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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 245]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 245]
Send date: 2010-10-22 17:41:19
Issue #: 61
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. Rural Development Briefing in West Africa on Land access
  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 25 to 29/10/2010
  3. Our video guest this week: Dr. Ndambe Nzaramba, Director General
  4. Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) Established
  5. UK: Hike in food prices higher than EU's
  6. Push for EU to Help Continent Meet MDGs
  7. Banana trade: Commission and Right leave ACP partners in the lurch
  8. Joint statement from all the negotiating parties to ACTA
  9. Negotiations of an EU- Malaysia Free Trade Agreement
  10. On an EU pirate-hunting mission, vigilance is key
  11. EU to Ease Trade Rules for Poor Countries
  12. How Africa is feeding Europe: EU (over)fishing in West Africa
  13. Cameroon, EU Reach Wood Products Agreement
  14. Indian Ocean Ministers and EU on Piracy and Maritime Security
  15. Commission favours temporary suspension of animal cloning for food production
  16. The economic importance of biodiversity
  17. Commission and Parliament sign revised Framework Agreement
  18. EU-South Africa Relations in agriculture
  19. The challenge of poverty is not confined to the borders of the EU
  20. Bananas in the recent trade agreements of the EU
  21. United Against Hunger
  22. 2010 World Food Day and the EU


  1. Rural Development Briefing in West Africa on Land access
    2010-10-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Gender and development, Migration and development, New Technologies, ACP-EU Fisheries, Food Security, Health and Development

    The Rural Development Briefing in   West Africa on “Land access, land acquisitions and rural development: New challenges, new opportunities”  to be held in Ouagadougou , Burkina Faso  from the 1st to –the 3rd of November  2010 will discuss the links between climate change, agriculture and food security  in rural areas: Governance and Financing  of climate adaptation; the Land acquisition and its contribution to development and the Promotion of responsible agricultural transnational investments. The target group is more than 120 policy makers from West Africa and other African countries.


    Link Registration_Form.doc

  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 25 to 29/10/2010
    2010-10-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Gender and development, Migration and development, New Technologies, ACP-EU Fisheries, Food Security, Health and Development

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    -25th -26th October: The Committee on Development will evaluate the MDGs Summit
    -25th -26th October: Exchange of views with Commissioner de Gucht
    EU Presidency:
    -25th-26th October (Luxembourg): Agriculture and Fisheries Council
    -25th October (Luxembourg): Foreign Affairs Council
    - 28th -29th October (Brussels): European Council
    ACP Secretariat (Brussels):
    -25 th October: ACP Observatory on Migration
    -26th October: Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors
    -26th-28th October: ACP Science and Technology & EDULINK Conference

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


    Link European Parliament
    Link Belgian EU Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  3. Our video guest this week: Dr. Ndambe Nzaramba, Director General
    2010-10-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Food Security

    Our video guest this week is Dr. M. Ndambe Nzaramba, the Director General of the Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority (RHODA). Dr. Nzaramba gave us an interview on the occasion of his visit in Brussels to address a business conference on the horticulture sector of Rwanda. In this interview, Dr. Nzaramba tells us why investors should target the horticulture sector of Rwanda. He also speaks about the next steps of the RHODA such as the organization of a high level investment forum on November 3rd, 2010 in Kigali (Rwanda).


    Link Watch the video
    Link RHODA
    Link COLEACP


  4. Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) Established
    2010-10-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) was established today and the first payment from Norway to the Fund of approximately US$30 million* is now being processed. The GRIF is the financial mechanism for the ongoing cooperation on climate change between Guyana and Norway. Norway will pay for Guyana?s performance on limiting greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation,and for progress made against governance-related indicators. Guyana will invest the payments it receives, and any income earned on them, in its Low Carbon
    Development Strategy (LCDS).The Governments of Guyana and Norway have asked the World Bank to act as the  Trustee of the GRIF. Norway?s payments to Guyana may amount to approximately  US$250 million over the period to 2015, depending on Guyana?s performance  according to a methodology set out by the two countries in November 2009. On November 9, 2009, Norway and Guyana set out a joint partnership to ?work together to provide the world with a working example of how partnerships  between developed and developing countries can save the world?s tropical  forests.? The partnership is based on the concept of ?payment for ecosystem services? and aims to contribute to the creation of a global regime to assign economic value to standing forests.
    The establishment of GRIF is a core part of the partnership between Guyana and Norway. It aims to create a potential model for climate finance that ensures Guyanese sovereignty over LCDS decisions at the same time as demonstrating  adherence to internationally accepted standards, such as financial, social and environmental safeguards.

    Source: Guyana's Low Carbon Development Strategy


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Guyana


  5. UK: Hike in food prices higher than EU's
    2010-10-22

    Food and fruit and vegetable prices, rose twice as much in the UK as in the EU between June 2007 and June 2010, according to latest figures from Defra.This rise included a 23 per cent increase in vegetable prices and an 11 per cent rise in fruit prices. The report said: "All food price rises put pressure on food shopping choices.The prices of fruit and vegetables including potatoes in the UK were 17 per cent above the EU average in 2009 and at about the same level as in France."The report also showed that the UK's prices have a history of being higher than in Europe because since 2003 UK fruit prices have been declining relative to all food prices and continued to fall relatively during 2008 and 2009 when food prices rose substantially. The Defra report revealed: "Since 1990 the price of fruit and the price of vegetables have not risen as much as food prices overall. Fruit prices (fresh and processed) are 10 per cent lower and vegetable prices (fresh and processed) are six per cent lower."Fruit and vegetable purchases by low-income households increased from 3.6 portions per day in 2001 to 3.8 in 2007, but in 2008 this dropped to 3.3. Between 1974 and 2007, purchases of fruit and vegetables by all households increased from the equivalent of four to 4.3 portions a day. In 2008 the gap widened again as purchases by all households fell back to 4.1 portions per day. If the average amount of waste thrown out by households is taken into account, the overall estimate shrinks to 2.7 portions consumed.

    Source: FreshPlazza


    Link Read more
    Link Food Prices


  6. Push for EU to Help Continent Meet MDGs
    2010-10-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    South Africa wants to sway the European Union (EU) to assist struggling African countries meet their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead of the 2015 deadline set by the United Nations. Speaking to reporters on Thursday following the recent EU-South Africa summit held in Brussels, International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana Mashabane, said most European countries had expressed a willingness to help developing nations meet their socio-economic obligations as hig  MDGs are the world's time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty and diseases that continue to ravage poor counties. The EU, with no less than 27 European countries, mainly from the rich west, is seen as a strategic partner for Africa's growing economies. Nkoana-Mashabane said despite the challenges, all parties remained convinced that MDGs will be realised if partners in the international community "demonstrate strong political commitment in implementing policies." The summit also agreed to a partnership of cooperation between South Africa and EU countries on matters relating to the global economy and financial crisis, climate change, food security and energy scarcity hlighted in the MDGs.  South Africa will continue to play a crucial role in peacekeeping missions within the African continent but the EU would need to demonstrate its commitment towards a stable Africa by, among others, lifting the sanctions against Zimbabwe. Earlier this week, both President Jacob Zuma and his Botswana counterpart Ian Khama called on the western countries to consider ending their targeted economic sanctions against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and members of his government. This is a position also supported by regional body SADC.

    Source: Allafrica


    Link Read more
    Link The EU contribution towards the MDGs
    Link DG Development


  7. Banana trade: Commission and Right leave ACP partners in the lurch
    2010-10-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    On Tuesday morning this week, MEPs from the S&D Group accused their colleagues on the Right and the European Commission of abandoning Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) banana-producing countries during a vote within the European Parliament’s development committee on changing the financial support instrument for ACP banana producers. The financial envelope which the Commission is scheduling in order to cushion the cuts in tariff preferences for ACP countries is unsatisfactory in the face of the concessions for trade in bananas which the EU has generously granted, first to the WTO and then to certain Latin-American countries. At stake is the very survival of banana production in the few African and Caribbean countries still growing bananas. Patrice Tirolien, the MEP responsible for this report on behalf of the S&D Group, has slated the Commission’s lack of any long-term strategy in respect of banana-producing ACP countries. "We deplore the Commission’s choice, which is geared to economic diversification more than to supporting the competitiveness of ACP banana producers," asserted the MEP. "In fact, this choice will intensify socioeconomic deterioration in regions that depend entirely on banana production. To put it bluntly, the EU has left those regions in the lurch," said the angry Socialist MEP. Kader Arif, European Socialist & Democrat spokesperson on international trade and vice-president of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, denounced the hypocrisy of Europe’s Right: "At the most recent plenary session of the ACP-EU Assembly in Tenerife, all the political groups had unanimously adopted a declaration, condemning the impact of the WTO and Latin-American agreements on ACP banana producers and calling for rapid support measures to be set in train and adapted to the producers’ needs. Yet today the Right has voted against the very principle of referring to this declaration. This double-dealing is quite simply unacceptable." "Where is the consistency in the policies which the European Union is pursuing? And what consideration is there for its own development policy in support of ACP countries? There is none, and I find this deplorable," concluded Patrice Tirolien.

    Source: Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link DG Development
    Link European Parliament


  8. Joint statement from all the negotiating parties to ACTA
    2010-10-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The 11th and final round of the negotiations for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was concluded successfully in Tokyo, Japan on October 2nd. Participants included Australia, Canada, the European Union (EU) represented by the European Commission and the EU Presidency (Belgium) and the EU Member States, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States of America. The participants in the negotiations constructively resolved nearly all substantive issues and produced a consolidated and largely finalized text of the proposed agreement.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link World Intellectual Property Organization
    Link Intellectual property rights & Trade


  9. Negotiations of an EU- Malaysia Free Trade Agreement
    2010-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Malaysia were launched on October 5th by European Commission President Jose Manual Barroso and Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. The EU will negotiate a comprehensive agreement covering tariffs, non-tariff barriers as well as commitments on other trade related issues, notably procurement, competition and sustainable development.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Malaysia


  10. On an EU pirate-hunting mission, vigilance is key
    2010-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries

    As part of the EU NAVFOR mission, the Spanish warship Infanta Christina is patrolling the shipping lanes off the coast of Somalia. The patrol ship and its crew are also there to protect UN food-aid shipments. She floats quietly in the shade of the setting son in the Mombasa harbor: the Infanta Christina, a Spanish warship heavily armed with rockets and anti-aircraft weapons. As part of the EU NAVFOR's Operation Atalanta, the ship is controlling the sea lanes in the Gulf of Aden off of the coast of Somalia. Suddenly, the ship's deck is busy and hectic. Speedboats are dropped into the water. The alarm goes up: Pirates! Marine infantry in bulletproof vests climb down the railing, armed with machine guns. Loaded up with seven men, each boat speeds off from the main ship. From the command bridge, crew members are keeping the suspected pirate ship under close surveillance with modern positioning systems.
    Making the seas safe for food delivery
    Moreover, more than 400,000 tons of food aid has been delivered to Somalia. The mission cost just over 8 million euros ($11 million) in the first year. The running costs of the 20 ships and planes involved are carried by the individual EU states that operate them. Of course, monitoring all of the coastal waters is impossible, but EU NAVFOR spokesman Klingvall believes the endeavor has been well worthwhile: "We have clearly made the seas here safer. There are still piracy attacks, but our military presence has limited them." The mission has been extended until 2012.Critics of Operation Atalanta complain that the pirates have merely moved their field of activity further out into the Indian Ocean. But one incontestable fact is that, in the wake of an accord with Kenya, Somali pirates have been successfully tried in court. As part of an agreement with the EU, which provided legal and tactical advice, Kenyan authorities have brought 120 pirates to trial.

    Source: Deutsche Welle


    Link Read more
    Link NAVFOR


  11. EU to Ease Trade Rules for Poor Countries
    2010-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The EU is due to adopt a simplified set of rules of origins for developing countries exports. Particular relaxations are foreseen for the least developed countries (LDCs), but the rules may mainly profit the strongest of them. In today's global supply chain, determining the origin of a pair of jeans -- that may be designed in Italy, with denim tissue from Pakistan, yarn from Tunisia, the zip from France, final production in Lesotho, manufacturing in Tunisia and recycling in China -- is a real headache. Industrialised countries have granted preferential trade regimes to developing ones mainly by reducing import tariffs. But the latter have not been able to fully benefit from these arrangements because of other non-tariff barriers. Among these, rules of origin are a particularly difficult hurdle, but the European Union (EU) is on its way to changing its system. "Right now we are not exporting one single textile to the EU," a diplomat from an African LDC told IPS in an interview, "but rather to the U.S. because the AGOA scheme (the African Growth and Opportunity Act, that grants preferential market access to African exports) is much more relaxed in terms of RoO, among others. But maybe with the new European regime we will see more investors coming in." "Since 2003, the EU wanted to overhaul and simplify all RoO on its preferential trade regimes, starting with the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)," says Andreas Julin, first counsellor at the EU delegation in Geneva. The GSP is a preferential trade regime accorded by the EU to 176 developing countries that grants them entry into the European market at lower tariff rates. For LDCs, it foresees duty-free and quota-free market access for all their products under the 'Everything but Arms' initiative. The new regulations should be adopted at the end of October. One of the major novelties is the simplification and relaxation of the appropriate rules for determining the origin of a product, that will be adapted to each sector.
    For processed goods, what counts is the place where the substantial transformation has taken place, that is, the last country where it emerged from a given process with a distinctive name, character or use. One way of determining that is to simplify the classification of products according to their tariff headings. Another is to look at the value added, and here "one of the major breakthroughs is that we have specific rules for LDCs," said Andreas Julin. "We will require only 30 percent of local content on processed agricultural products, compared to 50 percent to 70 percent before." The third way is to identify specific processing techniques goods have to go through to qualify for a preferential rule of origin. The African diplomat sees benefits, but he still has doubts: "The new system may bring in some benefits," he told IPS, "but competition among LDCs, particularly from different regions, will be an issue. In Bangladesh, the textile industry is locally owned and strongly supported by the government. In Africa, investments often come from Asia, they are footloose industries that can leave at any time.

    Source: Inter Press News Service Agency


    Link Read more
    Link Everything But Arms
    Link ACP-EU Trade


  12. How Africa is feeding Europe: EU (over)fishing in West Africa
    2010-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries

    Many of Europe's fishing fleets have the capacity to fish two to three times more than the sustainable level. This overcapacity has led to the current dire state of European fisheries. In European waters, the level of overfishing is higher than the global average, with an estimated 88% of European fish stocks in a poor state. Rather than solve this problem, the EU has progressively been increasing their capacity in seas beyond its own to meet the growing global demand for seafood and to keep their fleets in business. Several of Europe's largest vessels are currently operating in waters of some of the world's poorest nations through fisheries partnership agreements or joint ventures, undermining local food security by failing to adequately consider the local communities need for localfish as a source of protein and income. For a period of five weeks between 24 February and 1 April 2010, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise sailed the waters of Mauritania and Senegal in an attempt to understand the scale and type of foreign fishing in the region. During this period, Greenpeace documented 126 fishing vessels (excluding canoes / pirogues) and four reefers (a refrigerated ship normally used for transporting fish). Of the 93 foreign vessels that have been documented, 61 were from the EU.
    This Expedition Report provides a basic overview of the type of vessels encountered during the expedition, highlighting some of the problems of overfishing through specific examples.
    According to views expressed by local fishermen in Senegal and Mauritania, a consequence of foreign operations in West Africa local fishing communities sees their own catch diminish and sees the destruction of local marine resources at the hands of foreign operators, while the communities themselves reap few if any of the benefits.

    Source: Greenpeace


    Link Read more
    Link EU Maritime Affairs
    Link EU-ACP Fisheries


  13. Cameroon, EU Reach Wood Products Agreement
    2010-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment

    In the latest step toward fighting illegal logging, the European Union and Cameroon have signed an agreement to ensure shipments of wood products to Europe are licensed.  The deal is aimed at helping to preserve the vast rainforest of Africa's Congo Basin. Under the agreement, all timber products shipped to Europe are required by 2012 to carry licenses showing they have been legally harvested.Cameroon is Africa's largest exporter of timber products to Europe, and 80 percent of its wood exports head to the European Union.  It also is a member of the countries of the Congo Basin, which holds the world's second-largest tropical forest, after the Amazon. In remarks during the signing ceremony in Brussels, European development commissioner Andris Piebalgs outlined the larger issues at stake.  "It goes beyond just trade ... it is more about sustainability of the whole planet.  It is a mechanism so comprehensive that I really believe this is a good example for others to follow.  And for us, as consumers, to think in a sustainable way."Under the deal, Cameroon will set up a national system to ensure timber production and sales are legal, not only to the European Union, but within domestic and non-European markets as well. The forests of the Congo Basin are considered critical for biodiversity - and also in the fight against global warming.  Without restrictions, though, the international environmental group WWF says that by 2015, Cameroon and two other Congo Basin countries - the Central African Republic and Congo Brazzaville - risk having their so-called "old growth forests" completely razed in unprotected areas.

    Source: Voice of America


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


  14. Indian Ocean Ministers and EU on Piracy and Maritime Security
    2010-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries

    The Eastern and Southern Africa – Indian Ocean Ministers and European Union High Representative held the 2nd Regional Ministerial Meeting on Piracy and Maritime Security in the Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Region on 7th October 2010 in Mauritius.The The Ministers express deep concern over the persistent scourge of piracy, particularly its impact on peace, security, stability and maritime security, its links to transnational organised crime, as well as its possible links to terrorist activities and the challenges it poses to private sector development, regional and international trade, economic integration and development. recognise the crucial role of the European Union Atalanta Operation, States of the region, and other naval forces in combating piracy and particularly commended Kenya and Seychelles as prosecuting States, and encouraged others to engage.
    They consider and adopt a Regional Strategy (RS) which provides for a regional framework to prevent and combat piracy, and promote maritime security through a three-pillar approach:
    i. Develop, agree and implement a Somalia Inland Action Plan to counter and revent piracy;
    ii. Encourage States of the region to undertake prosecution of pirates apprehended in the region with the financial and technical support of the
    international community;
    iii. Strengthen capacities of States of the region to secure their maritime zones.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link  European Maritime Safety Agency
    Link EUNAVFOR


  15. Commission favours temporary suspension of animal cloning for food production
    2010-10-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Environment

    The European Commission has announced that it will propose a temporary suspension of animal cloning for food production in the EU. The Commission also plans to suspend temporarily the use of cloned farm animals and the marketing of food from clones. All temporary measures will be reviewed after five years. The establishment of a traceability system for imports of reproductive materials for clones, such as semen and embryos of clones is also envisaged. The system will allow farmers and industry to set up database with the animals that would emerge from these reproductive materials. Commissioner in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, said: "The Communication adopted today is a response to calls from the European Parliament and Member States to launch a specific EU policy on this sensitive issue. I believe that the temporary suspension constitutes a realistic and feasible solution to respond to the present welfare concerns ". The commissioner underlined that the proposal will not suspend cloning for uses other than food, such as research, conservation of endangered species or use of animals for the production of pharmaceuticals. In conclusion, he expressed the hope that "with the adoption of this report, the Council, the Parliament and the Commission will move forward on the proposal on Novel Foods which is an important contribution to consumer protection and innovation".

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link European Food Safety Authority


  16. The economic importance of biodiversity
    2010-10-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    A three-year study project examining the benefits the world gets for free from nature has published its final report. TEEB – The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity – has gathered the best available economic evidence showing that the costs brought by the degradation of ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity are nothing short of unaffordable for our societies. It has synthesised thousands of studies, examined valuation methods, policy instruments and examples of action from around the world. Referring to numerous case studies, the report concludes with ten recommendations to help citizens and policymakers factor biodiversity into everyday decisions. The European Commission is a major funder of the study, which was hosted by the UN environment programme. European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik said: "While of course valuing nature for itself, we also recognise its economic value in the battle to stop biodiversity loss. The European Commission has supported the TEEB project from the start and will continue to do so. We will look at ways to implement in our policies the analyses developed by TEEB. We are also willing to support initiatives by other countries to demonstrate the benefits and costs of investing in managing biodiversity and ecosystem services."TEEB Study Leader Pavan Sukhdev said: “TEEB has documented not only the multi-trillion dollar importance to the global economy of the natural world, but the kinds of policy-shifts and smart market mechanisms that can embed fresh thinking in a world beset by a rising raft of multiple challenges. The good news is that many communities and countries are already seeing the potential of incorporating the value of nature into decision-making.”

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The TEEB reports


  17. Commission and Parliament sign revised Framework Agreement
    2010-10-20

    Today in Strasbourg, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek signed the revised Framework Agreement governing working relations between the two institutions. The signature brings to a successful conclusion a process that started almost one year ago with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. The revised FA adapts the existing accord from 2005 to the new Treaty framework. Both Presidents expressed confidence that it will deepen the relations between the two institutions and offer practical solutions in line with the increased competences of Parliament under the Lisbon Treaty. Important elements of the agreement have been implemented already, even before it comes into force, including progress on preparing the Commission's work programme for 2011.President Barroso said: "This agreement marks a new departure following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty which reinforces the roles of the Commission and the European Parliament in driving forward the European agenda. I'm confident our work together will now go from strength to strength."President Buzek said: "The European Parliament is proud of this new five-year Framework Agreement with the European Commission. It reflects the new more influential position of the European Parliament under the Lisbon Treaty and takes our special partnership with the European Commission to a new level.  I welcome in particular that the Commission has undertaken to report on the concrete follow-up given to any legislative initiative requests by Parliament and the acceptance of the principle of equal treatment by the Commission of Parliament and the Council of Ministers in legislative and budgetary matters." Maroš Šefčovič, Commission Vice-President for Inter-institutional Relations and Administration, who negotiated on behalf of the Commission, added: "It's crucial that we have a solid and formally agreed basis for our work together, and that it's actually put into daily practice on the ground. I'll do everything I can to ensure that this happens. I'd like to thank the Parliament's negotiators for their efforts throughout what were always very frank discussions!"

     Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link European Parliament


  18. EU-South Africa Relations in agriculture
    2010-10-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Trade relations with South Africa are governed by a bilateral agreement: the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), which is in application since 1 January 2000 (provisionally) and entered into force on 1 May 2004. In 2007-2009 South Africa exports of agriculture and processed agricultural products to the EU reached more than 1,9 billion Euros per year on average, in comparison to the EU exports to South Africa of 683 million Euros on average. Duties applied on most South African agricultural exports to the EU have been gradually phased out during a transitional period of 10 years. Therefore, all liberalisation that EU has committed to make under the TDCA has happened as of 1 January 2010. However, certain products are subject to partial liberalisation under tariff rate quotas (TRQs), and some sensitive products remain excluded from any concessions.On the South African side, the transition period for the completion of the tariff reduction schedule is twelve years. The products that are due to full liberalisation by 2012 include certain vegetables, cereals, prepared meat products, olive oil, and notably both sparkling wine and wine TRQs that SA has opened to the EU. However, sensitive products are also excluded from liberalisation by SA. The Agreements on trade in Wines and Spirits with South Africa apply “provisionally” as from 28 January 2002. The entering into force remains provisional as long as SA has not ratified both Agreements. Wine trade is very important for both EU and South Africa. SA’s wine imports into EU is in constant increase since 2001 and in 2009 it reached 2,9 million Hl, which is worth more than € 442 million.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Trade: EU and South Africa
    Link South Africa and the EU


  19. The challenge of poverty is not confined to the borders of the EU
    2010-10-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    In the plenary session of the European Parliament, the Belgian Presidency represented by the Secretary of State for European Affairs Olivier Chastel spoke on the “ development” dimension of the international day for the eradication of poverty. For Olivier Chastel the challenge of poverty is not confined to the borders of the EU, and cannot be solved entirely within them. Indeed, the Secretary of State added, “ the recent series of crises that affected all countries, with the poorest countries being hardest hit, has shown to what extent the whole world is interconnected” . Promoting development is an integral part of Europe’ s response to global challenges. In this respect, the eradication of poverty in the context of sustainable development works through the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For the Belgian Presidency, “ the European Union is convinced that developing countries are responsible for and control their own development and it is their responsibility to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.” The Secretary of State also recalled that the EU encourages partner countries to scale up their efforts rapidly, especially regarding the reduction of poverty and inequality, and also with the establishment of partnerships between civil society, the private sector and local authorities.

    Source: Belgian Presidency of the EU


    Link En savoir plus
    Link Achieving the MDGs


  20. Bananas in the recent trade agreements of the EU
    2010-10-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Earlier this year, the EU concluded trade negotiations with Colombia and Peru and, later, with six Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama). Within the resulting agreements - which still await ratification from legislatures on both sides of the Atlantic - the provisions on bananas are critical from the perspective of the American countries. EU concessions on bananas are the same for all eight countries: the EU has agreed to progressively reduce its import tariff on bananas originating in these countries to 75 €/t by 1 January 2020. In the absence of any agreement, the import tariff to be applied to their exports in 2020 would have been 114 €/t, whereas now the preferential margin will increase progressively from 3 €/t in 2010 to 39 €/t from 2020 on. However, between the entry into force of the agreement and 2020 a “safeguard” clause will prevent larger than anticipated increases in EU banana imports. If imports from a specific country in a given calendar year exceed that country-specific “trigger import volume” (TIV) for that year, then the EU may suspend for up to three months or until the end of the calendar year (whichever comes first) the preferential import regime and revert to the pre-agreement tariff (the so-called Most Favoured Nation, or MFN, tariff). While the TIVs are obviously linked to each country’s recent exports to the EU, their actual values suggest that the same rule has not been equally applied to all countries. For instance, relative to its recent export volumes, the TIVs for Colombia are much less generous than those for the other major exporters, while Peru enjoys a relatively liberal export allowance to the EU. The 39 €/t preferential margin eventually granted by the agreements will significantly improve the competitiveness of the eight Andean and Central American countries on the EU market vis a vis other exporters. From 2020 onwards, the benefits for those countries already exporting bananas to the EU will be conspicuous, as both their exports and the price they are paid for their bananas will increase. This should be the case for countries such as Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru. Countries that currently do not export bananas to the EU, or that are only marginal exporters, will benefit from the agreements only if the increase in their competitiveness on this market, as a result of the preferential margin granted, is sufficient to overcome the negative factors that currently make their exports unprofitable. The assessment of the effects of the agreements in the short run (between 2010 and 2020) is more complicated, because of the safeguard provision. In principle, however, four cases are possible. Only one scenario would on the short term not generate benefits for the Andean and Central American countries for sure; moreover, it seems unlikely to materialise for the majority of the countries concerned. The effects of the agreements will be felt beyond the boundaries of the signatory countries. Other MFN exporters to the EU, as well as ACP and LDC countries, are all expected to see their relative competitiveness on this market fall with respect to the signatories; ceteris paribus, they will export less to the EU and receive a lower price for their exports. In markets different from the EU, imports will decline and prices increase, as a result of the trade diversion of some of the exports of the Andean and Central American countries; other countries are expected to expand their exports to these markets, but this will only partially compensate for the decline of their exports to the EU. Since the beginning of this decade, banana exports by ACP countries, as a whole, to the EU have been growing significantly; moreover, recent developments show that they have been able to take advantage, probably more than many had anticipated, of the quota- and duty-free access to the EU market thanks to the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreements.

    Source: International Centre for Trade and Development

     


    Link Read more
    Link Banana Market


  21. United Against Hunger
    2010-10-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Rural development, Food Security

    On the occasion of this year’s World Food Day, Pope Benedict XVI, Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf called for global unity to find resolute and concrete actions against hunger by producing more food in the countries where the hungry live. “Responding properly to the hunger problem requires urgent, resolute and concerted action by all relevant actors and at all levels. It calls for the need for all of us to be united,” said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf. He said the theme for this year’s World Food Day “United Against Hunger” underlines that achieving food security is not the responsibility of one single party; it is the responsibility of all of us.”

    Fruitful gratuitousness

    In a statement to the World Food Day ceremony in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI said that “in order to eliminate hunger and malnutrition, obstacles of self-interest must be overcome so as to make room for a fruitful gratuitousness, manifested in international cooperation as an expression of genuine fraternity.” “Everyone – from individuals to the organizations of civil society, States and international institutions – needs to give priority to one of the most urgent goals for the human family: freedom from hunger,” the Pope said. “In order to achieve freedom from hunger it is necessary to ensure that enough food is available, but also that everyone has daily access to it.”The Pope praised FAO’s 1billionhungry project which he said “has highlighted the need for an adequate response both from individual countries and from the international community, even when the response is limited to emergency aid.”  Both the Pope and Diouf stressed the right to food.

    Good governance

    “Becoming self-sufficient in food production cannot be separated from good governance,” said President Kagame.“In most developing countries, it remains the responsibility of government to create the right climate for farmers, especially smallholder farmers and allied agro-businesses.” “Ultimately, sustainable food security will be obtained within the overall framework of poverty eradication,” said President Kagame. An estimated 925 million people in the world go to bed hungry, with a child dying from hunger-related causes every six seconds.

    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


    Link Read more
    Link Speech of Paul Kagame
    Link President of IFAD


  22. 2010 World Food Day and the EU
    2010-10-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Environment

    "Ensuring that every citizen has enough food everyday is the first of the eight Millennium Development Goals that the global community promised to reach by 2015. Hunger still affects far too many people and, in the 21st century. It kills more than 3 million children annually, but even malnourished children that survive suffer irreversible consequences for their physical, intellectual and personal development. Almost a billion people lack reliable access to food, most of them living in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. When these people are caught up in crises, they are the ones whose lives, health and dignity are most threatened. On the eve of the World Food Day, we want to reaffirm our commitment to stand by developing countries that need solidarity and assistance to make the fight against hunger a success. Our hope is that this World Food Day should, by 2015, be a celebration for many countries that will have ensured their own food security thanks to global solidarity" declared the EU Commissioner for International cooperation, Humanitarian aid and Crisis response, Kristalina Georgieva and the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs. For many years, Commission has put global food security very high on the European Union's political agenda. Its actions tackle the most urgent and life-threatening needs arising from hunger, whilst also building the foundations for poor communities to feed themselves and their children for the future. The Commission recently adopted two coordinated policy frameworks that set out the priorities and principles for EU humanitarian and development action to tackle global food insecurity. These policies are the cornerstone on which the EU can build a more effective and more durable strategy to address the injustices of hunger. These policies include diversified responses that are tailored to the needs of those most hungry and vulnerable. This includes helping victims recover their livelihoods, and specifically ensuring that infants and young children receive the full range of necessary nutrients. Special attention is also paid to support developing countries to establish sustainable food security policies, taking into account the whole chain of agricultural production and focusing on small scale farmers respecting an environmentally-friendly way of production.

    European Commission and food security

    Between 2007 and 2009, we allocated over € 850 million to humanitarian food assistance operations targeting the most vulnerable people in more than 40 countries worldwide. In 2009, the European Commission run country-specific and a global food security programmes for an amount of more than € 1,6 billion euros as part of its long term development efforts. The implementation of the €1billion Food Facility, launched during the food crisis in 2008, is in full motion and provides vital support to more than 50 million farmers and food insecure people in 50 countries in need.

     Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU-fight against hunger
    Link EU Food Facility



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