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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 238]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 238]
Send date: 2010-09-01 13:26:55
Issue #: 54
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. Brussels Development Briefing on 'Financing Agriculture'
  2. Our video guest this week: Mr. Pedersen, FAO
  3. A European Approach to Public Technical Assistance
  4. Looming food crisis to hit Afghanistan and Africa first
  5. MINICOM sensitizes on Economic Partnership Agreements
  6. SADC to implement FTAs by 2012
  7. EU and FAO back plan to revive areas with high agricultural potential
  8. Spain: Proposal about the statute of seasonal workers
  9. 1.6 Million Euro Tugboats Project Commissioned
  10. EU Pledges Support to the San
  11. Pacific ACP Leaders Meet in Port Vila
  12. Mauritania: The EC contributes € 64 million to the fisherie sector
  13. Germany Grants 47 Million Euros to Mozambique for Education Sector
  14. Uganda: EU Cuts Sh8.5 Billion on Budget Support
  15. EU gives 45m Euros to promote peace, development in Great Lakes region
  16. Council adopts its position on the EU draft budget 2011
  17. Member states propose leaner budget for EU
  18. Africa-E.U. Economic Agreement Stalls
  19. ACP wants regional EPA’s, not interim agreements with individual members
  20. Finland is supporting renewable energy sources in Africa
  21. Somalia humanitarian crisis eases


  1. Brussels Development Briefing on 'Financing Agriculture'
    2010-09-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Archive, 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 More on the Briefing
    Link Registration form
    Link Programme_3.pdf

  2. Our video guest this week: Mr. Pedersen, FAO
    2010-08-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Food Security

    Our video guest this week is Mr. Pedersen; he is the director of the FAO Liaison Office with European Union and Belgium. In this interview Mr. Pedersen explains how the FAO is working with the EU. Furthermore, Mr. Pedersen elaborates on the work of the FAO towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. In particular, Mr.  Pedersen stresses on the issue of food security. He presents the various actions and campaigns, such as the 1 billion hungry campaign, to illustrate the work done by the FAO in this area.


    Link Watch the video
    Link FAO in Brussels
    Link World Food Day


  3. A European Approach to Public Technical Assistance
    2010-08-31

    What is Public Technical Assistance and how should it incorporate the requirements of the Aid Effectiveness Agenda? The European Network of Implementing Development Agencies, EUNIDA, offers some answers to these questions. An important point in the debate on aid effectiveness is the improvement of the quality of technical cooperation and the need to ensure a demand driven approach for all operations, as highlighted in recent reports from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Court of Auditors. As a response to this debate, the Operational Framework on Aid Effectiveness of the Council of the European Union and especially the Backbone Strategy aim to put into practice the commitments of the Paris Declaration and subsequent Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), with a special emphasis on technical cooperation reform.
     In this framework they highlight public expertise and its role in technical assistance programmes that aim to foster democratic governance.
     
    Public Technical Assistance Explained
    Public Technical Assistance is identified as a technical cooperation mechanism that contributes to effectiveness. But, what is public technical assistance? Why is it particularly relevant? And what added value does it bring to European cooperation?  Public Technical Assistance, referring to Technical Cooperation and not just the personnel involved, is a capacity building instrument based on the transfer of expertise and exchange of experiences among equals with the aim of strengthening public institutions to help ensure good governance, social cohesion and sustainable human development. This is usually provided through technical cooperation mechanisms such as institutional twinning and exchange of experiences among equals that deliver the added value of building capacity to form the basis for future technical cooperation mechanisms, including triangular cooperation and south-south cooperation.  Therefore, Public Technical Assistance goes much further than the provision of experts only. It includes a wide scope of modalities, such as the design of methodologies, sectoral know-how, management tools, training courses, network activities, etc. which can be used to strengthen the local and national structures.  Crucial to the success of this process is to foster real country leadership free from any procedural obstacles placed there by the donor and the wider development community, which calls for donors to find a new and improved strategic approach while country leadership growths.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Reforming technical cooperation
    Link Aid Effectiveness


  4. Looming food crisis to hit Afghanistan and Africa first
    2010-08-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    African nations make up 36 of the 50 nations whose food supplies are most at risk, according to the Food Security Risk Index of 163 countries, compiled by risk analysis firm Maplecroft. Extreme droughts and high poverty rates, as well as poor infrastructure for transporting agricultural products, render Sub-Saharan Africa particularly vulnerable, it said. The hot, dry summer has reduced food supplies, triggering concerns over a pending new food crisis. The US Department of Agriculture predicted in its latest 'World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates' report on 12 August that global grain carry-over stocks will fall to 444 million tons. The amount of grain that will sit in world's silos at the time of the next harvest will only cover 72 days of consumption, the Earth Policy Institute warned."This drop in world carry-over stocks of grain to 72 days of consumption is moving us uncomfortably close to the 64 days of carry-over stocks in 2007 that fueled the 2007–08 spike in world food prices," said Lester R. Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute. Wheat supplies are severely reduced, mostly due to a heat wave and droughts in EU countries and former Soviet Union states. In Russia, wildfires have wreaked further havoc and encouraged Russia to ban heat exports earlier this month, which sent prices soaring. The economic crisis and rising prices have allayed fears of an imminent food crisis by reducing demand. However, some analysts are predicting the onset of severe food shortages once the economy has picked up again. When demand starts to go up in the West again, this will inevitably lead to rising oil prices, economist Jeremy Rifkin predicted earlier this summer During the 2007-2008 crisis, oil spiked at $147 a barrel, dragging food prices up with it. Agricultural production is intricately linked with oil, as petroleum is used to manufacture fertilisers and pesticides. Moreover, higher oil prices increase the demand for biofuels, which will shift the use of farm land from food towards energy crops. The heat wave in Russia and the floods in Pakistan will have long-term impacts on their food security, Maplecroft warned, adding that climate change is having a profound impact on world food supplies.
    "Food security is a critical geopolitical issue and an important factor for investors concerned with sovereign risk, food and agricultural business with respect to supply chain integrity and foreign direct investments," said Professor Alyson Warhurst, CEO of Maplecroft. "The world will now look to China as one of the biggest storage countries; however, food consumption there is on the increase and surpluses are not quantified."

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link What is food security?
    Link World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates


  5. MINICOM sensitizes on Economic Partnership Agreements
    2010-08-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Ministry of Trade and industry has started a sensitization campaign on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in all sectors of economy. The EPAs are wide ranging trade agreements covering goods, services as well as areas of broad economic cooperation between East African Community (EAC) partner states and the European Union (EU). “The objective of this campaign and workshop is to brief the participants on the on going EPAs negotiations process, expected benefits, scope of the agreement, as well as the current trend of negotiations,” said Monique Nsanzabaganwa Minister of Trade and Industry said on Tuesday during an inaugural workshop.  The participants in the workshop were drawn from government institutions, private sector, civil society as well as academia.
    “There is little time to finalize the key issues necessary to complete the EPAs by November this year in line the agreed roadmap,” added Nsanzabaganwa. The EAC is negotiating in five clusters of which development component has been given the first priority in EPA negotiations as a standalone chapter and a cross-cutting issue to be reflected in all other clusters. Statistics show that from 1976 to 1999, the share of APC in total EC imports decreased from 6.7 percent to 2.8 percent while total EC Foreign Direct Investment from 1996 to 1999 fell from 2.8 percent to 1.7 percent. While the exports from EU to APC states increased by an average of 5.4 percent per year over the period 2000 to 2006and imports by 4.8 percent over the same period.The value of total trade flows between the EAC and the EU is about 0.12 percent of EU imports annually. However as negotiations progress, there remains some challenges to the agreements such as commitment from the EU to respond to demands of ACP group on the additional resources, perception on trade liberalization by some ACP countries among others.

    Source: The New Times


    Link Read more
    Link The East African Community
    Link EU Relations with Rwanda


  6. SADC to implement FTAs by 2012
    2010-08-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    All members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) should meet the 2012 deadline for the implementation of the Free Trade Areas (FTAs) following a delay in effecting them since their inception in 2008. Speaking in Windhoek, Namibia this week prior to the forthcoming SADC Heads of States and Governments 30th Jubilee Summit, SADC Secretariat Director of Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment, Boithumelo Gofhamodimo said the countries in the region have concurred to implement FTAs by 2012.“We are working towards the implementation of the FTAs by 2012 and we hope all the member states who are signatories to the agreement will be ready by 2012,” said Gofhamodimo. Most countries in the SADC region, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Madagascar, are part of the FTA. the agreement excludes the Seychelles, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola. The FTAs are expected to enhance the smooth flow of goods among member states and promote movement of people from one country to another in a quest to economically integrate the region. This comes after growing criticism by businesses on the slow movement of goods and services in the region due to clearance bottlenecks and delays in visa applications.The Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) Chief Executive Officer Tarah Shaanika recently raised his voice on the poor implementation of the FTAs, saying the delays were hampering the smooth flow of business in the region.Analysts expect trade issues to dominate the forthcoming SADC Heads of States and Government meeting amid calls of speeding up integration. Criticism has been mounting on the regional leaders to implement resolutions that were proposed in promoting trade and economic issues.

    Source: Trade Law Center for Southern Africa


    Link Read more
    Link SADC
    Link EU&SADC


  7. EU and FAO back plan to revive areas with high agricultural potential
    2010-08-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Environment

    The fertile lowlands that cover one-fifth of Liberia are part of a European Union and FAO-supported plan to cut the nation's dependence on rice imports and improve the livelihood of vulnerable farmer families. The Liberian government has prioritized the rehabilitation of swamps, especially those with damaged or abandoned rice fields, noting that lowland farms have the potential to yield up to 80-90 percent more rice than upland ones."In using more of our lowlands, not only will we get higher yields, we will also minimize deforestation and soil erosion," said J. Qwelibo Subah, Director-General of Liberia's Central Agricultural Research Institute, underlining the environmental benefit of his government's plan."In using more of our lowlands, not only will we get higher yields, we will also minimize deforestation and soil erosion," said J. Qwelibo Subah, Director-General of Liberia's Central Agricultural Research Institute, underlining the environmental benefit of his government's plan."In the swamps, you can grow two, three crops of rice per year, compared to just one per year on upland slopes," said Sheku Kamara, FAO Agricultural Engineer. "With upland rice, instead, you have to move to another area after each harvest. Then you slash and burn to clear brush and trees. Then you move to another area, and you repeat that," Kamara explained. Kamara has provided technical support for a 2 000-hectare swamp and irrigation rehabilitation project funded by the European Union Food Facility (EUFF), the EU's massive response to high food prices in developing countries.

    Source: Food and Algriculture Organisation of the United Nations


    Link Read more
    Link EU Food facility
    Link EU Relations with Liberia


  8. Spain: Proposal about the statute of seasonal workers
    2010-08-30

    The European Commission presented to the European Parliament and to the Member States a proposal on seasonal workers, based on the consideration that the economy of the EU requires seasonal workers that are not available in the UE labor market, especially in agriculture, horticulture, and tourism. The proposal seeks to establish procedures for rapid and flexible administrative management, guaranteeing the rights of these workers while protecting the community workers who develop temporary jobs of a possible unfair competition. The proposal sets a limit on work permits for six months and provides for the issuance of permits for successive seasons for three years. The Directives foresee that these seasonal migrant workers from third countries receive the same treatment as nationals of the Member State granting permission in areas such as freedom of association, social security, access to public services and the implementation of collective agreements in the sectors where they develop their business.

    Source: Freshplaza


    Link Read more


  9. 1.6 Million Euro Tugboats Project Commissioned
    2010-08-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security

    The 1.6 million Euro Tugboats Rehabilitation Project of the European Union (EU) and The Gambia Groundnut Cooperation (GGC), was last Friday commissioned at the GGC head office at Denton Bridge in Banjul. Speaking at the ceremony, Helene Cave, the outgoing charge d' affaires of the European Union in The Gambia, called for greater support to President Jammeh's back-to-the-land initiative to ensure rapid attainment of the country's food self-sufficiency drive.  "The 'back to the land' initiative should be commended, as it will improve, without doubt, the food self-sufficiency [aspiration] of the country. The groundnut sub-sector should remain vibrant and I hope that the EU can contribute to this drive," she remarked. According to her, the three tugboats were rehabilitated in the context of the EU STABEX project, which is aimed at improving the competitiveness of the groundnut sub-sector in particular with regards to quality assurance. The government of The Gambia in the last quarter of 2007 adopted the groundnut sub-sector roadmap implementation framework which provided for immediate road short term rehabilitation and maintenance of some components at the GGC," she noted. Helena Cave also explained that the rehabilitation of some river transport fleet will increase production capacity and improve on the turn-around time of the batch fleet from the transportation of the nuts from other parts of the country to the processing plant in Sarro. "Rural development and food security is one of the three main factors of current intervention of the EU in The Gambia together with world infrastructure and water supply," she indicated.

    Source: Allafrica


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with the Gambia


  10. EU Pledges Support to the San
    2010-08-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The European Union (EU) has pledged its continued support to the indigenous San people in Namibia, most of whom are still undergoing transformation from being hunters and gatherers to becoming active participants in the mainstream economy.The EU delegation in Namibia has already played a key role in the upliftment of the livelihood of the San, meeting the Namibian Government and other good Samaritans halfway in addressing the needs facing the indigenous San."Under the Rural Poverty Reduction Programme, designed and implemented together with the Government of Namibia, a grant of N$1,8 million was given to the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation of Namibia (NNDFN) for Poverty reduction in the San conservancies of Nyae" said Dr Elizabeth Pape, head of the European Delegation in Namibia. Pape added: "The Delegation has also supported a project implemented through Health Unlimited for improving San adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions, as well as co-financing about half a million Euros to improve rural livelihoods and promote the conservation of forest biodiversity and the sustainable utilisation of natural resources in the Bwabwata National Park, benefiting in particular the San population. " Pape added: "The Delegation has also supported a project implemented through Health Unlimited for improving San adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions, as well as co-financing about half a million Euros to improve rural livelihoods and promote the conservation of forest biodiversity and the sustainable utilisation of natural resources in the Bwabwata National Park, benefiting in particular the San population."

    Source: Allafrica


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Namibia


  11. Pacific ACP Leaders Meet in Port Vila
    2010-08-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    On August 3, 2010, the Leaders from the Pacific section of the African, Caribbean, Pacific (PACP) countries held their 8th summit meeting at Le Lagon Resort, in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The PACP countries include the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Niue, Nauru, the Republic of Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tuvalu, Tonga and Vanuatu. FSM was represented by Lorin Robert, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Samson Pretrick, FSM Ambassador to Fiji and Gillian Doone, Assistant Director of the Office of SBOC. The meeting was chaired by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Edward Nipake Natapei. The PACP leaders were first presented with a status update regarding the implementation of the various Pacific Regional Indicative Programmes of the European Development Fund (EDF) currently active in the region. The 8th and 9th EDF are currently funding 9 projects which have a total investment value of more than 52 million Euros. These programs are administered by the Secretariat General of the Pacific Islands Forum (the “Secretariat”), based in Suva, Fiji.Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Forum Secretariat, explained that three Financing Agreements had been signed in March 2010, committing a total of 21.9 million Euros to the following Pacific region projects: Deep Sea Minerals in the Pacific; Scientific Support for Management of Coastal and Oceanic Fisheries; and Development of Tuna Fisheries in the Pacific Phase II.

    Source: MicSem Discussion Forum


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Pacific relations


  12. Mauritania: The EC contributes € 64 million to the fisherie sector
    2010-08-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    On 4 August 2010, the European Commission paid € 64 million as part of the annual financial contribution of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) with Mauritania.This contribution includes a first component to pay for the cost of access of EU vessels to Mauritanian waters (€ 55 million) and a second component to support the partner country's fisheries sector (€ 9 million). The sectoral support foreseen in the agreement sustains the local fisheries sector, targeting mainly education, port facilities, sanitary measures and artisanal fisheries. It involves concrete activities to increase the efficiency of local fisheries (e.g. better equipped artisanal port of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou, chemical laboratory of Nouadhibou to ensure sanitary measures, maritime school of Nouadhibou to train seamen).The allocations foreseen in the agreement for sectoral support are as follows: € 11 million in 2008, € 16 million in 2009 and € 18 million in 2010. The payment of the € 18 million envelope for sector support for 2010 has been split into € 9 million paid in August 2010 and € 9 million payable by December 2010 to encourage the concerned Mauritanian partners to increase implementation of the aid. Mauritania and the EU have agreed to closely monitor the implementation of the sectoral support, aiming at a higher absorption of sectoral support funds by December 2010.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Mauritania


  13. Germany Grants 47 Million Euros to Mozambique for Education Sector
    2010-08-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The Mozambican and German governments signed in Maputo on Friday an agreement under which the German Development Bank (KFW) will disburse 47 million euros to support the Common Fund which co-finances the implementation of Mozambique's Strategic Plan for the Education Sector 2010-2013. The strategic plan was designed to improve the quality of education in order to boost Mozambique's economic and social development by expanding access to education, particularly for women, and strengthen capacity building in the areas of political education, planning and management. The Governor of the Mozambique's Central Bank, Ernesto Gove and the Director of KFW, Ralf Orlik signed the agreement. Speaking shortly after the signing ceremony, Gove said this is the fourth funding granted by the German government to support the Common Fund, totalling 112 million euros since 2001.

    Source: Allafrica


    Link Read more
    Link German Development Bank
    Link EU Relations with Mozambique


  14. Uganda: EU Cuts Sh8.5 Billion on Budget Support
    2010-08-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The European Union has released its budgetary support to the government for the 2010/2011 financial year with a reduction of 3m euros (sh8.5b) compared to 2009/2010. Vincent De Visscher, the head of the European Union (EU) delegation, recently said they had decided to release 23m euros (sh65b) of the second grant disbursement due to slow progress on the key indicators in the fight against corruption. De Visscher, who was addressing a press conference at the finance ministry in Kampala, also noted it had been long recognised that the main agent of change for the lives of Ugandans was with the Government and as such, it should spend public funds efficiently and fight corruption at all levels. "The EU works closely with other multinational and bilateral development partners through the joint budget support framework to regularly assess government performances against jointly agreed indicators and targets with a view to achieving better value for money," De Visscher said. He said the EU welcomed the positive progress for a strong macro-economic performance and the finalisation of the new national development plan, adding that the implementation of some reforms aimed at increasing transparency and value for money in the use of public funds have lagged. Syda Bumba, the finance minister, reiterated the Government's commitment to fight corruption, adding that it would take action on the alleged corrupt officials.

    Source: Allafrica


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Uganda
    Link EU Delegation to Uganda


  15. EU gives 45m Euros to promote peace, development in Great Lakes region
    2010-08-25

    The European Union is granting 45 million Euros for a program to promote regional integration of the three countries comprising the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL), APA learns here from a statement issued here Sunday. According to the statement from the EU office in Rwanda, the programme is seeking to promote peace, stability and development in the three Great Lakes states of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. “This program seeks to revitalize and strengthen the strategic role and activities of the CEPGL, institutional framework is essential for achieving lasting reconciliation between the peoples and countries of the Great Lakes region,” said the head of the EU delegation in Rwanda, Michel Arrion in a statement. The program supports CEPGL as a forum for political dialogue to promote regional economy between the three countries in the region, thereby promoting political reconciliation. The program is specifically designed to strengthen community infrastructure in the economic field of energy, transport and movement of people and goods. In addition, the funding aims to strengthen the strategic role of CEPGL supporting its institutional development. The program, according to the EU, will ensure promoting the potential energy of the community, strengthening cross-border interconnection capacity and proximity of regional strategic dialogue on economic, political and security.

    Source: Afrique Avenir


    Link Read more
    Link EU Delegation in Rwanda
    Link Regional Integration


  16. Council adopts its position on the EU draft budget 2011
    2010-08-24

    The Council adopted on 12th August the EU draft budget for the financial year 2011, approving targeted cuts in the Commission's proposal3 whilst ensuring appropriate funding for the priorities of the European Union, in particular economic recovery. The Council's position takes into account the current budgetary constraints of the member states and is in line with the budget guidelines for 2011 adopted by the Council on 16 March this year. It also leaves sufficient margins under the different headings of the financial framework in order to cope with unforeseen budgetary needs.
    The EU as a global player
    With regard to commitment appropriations, the Council agreed to:
    • reduce the amounts in the DB by a total amount of EUR 93.74 million on a number of
    specific budget lines, on the basis of past and current budget implementation and on
    realistic absorption capacities;
    • reduce the subsidies for decentralised agencies by EUR 0.9 million;
    • leave a margin of EUR 164.07 million to cover at a later stage additional needs.
    Concerning payment appropriations, the Council agreed to diminish the amounts in the DB
    by a total of EUR 590.90 million, of which on the one hand EUR 387.90 million in a targeted
    manner over a series of budget lines, on the basis of an analysis of the 2009 budget
    implementation and the 2010 budget forecast alerts, and on the other hand not retaining the
    amount proposed in the draft budget of EUR 203 million for the Emergency Aid Reserve.

     Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Financial Programming and Budget
    Link  EU Budget


  17. Member states propose leaner budget for EU
    2010-08-24

    A billion euros fewer than the European Commission wanted for the EU's poorest regions, €13 million less for schooling EU officials' children and a near freeze on recruitment in Brussels are among the 2011 EU budget proposals put forward by member states.
    Coming in the midst of politically painful cutbacks by EU capitals at home, the EU budget blueprint, adopted by written procedure on Thursday (12 August), will still see spending go up by almost three percent to €126.6 billion next year. But the member states' plan envisages putting €3.6 billion fewer into the common pot than earlier requested by the commission, with reductions across the board. The biggest casualties are to come in the areas of cohesion funds for poor regions (minus €1.1 billion), cash for stimulating economic growth and employment (minus €841 million) and support for EU farmers (minus €820 million).  With the EU working to put Haiti back on its feet and mulling a new 10-year recovery plan for flood-struck Pakistan, a further €203 million is at the same time to be taken out of the bloc's emergency aid reserve. The EU institutions themselves are to take a €162 million hit. The lion's share (€73 million) is to come out of the commission's pocket. European schools, the Brussels-based academies which educate EU civil servants' children, are to lose €13 million. Pensions payments for retired EU officials are to lose €22 million.

    Source: Euobserver


    Link Read more
    Link Financial Programming and Budget
    Link EU Budget


  18. Africa-E.U. Economic Agreement Stalls
    2010-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Talks have been weighed down by procedural problems and a conclusion still seems far away.
    The six years of tortuous negotiations over an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and seven (out of 15) Southern African Development Community (SADC) members have been dogged by procedural and substantive wranglings, resulting in only limited progress.  In December 2007--the original deadline for the conclusion of the EPA--only five countries initialed an 'interim' agreement (iEPA): Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland. Angola and South Africa demurred. Procedural uncertainties. The disarray reflected in these split decisions persisted into the next phase of the negotiations, with Angola, Namibia and South Africa (ANSA) prioritizing the resolution of the unresolved and contentious issues from the first phase, and the others wanting to move further along the agenda. However, the deadline of December 2008 for signing the interim agreement was also missed, and it was not until March 2009 that any of the ANSA concerns were substantively addressed.
    meeting in Brussels in late July set a new--and ambitious--end-2010 deadline for conclusion of a full EPA agreement. However, as only four countries have so far signed an interim EPA, conclusion of a full agreement still appears a distant goal.

    Source: Forbes.com


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU Trade
    Link Economic partnerships


  19. ACP wants regional EPA’s, not interim agreements with individual members
    2010-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group, which represents 14 Forum Island Countries wants the European Union (EU) to ‘slow down’ on signing interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with member countries. Instead, the EU should now focus on a comprehensive EPA with all of the ACP’s six regions – in line with the agreement’s objective to reinforce regional integration. It’s been three years since the expiry of the signing of a comprehensive EPA between the Pacific and the European Union. Only Fiji and Papua New Guinea have broken ranks from the Pacific and agreed to sign interim EPA’s. Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, secretary general of the ACP outlined the group’s position while speaking to Pacific journalists in Port Vila Tuesday (3 August). He is attending the 41st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders summit. “So far both sides agree that the process has not been satisfactory. In some  regions, an interim EPA has been signed separately with individual countries, thereby creating different trading regimes within regions. This defeats the principle objective of reinforcing regional integration, said Dr Chambas. EPA must now be brought back within a regional perspective to ensure that the ultimate agreement is between regions – the EU and the Pacific and not with individual member countries.

    Source: vanatunews.com


    Link Read more
    Link  Pacific Islands Forum
    Link ACP Secretariat


  20. Finland is supporting renewable energy sources in Africa
    2010-08-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    ”Finland operates as an intermediary in a regional project to support energy partnerships between various players,” says counsellor Katriina Koivisto, describing the three-year-long project launched this year in eight East African and Southern African countries. Katriina Koivisto works at the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria, South Africa. She is responsible for projects pertaining to the natural resources sector, with themes such as new energy partnerships, development of applications for renewable energy sources, and enhancement of national meteorological services.”The model for our energy partnership project comes from Central America, where a corresponding project has been going on for years. In addition to Southern and East Africa, the model will be tried out in the Mekong river region in South-East Asia and Indonesia. We are planning a similar project for the Andes in South America,” Koivisto says.”The purpose of the project is to support enterprises' and other players' proposals for development of applications for renewable energy sources. The proposals may relate to water power, solar or wind energy or, for example, using bio gas or developing bio fuels.”
    We expect innovative proposals and prefer a fresh angle. We have raised awareness of the project in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa in the spring, and in the autumn we will continue to Zambia, Swaziland, Mozambique and Namibia.

    Source: finland.fi


    Link Read more
    Link Finland’s Development Policy


  21. Somalia humanitarian crisis eases
    2010-08-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    The number of people needing humanitarian assistance in Somalia has dropped by 25 percent to 2 million in the last six months, easing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, according to a UN study published today. But the report, by the Nairobi-based Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) of the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), warned that though Somalia received above average rains, boosting food production and livestock farming, these gains could easily be reversed.“The current situation indicates an improvement but with 27 percent of the population still in crisis the needs remain very significant. And if the next rain season is poor, then the numbers in crisis will rise again” said Grainne Moloney, FSNAU’s Chief Technical Advisor. The recent long rainy season – from April to the end of June – was good. The season, also known as Gu, received above normal rainfall in most of the country, boosting production of maize and sorghum and improving conditions in the livestock sector, the major economic activity of the country.

    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization United Nations


    Link Read more
    Link Food Security in Somalia
    Link EU Relations with Somalia



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