level giving the EU a strengthened negotiating hand to deliver better investment protection for all European businesses.

    EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht stated "European investors need open, sound and predictable business environments to thrive and these proposals aim to strengthen the EU's ability to ensure level playing fields for them. In the long run, a comprehensive investment policy will keep Europe as the world's number one player in the field of foreign direct investment, ensure the best deal for all European businesses, invigorate growth and create jobs at this crucial time."

    The investment package comprises two documents: First, the policy paper 'Towards a comprehensive European international investment policy', which explores how best investment policy can contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth - the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Second, a proposal for a Regulation that would establish transitional arrangements regarding those bilateral investment agreements which EU countries concluded with other parts of the world previous to the Lisbon Treaty. Here, the Commission has provided legal security for European and foreign investors, without hampering the EU's ability to negotiate new investment treaties at EU level.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Question and Answer sheet
    Link The policy paper and the draft Regulation


  7. EU Agricultural Trade: Back on Track?
    2010-07-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    Recent developments in agricultural trade, particularly in EU trade and its performance compared to other major world players is the subject of the latest MAP. The EU remains the leading trading bloc in the world. Alongside the US it is the leading exporter of agricultural products and remains by far the world’s biggest importer. In this newsletter by DG Agriculture of the European Commission, the impact of the recent economic crisis on trade is considered. Trade has played a key role in boosting global economic growth for decades. In recent years we have seen spectacular growth in world agri-trade before the recession. This growth has been helped by the fact that many businesses are increasingly organising their production along global production chains. In 2009 the economic crisis took its toll with a sharp decline of 13% in the value of global agricultural trade. After several years of consecutive growth, EU agricultural trade also went into reverse. Exports suffered an 8% drop in value compared to 2008, as opportunities for EU exporters were limited by the economic slowdown in key markets. Exports to Russia, the EU’s second biggest market, fell by 21%, while sales to the US, still our top market, fell by over 8%.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Rad more
    Link DG Agriculture
    Link ACP-EU Trade


  8. Commission gives details of who received EU funds in 2009
    2010-07-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The European Commission has disclosed who in 2009 received EU funds in policy areas like research, education and culture, energy and transport or external aid. The online database, now containing more than 114 thousand entries going back to 2007, has been upgraded to allow more search options. It now also provides information on Commission administrative expenditure. Janusz Lewandowski, EU commissioner for budget and financial programming, said: "Very few public administrations in the world have gone that far with financial transparency. We provide European citizens with an easy access to detailed information on who benefited from our grants and contracts. I believe this will contribute to better accountability and better quality of EU spending.''

    Financial Transparency System

    The Financial Transparency System (FTS), launched in 2008, discloses information on the beneficiaries of budget lines managed directly by the Commission and its executive agencies. The data are accessible through a web-based search engine with various search criteria such as the country of the beneficiary, the name of the programme or the amount. The information is extracted from the Commission's accounts and is based on the financial amounts committed in the budget for a given beneficiary. This year for the first time the database includes Commission procurement contracts for its day-to-day administration.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The FTS
    Link EU beneficiaries


  9. Drawing against poverty: meet the 14 winners of the 2010 competition
    2010-07-07

    14 young children coming from the four corners of the world have won the international drawing competition on Gender Equality, which was launched by the Commission on the International Women's Day, 8 March 2010. They will be awarded a prize of €1,000 each, which will be used to buy books, computers, pay for school or library fees or other education materials. Approximately 50,000 eight to ten year old children from 61 countries from Africa, Asia, Caribbean, the Pacific, Latin America, Mediterranean, the Middle East and the EU's Eastern Neighbours have expressed in a drawing their vision on the theme of gender equality - how girls and boys, women and men, can together make the world a better place. The winning drawings will be exhibited from 9 to 26 November 2010 in Brussels. 

    Source: EUropean Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The winning drawings 2010
    Link EU Action Plan on Gender Equality


  10. EU diplomatic service: Foreign Affairs Committee gives green light
    2010-07-07

    Two weeks after the Madrid deal on the European External Action Service (EEAS) was struck, recommendations on its organisation and working methods, set out in a text by Elmar Brok (EPP, DE) were approved by the Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday. The EU's new diplomatic service is a key innovation of the Lisbon Treaty. Although Parliament was only formally consulted on the organisation and functioning of the EEAS, MEPs negotiated substantial changes to the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton's original March proposal.
    External co-operation
    Control over EU external co-operation programmes (development and neighbourhood policies) will remain the responsibility of the Commission, contrary to Ms Ashton's original proposal, which would have given more power to the EEAS.  Proposals for changes in development policy (European Development Fund and Development Co-operation Instrument), will be prepared jointly by the EEAS and the Commission, under the Commissioner's responsibility, and then jointly submitted for a Commission decision.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EEAS
    Link Speech by HR Catherine Ashton


  11. Africa: Money no protection from HIV
    2010-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    A new study has challenged widely held assumptions about income level in relation to HIV, finding that neither wealth nor poverty are reliable predictors of HIV infection in Africa. Previously, the argument that poverty drove HIV epidemics was supported by the World Bank and UNAIDS, as well as less reliable authorities like former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who told the International AIDS Conference in Durban in 2000 that the disease was a partner with "poverty, suffering, social disadvantage and inequity". More recent research suggests that the reality is far more complex. For example, Botswana and South Africa, described as two of the wealthiest countries on the continent, also have among the highest rates of HIV infection.  Nevertheless, the idea that poverty fuels the spread of HIV has persisted as "a very dominant narrative", according to Justin Parkhurst of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Parkhurst analyzed and compared data on HIV and wealth from demographic and health surveys in 12 sub-Saharan African countries with generalized epidemics (national prevalence rates higher than 1 percent); his findings are published in the July issue of the Bulletin of the World.

    Source: Reuters


    Link Read more
    Link Bulletin of the World Health Organization
    Link Justin Parkhurst


  12. New Cocoa Agreement Is a Sweet One, Producers Say
    2010-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The new international cocoa agreement will provide a positive shake-up in the cocoa market and ensure better prices for stakeholders, including small farmers. It also strengthens the participation of civil society and the private sector in the cocoa industry, according to Guy-Alain Emmanuel Gauze, Côte d’Ivoire’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva and president of the UN cocoa conference. The conference, which ended on Jun 25 in Geneva, negotiated an agreement which will replace the current one in 2012. The global export value of cocoa beans for 2009/2010 is estimated at some 10 billion dollars. Côte d’Ivoire is the main producer in the world -- 40 percent of total production -- with Ghana in second place. Gauze regards the new agreement as "objective and balanced" as it strengthens the role of the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO) and puts in place measures to achieve fair prices for the suppliers, including small farmers, transporters and exporters, and the consumers, including value-adders, importers, industrialists, negotiators and buyers. ICCO is the organisation that administers and supervises the operation of the agreement. Cocoa has been one of the rare soft commodities, together with coffee, that has resisted the effects of the economic and financial crisis of 2008-2009. In 2009, prices increased between 30 and 60 percent on the London and New York markets.

    Source: Inter Press News Service Agency


    Link Read more
    Link UNCTAD
    Link EU Delegation in Ivory Coast


  13. Chastel presents priorities for the Belgian Presidency programme
    2010-07-06

    On 5 July, State Secretary Olivier Chastel presented the programme for the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union to the Conference of Community and European Affairs Committees. The COSAC is a cooperation that brings committees of the national parliaments dealing with European affairs together with the European Parliament representatives. These meetings are mostly held in the capital city of the country that is fulfilling the role of the EU presidency.“We will concentrate on 6 main priorities for Europe,” declared Olivier Chastel to the attendees. The first concerns the way out of the crisis and the return to economic growth. The Belgian Presidency will pay particular attention to the legislative initiatives that aim to strengthen the supervision of the financial sector. Next to this, for Olivier Chastel, “the establishment of the European Systemic Risk Board and the European System of Financial Supervisors, that must control the banking sector, the insurance sector and the financial sector via three supervisors, is very urgent.” The proposal for a directive regarding investment fund managers, to regulate the so-called hedge funds, is also urgent.

    Source: Belgiona EU Presidency


    Link Read more
    Link COSAC
    Link Olivier Chastel


  14. CAP: Call for tenders for an evaluation of Rural Development Programmes
    2010-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The European Commission has launched a call for tenders for an ex-post evaluation of the 2000-2006 Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) financed through the EAGGF (European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund). The aim of this evaluation is twofold: first, to provide a comprehensive assessment of the relevance, coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of the different rural development measures and programmes, and second, to identify factors influencing the contribution of these measures to the future priorities for rural development policy. In particular, the evaluation will cover the following aspects: (i) policy relevance, coherence and complementarity with other instruments; (ii) content and consistency of RDPs; (iii) impact, effectiveness and efficiency of the programmes and measures; (iv) delivery systems, monitoring and evaluation. The evaluation will cover all 25 countries which were EU Member States for at least part of the 2000-2006 period, and will involve a combination of synthesis of programme level ex-post evaluation reports, surveys and on-site fieldwork. The maximum budget attributed to this evaluation project is € 550,000. The deadline for submitting offers is 16 August 2010. The Commission intends to award the contract before the end of 2010, following the evaluation of the offers received. The contractor will have to carry out the evaluation within 10 months from the signature of the contract.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Tender documents


  15. The end of EPA acrimony may be in sight
    2010-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Southern African trade ministers have pledged to sign a significantly scaled down economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) before the end of 2010. Could this be the conclusion to years of divisive negotiations? It was a mere sentence in the draft minutes of the meeting of Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers in Gaborone on Jun 17: "Ministers noted the strategy proposed by senior officials aimed at concluding an inclusive EPA by the end of 2010."  A timeline in the document then outlines the signing of "an inclusive EPA" and its notification to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by the end of the year. After the skirmishes around the controversial trade pact - that spells out a reciprocal tariff regime on goods between the countries and the EU - the decision may seem sudden. As recent as May 2010, Namibian trade minister Hage Geingob defended the country’s opposition to the EPA in parliament, accusing the EU of "bullying" its much smaller southern African counterparts. While significant progress was made during a high level technical negotiating session in Brussels in early May, there are still some significant issues outstanding that could see signing pushed into next year. Independent trade policy analyst Wallie Roux, based in Windhoek, told IPS he assumes that the December 2010 deadline will be missed.

    Source: Inter Press News Service Agency


    Link Read more
    Link EPA-SADC
    Link ACP-EU Trade


  16. The international competitiveness of the European agri-food model
    2010-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Trade

    The 3025th Agriculture ands Fisheries Council meeting held in Luxembourg on 29 June 2010 discussed the  International competitiveness of the European agri-food model. Within the framework of international law, it is relevant to acknowledge the need for a level playing field between the EU and third country producers, concerning the EU standards, which recognise that consumers’ demands and any societal concerns (such as quality, health, environment and animal welfare) are met.
    Effective control systems in Member States are a key element. It is important to ensure effective
    sanitary and phyto-sanitary controls at agreed points of Community entry at the EU's external
    borders, or at places of destination where applicable and useful.
    • In this regard, the Council looks forward to receiving the report to be submitted to it by the
    Commission by the end of 2010 on the effectiveness and consistency of sanitary and phytosanitary
    controls on imports of food, feed, animals and plants, with a view to continuing a wellfunctioning
    Community framework on imports, along with proposals, if appropriate.
    • At international level, promotion of the model will come through having it recognised in
    international negotiations, thus strengthening the European Union's role as an important player
    in the establishment of international rules. The role of quality schemes, including Geographical
    Indications, should be reinforced in order to fully take advantage of their potential.

    Source: Council of the EUropean Union


    Link Read more
    Link EU and Agriculture
    Link Agriculture and Rural Development


  17. EU’s 'divisive' trade deal comes under fire at SADC conference
    2010-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary Tomáz Salomão criticised the European Union (EU) for trying to “impose” a preferential free-trade agreement on countries in the region. Last year, the EU signed an interim economic partnership agreement (EPA) with Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland to facilitate the free movement of goods between the two regions.Together with South Africa and Namibia, these countries form the century-old Southern African Customs Union (SACU). No SACU member is allowed to negotiate a free-trade agreement with other regions without the consent of all the members of the union. The decision by Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland resulted in SA threatening to pull out of the customs union, which would have adverse economic consequences for the three countries given that they rely heavily on the SACU revenue-sharing mechanism for their income, which is heavily subsidised by SA as the most powerful economy in the region.

    Source: Trade Law Center for Southern Africa


    Link Read more
    Link EPA-SADC
    Link The Cotonou agreement


  18. Unlocking cassava potential for food and industrial use
    2010-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, ACP-EU Trade

    Recognizing the potential of cassava as the ‘poverty and drought fighter’ crop in Africa, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and Farm Concern International have launched a 3 year program that will help 30,000 small holder farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania increase cassava for food and industrial use by processing it at village level. The first of its kind in this region, the project dubbed “Cassava Village Processing Project” (CVPP) will unlock potential for increased incomes for small holder farmers beyond food usage by means of a model where out of each land portion under cassava cultivation, an estimated ⅛ of the produce will be dedicated to home consumption while a ¼ to ½ will go to industrial use.
    In the initial phase, communities will be mobilised to set up 120 village processing units, which will be called ‘commercial villages’ that will graduate farmers into cassava commercial producers and semi-processors who will be linked to animal feeds manufacturers.  Although cassava is a drought resistant crop and can grow in soils of low fertility, its high perishability and bulkiness limits transportation and mass market utilization, confining it to markets around the villages where it is produced. Village-based value addition will address this challenge by drastically improving supply chain management, post harvest management and prolonged storage.

    Source: Alliance for a Green Revolution Africa


    Link Read more
    Link Cassava
    Link Advancing African Agriculture


  19. Hungary seeks to extend ban on foreign land buys to 2014
    2010-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    Hungary will amend legislation to give the state the right to intervene in land sales and will seek to extend a ban on land purchases by foreign investors until 2014, its agriculture minister said. The country's accession treaty opens the land market to foreigners in 2011. Hungary's 2004 European Union accession treaty barred land purchases by foreigners until 2011 in an effort to prevent wealthy European investors from snapping up large chunks of arable land in the new member state.Similar transition clauses were negotiated by other ex-communist newcomers such as Poland and the Czech Republic. Hungary's new agriculture minister, Sandor Fazekas, told Reuters that Hungary had an option to extend the moratorium by three years beyond 2011, subject to the blessing of EU member states.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Treaty of Lisbon
    Link Land grabbing


  20. Group Bank of Africa and AFD sign partnership agreement
    2010-07-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Groupe BANK OF AFRICA and Agence Française de Développement sign partnership agreement to support efforts to finance Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and professionals in Africa. The dynamism of the private sector plays a key role in reducing poverty and supporting economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly by creating sustainable employment and increasing revenues. AFD Group promotes and supports investment in SMEs in Africa and the countries where it operates via several customized tools it has designed for local financial systems. GROUPE BANK OF AFRICA (BOA) enjoys nearly thirty years of unique experience in Africa thanks to its constant network expansion in East and West Africa, Madagascar and, more recently, Central Africa. Banks in BOA’s network are dynamic actors that help boost the economic growth of the countries where they are established. They also play a major role in financing the economy and the private sector by promoting access to credit for all economic actors, including professionals and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. Under this agreement, Agence Française de Développement will guarantee up to 50% of risks carried by banks in the BOA network in their activity of financing entrepreneurs via a financing package totaling roughly 28 million euros. The loans targeted are investment loans with unit amounts not exceeding 300 000 euros. The guarantee mechanism is simple and rapid.

    Source: Agence française de développement


    Link Read more
    Link Groupe Bank of Africa
    Link CDE


  21. New EU labelling rules including new EU organic logo came into force
    2010-07-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, ACP-EU Trade

    New EU rules on organic food labelling including the requirement to display the new EU organic logo, entered into force on 1 July, 2010. The so-called “Euro-Leaf” will now be obligatory on pre-packaged organic food products that have been produced in any of EU Member States and meet the necessary standards. Other private, regional or national logos will continue to appear alongside the EU label. The logo stays optional for non-packed and imported organic products. In addition to the logo, the new labelling rules also include the compulsory indications of place of farming of the products' ingredients and code number of the body that had been in charge of the controls. Operators have a two-year transition period to comply with these new labeling rules. Another change is the introduction of EU rules for organic aquaculture for the first time.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Organic Farming website
    Link Conference on the future of the CAP


  22. € 30 million EU support for the promotion of agricultural products
    2010-07-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The European Commission has approved 19 programmes in 14 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom) to provide information on and to promote agricultural products in the European Union. The total budget of the programmes running between one and three years is € 60.6 million, of which the EU will contribute € 30.3 million (50%). The selected programmes cover fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products, honey, flowers, fibre flax, PDO, PGI and TSG and organic products.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link CAP after 2013
    Link Agriculture and Rural Development


  23. Food prices: new legislation needed
    2010-07-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    New legislation is needed to ensure fair returns to farmers and transparent prices to consumers, by enforcing fair competition throughout the food supply chain, said Agriculture Committee MEPs. Suggestions as to how to ensure fairness throughout the food chain, by tacklíng dominant positions, unfair commercial and contractual practices and late payments, and also by improving the bargaining position of farmers, are set out in a report drafted by José Bové (Greens/EFA, FR) and approved with 32 votes in favour, four against and two abstentions. This report responds to a Commission communication on reforms needed to improve farmers' returns and consumer price transparency.

    New legislation, including penalties, to enforce fair competition

    Penalties and a complaint mechanism should be put in place to discourage unfair behaviour by market players,  says the committee. To monitor relations between producers and retailers and if necessary rebalance them, an EU-wide instrument could be put into effect through specialised bodies in the Member States. Actions to be taken should include an analysis of possible misuse of private labels, i.e. on retailers' "own brand" products,  and a pilot project to create a European "observatory" of farm prices and margins, it adds.

    The Commission is urged to propose legislation to limit dominant market positions at every stage of the supply chain, "including the food processing industry and retailers", says the text, which adds that companies engaging in unfair practices should be "named and shamed".

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EU Consumer Affairs


  24. Project to develop legal framework for forest products in DRC
    2010-07-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Trade

    Seven years after the adoption by the European Union (EU) of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan, the state of negotiations to create a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) and to establish a legal framework for forest products in the DRC was presented last Saturday to members of the national multiparty working group for forest management (NWG). The presentation took place at the NWG workshop to launch the framework development project, held on 25-26 June at Lycée Dr Shaumba in the district of Gombe, Kinshasa, according to the Congolese press agency. The workshop objectives were to adopt the terms of reference as national advisory group in charge of preparing a first draft of the legal framework and to form an ad hoc working group charged with implementing the project. NWG President, Augustin Mpoyi, stated that the project was in preparation for the signing and implementation of the VPA with the EU. The legal framework is the main pillar of the VPA, according to the EU, and should be elaborated in agreement with all those stakeholders involved in the sustainable management of forests in the DRC. Mr Mpoyi further explained that in the DRC, the elaboration process of the framework had been entrusted to his institution, which comprised a multiparty group of different interest groups concerned by forest management in the country. Facilitator for the RDC NWG, François Makoloh, noted that the issues surrounding timber production are considerable, and called on participants to familiarize themselves with the principles of FLEGT and to develop the framework in order to reduce the illegal timber trade in the country. During the workshop, there was an exchange of information and opinions regarding the connections between the FLEGT action plan, the VPA negotiations, the framework development project, the presentation of the draft, and procedures to determine and check the legal status of forest products in the DRC. Particular emphasis was placed on the composition of the working group within the NWG charged with implementing the project. The workshop was organized with the support of the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF), which will oversee the technical supervision of the project, in cooperation with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the EU.

    Source: mediacongo.net


    Link Read more
    Link FLEGT / FLEG
    Link Forest Focus



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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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