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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 244]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 244]
Send date: 2010-10-18 20:23:37
Issue #: 60
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. Strengthening the Caribbean agri-food private sector- FOLLOW IT LIVE
  2. Our video guest: Maghan Sapp, Secretary General of pangea
  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 18 to 22/10/2010
  4. EU making deeper emission cuts than promised
  5. EU funded project helps to map pollution
  6. German government releases over USD 50,000 for agriculture
  7. AECF Research into Business
  8. EAC, SADC, COMESA states to share $1.2b
  9. EU and SADC negotiators discuss EPA in Johannesburg
  10. New analysis of FP7 marine-related proposals published
  11. EU-AFRICA: University ties to be deepened
  12. 2011 budget - MEPs make room for new policy priorities
  13. EU calls for global efforts against piracy
  14. Auditors assess role of impact studies in EU decision-making
  15. EU Engagement in South Africa
  16. Revival of EU27 trade in goods with South Africa in the first half of 2010
  17. Secretary-General Dr. Chambas meets with President Zuma in Brussels
  18. Leaders talk trade, sign education aid agreement
  19. Report: best practice for cultivation and coexistence of GM maize
  20. Piebalgs at the annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF
  21. Commission outlines vision for taxing the financial sector
  22. Biodiversity: Assessment confirms EU has missed 2010 target


  1. Strengthening the Caribbean agri-food private sector- FOLLOW IT LIVE
    2010-10-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    The CTA and its partners will held the second regional Briefing in the Caribbean on “Strengthening the Caribbean agri-food private sector: challenges for SMEs in the agri-food sector in the Caribbean”on 18-19th October at the occasion of the Caribbean Agricultural Week. This Briefing will discuss the challenges that the Caribbean private sector faces in the context of the financial and food crises as well as the resulting increased demand for agricultural products. While looking at the broader economic environment,it will examine the key issues involved on value chains and clusters. Access to finance by the private sector has always remained a major challenge and SMEs still struggle to access finance due to some stringent requirements by commercial banks and the existing and potential financing mechanisms in support of the private sector at regional level will be reviewed.

    The Briefing will be broadcast live on its networks, www.acmediaworkers.com   and www.livestream.com/acmediaworkers . The live video stream is accompanied by live chat and journalists  are encouraged to participate in the discussion by logging in with your facebook or Twitter credentials. There is also a blog set up at www.acmediaworkers.blogspot.com where regular updates will be posted, and you are also encouraged to comment on the matters beng discussed.


    Link Programme
    Link ACP Regional Briefings


  2. Our video guest: Maghan Sapp, Secretary General of pangea
    2010-10-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Trade, Environment, Food Security

    Our video guest this week is  Ms. Meghan Sapp, she is the secretary general of PANGEA, a Brussels based organization specialized in renewable energies issues in EU-ACP relations. During her visit at the CTA Brussels’ office, Ms. Sapp accorded to us an interview, where she explains highly debated issues such as food security vs. biofuels  and environmental goals vs. development goals. Ms. Sapp speaks about the opportunities offered by biofuels for developing countries, by giving us a technical and political overview on biofuels and rural development.


    Link Watch the video
    Link pangea


  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 18 to 22/10/2010
    2010-10-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    -18th-21th October: Plenary Session
    EU Presidency:
    -19th October (Luxembourg): Economic and Financial Affairs Council
    -21st-22th October (Brussels): Informal Development Council
    ACP Secretariat (Brussels):
    -20th-21th October: ACP Ministerial Trade Committee
    -22th October: Joint ACP-EU Ministerial Trade Committee

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

     


    Link European Parliament
    Link Belgian EU Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  4. EU making deeper emission cuts than promised
    2010-10-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "The European Union not only signed the Kyoto Protocol, we not only pledged under Kyoto. The facts show that the world can count on the European Union; what we pledge we also deliver. In this case we are actually heading to overachieving".

    Kyoto commitments

    Under the Kyoto Protocol, the 15 EU Member States at the time the Protocol was agreed committed to reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions in the period 2008-2012 by an average of 8% below levels in a chosen base year (1990 in most cases). This collective commitment has been translated into differentiated national emission targets for each EU-15 Member State which are binding under EU law. There is no collective target for EU-27 emissions. Ten of the twelve Member States which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 have individual commitments under the Protocol to reduce their emissions to 6% or 8% below base year levels by 2008-2012. Only Cyprus and Malta have no emission target.

    Emissions to date

    As announced in June 2010 (see IP/10/659), EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 - the latest year for which full data are available - were 6.9% lower than base year levels even though the EU-15 economy grew around 45% over the same period. For the EU-27 as a whole, emissions fell by 14.3% between the base year and 2008. In a separate report, he European Environment Agency provisionally estimates that in 2009 emissions fell sharply due to the economic situation. In 2009 EU-15 emissions were estimated to be 12.9% below their base year levels while EU-27 emissions were estimated at 17.3% below 1990.

    Source: EU@UN Partnership in actions


    Link Read more
    Link The Commission's progress report
    Link DG Environment climate change


  5. EU funded project helps to map pollution
    2010-10-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    Real time maps of air, ground and water pollution can now be made available to everyone thanks to an EU-funded research project called INTAMAP. The INTAMAP project has developed open specifications software to draw up contour maps that not only show the exact location of polluted areas but also illustrate where pollution is coming from and where it is headed. Such information enables public authorities to decide more quickly on appropriate action to tackle the source of the pollution and allows individuals to avoid it. Researchers from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands and the UK worked on the project which received some €1.8 million in EU funding. Applying ICT research to benefit Europe's citizens and businesses is a key element of the Digital Agenda for Europe adopted by the Commission in May 2010. Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, said "The INTAMAP project is a good example of how research can help to improve everyday life in Europe. Real time pollution maps can be a crucially important tool for public authorities to identify the sources of pollution and how best to tackle it. It can also help individuals to avoid pollution such as smog." Until now, if there was an oil spill in European waters, measurements could show the exact area affected by the pollution but it was often not clear how much pollution was involved or where it was coming from. Without this information, it was difficult for public authorities to act quickly to tackle the pollution effectively.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Intamap


  6. German government releases over USD 50,000 for agriculture
    2010-10-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The German government has released 5.9,580 US dollars for the project of support to peasants families in Ombadja Municipality, southern Cunene Province, whose programme is being implemented by the Association for Rural Community Development (Mafiko). Speaking to ANGOP, Mafiko's co-ordinator for agriculture, Miguel Arcanjo Molunda, said the project that started last August aims at supporting the families grouped in agricultural associations based in Ombadja and whose land plots are located along Cunene river. He also informed that Mafiko is working in partnership with the Agrarian Development Institute (IDA), in identifying and selecting agricultural associations. According to Miguel Arcanjo Molunda, the money is being used in the acquisition of seeds, ploughs, fertilisers, irrigation material, water pumps and other equipment. Mafiko was created in 1997 and its main headquarters are in Ondjiva City, Cunene Province.

    Source: Angola Press


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Angola
    Link EuropeAid-Angola


  7. AECF Research into Business
    2010-10-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) will be launching the second of its dedicated Research Into Business Window competitions (RIB R2) on 15 October 2010. The AECF is supporting business innovation based on agricultural research. If your company has a great business idea in this field, then you should compete for attention in our special AECF RIB Window. If your company has an innovative and commercially viable business idea that will have a development impact, but the risks are holding you back, then the AECF RIB is for you. The RIB window is open for business opportunities throughout Africa and to both African and international applicants. RIB will not fund primary research it but will consider any idea which aims to turn existing (or near complete) Research Into a profitable Business. We are calling for proposals that combine profitability with developmental and social impact. Through the provision of grant and repayable grant funding, the AECF RIB window seeks to promote risk-taking and innovation to encourage businesses to extend their core activities in ways that create opportunities for rural low-income people.

    Source: Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund


    Link Read more


  8. EAC, SADC, COMESA states to share $1.2b
    2010-10-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    A tripartite committee composed of officials from the regional economic communities of the East African Community (EAC), South African Development Corporation (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) recently started scrutinizing applications that would qualify for allocation of funds for project support from the tripartite member states, an official has said. "At the Lusaka summit and with support from the development partners we raised over $1.2b of funding to meet the costs of a comprehensive Aid for Trade and infrastructure programme to upgrade road, rail, port and energy infrastructure of which countries applied and the committee to scrutinize the applications starts this week in Dar es Salaam," said the chairperson of the tripartite committee and EAC Secretary General Amb Juma Mwapachu. "This will be followed by appointment of professionals who will assist the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) who are our financial advisers to assess the applications," he said during a function at which the Ambassadors of Belgium Paul Jansen and the Canadian High Commissioner to Tanzania Robert Orr presented their credentials for accreditation to the EAC secretariat at his office at the EAC Secretariat in Arusha. He said the origin of the establishment of the fund was due to the fact that member states have been applying for loans and grants from banks and development partners who however ask for counter-funding before they release the funds. "If they to go organizations like for example Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), United States Agency for International Development or development banks, they ask for counter-funding as a commitment fee for you to get the grant or loans, so we shall be using this money to help member countries to process faster the funds in order to implement projects according to their planned period," he explained. The applications followed a resolution by the three economic communities to implement an extensive Aid for Trade programme encompassing transport, power and trade facilitation projects along the North-South Corridor traversing eight countries in East and Southern Africa.

    Source: East African Business Week


    Link Read more
    Link COMESA
    Link East AFrica Community


  9. EU and SADC negotiators discuss EPA in Johannesburg
    2010-10-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    From 27 September to 1st October 2010 European Union and Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group negotiators met in Johannesburg (South Africa) to discuss the way forward with a view of concluding a regional comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Talks at technical and Senior Officials' level addressed trade in goods, including rules of origin, the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) clause, infant industry, export taxes, and other specific issues of concern for some SADC EPA Group countries, such as fisheries for Namibia. Further discussions on services, investment, competition, intellectual property rights (IPR) etc. were held to establish the extent to which they will be covered in this agreement. Next negotiation round is scheduled for the week of 8-12 November in the SADC EPA Group region, to be followed by another round in early December, still in the region. The SADC EPA Group includes Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. In 2007, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Mozambique initialled an interim EPA with the EU, subsequently signed by Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique in 2009.

    Source: Commission européene


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


  10. New analysis of FP7 marine-related proposals published
    2010-10-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Over the past year, in the context of the 'European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research', data on proposals with potential applications in the maritime sector have been compiled, checked and analysed in order to provide stakeholders with a thorough and reliable overview of marine-related proposals across four FP7 specific programmes:
    • 'Co-operation'
    • 'Ideas'
    • 'People'
    • 'Capacities'
    This study is a first attempt to present a quantitative and qualitative analysis as well as an inventory of marinerelatedproposals selected under the 7th Framework Programme for research (FP7). In presenting this analysis, the Commission responds to the need expressed by the scientific
    community during the consultation on the Green Paper “on a future maritime policy for the
    European Union”5 to ensure regular exchange of information on marine and maritime research
    addressed in the different specifi c programmes of the 7th Framework Programme for research.

    Source: Commission européenne


    Link Read more
    Link Maritime Affairs and Fisheries


  11. EU-AFRICA: University ties to be deepened
    2010-10-13

    New plans for broadening the two-way street between African and European universities were unveiled at a conference in Brussels last week, where 150 delegates from both continents debated closer ties in higher education. The conference focused on a newly published White Paper on bridging arrangements between institutions and greater cooperation between scholars in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. Its conclusions follow studies and discussions staged through the European Union-funded Fostering Trust and Exchange between Europe and Africa 2008-2010, which the organisers claim was the first such project of its kind. The leading partners were the Association of African Universities and the European Universities Association. Belgium, currently holding the six-month rotating EU presidency, has organised a busy agenda for EU-African relations between now and the end of the year, of which the conference is a part. According to the university conference organiser, Michael Hörig, the EUA's programme director, delegates were emphatic about the need for greater African participation in Erasmus Mundi programmes. Everyone recognises that the exchanges are lop-sided. Some 18% of the EU's university population is from Africa with the majority of them going to the UK, Germany and France, in that order.

    Source: universityworldnews.com


    Link Read more
    Link EU-ACP higher education


  12. 2011 budget - MEPs make room for new policy priorities
    2010-10-13

    MEPs want future EU budgets to accommodate new policy priorities as well as negotiations on new sources of financing. In its position on the 2011 budget, approved Thursday, the Budgets Committee inserts new budget lines for Lisbon Treaty priorities and for new revenue sources, including transferring unspent money to future budgets instead of returning it to Member States. These budget lines are empty for now, but the intention is to open negotiations on the budget after 2011.
    In its final vote on the 2011 budget, the Budgets Committee, led by rapporteurs Sidonia Jędrzejewska (EPP, PL) and Helga Trüpel (Greens/EFA,DE), urged that the budget ceilings agreed in 2006 be brought into line with today's reality and pointed out that the EU budget should be viewed not as an additional burden to national budgets, but rather as an opportunity to gear up national initiatives and investments to which it can add value. However, MEPs understand the pressures on Member States' budgets and therefore broke with the tradition of suggesting a much larger budget than the Commission proposes, and increased it only very slightly. The committee agreed on a total of €130.14 billion in payments and €142.65 billion in commitments (compared to the Commission's €130.14 billion in payments and €142.56 billion in commitments).

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link 2011 budget negotiating timetable
    Link Budgets committee


  13. EU calls for global efforts against piracy
    2010-10-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The European Union on Friday called for international efforts to fight rampant piracy along the East Africa coast.Head of the EU delegation in Kenya Eric van der Linden said while the European and other naval forces continue to deter and interrupt piracy at the high seas, countries in the region should also take their responsibility to secure the East African coast. "Prosecution and detention of suspects is one way to contribute and it is a very important part in the strategy to ensure that pirating ships and taking hostage of innocent seamen does not go unpunished," Linden said in Nairobi. Last week, the European naval forces rescued 9 Kenyan fishermen from coastal town of Malindi who had been taken hostage on board the MS Sherry.Dozens of pirates have been sentenced while others have been captured and handed over to Kenyan authorities, a development the EU envoy said is good example of the cooperation between EU and Kenya.

    Source: english.peopledaily.com.cn


    Link Read more
    Link EU NAVFOR


  14. Auditors assess role of impact studies in EU decision-making
    2010-10-12

    Impact assessments have been "broadly effective" in supporting decision-making within the EU institutions, but have failed to take account of amendments made to legislation by the Parliament and member states, found a European Court of Auditors report published yesterday (28 September). Impact assessments have been "widely used within the EU institutions and effective in supporting decision-making," said Court of Auditors (ECA) member Henri Grethen, presenting the report in Brussels yesterday. 85% of the experts surveyed for the report agreed that the Commission’s impact assessment system is improving legislation effectively."But there are areas for improvement regarding the main procedures, as well as the content and presentation of the reports," Grethen said. Impact assessments aim to contribute to the EU decision-making process by systematically collecting and analysing information on planned legislative interventions and estimating their likely impact on citizens and the economy.They seek to help the EU institutions involved in drawing up legislation to decide on the most appropriate way to address a particular problem.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link European Court of Auditors


  15. EU Engagement in South Africa
    2010-10-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    A strong relationship has evolved between the European Union and South Africa since the birth of South African democracy in 1994. This relationship is underpinned by the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) signed in 1999, which provides the legal basis for close relations on trade, development, economic cooperation and political dialogue. The significance of South Africa for the EU was consolidated with the establishment of a Strategic Partnership in 2007. The Strategic Partnership has two main pillars: (i) enhanced political dialogue on issues of shared interest like climate change, the global economy, bilateral trade, and peace and security matters and (ii) policy dialogues and sectoral cooperation on a broad range of areas (e.g. environment, science & technology, transport, space, etc.). EU development co-operation with South Africa is financed from the Community budget (Development Cooperation Instrument). It has been operational since 1995, and since then yearly financial commitments have averaged €125 million. For the financial perspectives 2007-2013, the indicative amount assigned by the EU to co-operation with South Africa is €980 million, i.e. €140 million a year. The EU is the most important donor to South Africa by far: the Commission and EU Member States together provide approximately 70% of the total cooperation funds received by South Africa.

    Trade cooperation

    The EU as a whole is by far South Africa's largest trading partner: It accounted for 28% of the value of total South African trade flows in 2009. EU-South African trade flows represented more than €36 billion in 2008, and more than €25 billion in 2009 - the decrease being largely imputable to the global economic downturn. The EU is South Africa's main destination for exports, with a share of 23% of total South African exports in 2009. The EU is also the main source of South Africa's imports, with a share of 32% of total South African imports in 2009.

     EU-South Africa Joint Cooperation Council

     On 15 September 2010, the EU-South Africa Joint Cooperation Council (the body that oversees the overall implementation of the Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement - TDCA) met on 15 September in Pretoria. It had previously met in Brussels in July 2009, in order to take stock of progress in implementing the TDCA and also to discuss the way forward on the wide range of areas where policy dialogues and cooperation have been established in the context of the EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Strategic Partnership with South Africa
    Link EU Delegation in South Africa


  16. Revival of EU27 trade in goods with South Africa in the first half of 2010
    2010-10-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    EU27 surplus of 1.3 bn euro in the first half of 2010. The value of EU27 exports to South Africa increased steadily from 11.8 billion euro in 2000 to a peak at 20.5 bn in 2007, and then fell to 16.0 bn in 2009. Imports rose from 14.7 bn in 2000 to a peak of 22.4 bn in 2008, and then fell to 14.9 bn in 2009. After the significant slowdown in EU27 trade with South Africa in 2009, the data for the first half of 2010 show renewed growth. EU27 exports to South Africa increased from 7.4 bn euro in the first half of 2009 to 10.1 bn in the first half of 2010, and imports rose from 7.6 bn to 8.8 bn. As a result, the EU27 balance in trade of goods with South Africa moved from a small deficit of 0.2 bn in the first half of 2009 to a surplus of 1.3 bn in the first half of 2010. South Africa accounted for around 1.4% of the EU27's external trade in goods, and was the EU27's thirteenth most important trading partner in the first six months of 2010. On the occasion of the third European Union - South Africa summit, which will take place on 28 September in Brussels, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, issues data on trade and investments between South Africa and the EU.

    Source: Eurostat


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU Trade
    Link EU Delegation to South Africa


  17. Secretary-General Dr. Chambas meets with President Zuma in Brussels
    2010-10-12

    Dr. Chambas expressed his appreciation to the President for agreeing to meet with him despite his tight-schedule.In the course of their meeting he briefed the President of major ACP issues especially in relation to South Africa, which is one of the biggest members of the organization.Dr. Chambas stressed that the meeting with President Zuma underlined the importance that South Africa places on the ACP Group.On Monday, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoane-Mashabane, when signing the Second Revised Cotonou Agreement with the European Union reiterated that ACP is a formidable force globally.She added that her signing up to the revised accord showed the commitment her country has for the ACP Group of States.South Africa was the latest ACP state to sign the agreement, which was revised in June this year in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

    Source: ACP Secretariat


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU Trade


  18. Leaders talk trade, sign education aid agreement
    2010-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    L’UE et l’Afrique du Sud se sont montrées prudemment optimistes à l’égard d’un nouvel effort visant à signer un accord de partenariat économique (APE) d’ici la fin de l’année 2010, ont déclaré leurs dirigeants à la fin d’un sommet d’une journée qui se tenait à Bruxelles, le 28 septembre.
    En dépit des difficultés qui ont jalonné les négociations jusqu’à aujourd’hui, le président de la Commission européenne, José Manuel Barroso, a déclaré que l’ère de la « méfiance » est révolue et que les deux parties peuvent espérer conclure l’accord d’ici quelques mois. Le président sud-africain Jacob Zuma a reconnu que « nous partageons un objectif commun, à savoir conclure l’accord commercial d’ici la fin de l’année », mais il a ajouté que « si ce n’était pas le cas, ce ne serait pas la fin du monde ». M. Barroso a souligné l’importance que revêt le commerce pour aider l’Afrique du Sud à se développer et conduire ses voisins vers le développement. « Jamais aucun pays ne s’est transformé grâce à l’aide seule. C’est pourquoi il est important d’examiner d’autres mesures de croissance telles que le commerce », a-t-il déclaré. L’Afrique du Sud négocie son APE avec l’Union européenne par l’intermédiaire du groupe APE de la Communauté de développement de l’Afrique australe, qui comprend également l’Angola, le Botswana, le Lesotho, le Mozambique, la Namibie et le Swaziland. L’objectif de l’accord est d’améliorer la situation économique régionale, mais aussi la situation économique nationale de chaque pays. Le président Zuma a déclaré que l’APE « n’est pas seulement une question de commerce mais qu’il concerne également le développement, et que c’est là l’élément important pour la région ». Cependant, les dirigeants ont reconnu qu’il serait difficile de conclure les négociations dans les trois prochains mois. « La tâche est très ambitieuse, mais il était important de recevoir aujourd’hui cette impulsion des dirigeants [sud-africains] », a déclaré M. Barroso. « Nous ne voyons pas pourquoi nous reverrions nos ambitions à la baisse, nous devrions au contraire redoubler d’efforts », a-t-il ajouté. Il a expliqué que la présence de M. Zuma et de son ministre du commerce avait donné une impulsion capitale qui a permis de surmonter le problème de confiance qui existait au début » et que depuis leurs discussions franches, la relation a évolué pour dépasser ce problème. Il a conclu en disant : « Nous reconnaissons qu’il y a des problèmes à résoudre, mais notre volonté est d’y parvenir ».

    Source: Europolitics


    Link Read more
    Link EU & South Africa Trade
    Link Strategic Partnership with South Africa


  19. Report: best practice for cultivation and coexistence of GM maize
    2010-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Security

    Specific measures relating to storing and the application of isolation distances can help limit or avoid the co-mingling of genetically modified (GM) maize with conventional and organic maize, a report prepared by the European Coexistence Bureau (ECoB) concludes. The "Best Practice Document", published by the JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), notes that storing seeds adequately and applying spatial isolation (separation distances, buffer zones and/or discard zones) are the best ways to limit or avoid co-mingling. Alternative practices based on temporal isolation (shifting flowering times of GM and non-GM fields) are possible in several EU countries with specific climatic conditions.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Genetically Modified Food


  20. Piebalgs at the annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF
    2010-10-11

    On 8 and 9 October, European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs will be in Washington to attend the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) where he will deliver a speech to the Development Committee, the World Bank's and IMF's ministerial forum on development issues. On 8th October, he will be a key note speaker at the German Marshall Fund to discuss "how to make Development Sustainable in time of austerity". The Commissioner will further address a Round Table on Sudan organized by the World Bank, at a time when the world needs to focus on a peaceful transition after the referendum on South Sudan's self-determination that is foreseen for January 2011. During his visit to Washington he will also meet World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati and World Bank Vice President for Africa, Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili. Ahead of his trip, European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said: "The Development Committee of the World Bank is a key forum for the main global players in development. I am looking forward to discussions on the resilience of developing countries during the crisis, on development results and on reforms. They will provide a springboard to an agenda of inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries. I will soon be launching an initiative for a future EU development policy to ensure effectiveness, efficiency and lasting impact. We all need to sharpen our instruments to achieve added value and real results in the global fight against poverty." Commissioner Piebalgs added: "In Sudan, we need the combined efforts of the international community to support the country's development and stability. The EU has already provided €665 million in aid to the country since 2005 and will continue to support the country's upcoming challenges."

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link  EU Delegation to Sudan
    Link AidCo and Sudan


  21. Commission outlines vision for taxing the financial sector
    2010-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Commission set out its ideas for the future taxation of the financial sector. Working on the basis that the financial sector needs to make a fair contribution to public finances, and that governments urgently need new sources of revenue in the current economic climate, the Commission puts forward a two pronged approach. At global level, the Commission supports the idea of a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT), which could help fund international challenges such as development or climate change. At EU level, the Commission recommends that a Financial Activities Tax (FAT) would be the preferable option. If carefully designed and implemented, an EU FAT could generate significant revenues and help to ensure greater stability of financial markets, without posing undue risk to EU competitiveness. The Commission will present these ideas to the European Council at the end of October and to the G20 Summit in November. Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit, said: "There are good reasons for taxing the financial sector, and feasible ways to do so. I believe that the ideas that the Commission has put forward today are the right ones to ensure that the financial sector makes a fair contribution to the most pressing EU and global challenges."

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The full Communication
    Link Q&A: Financial Sector Taxation


  22. Biodiversity: Assessment confirms EU has missed 2010 target
    2010-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    A report published today confirms that the EU has missed its target of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010. The assessment of implementing the Commission's Biodiversity Action Plan shows that Europe's biodiversity remains under severe threat from the excessive demands we are making on our environment, such as changes in land use, pollution, invasive species and climate change. Nevertheless, the assessment reveals that significant progress has been made over the last two years. Important lessons learned from implementing the action plan will underpin the EU's post-2010 strategy. EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “We have learned some very important lessons and managed to raise biodiversity to the top of the political agenda. But we need everyone on board and not just in Europe. The threat around the world is even greater than in the EU. That’s why it’s imperative that Nagoya delivers a strong global strategy on the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems."

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The full report
    Link EU Biodiversity



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