October 2014
M T W T F S S
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2



SELECT_TAGS :
















subscribe to our rss  

External links
RSSView all RSS in a new window

Twitter

Follow the CTA Brussels Daily

 

twitter logo

 

facebook logo cta

[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 260]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 260]
Send date: 2011-02-18 16:36:39
Issue #: 76
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. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 21/2 to 25/2/2011
  2. Our video guest: Dr. Hans Herren, IAASTD
  3. Council adopts recommendation on European Development Fund
  4. Council approves interim EPA with Pacific states
  5. EU renews Zimbabwe sanctions
  6. Commission proposes suspension of import duties on certain cereals
  7. Food security under threat: global response needed
  8. France plans to push Tobin tax at G20
  9. Outcry at EU plan to mix aid and foreign policy
  10. Andris Piebalgs urges for more coordination among EU donors
  11. Warnings from the sugar cane sector
  12. APRODEV lobby briefs on CAP reform 2013
  13. Senior EU judge seeks to tighten GM laws
  14. Dominica, ACP receive EU assistance
  15. UK governments have failed to support organic farming
  16. UK Government ramps up trading in Africa
  17. West Africa: EU gives region 597 million euros
  18. SACU- EU trade negotiations to resume
  19. EU, ECOWAS sign agreement to support integration
  20. EAC wants non-tariff barriers eliminated immediately
  21. Europe’s growing interest in EAC to boost integration
  22. EU 'low-carbon roadmap' aims for 25% cuts by 2020
  23. EU diplomatic service 'hostage of budget constraints'
  24. International banks close Côte d'Ivoire branches
  25. Spain gives €1 million to support least-developed countries’ trade


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 21/2 to 25/2/2011
    2011-02-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Archive

    European Council (Brussels):
    -21 February: EU Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting
    -21 February: Agriculture and Fisheries Council
    -21 February: General Affairs Council
    -22 February: EU Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers meet
    -22 February: Informal meeting of EU ministers for development cooperation
    -23 February: Coreper II, Coreper I
    European Commission (Brussels):

    -23 February: Intra- ACP academic mobility info session
    ACP Secretary (Brussels):

    -21 February: Subcommittee on Sustainable Development
    -22/23 February: Steering Committee ACP-EU Natural disasters facility
    -24 February: Committee of Ambassadors

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


    Link European Commission
    Link Council of Ministers
    Link ACP Group of States


  2. Our video guest: Dr. Hans Herren, IAASTD
    2011-02-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Food Security

    Our guest of the week is Dr. Hans Herren, President of the Millenium Institute and co-chair of the IAASTD. We spoke to him in the margin of a panel debate on "Geopolitics of Food" that the CTA organized in cooperation with DG DEVCO, Concord and the ACP Secretariat on February 2nd in Brussels.


    Link Watch the video
    Link Millenium Institute
    Link IAASTD


  3. Council adopts recommendation on European Development Fund
    2011-02-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    The Council adopted a recommendation to the European Parliament on the discharge to be given to the Commission in respect of the implementation of operations under the 8th, 9th and 10th European development funds for the financial year 2009 (5469/11, 5472/11, 5473/11). It also took note of comments of the Council's ACP working group on the Court of Auditors annual report on those operations (6003/11), as well as a statement on the Court's statement of assurance for the same transactions (6053/11).

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link Text of the recommendation
    Link Court of Auditors


  4. Council approves interim EPA with Pacific states
    2011-02-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    The 3067th Council meeting on Economic and Financial Affairs held in Brussels on 14 February 2011 approved the conclusion of an interim economic partnership agreement with the Pacific states, i.e. Papua New Guinea and the Fiji Islands (5536/11 + COR1). Negotiations on the interim agreement were finalised in November 2007. The European Parliament gave its consent on 19 January 2011 to the conclusion of the agreement. The text of the agreement is set out in 5558/2/09 REV 2.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link Text of the agreement
    Link Consent of the European Parliament


  5. EU renews Zimbabwe sanctions
    2011-02-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    The European Union has extended by one year sanctions against 163 individuals and 31 businesses involved in human-rights abuses and anti-democratic activities in Zimbabwe. At the same time, the EU lifted asset freezes and travel bans against 35 people linked to the regime of President Robert Mugabe. The removal followed a regular review of the EU's policy towards the country and of the situation on the ground, two years after a government of national unity was formed under Morgan Tsvangirai, an opposition leader. Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, said in a declaration today (15 February) that there had been “significant progress in addressing the economic crisis and in improving the delivery of basic social services” in Zimbabwe. However, political reform has been slow. Ashton expressed her “deep concerns” at an upsurge in violence over the past few weeks. She stressed that the extended sanctions can be lifted at any moment if there is progress on democratisation. Since the government of national unity was formed in February 2009, Zimbabwe has received €365 million in EU aid for social programmes, food security and good governance.

    Source: European Voice


    Link Read more
    Link EEAS Statement on Zimbabwe
    Link EU relations with Zimbabwe


  6. Commission proposes suspension of import duties on certain cereals
    2011-02-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Import duties on certain cereals imported into the EU will be suspended next week until the end of June 2011 in order to ease the pressure on the EU market, especially for animal feed. Backed by Member States this morning within the Management Committee, the move is intended to help maintain a good balance on the EU market. The suspension relates to existing tariff rate quotas for low & medium quality soft wheat and for feed barley, where the preferential tariffs of 12 €/tonne and 16 €/tonne respectively will be reduced to zero for the volumes permitted under the quota. Speaking after the Management Committee vote, Dacian Ciolos, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, stated: "I hope this proposal will reduce tensions on the European cereals market. While prices remain high on world and EU markets we have an obligation to do what we can to help ease the situation until the end of the marketing year." The outlook for the world cereals markets in 2010/2011 suggests that prices will remain high, given that world cereals ending stocks will be 62 million tonnes lower than at the end of the last marketing year. The formal regulation will be published in the Official Journal next week. In order to avoid penalising traders who have cereals en route to the Union, transport time will be taken into account. As long as transport to the Union is underway by 30 June 2011, at the latest, traders will be allowed to release the cereals for free circulation under the proposed customs duty suspension regime.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: DG Agriculture
    Link Council of Ministers


  7. Food security under threat: global response needed
    2011-02-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Food Security

    Climate change and commodity speculation are among the main factors threatening food security inside and outside the EU, according to a European Parliament resolution adopted on Thursday. MEPs call for urgent measures to combat food price manipulation and ensure that food production is maintained in the EU. Droughts, floods, fires and storms, on a greater scale than in the past, are reducing agricultural capacity all over the world, says the resolution. Soil and water management must be improved to prevent loss of farmland, and the Commission should monitor national climate change mitigation measures, believe MEPs. MEPs criticise speculation in food commodities, agricultural raw materials and energy markets, all of which puts food security at risk. The G20 is urged to work for the convergence of market regulations by involving countries that are not part of the G20 in the fight against food price manipulation. Parliament asks the Commission to consider giving the new European Security and Markets Authority more power to prevent abuses in commodity markets. Dealing in food commodities should be limited to investors who have a genuine link with agricultural markets, MEPs believe. In addition, MEPs call on national governments not to impose curbs on exports, as these "provoke greater uncertainty in the markets and disrupt world markets, and therefore have the potential to drive prices up further at global level". To guarantee food security in the EU, a strong Common Agricultural Policy is needed, says the resolution. Declining farm incomes, caused by higher production costs to meet health, environmental and animal welfare standards, need to be urgently addressed to ensure there are farmers in the EU in the future. Market intervention tools, such as intervention and strategic stocks, must be part of the policy, says Parliament. Since agriculture is a key economic sector in the developing world, MEPs call for a larger proportion of the financial aid for this sector to be used to support more effective and sustainable farming practices. They add that land ownership should be promoted to reduce poverty and increase food security.


    Link Read more
    Link European Parliament
    Link French Presidency of the G20


  8. France plans to push Tobin tax at G20
    2011-02-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Environment

    French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has recently confirmed France’s intention to put forward the idea of creating a tax on financial transactions at the forthcoming G20 meeting in France. The introduction of such a tax could serve to finance commitments made by developed nations to emerging countries or to address pressing issues of climate change. Lagarde explained at a press conference in Paris that the French presidency intends to propose, despite very mixed support from other members of the G20, a tax imposed on financial transactions, with, it is hoped, efficient and technical support from the International Monetary Fund. As part of its presidency of the G20, France also intends to back moves towards a monetary system “based on several international currencies,” continued Lagarde, outlining her priorities just a few days before the first meeting of G20 finance ministers in Paris this Friday and Saturday. Efforts to reduce volatility on commodity markets, another priority announced by the French President, will not include administered prices but rather greater transparency and more information on players and their positions in order to “shed some light” on this market, she said.

    Source: Le Monde


    Link Read more
    Link PES: Time for an EU-wide FTT
    Link MEPs push forward plans for financial transaction tax


  9. Outcry at EU plan to mix aid and foreign policy
    2011-02-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Discussions are under way for a potential merger between the EU's humanitarian aid and crisis management budgets after 2013, raising concerns among a number of NGOs and MEPs that EU aid could become increasingly politicised. The commission's humanitarian aid budget in 2010 was €1.2 billion, administered by Bulgarian commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, while crisis management resources are being increasingly directed by the EU's new External Action Service under Italian official Agostino Miozzo, working for high representative Catherine Ashton. "There is an idea on the table [to merge the two budgets] which is being considered by some people," a commission official working in the humanitarian aid sector said on Thursday (10 February) on condition of anonymity. "It's not a formal proposal at the moment and it's not something we would support." The commission is to come forward with a blueprint for the EU's next multi-annual budget in June this year. But some MEPs are already warning they will not tolerate any transfer of humanitarian decision making, implied by the budget merger, to Catherine Ashton, who answers primarily to member states despite her official duties in the EU-centric commission.

    Source: EUObserver


    Link Read more
    Link DG Budget: Financial framework for 2007-13
    Link Commissioner Georgieva's Blog


  10. Andris Piebalgs urges for more coordination among EU donors
    2011-02-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    European donors need to better coordinate their aid policies, according to European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, noting that European Union member states have so far failed to follow through on their commitments to work together and focus on what each does best. “This is unacceptable. How can we expect a partner country in, say, Africa to take us seriously when fifteen or more European donors are working there with limited resources and too much time spent on coordination?” Piebalgs told members of the German Bundestag’s Committee for Economic Cooperation and Development on Feb. 11, as quoted by an EU press release. “This state of affairs has to change.” The commissioner said he will, in the coming months, introduce proposals to improve the way the EU programs its assistance. Piebalgs said the EU is not looking at having “some kind of European control.” “Each donor should set his own priorities – however, with good knowledge as to what others are doing. To pull more European weight, we need to synchronize our timing better, with one another and the partner country alike. Then we can have a truly coordinated European impact,” he explained.

    Source: Devex


    Link Read more
    Link Piebalgs' speech in front of the Bundestag
    Link Bundestag Website


  11. Warnings from the sugar cane sector
    2011-02-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    During a press conference on 11 February, MEP Élie Hoarau and fellow representative Younous Omarjee warned of the consequences of the introduction by the EU of an agreement that greatly lowers customs duties on bananas produced by US and Latin American multinationals. This introduces a dangerous precedent because similarly to the banana market, the European sugar market has also been subject to attack for several years from multinationals that can produce at rock-bottom prices. Given that Europe has now ceded to these pressures, thereby abandoning thousands of small-scale producers, it is all the more urgent to ensure effective support for the sugar sector during negotiations that will determine future regulations in the sector, which will include the price for sugar cane received by the planter.

    Source: Témoignages


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: EU-ACP trade
    Link Conference: AFrica Sugar Outlook 2011


  12. APRODEV lobby briefs on CAP reform 2013
    2011-02-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Food Security

    The impact of CAP on food markets and food security in developing countries is hardly addressed in CAP debates, says the development network APRODEV. Matters relating to external aspects of CAP need to be assessed and monitored to identify possible negative effects. The CAP should be subjected to a coherence test and should adhere to the principle of “do-no-harm” to food markets in developing countries. APRODEV is publishing a series of six lobby briefs on the reform process of the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU looking at (1) International responsibility of CAP, (2) Trade Defence Measures, (3) Preventing dumping, (4) EU imports of animal feed, (5) Standards and (6) Indexation of direct payments. […] The intent is to influence the policy and position of the EU on CAP towards 2020 and to inform the public debate on the external impact of the CAP and on what is at stake for developing countries.

    Source: APRODEV


    Link Read more
    Link EU: CAP Reform
    Link Development country impacts of CAP reform


  13. Senior EU judge seeks to tighten GM laws
    2011-02-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Food Security, Archive

    A senior EU judge has said all food sold in the EU contaminated with even the slightest trace of genetically modified material must have a special regulatory approval. In a formal opinion on a case involving honey contaminated with pollen from Monsanto's EU-approved MON 810 maize, ECJ advocate general Yves Bot has said "the unintentional presence…even of a minute quantity of pollen…means that such honey must be the subject of an authorisation". This means that contaminated food products, usually legal without GM contamination, would have to go through the tough EU GM product authorisation process. EU regulation 1829/2003 allows products with up to 0.9% accidental contamination not to be labelled as GM – but Bot said this did not exempt them from special GM food market approvals. Advocate general opinions are adopted by the ECJ in most cases, and are precedents across the EU. This ruling would not only affect food grown in the EU, but also potentially imported foodstuffs and products.

    Source: Checkbiotech


    Link Read more
    Link Summary of the AG's opinion
    Link European Court of Justice


  14. Dominica, ACP receive EU assistance
    2011-02-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    National Authorizing Officer Eddie Lambert has confirmed that the European Union has approved a 200 million euro fund to help Dominica and other African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries cope with a new banana agreement. The EU, under the new deal, has cut tariffs on bananas from Latin America making competition much stiffer on the global market. However the EU said it is increasing assistance to its ACP trading partners by providing $200 million euro for the period 2010 to 2014. Dominica does not know as yet how much of the money it will get from the EU, but whatever the island receives will be in the form of budgetary support, according to Lambert. “We have no official information from the delegation in Barbados on the amount that has been allocated to Dominica,” Lambert pointed out. “All the information we have is that an official note from the head of delegation that is was approved by the European Parliament.” Meanwhile a national adaptation strategy has been composed to help Dominica better deal with the changes that will come as a result of the new banana deal.

    Source: Dominica News Online


    Link Read more
    Link Banana war could resume
    Link EU relations with Dominican Republic


  15. UK governments have failed to support organic farming
    2011-02-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Security

    Successive British governments have failed to support and promote the organic food and farming sector, according to a damning report. Their failures have left the UK an isolated "lazy man of Europe". Research from the UK's biggest organic body highlights the low priority given to the sector by "diffident" policy-makers, which it claims led to sales of organic food and drink slumping in the recession while other major European organic markets successfully weathered the storm. The report, The Lazy Man of Europe, will be published by the Soil Association today at the start of its annual conference in Manchester, and will urge the government to follow the example of other European countries. In Denmark, which has the largest organic market in Europe, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Italy, Germany and Austria, governments explicitly support organic. They provide more support in payments to organic farmers and have also launched major marketing initiatives to boost sales.

    Source: Guardian


    Link Read more
    Link Soil Association: Report
    Link EU Legislation on Organic Farming


  16. UK Government ramps up trading in Africa
    2011-02-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Archive, ACP-EU Trade

    The UK is to launch a new initiative to boost African trade through reduced bureaucracy, improved transport infrastructure and more efficient border crossings Andrew Mitchell said today. The African Free Trade initiative (AFTi) will see Britain provide technical experts to unblock issues that continue to hold back economic growth across the region. This will include advising African countries on the design of border posts, infrastructure investment and analysis of major transport bottlenecks. Expected results include cutting the time it takes to travel the length of Africa's North South Corridor from nine to seven days and reducing the journey time for goods lorries from Mombasa to Uganda and back to Mombasa by three days. The initiative will help to break down trade barriers and open up opportunities for entrepreneurs, both large and small, to access new markets and invest in expanding production and trade. AFTi is part of the UK Government's Trade and Investment White Paper, part of which will set out how the UK will support African efforts to join up their economies and increase trade between them and the rest of the world.

    Source: DFID


    Link Read more
    Link African Union
    Link EU-Africa Transport Cooperation


  17. West Africa: EU gives region 597 million euros
    2011-02-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Under the 10th European Development Fund 2008-2013, the European Union has allocated a total of 597 million Euros to support the regional integration process in West Africa. Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Ramanski, disclosed this during the signing of joint border post between EU and ECOWAS in Abuja. He said the allocation is part of EU support to West Africa's regional activities in the transport area under the 9th European Development Fund (EDF) 2000-2007. In addition, the project also supports capacity building at ECOWAS and UEMOA and participation of Non-State Actors in transport facilitation issues adding that EU also allocated another total sum of 677 million Euros in support to Nigeria for the same period. "EU allocated a total of 82 million Euros to support Transport Facilitation Projects in West Africa. These funds support various activities in the Road, Railways, Maritime, and Aviation sectors with a view to facilitating the free movement of persons and strengthening intra-regional trade," he said.

    Source: AllAfrica


    Link Read more
    Link European Development Fund
    Link EU Delegation to Nigeria


  18. SACU- EU trade negotiations to resume
    2011-02-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Stalled negotiations for an economic partnership agreement (EPA) – between the European Union (EU) and members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) plus Mozambique and Angola – were expected to resume next month with a new conclusion target date of July, the Department of Trade and Industry said. The agreement, which missed its December deadline, is already overdue by more than three years and has left some companies in limbo regarding their products’ access to EU markets. The 27-member EU bloc is SA’s largest trading partner. Xavier Carim, deputy director-general in international trade at the South African Department of Trade and Industry, confirmed that Lesotho was expected to host the next round of talks. However, the EU Commission responsible for concluding the EPAs in Africa has failed to respond to certain proposals from the southern African group, including the list of agricultural products the region wants exempt from tariffs. Experts argue that rather than allowing the negotiations to stall due to entrenched positions, African negotiators should bring other matters to the negotiating table, such as cooperation on food safety and green technology – options the EU would favour and fund. […] The South African agricultural business sector is lobbying for the government to push for more agro- processed goods to be allowed in the EU. At the moment, only certain products can be exported to the region.

    Source: tralac


    Link EC research activities


  19. EU, ECOWAS sign agreement to support integration
    2011-02-16

    The European Union (EU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have signed an agreement in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, under which the EU would provide 37 million Euros for the construction of three joint border posts in West Africa.  Under the agreement, two joint border posts would be constructed along the Abidjan-Lagos corridor on the Nigeria-Benin border (Seme-Krake) and the Togo-Ghana border (Noepe) under the responsibility of ECOWAS. One joint border post would be constructed on the Benin-Niger border (Malanville) under the responsibility of West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), whose membership is French-speaking West African countries.  The statement said the contracts recently signed by the EU, ECOWAS and UEMOA were part of the EU support to West Africa's regional activities in the area of transport facilitation under the 9th European Development Fund (EDF) 2000-2007, for a total of 82 million Euros. These funds, it said, supported various activities in the road, railways, maritime, and aviation sectors with a view to facilitating the free movement of persons and strengthening intra-regional trade. Under the 10th European Development Fund (2008-2013), the EU has allocated a total of 597 million Euros for the support to the regional integration process in West Africa. The EU has also allocated a total of 402 million Euros in support to Ghana for the same period.

    Source:ghananewsagency


    Link Read more
    Link European Development Fund
    Link E C O W A S


  20. EAC wants non-tariff barriers eliminated immediately
    2011-02-16

    The Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) in charge of infrastructure and planning, Alloys Mutabingwa, has urged the bloc’s partner states to work towards eliminating non-tariff barriers for trade to flourish in the region. In an interview with The New Times, Mutabingwa suggested that partner states formulate a non-tariff barrier body that will monitor and eliminate practices that hurt commerce within the region.“A regional body has to monitor all non-tariff barriers that exist in our countries therefore partner states must decide to formulate this body because you cannot tell the secretariat to monitor,” he said.He pointed out that political talks that partner states normally conduct to get rid of the barriers take long to produce positive results, adding that this must be done immediately.“Those political talks don’t work; we should have mechanisms that monitor, evaluate and remove what is not required for our targets on common market in the region to be realized effectively.”Mutabingwa reiterated that illegal non-tariff barriers that still exist have hindered economic integration as well as affecting regional cooperation. He went on to reveal that the bloc has embarked on a campaign to encourage member states to establish one-stop border posts to facilitate efficiency in the movement of goods, people, and services within the community.

    Source: Tralac


    Link Read more
    Link WTO-Regional trade agreements
    Link East African Community


  21. Europe’s growing interest in EAC to boost integration
    2011-02-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The growing interest of European governments in the East African Community is set to unlock foreign funding and attract technical support to accelerate the remaining phases of integration. European countries had previously expressed misgivings at the rapid pace of EAC’s integration but have now started establishing diplomatic ties with Arusha, with Turkey, the Netherlands, and Denmark taking the lead. The European Union has also appointed its head of delegation to Tanzania, Timothy Clarke, as its representative to EAC. Soren Pind, Danish Minister for cooperation, said merging the economies of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi was quicker because of experiences with the East African Community before it collapsed in 1977. “These countries also share common trading interest and have shown strong political will to move the integration agenda forward,” Pind said in Nairobi on Wednesday. In only 10 years after reviving its integration project, the EAC has managed to negotiate and launch both the custom union and common market protocols, setting stage for the rollout of the monetary union next year – the region’s 12th year of integration. This has raised concerns that some of the stages were implemented without proper consultations, leading to the many non-tariff barriers currently undermining intra-regional trade, especially when viewed against the EU which took 42 years to become a monetary union. Stephen O’Brien, the UK’s Development minister, said regional integration in Africa will stir the international community’s interest to raise the level of funding that the continent needs to meet its millennium development goals. Donors fund 52 percent of the EAC budget. […]
    On Wednesday, the Netherlands became the latest EU state to approve Sh1.1 billion (€10 million) in support of Trade Mark East Africa’s (TMEA) initiative which seeks to automate and increase capacity of the region’s ports and export corridors, cutting the cost of doing business in the region by 40 percent. […] Other European governments such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, and Sweden have already put their money in the TMEA project, joining Germany which is currently involved in the construction of the EAC’s headquarters at a cost of €14 million.

    Sorce: Trade Law Centre for South Africa


    Link Read more
    Link EAC: EU-EAC Trade Negotiations
    Link Commission: DG Trade


  22. EU 'low-carbon roadmap' aims for 25% cuts by 2020
    2011-02-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Energy savings could slash greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by as early as 2020, according to a draft copy of the EU's long-awaited 'roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy in 2050,' seen by EurActiv. The EU's current goals for 2020 involve reducing emissions by 20% on 1990 levels, increasing the share of renewables in the bloc's energy mix by 20% and improving energy efficiency by 20%. But in a twist to the debate over whether the economic crisis has made a 30% emissions reduction more realisable, the document says implementing the EU's stalling energy savings goals would reduce emissions by a further 5%. "The analysis shows that the cost-efficient pathway to the necessary reduction in 2050 requires a 25% domestic reduction in 2020," the paper reads. "It also shows, however, that the EU can produce this reduction if it delivers on its existing commitment to increase energy efficiency by 20% by 2020."

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU: Renewable Energy
    Link European Environmental Agency


  23. EU diplomatic service 'hostage of budget constraints'
    2011-02-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The newly-formed European External Action Service is at risk of falling short of its promises if negotiations on the EU budget post-2013 do not manage to increase the European Union’s financial means, said MEPs on 10 February. Participating in a panel discussion organised by the Bureau for European Political Advisors (BEPA), the European Commission's internal think-tank, three members of the European Parliament warned that unless EU countries understand that the bloc's new competences require a fresh injection of cash to be implemented fully, delivering on some of the Lisbon Treaty's innovations, like the European External Action Service (EEAS), will be 'Mission Impossible'.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link European External Action Service (EEAS)
    Link EP: Committee on Foreign Affairs


  24. International banks close Côte d'Ivoire branches
    2011-02-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Two international banks closed their headquarters in Côte d'Ivoire Monday after the West African central bank warned them of sanctions if they deal with anyone associated with Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo. The Ivorian affiliate of French bank BNP Paribas and the US Citibank both closed their Abidjan headquarters. BNP Paribas’ affiliate, BICICI, said on its website that the closure was temporary. It said that the “judicial and regulatory confusion” over the past few days forced it to close its offices, adding that it was unable to ensure the physical security of its employees. On Friday the BCEAO warned that banks faced sanctions if they continued to serve members of Gbagbo's regime, including being cut off from the region's clearing system. The central bank had already cut links with Gbagbo himself, and blocked funding since the international community recognised his rival Alassane Ouattara as the winner of presidential elections in November. Analysts and diplomats say international sanctions are starting to make Gbagbo struggle to find money to pay civil servants and troops, whose support he depends on.

    Source: RFI


    Link Read more
    Link ECOWAS
    Link EU relations with Ivory Coast


  25. Spain gives €1 million to support least-developed countries’ trade
    2011-02-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    The Government of Spain is contributing €1 million to the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) programme and increasing its commitment to help least-developed countries (LDCs) realize their trade potential, offering a route out of poverty towards sustainable development for communities in need. The EIF Executive Secretariat is housed in the WTO. Spain is one of the main donors among 22 countries as well as institutions whose collective efforts back the EIF multi-donor trust fund and is continuing to play an active role in championing the Aid for Trade agenda. In 2010, Spain hosted a workshop for African LDCs that brought together practitioners and experts to support countries to participate even more actively in the multilateral trading system. The EIF partnership, which is set up in 47 countries, with donor and international agency support, has been fully operational since July 2009. A new pipeline of 20 catalyst projects covering sectors including honey production, cabbage and mango processing is planned for 2011, to help countries overcome supply-side constraints to trade and develop a strong and secure basis for export growth.

    Source: WTO


    Link Read more
    Link World Trade Organisation (WTO)
    Link EIF Secretariat



===========================================================

 

If you missed newsletter n°259, here are last week's main events :

  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 7/2 to 11/2/2011
  2. Our video guest: Olivier de Schutter, UN
  3. EU members call for more realistic trade policy
  4. Local authorities unite against GMOs
  5. Europe moves to stabilize its energy supplies
  6. Getting to grips with landgrabbing
  7. Banana export to EU still a slippery issue
  8. Sierra Leone: EU's 6.6 million boost to curb child mortality
  9. New UK trade initiative to help millions of Africans
  10. German and Dutch development policy to cooperate more closely in future
  11. NGOs demand end to “unfair, unlawful and antisocial” policy
  12. France and Germany champion agricultural competition
  13. Post-2013 budget: MEPs call for clearer priorities
  14. ACP, WCO sign MOU to facilitate trade among ACP States
  15. Just a single permit to live and work in the EU
  16. Prince Charles joins EU leaders at Low Carbon Prosperity Summit
  17. Caribbean: bring back small producers to heart of fruit & vegetables supply chain
  18. Caribbean - EU provides record grant funding to CARICOM countries
  19. Pacific, EU talking ‘aid-for-trade’
  20. Secretary General urges Pacific ACP States to unify
  21. EU draft: States can ban GM crops for public order
  22. Nearly one third of internet users in the EU27 caught a computer virus
  23. Innovation gap widens; Sweden, Denmark rank top
  24. Better delivery of €622,3 million for humanitarian assistance


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week of 7/2 to 11/2/2011
    2011-02-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Archive

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    -7 February: Development Committee speaks about elections in South Sudan
    -8 February: MEPs debate on the European Council with Herman van Rompuy
    -9 February: Low Carbon Economy Summit with Prince Charles
    European Commission (Brussels):
    -EDC 2020 Briefing for Parliamentarians and Final Event
    In ACP states:
    7-11 February: World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal

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


    Link European Parliament
    Link European Commission
    Link World Social Forum


  2. Our video guest: Olivier de Schutter, UN
    2011-02-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Food Security

    Our guest of the week is Professor Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. We spoke to him in the margin of a panel debate on "Geopolitics of Food" that the CTA organized in cooperation with DG DEVCO, Concord and the ACP Secretariat on February 2nd in Brussels.


    Link Watch the video
    Link UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
    Link Brussels Briefings


  3. EU members call for more realistic trade policy
    2011-02-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Poland have formed a common platform to call for improved reciprocity between the EU and its trade partners. On 9 February, Ministers of European Affairs from France, Poland, Germany, Spain and Portugal, together with the Italian Minister for Economic Development made a joint plea for “Europe to be a realist in defending its interests” in its dealings with economic partners. The principle of reciprocity has been hammered home by the French President since his election in 2007. “If we ignore that the world has changed, then we will be guilty of deliberate negligence,” stressed yesterday’s report. Under the initiative of the French, the report has been published in several European newspapers, in particular, Le Monde. According to the report, Europe must be able “to ensure a more effective and strategic defence of its interests” in order to promote its competitiveness in key areas. “The stakes are high: it concerns not only the credibility of Europe’s position on the world stage, but also the preservation and development of the European economic and social model,” the report continues. The ministers demand that the EU “takes the lead in regulating globalization based on shared rules and principles that will ensure fair conditions for all”. According to the ministers, trade relations between the EU and its major partners are not equal and fair. “The EU has opened more than 80% of its markets to outside trade, while the other large trading partners have only open up 20%,” the report claims. “In order to defend its position, Europe should strengthen its negotiating power in order to improve access to outside markets.” The list of priority areas include access to markets for goods and services, investment, the public sector, protection of intellectual property, the supply of natural resources, the liberalization of climate-related trade and government aid.

    Source: Euractiv.fr


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: DG Trade
    Link World Trade Organization (WTO)


  4. Local authorities unite against GMOs
    2011-02-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Food Security

    Following the initiative of the French département Gers, 19 regional and 3 departmental authorities have lodged a request at the European Court of Justice to repeal the authorization by the Commission to allow the commercial introduction of new varieties of genetically modified corn. After the previous dispute over the cultivation of GMOs, now comes the fight against their trade. Nineteen regions and two departments joined Gers in its battle against the importation and trade in new GMO corn, which was authorized by the European Commission on 28 July. Last October, the Gers authorities lodged six requests with the European Court of Justice to repeal the Commission’s decision. The local authorities had called on the French government and other local authorities to join them in their cause before 31 January 2011. The appeal was heard, as 13 regions (Ile-de-France, Midi-Pyrénées, Centre, Pays de la Loire, Bourgogne, Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Poitou-Charentes, Franche-Comté, Picardie, Nord-Pas-de-Calais et Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) and two departments (Côtes d'Armor et Haute-Garonne) have now joined the appeals group. Six other regions have offered their support, without joining the legal procedure (Aquitaine, Limousin, Champagne-Ardenne, Bretagne, Haute-Normandie, Basse-Normandie). According to the local authorities, authorizing trade in certain GMO corn violates the principles of institutional balance and precaution. They criticize “the absence of proper evaluation of these GMOs, especially their long-term effects”. They also argue that consumer rights are not being respected due to “a lack of information about the GMO content in the food they buy”.

    Source: Euractiv.fr


    Link Read more
    Link Commission Research Centre: GMO Info
    Link European Food Safety Authority


  5. Europe moves to stabilize its energy supplies
    2011-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    European leaders agreed on Friday to give unprecedented leeway to the bloc’s executive agency to help negotiate contracts with energy exporters like Russia in an effort to improve security of supplies and safeguard investment. There is “a need for better coordination” among European Union countries and for more coherence in “relations with key producer, transit and consumer countries,” the leaders said in a statement at the close of a one-day meeting in Brussels. Negotiations over energy supply and prices are now left to individual member states. But energy deals are a concern for the entire European Union, which has 27 members and imports more than half of its energy, with about 40 percent of its natural gas coming from Russia. […] Under the agreement reached Friday, the European Union energy commissioner, Günther Oettinger, is expected to present a formal proposal in June giving the European Commission, the union’s executive arm, the power to help member states reach contracts with Russia and other governments if the deals are significant enough to affect the bloc’s energy security.  Mr. Oettinger’s mandate would also extend to other sources of energy, like electricity from renewable sources. That would give European companies investing in solar projects in countries like Morocco and Tunisia added security because the commission could impose trade sanctions on those countries if there were any attempt to confiscate facilities in the event of political instability. Giving the commission a role in such negotiations would also allow it to make sure such agreements mandate common standards for technologies of the future, so that electricity from solar farms outside the bloc can easily be integrated into a European grid.  That could increase the willingness of banks and utilities to invest in a project called Desertec, which would harvest the sun’s energy using a method known as concentrating solar power from the vast North African desert and deliver it as electricity, via high-voltage transmission lines, to markets in Europe.

    Source: New York Times


    Link Read more
    Link Energy Commissioner: Fund Super Grid
    Link DESERTEC


  6. Getting to grips with landgrabbing
    2011-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    The food, financial and energy crises of the last couple of years are leading to massive land speculation and fears that the world will not be able to meet its food needs in the future. As a result, land grabbing, a phenomenon which is putting in peril the food security of millions of small farmers, is quickly becoming one of the most alarming issues of our time. In this, the 10th World Social Forum, the issue of land grabbing has undoubtedly emerged as one of the most discussed among the hundreds of civil society organisations which have come to Dakar to mobilise and share experiences on their respective struggles. Official data on land grabbing and its magnitude remains illusive and the actual numbers of hectares involved is contested. The FAO estimates that of the land grabs taking place today about 70%, is occurring in Africa, the same continent facing the greatest food security challenges. […] There are various forces driving the scramble for land. Mining and appropriation of forest resources are not particularly new occurrences.  Neither is the acquisition of land by international corporations for plantations, such actions were common in Latin America in the 70s and 80s. What is different now is the rate in which it is happening and the fact that land grabbing is being sanctioned in the name of supporting a green economy. Evidence suggests that one third of the land grabs today are going for the production of agro-fuels, most notably jatropha, maize and sugar for ethanol. These will be supplied to meet the EU’s commitment of blending at least 10% agro-fuels to reduce the use of non-renewable energy sources. According to Ruth Hall of the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies in South Africa, some 5 million hectares have already been grabbed in Africa, to satiate Europe’s thirst for ‘green’ energy. Whilst reduced dependence on non-renewable energy sources is a worthy cause, the commitment has created a business for agro-fuels. This business is having disastrous consequences for small farmers who are being pushed off their land and loosing access to their resources, livelihoods and capacity to feed themselves. It is estimated that the amount of corn used to fill a 4x4 could feed an adult for a year.

    Source: CIDSE


    Link Read more
    Link World Social Forum
    Link UN Rapporteur on Right to Food


  7. Banana export to EU still a slippery issue
    2011-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The approval by the European Union (EU) Parliament of the bloc's cut in import tariffs on bananas from Latin America has not gone down well in most African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states. For given the costs to these former European colonies of producing bananas for export, they simply cannot compete with the large US corporations, such as Dole, Del Monte and Chiquita which are the beneficiaries of this agreement and are better equipped with the kind of technology that aids efficient production. Essentially, the tariff cut translates to less expensive bananas for Europeans and more profit for the US firms and Latin American countries which waged a relentless 16-year battle for access to the world's largest banana market valued at more than US$6 billion. […] Although the pact continues to grant ACP countries tariff-free access to the EU, there's no doubt that it will have a severe impact on the ACP states. That very point was highlighted in a study by the Geneva-based International Centre for Sustainable Trade and Development in 2009 which forecast that banana imports from ACP countries will fall 14 per cent, costing them US$40 million a year, while imports from other countries will increase 17 per cent. The study also said that banana prices in Europe will decrease by 12 per cent. The EU, in an obvious acknowledgement of this difficulty, has agreed to provide the main ACP banana-exporting countries with ¤200 million in aid in the 2010 to 2014 period to help them adapt to the change. But the EU legislators, we are told, want this money to be topped up and extended to 2020 to help the ACP to diversify their economies. The ACP countries, we assume, appreciate the gesture. However, given the number of them among which this aid is to be shared we can't see it going a far way. We hope that the ACP, especially Caricom, will use this experience to guard against total dependency on preferential trade agreements in the future.

    Source: Jamaica Observer


    Link Read more
    Link EU Delegation to Jamaica
    Link EP: Resolution ending Banana War


  8. Sierra Leone: EU's 6.6 million boost to curb child mortality
    2011-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The European Commission's Humanitarian Office (ECHO) has doled out 6.6 million (about $8.1 million) to support UNICEF and the government of Sierra Leone in achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs) on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health in the country. "This additional EU allocation will support the free health care initiative of the government of Sierra Leone," said Jean-Pierre Reymondet-Commoy, EU Head of Delegation. The CMAM approach involves timely detection of severe cases and provision of treatment to those without medical complications (80 percent) with ready-to-use-therapeutic food within their own communities. The CMAM component of the project will target 60,000 severely malnourished children in all the 12 districts and the Western Area of Sierra Leone. Community level screening and treatment of severely malnourished children is already taking place at 198 Peripheral Health Units (PHUs). Management of severely malnourished children with medical complications is being done at 14 hospitals with stabilization centres. In April last year, President Earnest Bai Koroma launched the free health care initiative for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children who are under the age of five. The free health care component will ensure that about 230,000 pregnant women, lactating mothers, and 950,000 children in the country have access to free health care services.

    Source: AllAfrica


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: ECHO
    Link EU Delegation to Sierra Leone


  9. New UK trade initiative to help millions of Africans
    2011-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Trade

    An initiative to boost trade and help millions of people across Africa to pull themselves out of poverty was launched today by UK Development Minister Stephen O'Brien. Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) will work across East Africa to fund new businesses, develop essential infrastructure to speed up transport links, and standardise regulation across the region. Stephen O'Brien launched TMEA in Nairobi, alongside the President of Burundi, Hon. Pierre Nkurunzinza, and Kenya's Prime Minister, Hon. Raila Odinga. Stephen O'Brien said: "Trade is vital for international development. It is the catalyst for growth. It creates wealth, which, ultimately, is the most effective way to pull people out of poverty. I'm delighted to be here to launch Trade Mark East Africa. This innovative programme will boost trade in the region by making practical improvements, such as upgrading ports and roads, and making border crossings quicker".

    Source: DFID


    Link Read more
    Link Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA)
    Link East African Community


  10. German and Dutch development policy to cooperate more closely in future
    2011-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Federal Minister Dirk Niebel on Monday met Ben Knapen, acting Dutch development minister since October 2010, in Berlin. After their discussion, Niebel declared “My colleague Ben Knapen informed me that the Netherlands are planning a fundamental reform of their development policy which will take a stronger topical and regional focus. The Dutch want to closely align the implementation of this reform with partners on the European level to achieve a better division of labor. I am particularly happy that the Netherlands, like Germany, will be stricter in the attribution of budget support in future, and will fight for stricter conditions in the application of this tool on the European level together with me.

    Source: BMZ


    Link Read more [DE]
    Link Dutch Foreign Ministry
    Link OECD: Development Cooperation


  11. NGOs demand end to “unfair, unlawful and antisocial” policy
    2011-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Food Security

    A group of NGOs insists that the EU common agricultural policy (CAP) should encourage the sector to become more sustainable. On 3 February in Paris, the group, CAP 2013, published their Guide to the Common Agricultural Policy, with the basic message of support for the CAP as long as it is fairer than at present. “We support the CAP,” began Bernard Cressens from WWF, before adding that “the CAP is unfair, unlawful and antisocial. We are not demanding a revolution but an evolution, a change of direction.” Farmers who do not respect EU environmental rules should no longer receive subsidies, he added: “It’s the principle of the polluter pays.” According to the NGOs, the question of competitiveness in EU agricultural production is no longer an issue. “In every area of production, Europe can no longer compete with the Ukrainians, Brazilians or Argentineans.” It is therefore necessary to focus on a new model of agriculture. In any case, “if the CAP is not reformed, we will not support it”, concluded the WWF representative.

    Source: Euractiv.fr


    Link Read more
    Link EP: Draft Report on the Future of the CAP
    Link EP: Agriculture Committee


  12. France and Germany champion agricultural competition
    2011-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, ACP-EU Trade

    Government delegates from both countries have come up with an agreement on the future of the CAP: Agriculture should continue as a common policy, but needs to improve its competitiveness. “A strong and fair CAP for competitive and market-oriented agriculture”: Such was the final statement at the outcome of a joint working party of delegates from the French National Assembly and Senate, and from the German Bundestag, after having agreed on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy. The three delegations released a joint declaration in which is stated that agriculture should continue to be financed mainly by the EU budget, but that it needs to become more competitive. The declaration strongly encourages reforms that will lead to improved market orientation.

    Source: Euractiv.fr


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: CAP after 2013
    Link ECIPE: Reform the CAP


  13. Post-2013 budget: MEPs call for clearer priorities
    2011-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Environment, Rural development

    EU budgetary resources are likely to be scarce after 2013, and so must be used sparingly. The EU Commissioners for energy, development, transport and research, plus an EU External Action Service representative, were quizzed by the Policy Challenges Committee Tuesday on where they feel the money should go. The first debate, with Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, centred on how to save energy, reduce Europe's dependence on foreign energy suppliers and secure sustainable funding for the ITER international nuclear fusion research project. MEPs also stressed the importance of energy choices in combating climate change and questioned the wisdom of using public/private combined funding for energy projects.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EP: Budget Committee
    Link Barroso lays hold of EU budget


  14. ACP, WCO sign MOU to facilitate trade among ACP States
    2011-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) in Brussels, Belgium to facilitate trade among ACP member states, and accelerate the modernization of customs administrations and coordinate efforts to provide joint trainings and capacity building activities in the ACP States.

    Source: ACP Group


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Secretariat
    Link World Customs Organisation


  15. Just a single permit to live and work in the EU
    2011-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Archive

    The proposed "single permit" must suffice to enable third-country workers to live and work in the EU, said the Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday. Allowing Member States to issue additional documents would defeat the whole purpose of having a "single permit", which should include all relevant information on the right to work. MEPs backed the original Commission text on this and confirmed December's plenary vote on the employment issues. The proposed "single permit" directive aims to streamline bureaucratic procedures for all potential immigrants applying to live and work in an EU Member State, by enabling them to obtain work and residence permits via a single procedure. The proposal would also confer a common set of rights to third-country workers comparable to those of EU citizens, such as minimum working conditions, recognition of diplomas and professional qualifications and access to social security.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EP: Civil Liberties Committee
    Link EP: Documents on Single Permit


  16. Prince Charles joins EU leaders at Low Carbon Prosperity Summit
    2011-02-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Trade, Archive

     

    Britain's Prince Charles joined MEPs and senior EU figures to co-host a "Low Carbon Prosperity Summit" at the European Parliament in Brussels on 9 February. Scientists, NGOs and business leaders also came to talk about how Europe and the world can create a low carbon economy. Prince Charles said economic growth should be decoupled from ever greater environmental destruction. Welcoming guests Parliament's President Jerzy Buzek noted that the EP had been the first to institute an environment committee after the first direct elections in 1979. He said it was a place where "ideas can become laws". Mr Buzek noted that the EU's "20/20/20" strategy to cut emissions by 20%, increase energy efficiency by 20% and use 20% of renewable energy by 2020 was a step in the right direction. He said the European Energy Community initiated last May was an important step forward for efficiency. He also said that partnerships between public, private and NGOs were essential.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EP: Debate on the European Council
    Link Lord Stern: West must end hesitation over climate change


  17. Caribbean: bring back small producers to heart of fruit & vegetables supply chain
    2011-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    In early February, Mr Jethro Green, President of the Caribbean Farmers Network (CaFAN), visited the COLEACP-PIP. The CaFAN, set up in 2004, is a regional network of national farmers' organisations and NGOs operating in the agricultural sector in 13 Caribbean countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The admission of Haiti and the Dominican Republic is currently under consideration. The network represents around 500,000 families of small producers. 'We wish to ensure that the interests and role of small producers are taken into account and that our members acquire a larger share of the value chain.' One of the organisation's main goals is to position small producers on more profitable markets or in segments with higher added value, such as marketing in local and regional distribution circuits, promotion of local productions in food services for tourists and exports. Another of the CaFAN's aims is the exchange of know-how, information and training so as to build the capacities of small producers over the long term: 'Whether for export or local consumption, we know that our production has to meet high quality and food safety standards', continues Jethro Green. He adds that small producers' know-how can be combined with appropriate technical assistance advantageously: 'Provided of course that such technical assistance directly benefits small producers on the ground! In this respect, PIP's expertise in all aspects of food safety can undeniably help our members and the Caribbean fruit and vegetable sector to meet more effectively the requirements of markets and consumers', concludes Mr Greene.

    Source: Source: pip.coleacp.org


    Link Read more
    Link Caribbean Farmers' Network (CaFAN)
    Link Mr Jethro Greene at the Brussels Briefing


  18. Caribbean - EU provides record grant funding to CARICOM countries
    2011-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Trade

    The European Union said Friday it had made available a record high EURO 130.2 million (US$162.7 million) in grant funding to nine Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries last year. A statement from the Barbados-based European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean said that among the nine countries, funds were also made available to the British Overseas territories of Anguilla and Montserrat to the tune of EURO 12.7 million (US$17.2 million). “This amount clearly demonstrates the continued commitment by the European Union to supporting the Caribbean States, especially in these difficult times of a sustained financial and economic crisis and natural disasters like Hurricane Tomas,” said Ambassador Valeriano Diaz, Head of the European Union Delegation, to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. The EU said that the funds contributed to the social development of the small island states and their economic stability. It said that budgetary support “as a delivery instrument that provided up to EURO 59 million (US$72 million) or 45 per cent of the overall development assistance.” It said that the overall disbursement total also includes banana payments totalling EURO 19 million (US$23.7 million) which was distributed in St. Lucia, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to assist them in diversification of the agricultural sector and to create safety nets for banana farmers. In the case of Antigua and Barbuda, the European Union disbursed nine million EUROS (US$11.2 million)  under its special vulnerability assistance scheme which was set up to help eligible African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries countries deal with the affects of the global financial crisis. […] In the case of Barbados, the European Union disbursed EURO 12.1 million (US$15.12 million) in grants in 2010.

    Source: Caricom News Network


    Link Read more
    Link Benefits for St. Kitts and Nevis
    Link WTO: Facilitating development through trade


  19. Pacific, EU talking ‘aid-for-trade’
    2011-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    Last week, Liam Cochrane followed the developments from trade talks between the Pacific and the European Union, which have taken place in the Samoan capital of Apia. The first three days were devoted to talks amongst trade officials in the lead up to Trade Ministers holding talks on Thursday and Friday. These talks have been going on for six years now and there’s increasing frustration at the slow progress, especially on the key issues of whether to open up fisheries exports to Europe and how the EU will use development funds to promote trade in the Pacific, known by the slightly more catchy phrase, Aid-for-Trade. But any discussion of these specific trade issues was more or less put aside, because of a submission drafted by Papua New Guinea. The PNG Paper calls for a radical shift to the way the Pacific negotiates its trade deal with the EU. Currently, the 14 Pacific nations involved are advised by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. But the PNG Paper – or at least a draft version obtained by Radio Australia on the third of February – says there’s been a breakdown of trust between the Pacific and the Forum Secretariat. The paper said there was a conflict of interest among some of those involved, a lack of confidence in the legal advice given and no clear progress on trade issues. The Paper recommends the job of providing trade advice to the Pacific be transferred away from the Forum Secretariat… and be given to a body known as the OCTA, the Office of the Chief Trade Advisor. That office is headed up by Dr Christopher Noonan and the paper makes the point of saying Pacific States have “confidence and trust” in Dr Noonan. The OCTA was originally set up to give advice to Pacific countries about a trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand. Because Australia and New Zealand are members of the Pacific Island’s Forum… it was considered improper to have the Forum Secretariat give advice to both sides of the negotiating table. Commentators expressed the fear that the Forum Secretariat might favour Australia and New Zealand… especially because, as the biggest economies in the region, they pour the most money into the Forum Secretariat.

    Source: Radio Australia


    Link Read more
    Link Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
    Link Commission: Pacific EPA Negotiations


  20. Secretary General urges Pacific ACP States to unify
    2011-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat urged Pacific ACP States to unite for strength in the international arena. “I have no doubt in my mind that we, Pacific islanders, have the resilience to make this work,” said Secretary General Tuiloma Neroni Slade, when addressing Pacific ACP Ministers at their meeting held last week in Apia, Samoa. Pacific ACP Ministers gathered in Apia to deliberate on key issues surrounding negotiations with the European Union on a fair and comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Ministers also discussed regional trade issues related to engagement with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Aid for Trade and developments under the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA). “Although we have been faced with unique challenges over the last six years of negotiations, I strongly believe that we have the ability to accomplish great things,” said Mr Slade, in relation to the region’s EPA negotiations with the EU. […] According to Mr Slade, progress of negotiations, thus far, falls short of initial expectations. This is reflected by the fact that only two Pacific ACP States – Papua New Guinea and Fiji – have since signed the interim Economic Partnership Agreement. “This should not be seen as a shortfall, but as a stepping-stone towards a comprehensive agreement,” said Mr Slade. “Let us foster the high-level political commitment that exists to give this process momentum and fruition. In your endeavours to progress this important work, you have my utmost assurance that I and your Secretariat remain committed and ready to assist.”

    Source: pacific.scoop.co.nz


    Link Read more
    Link Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
    Link Commission: Pacific EPA Negotiations


  21. EU draft: States can ban GM crops for public order
    2011-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Security

    European Union governments could ban the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops to maintain public order in the face of popular opposition to the technology, the bloc's executive said in a draft document. Bans could also be justified on public morality grounds, such as religious or philosophical concerns over GM technology, according to a list drawn up by the European Commission as part of plans to let states decide whether to grow or ban GM crops.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Europa: Food Safety and GMOs
    Link European Food Safety Authority


  22. Nearly one third of internet users in the EU27 caught a computer virus
    2011-02-08

    In connection with the Safer Internet Day on 8 February 2011, Eurostat presents a selection of statistics concerning internet security. The Safer Internet Day is part of a global drive to promote a safer Internet for all users, in particular children and young people, and is organised by INSAFE, a European internet safety network co-funded by the European Commission. The data presented in this News Release have been collected from the survey on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) usage in households and by individuals in the EU27, mainly carried out in the second quarter of 2010. More data on internet security and related topics can be found in the dedicated section on Information Society on the Eurostat website.

    Source: Eurostat


    Link Read more
    Link Eurostat
    Link Commission: Safer Internet Programme


  23. Innovation gap widens; Sweden, Denmark rank top
    2011-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    When it comes to innovation, the European Union still leads India and Russia, but Brazil is making steady progress and China is catching up quickly, according to latest figures released by the European Commission. Sweden ranks top in innovation, followed by Denmark, Finland and Germany. And yet the EU is failing to close the innovation gap with its main competitors, the United States and Japan. "If Europe stands still we will see the US disappear into the distance just as we feel emerging nations breathing down our necks […] Europe is 27 countries and our efforts on research and innovation have been more fragmented than we can afford," said Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, commissioner for research, innovation and science. The first scoreboard under the Innovation Union initiative comes just days before EU leaders meet in Brussels for a one-day summit on energy and innovation.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Europe 2020 Strategy
    Link Commission: DG Innovation and Research


  24. Better delivery of €622,3 million for humanitarian assistance
    2011-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Humanitarian aid will be delivered faster and more efficiently following a set of decisions adopted by the European Commission last week. The first of these decisions will allocate more than €564 million to fund relief operations in crisis zones across the world. Two other decisions will allocate €34.3 million and €24 million respectively for risk reduction and preparedness in disaster-prone areas and for helping humanitarian partners improve their response capacity. Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "Humanitarian needs are on the rise world-wide. As one of the major donors of humanitarian assistance, the European Union needs continuously to improve the quality of delivery.” She added: "With this new approach in our funding decisions, we are committing €622 million up front, i.e. 73% of our initial budget. As from today, our aid will be implemented faster, it will offer more predictability to our partners and significantly streamline the decision-making process by reducing 55 decisions to three." The revamped decision-making system will apply mainly to aid for longer humanitarian crises, which used to be disbursed by 55 separate funding decisions. For sudden disasters, the current mechanism of fast-track decisions will stay in place, as it allows for emergency aid to be disbursed within 72 hours from the EU humanitarian aid budget to the disaster-affected country. Funding allocations will still be driven by humanitarian needs and distributed according to individual country/regional strategies. Under the umbrella of the main global decision, detailed implementation plans are drawn up for specific crisis zones such as Sudan, the Sahel, the Middle East, Haiti and Pakistan.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: Humanitarian Aid et Civil Protection
    Link EU regulation on humanitarian aid


Please feel free to forward this newsletter to other interested colleagues.

Isolina BOTO
CTA
39 rue Montoyer
1000 Brussels
Belgium
Tel 02 513 74 36
Fax 02 511 38 68
http://www.cta.int/
http://bruxelles.cta.int/

Webmaster: André Feldhof (feldhof@cta.int)

NOTE
If you have questions or suggestions, please write to us at : boto@cta.int
For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
More information on CTA activities in Brussels at : http://brussels.cta.int/
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.

You are currently subscribed to the CTA Brussels Newsletter.

Your subscription :

===========================================================


 

 

1