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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 253]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 253]
Send date: 2010-12-16 15:19:24
Issue #: 69
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. Season’s Greetings from CTA!
  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 20/12 to 24/12/2010
  3. CTA is recruiting a trainee
  4. Fishing opportunities 2011-2012 - Deep sea stocks
  5. Partnership agreement - EU and Micronesia
  6. The CAP towards 2020
  7. Contractual relations in the milk and milk products sector
  8. Gaddafi issues warning to EU over African trade
  9. EU cooperation with the African Union: Problems and potential
  10. Spain's foreign policy in Africa: time to reassess the vision
  11. EU funding offer sparks anger at Cancun
  12. Jamaica joins ACP sugar producers meeting in London
  13. PEW critical of EU Council decision on deep-sea quotas
  14. Milk price crisis: Agriculture Committee's first reactions to Commission plan
  15. Commission proposes new measures to improve stability in the dairy sector
  16. European Report on Development -Social protection
  17. The EIB, a committed environmental player
  18. 2.2 billion euros for combating climate change in developing countries
  19. The Commission reviews EU's humanitarian aid strategy, and acts to improve it
  20. Council agrees on new labelling rules for food


  1. Season’s Greetings from CTA!
    2010-12-16

    Dear Reader,

    Thank you for visiting our weblog.
     
    Due to the year-end festivities, many activities in the EU and ACP offices in Brussels will be suspended. Therefore, the publication of news on the weblog and the dissemination of our weekly bulletin will resume on Monday 3 January 2011.
     
    We wish you an excellent 2011!




  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 20/12 to 24/12/2010
    2010-12-16

    EU Presidency (Brussels):
    -20 th December: Environment Council
    -31st December: Last day of the Belgian presidency of the EU.  Hungary will take over for the next 6 months.

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




  3. CTA is recruiting a trainee
    2010-12-16

    The CTA is recruting for the Brussels Office a trainee (Junior Research Assistant). It is open to ACP and EU nationals. A one six month’s contract will be offered from 1st February 2011. This contract can be renewed once for a maximum of 6 months. Read details on requirements and how to apply in the note attached.


    Link CTA_Trainee.pdf

  4. Fishing opportunities 2011-2012 - Deep sea stocks
    2010-12-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The 3059th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on  13-14 December 2010 adopted a regulation fixing for 2011 and 2012 the fishing opportunities for EU vessels for fish stocks of certain deep-sea fish species. On 29 November 2010, ministers had reached a unanimous political agreement together with the Commission on this item. This regulation establishes the 2011 and 2012 Total Allowable Catch (TACs) and quotas for certain stocks of deep water fish.  Deep-sea stocks are fish stocks caught in waters beyond the main fishing grounds on continental shelves. These species are slow-growing and long-lived, which makes them particularly vulnerable to fishing activity. Scientific knowledge of the longevity and growth of these species, although still not enabling a full assessment of stock status to be carried out, is slowly improving making it possible to better target the measures proposed. In this respect, the Commission and the Council have agreed to improve the delivery of data necessary for scientific bodies to advance in the stock assessment of deep-sea species. In this regard, the Commission will launch studies in 2011 to develop more environmentally-friendly and more selective gear.

    Source : Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Council Agriculture and Fisheries


  5. Partnership agreement - EU and Micronesia
    2010-12-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The 3059th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on  13-14 December 2010 adopted a decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, and on the provisional application of the protocol to the partnership agreement between the European Community and the Federated States of Micronesia on fishing in the Federated States of Micronesia. The partnership agreement in the fisheries sector between the European Community and the Federated States of Micronesia was concluded in 2006. The protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the partnership agreement expired on 25 February 2010. In order to guarantee a rapid resumption of fishing activities by EU vessels the Protocol should be applied rapidly. The Council adopted a regulation concerning the allocation of the fishing opportunities under the protocol to the Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the on fishing in the Federated States of Micronesia. Following the signing of the provisional application of the protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the partnership agreement in the fisheries sector between the European Community and the Federated States of Micronesia, this decision provides the allocation of fishing opportunities between member states.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
    Link External relations with Oceanian countries


  6. The CAP towards 2020
    2010-12-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The 3059th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on  13-14 December 2010 held a policy debate on a Commission communication The CAP towards 2020: Meeting the food, natural resources and territorial challenges of the future. As viable food production was identified as the first main objective for the future CAP in the Commission communication, the Presidency organised the debate around this theme. For many delegations, the viability of food production is linked to and aid to the farm income. Payments should be seen as a compensation to the high level of EU standards compared to those applied in third countries. Improving the competitiveness of the agricultural sector would mean for some Member States an adaptation to the market and an orientation towards research and innovation while some others insist on the need for producers to organise themselves for a better balance in the food chain. Most of the delegations consider a support for natural constraints as necessary to preserve the diversity of agricultural landscapes. The future Hungarian presidency will organise two policy debates on this communication in January and February 2011. The themes of these debates will be the two other main objectives identified by the Commission in its communication: (1)  Sustainable management of natural resources and climate action; (2) Balanced territorial development.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Agriculture and Fisheries Council
    Link DG Agriculture and Rural Development


  7. Contractual relations in the milk and milk products sector
    2010-12-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    At the 3059th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on  13-14 December 2010, Ministers were briefed on a proposal for a regulation amending regulation N°1234/20071 as regards contractual relations in the milk and milk products sector. Most delegations welcomed the Commission proposal highlighting the measure allowing the producers to join together to negotiate and establish contracts with the dairy companies. The importance of the role of inter-branch organisations and of increased transparency were also underscored. However some Member States recalled that the proper functioning of the single market should in any case be guaranteed.As regards relations between milk producers and dairies, the concentration of supply is often much lower than concentration at processing level. This results in an imbalance in bargaining power between these levels. The proposal provides for optional written contracts to be drawn up in advance for deliveries of raw milk by a farmer to a dairy which would include the key aspects of price, the timing and volume of deliveries, and the duration of the contract. Inter-branch organisations cover part or all of the supply chain: farmers, processors, distributors and retailers. They can potentially play useful roles in research, improvement of quality, promotion and spreading of best practice in production and processing methods. It is proposed to apply the rules of existing inter-branch organisations in the fruit and vegetables sector with appropriate adaptations, tothe dairy sector. They would contribute to improving knowledge and the transparency of production and the market.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Agriculture and Fisheries Council
    Link Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)


  8. Gaddafi issues warning to EU over African trade
    2010-12-15

    Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi warned the European Union on December  1st that Africa would turn to other trade partners if the EU continued to impose terms for cooperation. Gaddafi's warning, at an EU-Africa summit attended by senior European officials, echoed complaints from some other African leaders who say Europe is trying to make them open their borders to trade but not giving enough in return."Our choice now is to cooperate with our brothers in the European Union but if that cooperation fails, Africa has other choices," Gaddafi said in opening remarks at the summit in Tripoli. "Let every country and every group govern itself. Every country is free to serve its own interests.""Africa can look to any other international bloc such as Latin America, China, India or Russia."A leaked internal document from the African Union this month showed some governments on the continent felt that trade deals beingoffered by the EU were one-sided.It said the bloc was asking African countries to liberalise their economies to comply with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules but was not doing enough to help them develop their own economies."We do not benefit from the WTO and we call for its abolition," Gaddafi said. "All its interests are in opening our borders for industrial goods and killing national industries in the Third World, so I call (on everybody) not to join it."The Libyan leader also took a swipe at the EU's practice of linking economic assistance to African countries' respect for human rights and good governance.

    Source: Truth About Trade & Technology


    Link En savoir plus
    Link 3rd Africa-EU Summit
    Link The European Development Fund (EDF)


  9. EU cooperation with the African Union: Problems and potential
    2010-12-15

    The European Union is considering a privileged partnership with the African Union as a way to overcome the dated framework of ACP relations and to improve the Joint Africa-European Union Strategy. This partnership has potential, but it is not unproblematic: is the AU sufficiently relevant as an international organisation, and can it solve its functional shortcomings? This Policy Brief argues that security and the promotion of good governance are the areas with better potential for EU-AU cooperation, while economic development could be enhanced in the realm of the Regional Economic Communities.

    Source: FRIDE
     


    Link Read more
    Link Africa-EU Partnership
    Link African Union


  10. Spain's foreign policy in Africa: time to reassess the vision
    2010-12-15

    The impact of the economic crisis, changes in Spanish institutions and the changing international scene – in Africa and Europe – indicate that it is time for Spain to reassess its African foreign policy. This Policy Brief by Manuel Manrique argues that it is necessary to develop a strategic, forward-looking vision that recognises the continent’s complex reality and goes beyond charitable rhetoric centred on development aid.

    Source: FRIDE


    Link Read more
    Link Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs


  11. EU funding offer sparks anger at Cancun
    2010-12-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Environment

    In one of the first major announcements at UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, the EU has released details of its contribution to ‘fast-start' funding to help poorer nations deal with the adverse effects of climate change over the short-term. But aid agencies and governments from developing countries quickly rounded on the news when it became clear that roughly half the money would be in the form of loans or equity in local companies, rather than grants. Wrangling over the ‘fast-start' funding has led to a major breakdown in trust between rich and poor nations over the past year.A pledge of $30 billion in "new and additional" money between 2010 and 2012 for poorer nations was one of the few concrete initiatives to come out of Copenhagen last December, but since then richer nations have appeared reluctant to stump up the cash. Outlining Europe's contribution to the pot on November 30, expected to total €7.2 billion over the three years, EU chief negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger said loans, rather than grants, could provide a "win-win" situation for both sides.

    Source: EUobserver


    Link Read more
    Link UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun


  12. Jamaica joins ACP sugar producers meeting in London
    2010-12-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Executive Chairman of the Sugar Industry Authority of Jamaica, Ambassador Derrick Heaven, says at meeting of the London Sugar Group successfully strengthened the collaboration within the group, which is seeking to influence European governments and the European Union (EU).The London Sugar Group represents the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and Least Developed Countries (LDC) sugar industries, which supply the European Union. The meeting was held at the Jamaican High Commission in London, ahead of the start of a series of meetings of the International Sugar Organization."We continue to rely on the EU markets as the most important export market for our sugar. The need to collaborate with other countries, that export (to the EU) under the same terms and conditions, to protect our interest is paramount. We looked at just how we are going to influence Brussels to live up to their obligations to us, which sometimes can get lost if we are not careful," Heaven said.The EU and the ACP have negotiated market access arrangements specific to sugar, under the new regional Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), which run from October 2009 to September 2015.

    Source: Caribbean News Now


    Link Read more
    Link The ACP Sugar Group
    Link ACP Group of States


  13. PEW critical of EU Council decision on deep-sea quotas
    2010-12-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Regional Fisheries

    Uta Bellion, director of the Pew Environment Group’s European Marine Programme, issued the following statement in response to today’s decision by the EU Fisheries Council on deep-sea fishing quotas for 2011 and 2012.“The Pew Environment Group regrets the Council’s decision to set quotas for deep-sea species even higher than the already flawed limits proposed by the Commission. This will give fleets from France, Spain and Portugal the opportunity to continue plundering these stocks. With this decision, the European Union is in breach of its international commitment to protect deep-sea species and ecosystems in the northeast Atlantic.”“This decision contravenes a 2009 UN General Assembly resolution that commits the European Union to implement a set of management measures ’to ensure the long-term sustainability of deep-sea fish stocks and non-target species, and the rebuilding of depleted stocks’ and ‘not to authorize bottom-fishing activities until such measures have been adopted and implemented.’”“Deep-sea fisheries are plagued with high levels of bycatch and discards, misreporting and non-reporting of catch, and unregulated fishing for many species—hardly the definition of sustainable. The Council can and should do more to protect these vulnerable marine resources.”

    Source: PEW


    Link Read more
    Link EU Fisheries Council
    Link DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries


  14. Milk price crisis: Agriculture Committee's first reactions to Commission plan
    2010-12-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The Commission's proposed regulation on contractual relations in the dairy market was generally welcomed by the Agriculture Committee on Thursday. However, MEPs also stressed the need to curb price volatility and worried that proposed ceilings on the size of producers' organisations were too low to enable them to improve farmers' negotiating power in the supply chain. The key aims of the proposed regulation are to rebalance power in the food supply chain, prepare producers for the end of the milk quotas in 2015 and ensure medium-term prospects for EU dairy products, said Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, presenting the proposal to MEPs. The market can be made to work better, proposed Mr Ciolos, by facilitating the creation of producers' organisations better able to compete with food processing industry. However, these organisations should not represent more than 3.5% of EU production or 33% of national production, so as to prevent the creation of monopolies, he added.The proposal, approved by the College of Commissioners on Thursday, also calls for greater transparency, through a reinforced "European observatory", involving Member States' representatives and stakeholders, to provide producers with up-to-date data on market trends, and enable them to make informed decisions. It also suggests creating inter-professional groups to encourage discussion among all players in the food supply chain. The proposed regulation would expire on 2020.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Committee: Agriculture and Rural Development


  15. Commission proposes new measures to improve stability in the dairy sector
    2010-12-13

    The European Commission has on November  9 adopted a proposal on "contractual relations in the milk sector". The proposal aims to boost the position of the dairy producer in the dairy supply chain and prepare the sector for a more market oriented and sustainable future. It provides for written contracts between milk producers and processors, the possibility to negotiate contract terms collectively via producer organisations in a way as to balance the bargaining power of milk producers relative to major processors, specific EU rules for inter-branch organisations and measures for enhancing transparency in the market. The measures are proposed to be valid until 2020 with two intermediate reviews. Appropriate size limits for collective negotiations and other specific safeguard measures should ensure the achievement of the objectives of strengthening the bargaining power of milk producers whilst safeguarding competition and the interests of SMEs. The Commission has also adopted today a report on the dairy market within the context of smoothly phasing out the milk quota system.

    Source:European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development
    Link Milk and milk products


  16. European Report on Development -Social protection
    2010-12-13

    Social protection can help reduce poverty and vulnerability and promote development and inclusive growth in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a report which was commissioned by the EU. To unleash the full potential of social protection, African countries, the EU and other donors need to place it at the heart of their development policies.Despite weathering the recent global downturn with its economic growth mostly intact, sub-Saharan Africa is facing serious structural development challenges and is vulnerable to a wide range of shocks, from food prices instability to climate change,  which are threatening much of the progress that has been made in terms of poverty eradication and other Millennium Development Goals.Latest international figures reveal that the 2007-2008 food crisis plunged 30 million more Africans into extreme poverty. Looking to the future, the recent  economic and financial crisis may, according to the World Bank and IMF, lead to 20 million fewer Africans being lifted out of poverty by the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals.The second ever European Report on Development (ERD), being launched today in Brussels at the European Development Days, suggests that, together with conventional development policy measures, social protection could help sub-Saharan Africa combat poverty by reducing its vulnerability to shocks and promoting inclusive development and growth.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link  European Report on Development
    Link DG Development


  17. The EIB, a committed environmental player
    2010-12-13

    With its financial clout, the EIB is able to commit substantial resources to the environment and to combating climate change. This year more than 25% of its total lending has been granted to further the objectives of the European Union in this area. Getting the planet to change its way of life by producing renewable energy and consuming it without waste is a huge challenge. The EIB has a three-pronged strategy. Firstly, it supports science by lending to enterprises that develop renewable energy research programmes – solar, water, wind, geothermal and biomass.Secondly, it promotes the marketing of these new methods. In particular, it has supported the world's first commercial solar tower in Spain, solar roofs in Germany, photovoltaic panels in France, geothermal power plants in Iceland and Kenya and onshore and offshore wind farms in a number of countries worldwide, e.g. Belwind – Belgium’s biggest offshore wind farm. Located in the North Sea, when fully up and running it will be able to supply electricity to some 175 000 homes.Pre-empting climatic disturbances. Lastly, the EIB helps the countries and regions most threatened by climate change to adapt to these inevitable disturbances, which jeopardise their well-being and sustainable economic growth.

    Source: The EIB


    Link Read more
    Link The European Investment Bank


  18. 2.2 billion euros for combating climate change in developing countries
    2010-12-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    In 2010, the European Union and its member states contributed 2.2 billion euros to the ‘fast start’ financing. Fast start financing is a rapid form of financial aid for developing countries so that they are able to move quickly to continue combating climate change. This was announced by the EU on 30 November during an event at the UN Climate Summit in Cancún (Mexico).At the Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009 the industrialised countries pledged that for the period 2010-2012 they would jointly allocate 30 billion dollars for the fast start financing. For this period, the EU was to contribute a total of 7.2 billion euros, representing approximately 1/3 of the overall amount.In the course of 2010 the EU already mobilised 2.2 billion euros to support developing countries in:
    • reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases (mitigation): 1.06 billion euros;
    • combating deforestation (REDD+): 362 million euros;
    • adapting to the negative consequences of climate change (adaptation): 735 million euros.

    Source: Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link COP16/CMP6
    Link United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


  19. The Commission reviews EU's humanitarian aid strategy, and acts to improve it
    2010-12-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    On November 8 the European Commission adopted the mid-term review that looks at the implementation of one of the European Union's landmark policy statements – the 2007 Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, which sets out the EU's common vision, approach and driving principles in humanitarian action. Achievements to date are analysed, and further efforts are outlined, with the goal that the EU remains a world leader in the provision of effective humanitarian aid. "The quality of our humanitarian assistance is of utmost importance, and this is one of the EU policies that directly save and transform lives – about 140 million of them every year," said Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. "Today we take stock of how we have done so far, and we look candidly at what we could do better. Despite the economic hardship at home, European citizens continue to overwhelmingly support EU humanitarian action around the world, so we owe them to stretch to the fullest every single Euro we spend," Commissioner Georgieva explained.Humanitarian actors are confronted with the need to respond to crises of rising frequency and magnitude, exacerbated by natural disasters and recurring violence. As the world's largest donor of humanitarian aid, the EU strives to respond to these growing needs in the best possible way. In order to achieve this goal the Consensus codifies the principles that drive EU's action, while its accompanying action plan specifies a set of practical measures. The review finds that over the past three years, the EU has progressed substantially in implementing these documents. The EU has acted decisively and swiftly to alleviate deteriorating humanitarian situations and to respond to major disasters. It has also managed to mitigate the human costs of prolonged humanitarian crises. However, there is scope for improvement. Better coordination of EU efforts is both possible and desirable, most notably between Member States and the Commission. A recent example of action in this regard is the Commission's proposal to reinforce the disaster response capacity of the EU. Further steps are also needed to ensure the long-term commitment of aid donors. Aid budgets are under increasing pressure across the EU; this creates a double challenge – first, to ensure the efficient use of limited resources, and second, to secure adequate funding for growing humanitarian needs. Finally, the mid-term review identifies the need for additional efforts to protect humanitarian space and to ensure that humanitarian actors can access people in need in a safe and efficient manner.The Commission proposes a number of measures and priorities for the coming years, including more targeted efforts to ensure the transition from relief to long-term development aid. The update of EU's ambitions will allow the European Commission and Member States-the world's largest humanitarian aid donor- to keep their promise of solidarity, and to fulfil their responsibility to those in need.


    Source: Europeann Union


    Link Read more
    Link DG Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection
    Link European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid


  20. Council agrees on new labelling rules for food
    2010-12-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The Council in charge of Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer affairs (EPSCO) today reached political agreement, at first reading, on a draft regulation on food information to consumers (16555/10). This new piece of legislation is aimed to ensure that food labels carry essential information in a clear and legible way, enabling herewith consumers to make informed and balanced dietary choices.One of the key elements agreed by the Council is the mandatory nature of the nutrition declaration: the labelling of the energy value and the quantities of some nutrients (fat, saturates, carbohydrates, protein, sugars and salt) should become compulsory.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link EPSCO




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For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
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CTA is an institution of the ACP Group of States (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) and the EU (European Union), in the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is financed by the EU.
Copyright © 2009 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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