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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 234]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 234]
Send date: 2010-07-30 16:39:54
Issue #: 50
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. Land access, land acquisitions and rural development
  2. Financing Agriculture
  3. European financial markets chief pledges Africa protection
  4. Third Africa-EU Summit to Focus on Economic Growth, Security
  5. FDI Trends and Prospects
  6. Pacific Islands Criticise Stalled Climate Financing
  7. IMF cancels Haiti debt
  8. Delegates want raw material export ban
  9. Africa-Europe underwater cable: West Africa to get high speed internet
  10. EU unveils multi-billion research fund to boost economy
  11. EC launches a survey on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)
  12. Women Break Traditions to Show That Fishing is Not a Man's Job
  13. Somalia: EC allocates €35 million for victims
  14. ACP chief Chambas commends outgoing chair
  15. EU urged to promote 'territorial vision' of farming
  16. Old PCs - Do They Help Or Harm Africa?
  17. Citrus from Southern Africa in Europe
  18. International trade, european values
  19. EU reaches out for new powers at United Nations
  20. Food industry's green efforts may hit price wall
  21. European Union - Africa Partnership on Cotton
  22. Commission proposes to gradually resume development aid to Niger
  23. ACP ambassadors and representatives meet the EIB
  24. Commissioner Piebalgs pushes for maternal and child health


  1. Land access, land acquisitions and rural development
    2010-07-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    Land is an asset of enormous importance for billions of rural dwellers in the developing world, and especially in ACP countries. The nature of property rights and their degree of security vary greatly, depending on competition for land, the degree of market penetration and the broader institutional and political context. Although there are specificities according to countries and regions, some general trends and common challenges can be identified and the pressure on land is set to increase over future decades, given the impacts of population growth, urbanisation, globalisation of markets, international investment flows, trade negotiations and climate change.

    The Rural Development Briefing in Central Africa on “Land access, land acquisitions and rural development: New challenges, new opportunities”  to be held in Yaoundé, Cameroun on 27-28th September 2010 will discuss the links between property rights, investment and economic opportunities in rural areas: Policy and Governance on Land and Forests Resources; the Land acquisition and its contribution to development and the Promotion of responsible agricultural transnational investments. The target group is more than 130 policy makers from Central Africa and other African countries.
    For further information, please contact: boto@cta.int or verginelli@cta.int


    Link Pogramme of the Briefing
    Link Pogramme_of_the_Briefing_1.pdf

  2. Financing Agriculture
    2010-07-30
    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. Speakers include: Centre for Environmental Policy at  Imperial College in London, the  Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa in the US, CONCORD, OECD, African Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, YARA, African regional framers organizations.


    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


  3. European financial markets chief pledges Africa protection
    2010-07-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Europe’s top internal markets official, Michel Barnier, has pledged to institute special measures to protect African countries from speculation, which is responsible for the fall in key commodity prices and the rise in food prices. Speaking on his second visit to the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Barnier said he was taking steps aimed at ensuring full transparency in the international markets to protect African producers. The European Internal Markets Commissioner said the African producers of key commodities such as oil, copper, gold and coal, were vulnerable to speculation at the international markets, which affected the prices of the main natural resources from Africa. “This continent is particularly vulnerable to speculations on natural resources and agricultural products, which scale has increased over recent years,” the EU Delegation to the AU said in a statement, quoting Barnier as saying during a meeting. The EU Commissioner met with the African Union Commission President Jean Ping and other senior officials to discuss the global financial crisis, the instability of the financial markets, caused by speculation and other issues affecting trade on African commodities.

    Source: Europafrique.net


    Link Read more
    Link DG Internal Market and Services
    Link EU-Africa Partnership


  4. Third Africa-EU Summit to Focus on Economic Growth, Security
    2010-07-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Environment

    The third Africa-European Union summit scheduled to be held in Libya late this year will focus on the economic growth and peace and security of the African continent, a top official of the African Union (AU) Commission said on Wednesday. Rene N’Guettia Kouassi, director for economic affairs at the AU Commission told reporters here that there is also emerging consensus that key issues like climate change and food security should be discussed at the meeting that will be held from Nov. 29 to 30. Both continents are also expected to assess their partnerships and agree on priorities of their future cooperation. Africa is currently facing a range of civil conflicts from the Somalia crisis to the Darfur crisis in Sudan. Experts have also warned that most of the countries on the continent will not be able to meet the 2015 target of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Kouassi who was speaking on the sides of the ongoing AU summit in Kampala, Uganda said that one of the challenges Africa is facing in its cooperation with the EU is the increasing pressure on African countries to sign the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). “The EU has said if we don’t sign the EPAs, we would be violating several of the agreements of the World Trade Organization. We do have our interests that need to be defended; we still have situations that have to be dealt with,” he said.

    Source: Europafrique.net


    Link Read more
    Link African Union
    Link EU-Africa Partnership


  5. FDI Trends and Prospects
    2010-07-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Global foreign direct investment (FDI) witnessed a modest, but uneven recovery in the first half of 2010. This sparks some cautious optimism for FDI prospects in the short run and for a full recovery further on. UNCTAD expects global inflows to reach more than $1.2 trillion in 2010, rise further to $1.3–1.5 trillion in 2011, and head towards $1.6–2 trillion in 2012. However, these FDI prospects are fraught with risks and uncertainties, including the fragility of the global economic recovery. Developing and transition economies attracted half of global FDI inflows, and invested one quarter of global FDI outflows. They are leading the FDI recovery and will remain favourable destinations for FDI. Most regions are expected to see a rebound in FDI flows in 2010. The evolving nature and role of FDI varies among regions. Africa is witnessing the rise of new sources of FDI. Industrial upgrading through FDI in Asia is spreading to more industries and more countries. Latin American transnational corporations (TNCs) are going global. Foreign banks play a stabilizing role in South-East Europe, but their large scale presence also raises potential concerns. High levels of unemployment in developed countries triggered concerns about the impact of outward investment on employment at home. Overcoming barriers for attracting FDI remains a key challenge for small, vulnerable and weak economies. Overseas development assistance (ODA) can act as a catalyst for boosting the role of FDI in least developed countries (LDCs). For landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) to succeed in attracting FDI they need to shift their strategy to focus on distance to markets rather than distance to ports. Focusing on key niche sectors is crucial if small islands developing States (SIDS) are to succeed in attracting FDI.

    Source: United Nations Conference for Trade and Development

     


    Link Read more
    Link Investment and Enterprise Division
    Link FDI Statistics


  6. Pacific Islands Criticise Stalled Climate Financing
    2010-07-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Despite the creation of a High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF), a group of hard-hit Pacific islands is expressing doubt that aid will be delivered in a timely manner. "The Pacific SIDS (Small Island Developing States) bear almost no responsibility for the onset of climate change, yet we are suffering the consequences today…Climate change is a man-made disaster and redress for the damage being done to our islands is long overdue," said Ambassador Marlene Moses of Nauru.  The advisory group has been tasked with the responsibility of designing innovative ways to mobilise new and additional financial resources from private and public sources to bring into force commitments made at the climate conference in Copenhagen last year.  World leaders pledged 100 billion dollars per year by 2020, in addition to 30 billion dollars up to 2012. The funds, which have yet to be raised, will be delivered to developing countries for mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change.  Known as one of the world's most vulnerable regions to climate change, the Pacific SIDS face threats to food security, water security and territorial integrity.

    Source: Inter Press Service News Agency


    Link Read more
    Link Small Island Developing States
    Link EU-Pacific relations


  7. IMF cancels Haiti debt
    2010-07-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the full cancellation of Haiti’s US$268 million debt to that institution. It has also approved a new three-year arrangement for that Caribbean country under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) requested by the authorities to support the country’s reconstruction and growth programme.  Both decisions, announced yesterday, form part of a broad strategy to support Haiti’s longer term reconstruction plans, following the devastating earthquake of January 12th, 2010. The cancellation of existing debt was advocated by IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in the days following the disaster as part of a concerted international effort to launch a “Marshall Plan” for the reconstruction of the country.  The new programme provides a strong and forward-looking framework to support economic stability and reconstruction in the country, and will also help catalyze donors’ contributions. “Donors must start delivering on their promises to Haiti quickly,” Strauss-Kahn said, “so reconstruction can be accelerated, living standards quickly improved, and social tensions soothed.”  At a high-level donors' conference in March, the international community pledged US$9.9 billion to Haiti’s reconstruction, of which US$5.3 billion is to be disbursed over the next 18 months.

    Source: caribbean360.com


    Link Read more
    Link IMF and Haiti
    Link EU Relations with Haiti


  8. Delegates want raw material export ban
    2010-07-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Participants at a meeting of the African Union’s Trade and Industry Commission  proposed that the continent adopts policies to discourage the export of raw materials to the developed world. During a media briefing at Munyonyo, Kampala, Ms Elizabeth Tankeu, the Trade and Industry Commissioner, said: “We have been exporting our raw materials to Europe since the colonial times when the Europeans came to Africa. They still come here for our resources but we have remained the poorest continent”. “The European Union through its Economic Partnership Agreements wants Africa to trade with them at zero per cent tariffs. They say they want reciprocal trade. But we are saying Africa still needs a lot in place for reciprocation to begin. We’re telling them we are not going to continue exporting raw materials.” Ms Tankeu said EU chiefs were recently at the AU Secretariat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to negotiate opening up of new markets and standardisation of trade tariffs, and “we are saying we stand for development. Europe does not want restrictive agreements as regards development. We still have so much to negotiate about.”

    Source:


    Link Read more
    Link AC EU Commodities


  9. Africa-Europe underwater cable: West Africa to get high speed internet
    2010-07-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    France Telecom and a consortium of 20 members of the telecommunications industry, Saturday, signed an agreement to build an underwater cable between Europe and South Africa. The fiber optic cable is expected to provide broadband internet access to 19 African countries by 2012. West Africa will be plugged into a 17 000 km fiber optic cable that is to link 23 countries from France to South Africa in 2012. Though the construction approval has been signed and the cable built, "deep-sea exploration for implantation in (both) unprotected and authorized zones will take a year and a half," says Didier Duriez, Director of International and Backbone Network, with France Telecom-Orange. "The cable laying will last one year after which it will be connected to the already existing cable system," he adds. The ACE system (Africa Coast to Europe) will be the first under-water cable to serve 23 African and European countries. Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe and Sierra Leone are among the first to be connected to this under-water cable. Other countries include South Africa, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Spain, France, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Portugal, Senegal. Landlocked Mali and Niger will be connected via a terrestrial cable.

    Source:


    Link Read more


  10. EU unveils multi-billion research fund to boost economy
    2010-07-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Security

    The EU commissioner for research and innovation, Ireland's Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, announced yesterday (19 July) nearly €6.4 billion of investment in research and development to be spent by the end of 2011. The package, described as Europe's biggest ever investment drive in the sector, aims to increase European competitiveness and help tackle EU priorities such as climate change, energy, food security, health and the ageing population. "Investment in research and innovation is the only smart and lasting way out of crisis and towards sustainable and socially equitable growth. This European package will contribute to new and better products and services, a more competitive and greener Europe, and a better society with a higher quality of life," Geoghegan-Quinn said, arguing that the package will create more than 165,000 jobs.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link  Future of EU research policy
    Link €6.4 billion for smart growth and jobs


  11. EC launches a survey on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)
    2010-07-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Commission has launched a survey on the protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in third countries, in order to collect feedback from EU companies and other stakeholders. This survey is linked to the Strategy for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in Third Countries which was adopted in 2004 by the European Commission. The replies to the new survey will be valuable input in reviewing priorities regarding the necessary actions against IPR infringements beyond EU borders.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Participate to the survey
    Link Stratégie pour le respect des DPI
    Link Read the IPR Enforcement Report 2009


  12. Women Break Traditions to Show That Fishing is Not a Man's Job
    2010-07-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    A few years back, it would have been almost taboo for women to get into the waters to fish. A recent harvesting at Baraka Makongeni Conservation Group in Kenya's south Coast where a record 130 kilos of fish was netted in less than two hours has brought new meaning to generating income in the rural areas. Traditionally, women did not undertake such tasks but with the new trend in fish farming they are now showing the way. Mrs Mariam Mwalimu, the group's chairlady says the idea to start fish farming next to the sea was due to dwindling stocks especially during the season of strong waves. "It was such a feat at first just by the mere thought of fish farming yet we have the sea." When the group was formed in 2004, it has 30 of mixed gender. But it was not an easy task digging ponds big enough to store water. The group's efforts were noticed by the European Union through Kwetu Training Centre. "Experts from Kwetu took a lot of interest in us and started inducting us on fish farming. "Unlike in normal aquaculture for fresh water fish farming, we had to identify the right fingerlings to stock because mixing them would end up having predators and prey together," Mrs Mwalimu said. Their biggest challenge now is increasing the ponds and not just in numbers. Recomap Coordinator in the region Patrick Kimani said the group has benefited from experts from Tanzania and the Philippines where such schemes have been successful. The project in its pilot phase is part of the Sh10 million funding by the EU under Recomap and Kwetu Centre. "These kinds of project which also include crab farming are still new in Kenya and need a lot of care. But the success in the harvesting of one of the seven ponds is a milestone that will be used as a yardstick for community participation in conservation and income generating projects," Mr Kimani said. The group has been used as a model and some members have been taken to Mtwara in Tanzania to learn how the farming is done with greater success. Some men have now decided to try their hand on the project but targeting the aquaculture. With the fish ponds promising better returns the perception that fishing is a man's job is changing even though the women say they are not ready to take up canoes to go into the sea to fish.

    Source: Allafrica


    Link Read more
    Link Recomap
    Link  EU Trade: Fisheries


  13. Somalia: EC allocates €35 million for victims
    2010-07-29

    The European Commission has adopted a €35 million funding decision to support humanitarian activities in Somalia. It is estimated that approximately 3,200,000 people, about 42% of the population of Somalia, would need emergency humanitarian assistance and/or livelihood support in the first half of 2010; at the same time field assessments suggest that the situation is unlikely to improve in the second half of this year. The €35 million Decision will address a wide range of relief interventions in the following sectors; health, nutrition, food aid/food security, water and sanitation, non-food items/shelter, disaster risk reduction, logistics, security, and the coordination of partner operations.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link ECHO
    Link EU Relations with Somalia


  14. ACP chief Chambas commends outgoing chair
    2010-07-29

    The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors last week farewelled its Chairman and Gabonese Ambassador, H.E Mr. Rene Makongo. Secretary-General Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas in a brief intervention spoke highly of the Ambassador who served the Group from February to July 2010. Dr. Chambas commended Ambassador Makongo for his outstanding leadership, diligence and commitment to the organization during his chairmanship in a critical period, which saw the second revision and subsequent signing of the Cotonou Agreement and the change of management at the ACP Secretariat. Speaking on-behalf of the incoming chairman (Guyana), the Ambassador of Suriname, H.E Gerhard Hiwat, re-iterated the same sentiments expressed by the Secretary-General and commended his colleague for overseeing the smooth entry of the management into the ACP Secretariat. He said given his status and leadership in the Group he was the right person to see the new management’s admission into the Secretariat. Dr. Chambas on behalf of the Committee of Ambassadors and the Secretariat presented gifts to the outgoing Chairman who is leaving to take-up his new posting in Moscow, Russia.

    Source: ACP Secretariat


    Link Read more


  15. EU urged to promote 'territorial vision' of farming
    2010-07-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    Meeting in Brussels earlier, agriculture stakeholders from across Europe have called on the EU to move away from intensive farming to a more sustainable model that supports the economic renaissance of rural areas. A conference organised by the European Commission in Brussels (19-20 July) heard contributions from a variety of interest groups as the EU executive prepares proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) later this year. The upcoming CAP reform was seen by many as am opportunity to achieve a "paradigm shift" from centralised intensive production towards a more territorial approach that values local differences as well as the environment. Diversity of local products and cultural identities can be a "source of wealth" and should be promoted, said Sabine Laruelle, minister of agriculture for Belgium, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency. Ideas for diversifying economic activity in rural areas include supporting farmers who process their own raw materials and renewable energy as well as initiatives to promote tourism.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Executive summary of contributions
    Link Agriculture and Rural Development


  16. Old PCs - Do They Help Or Harm Africa?
    2010-07-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    COMPANIES are increasingly compelled to control their emissions and their environmental impact. Legislation specific to electronic waste (e-waste) disposal obliges companies to manage the disposal of computers and other equipment. The European Union's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive requires that e-waste is dismantled or recycled by specialists because of its toxic content. With the disposal of used IT equipment presenting a key challenge for many large organisations, the possibility of Africa becoming a convenient dumping ground for old equipment is a distinct reality. Should this be an issue if the equipment is still serviceable? There are two possible answers: if the equipment is serviceable, it can add value, but to what extent? If it is not serviceable, it poisons For many companies, the donation of old but useable equipment provides a convenient disposal route and is in line with their corporate social responsibility programmes. For the recipients, there is the chance to enter the world of electronics and computing. But this social contract has a more sinister side. Investigations by environmental activists Greenpeace have shown that even completely unserviceable, irreparable computer parts leave Europe bound for Africa and Asia every day. Reported in PC World, Greenpeace said: "Some will be repaired and reused, but many are beyond repair, meaning that they will eventually be dumped in places where no facilities exist for safe recycling."

    Source: Allafrica


    Link Read more
    Link Waste of Electronic Equipment


  17. Citrus from Southern Africa in Europe
    2010-07-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    As always a large volume of oranges from, amongst others, South Africa and Zimbabwe will arrive in Europe this year. Because of the difficult climate for entrepreneurs in Mozambique and Zimbabwe compared to South Africa only small volumes come from these countries. Nevertheless the import program of orange varieties: Valencia, Delta, Midknight and Turkey from Zimbabwe may be called spectacular. De Groot International B.V., Holland receive in comparison, reasonable volumes from that country. Zimbabwean citrus is very strong and additionally of good quality. This region is always earlier than the first South African areas. Normally speaking the juice content of Valencia oranges is about 35%, but the juice content of the Zimbabwean fruit of the Don Mario label is in excess of 40%. In addition the brix content of South African oranges is normally 9 or 10 Brix, whilst for Zimbabwe oranges this is between 12 and 13 brix. These oranges have therefore a higher juice content and are sweeter.

    Source: Fresh Plaza


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU Trade Portal
    Link Future Trade Policy


  18. International trade, european values
    2010-07-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    We need to keep working hard to conclude the Doha Development Round. It will greatly benefit the world economy, plus it holds a range of systemic advantages that cannot be allowed to slip out of reach. The political reality however is that concluding the Round in 2010 will be very difficult. We will therefore need to be prepared to continue the negotiations into 2011, if that is necessary to adjust the draft package in a way that is acceptable for all WTO members. Alongside the multilateral track, we will also pursue our bilateral agenda, with a particular focus on countries with strong growth potential. Part of the growth that Europe needs to generate over the next decade will come from the emerging economies, as their middle classes import goods and services in which the European Union has a comparative advantage. Consequently, we will centre our attention on Asia and Latin America. In Asia we will carry forward our negotiations with the ASEAN region, in which Singapore is our largest trade partner – and we are already off to a good start there. Negotiations with Singapore have triggered the interest of other ASEAN partners. For example, we aim to launch FTA negotiations with Vietnam in the second half of the year. Apart from this we are negotiating an FTA with India, and it is our ambition to agree on the details still this year. The first country in Asia we have finished FTA negotiations with is Korea. This deal presents not only a very beneficial package for the European economy but is also symbolic of Europe's capacity to liberalise trade even in a downturn, where other trading partners are struggling to maintain trade openness in the current economic climate. A further area of attention is Latin America. During my mandate we finished FTA negotiations with Peru and Colombia, and we agreed on the conditions for an Association Agreement with Central-America. Additionally, the Commission recently took the decision to re-launch the negotiations with Mercosur – an important step, despite the concerns of some EU countries. Mercosur is a highly interesting market for European enterprises: Its combined GDP exceeds 1 300 billion euros. The two largest Mercosur countries, Brazil and Argentina, have been growing at rates of four to six and six to nine percent respectively. Forecasts for this year and the next hover around five percent. So far these countries are relatively closed for EU products, thus reaching a trade deal there holds real potential for EU industries. Besides negotiating Free Trade Agreements, we also need to take forward our relations with key economic players with whom we are not planning FTAs. Our relations with the US, China, Japan or Russia will do much to define five years from now whether the Union has made a real contribution to shaping rather than simply reacting to the challenges of globalisation. This means that we will make proposals for strategic dialogues with key partners, to discuss topics such as market access, regulatory framework, global imbalances, energy and climate change,and access to raw materials, to name only a few. The immediate challenge is to re energise the Transatlantic Economic Council with the United States and the High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue with China. These should provide a forum that delivers improved market access and helps prevent potential problems.

    Source: EU Reporter


    Link Read more
    Link WTO
    Link Doha Development Round


  19. EU reaches out for new powers at United Nations
    2010-07-28

    European Council President Herman Van Rompuy will in future be able to address the UN chamber no differently from US President Barack Obama or Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmedinejad under draft reforms agreed by member states. EU countries at meetings in Brussels and New York have agreed to table a resolution in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to give the union the right to speak, according to a UK ministerial letter sent out to British MPs on 14th July. The EU currently has only observer status at the UN. Its delegates do not sit among the UN member states, but off to the side, along with entities such as the Vatican, the Red Cross and the Arab League. The symbolic sitting arrangements are not due to change.
    But if the motion, which is to be tabled in the coming weeks, is approved by the general assembly, the EU will also be awarded other rights enjoyed by fully-fledged UN members, such as the right to make proposals and submit amendments, the right of reply, the right to raise points of order and the right to circulate documents. There will also be additional seats put in for the EU's foreign policy chief, High Representative Catherine Ashton and her officials. An EU diplomat said the idea behind the changes is to boost the profile of the EU as an entity in itself at the international level.

    Source: EU Observer


    Link Read more
    Link EU-UN relations


  20. Food industry's green efforts may hit price wall
    2010-07-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European food and drinks industry is finalising plans to measure its environmental performance but increasingly price-aware consumers might derail their efforts, the European Commission cautioned. A European round table bringing together the food industry, farmers and consumer groups has drawn up a series of 10 guiding principles to assess the environmental impact of food and drink products during their entire life cycle. The principles, agreed on 13th July, will guide the round table's future work on developing a uniform and scientifically reliable methodology for assessing the environmental impact of food and drink products. It is also meant to serve as a communication tool for companies wanting to boast their green credentials. The methodology, which is expected to be finalised by 2011, will address key sustainability challenges facing the food value chain, including climate change, resource efficiency, water use and waste reduction.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link More on the Round table
    Link EU sustainable consumption and production policies


  21. European Union - Africa Partnership on Cotton
    2010-07-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    This document provides an update of the EU-Africa cotton Partnership concluded between the EU and African countries in July 2004 (at the Paris Forum). This Partnership led to an action plan, which developed into a framework for action following a midterm review (in June 2009)1, The revised action plan became the Partnership’s Action Framework. The Action Framework reaffirms the relevance of the EU-Africa Partnership on Cotton and the need for it to continue, while adapting it to the current situation. It covers the two components of the partnership: “Trade” and “Development”. The framework for action is both a strategic reference document, in articulation with regional cotton strategies and an instrument for monitoring actions carried out in the framework of the EU-Africa Cotton Partnership. It in fact serves as a monitoring tool for all the specific support for African cotton; this data is periodically updated using  information from the various donors and joint trading associations of the African value chains.

    Source: ACP Group of States


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Group of States
    Link Paris Forum


  22. Commission proposes to gradually resume development aid to Niger
    2010-07-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Food Security, Archive, Rural development, Environment

    Today the European Commission has proposed to the Council to close consultations under article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement – the political framework for EU relations with countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific - thereby offering to resume progressively delivery of development aid to Niger alongside the return to the constitutional order in the country. Development assistance for the Republic of Niger has been suspended since the end of the last year following a constitutional crisis there. However, humanitarian and emergency aid has remained available and was increased last June, to address the food crisis.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Niger relations
    Link Country Strategy Paper


  23. ACP ambassadors and representatives meet the EIB
    2010-07-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    On 22 July 2010 the European Investment Bank welcomed the representatives of the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to Luxembourg. The 80-strong delegation consisted of ambassadors, chargés d'affaires and other diplomats. It was the second meeting of this kind and provided an opportunity for the Bank to discuss key activities with senior representatives of the ACP region: the ACP countries’ Committee of Ambassadors and the Brussels-based ACP Secretariat. EIB President Philippe Maystadt welcomed the delegation and Vice-President Plutarchos Sakellaris presented the activities the Bank had carried out in the ACP countries and territories during 2009. Their Excellencies Mr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Secretary-General of the ACP Secretariat, and René Makongo, Chairman of the Committee of Ambassadors and Ambassador of the Republic of Gabon, headed up the delegation. In his welcome address Mr Maystadt stressed the role played by the EIB in the ACP countries in the present economic climate, particularly as a “public” long-term financing institution. In 2009 the global crisis had affected the ACP region’s economic growth by reducing exports, investment activity and tourism. The EIB President looked with confidence at the level of the Bank’s financing operations in the countries in question in 2010 and believed that it would continue to grow.

    Source: European Investment Bank


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EIB relations
    Link ACP Secretariat


  24. Commissioner Piebalgs pushes for maternal and child health
    2010-07-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    From 24th to 26th July, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will address the 15th African Union Summit in Kampala, Uganda. Maternal, infant and child health will be the core theme of the meeting gathering the 53 African Union Member States. The EU Commissioner will stress the need for concrete progress in these areas. Among the eight Millennium Development Goals, child and maternal health (MDGs 4 and 5) are those where many developing countries are most off track. This is important as both Africa and the EU are preparing for the High Level Summit on MDGs that will take place in New York on 20-22 September.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More on the Summit
    Link MDG Summit




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