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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 263]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 263]
Send date: 2011-03-11 18:05:43
Issue #: 79
Content:
Bulletin CTA
1

This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.


Date : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

Main events in the week
  1. Brussels Briefing on “The water we eat”
  2. 3rd European Forum on Sustainable Development
  3. Our video guest: Judith Sargentini, MEP
  4. Main ACP-EU events in the week 14/3 to 18/3/2011
  5. Negotiating trade agreements must not jeopardise EU's agriculture
  6. EU sets out priorities to dismantle trade barriers
  7. New strategy for the Atlantic needed, say MEPs
  8. EU grants Togo 5 billion CFA francs for potable water and sanitation
  9. EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht travels to Papua New Guinea
  10. EU wants market-based answer to commodities surge
  11. Adapting forestry to changing climates
  12. EC sets out roadmap for a competitive low-carbon Europe by 2050
  13. Parliament battle lines drawn over energy targets
  14. EU gives more funding to Jamaica than any other LAC country
  15. UK Government and Gates Foundation support agricultural research
  16. European Space Agency helps safeguard the world's coast
  17. German minister presents concept for education strategy in development
  18. The future of UK aid
  19. Oxfam calls for radical shake up of food aid
  20. Pooling mechanism launced for EU-ACP Energy Facility
  21. Approval of request for accession and observer status
  22. No development without women's empowerment
  23. Europe launches common market project for Ecowas
  24. Pacific ahead of other ACP regions in allocating Aid for Trade funds
  25. Member states’ experts remain at odds over CAP reform


  1. Brussels Briefing on “The water we eat”
    2011-03-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Food Security, Archive

    We cordially invite you to our next briefing on the “Water we eat: Challenges and opportunities for ACP in times of scarcity”, to be held on Wednesday, April 13th from 8.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Brussels. The world is on the brink of an unprecedented water crisis. Water is likely to be the most important strategic resource by the end of the next decade and the key to achieving global economic development. Some countries are already under water stress as a result of population increase, industrialization and urbanization, competition of resources, and insufficient public spending for rural infrastructure and services. In our Brussels Briefing, we will raise these issues and talk about the challenges and opportunities for ACP countries in times of water scarcity. Confirmed speakers include Dr Elijah Phiri, CAADP/NEPAD, Dr David Molden (IWMI), Tony Allan, School of Oriental and African Studies / King’s College London Water Issues Group, Ruth Mathews, Executive Director of the Water Footprint Network. If you are interested in participating, kindly register online or contact boto@cta.int. You can also ask us your questions about the event to Brussels.briefings@cta.int. We will do our best to bring them into the debate. You can also address your questions or journalistic enquiries to Brussels.briefings@cta.int.


    Link Read more
    Link Past Briefings
    Link UNESCO: Water


  2. 3rd European Forum on Sustainable Development
    2011-03-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Archive, Food Security

    The 3rd European Forum on Sustainable Development  will be held in Palencia, Spain from  29th March-1st April 2011. This forum is an initiative by the European Commission and EU Presidency with the support of France, Germany, Ireland, the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development and CTA. Around 500 experts in rural development form all around the world will be attending. Areas in agricultural cooperation which will be discussed include cover governance, food security and social protection, land issues, Ecologically efficient agricultural systems for smallholder farmers, the role of the private sector and the civil society in rural development, rural financing...
    In the framework of the Forum,  CTA is preparing a side-event under the theme “ICTs Mobilizing Farmers” which will highlight the importance and potential of ICTs in rural communities and agricultural development, presenting testimonials of farmers, ICTs specialists and researchers. The aim is to exemplify the positive contribution of technology in the development of small agricultural clusters; increasing productivity, bringing up-to-date market information and even allowing easier access to finances.

    If you wish to assist to the Forum and event, please contact lopes@cta.int


    Link BOOKLET.pdf 110309_DGDEVCO_ProgLeaflet_mvd_BAT.pdf

  3. Our video guest: Judith Sargentini, MEP
    2011-03-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment

    Judith Sargentini is a Dutch member of the Green group in the European Parliament. She is part of the EP delegation to South Africa which has recently visited the country. In our interview, she speaks about EU-South Africa cooperation and the perspectives for trade and sustainable development.


    Link Watch the video
    Link Judith Sargentini's Homepage
    Link Green Group in the EP


  4. Main ACP-EU events in the week 14/3 to 18/3/2011
    2011-03-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament (Brussels)
    -14-17 March: Committee meetings
    European Commission (Brussels)
    -16 March: Weekly College Meeting
    -17 March: Conference on the Low-Carbon Economy
    Council of Ministers (Brussels)
    -14 March: Environment Council
    -17/18 March: Agriculture and Fisheries Council
    ACP Group of States
    -14-17 March: 23rd session of the ACP-UE Joint Parliamentary Assembly

    You can also follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.


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


  5. Negotiating trade agreements must not jeopardise EU's agriculture
    2011-03-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Food Security

    When negotiating international trade agreements, the European Commission must stop making concessions that can adversely affect European farmers, says a European Parliament resolution approved on Tuesday. MEPs warn of the effects of the trade talks with Mercosur and criticise the recent agreement with Morocco. The Commission's approach to trade negotiations with third countries is criticised in a non-legislative resolution drafted by Georgios Papastamkos (EPP, EL). MEPs urge the Commission not to make concessions to gain access to third country markets at the expense of the EU agricultural sector. EU farm production guarantees food security and quality, contend MEPs. They want the EU's high standards on the environment, animal and plant welfare and health to be applied to imported goods to guarantee fair competition and protect consumers. An impact assessment should be carried out before any negotiations begin, they say. Parliament must be properly involved in trade negotiations, which has not happened in the case of talks with Canada and Ukraine that began in October 2009: no information has yet been provided to MEPs, states the resolution. An "extremely generous offer" on agriculture was made by the EU in the framework of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) but was not reciprocated by equivalent concessions, says Parliament. It therefore asks the Commission to avoid making proposals that would pre-empt decisions on the Common Agricultural Policy beyond 2013.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Resolution text
    Link Tangermann pulls Commission reform plans to pieces


  6. EU sets out priorities to dismantle trade barriers
    2011-03-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Commission today published its first Trade and Investment Barriers report which singles out important barriers in the markets of six strategic economic partners and proposes specific actions to remove the barriers. Dismantling these barriers would improve and open up new export and investment opportunities for European companies and people. The report will be presented to the European Council on 24-25 March. "We need more than paper deals", said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. "We need to ensure that the trade deals and rules we have negotiated with our partners are actually implemented on the ground. With today's report to the European Council we are moving the dismantling of trade barriers to the top of our political agenda." This Trade and Investment Barriers Report is the first such annual report presented to the European Council. It follows a mandate from the EU 2020 strategy and has been announced in the Commission's recent trade policy Communication "Trade, Growth and World Affairs" as part of a more assertive approach to tackle trade barriers. The report calls for removing trade barriers to become a cornerstone of the EU's relations with its trading partners. The report suggests concrete action such as the launch of an initiative to open government procurement markets, possible dispute settlement action, making the best use of high level fora such as the Transatlantic Economic Council or the EU-China High Level Economic Dialogue but also raising the barriers at the highest political level in bilateral Summits with the countries concerned.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report
    Link Commission: Market access


  7. New strategy for the Atlantic needed, say MEPs
    2011-03-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, Environment

     

     

     

    A call for better policy coordination between regions bordering the Atlantic Ocean is the main plank of a resolution on a European strategy for the Atlantic region adopted by Parliament on Wednesday. MEPs urge the Commission to put forward by June 2011 a strategy that takes account of both maritime policy and territorial cohesion. By June this year the Commission is due to present an EU strategy for the Atlantic, based on the findings of a public consultation concluded in October 2010. In a debate with Maritime Affairs Commissioner Maria Damanaki on Monday, MEPs called for an approach based on cooperation between the EU and the countries, regions and communities on the shores of the Atlantic to tackle issues that transcend frontiers. The strategy should cover a range of areas such as marine energy, environment, pollution transport, safety, security, research, leisure and tourism, according to the resolution, which was adopted by 589 votes to 26 with 54 abstentions. It should also include services and training in maritime professions as well as fisheries and aquaculture. MEPs want the strategy "to work following a bottom-up approach, starting from local authorities and involving all stakeholders". They stress the need for "better spending of EU money, not increasing expenditure".

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Text of the resolution
    Link Speech by Commissioner Damanaki


  8. EU grants Togo 5 billion CFA francs for potable water and sanitation
    2011-03-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The European Union (EU) has granted Togo 7.5 million euros (about 5 billion CFA francs) for projects aimed at improving access to potable water and sanitation, according to a communiqué from the EU Delegation in Lomé on Saturday. It said the grant was part of the ACP-EU Facility for Water facility financed from the European Development Fund. The projects involve basic infrastructures in water supply and sanitation and the promotion of hygiene for the most vulnerable and needy populations residing in rural and peri-urban regions. It is to be achieved by promoting the use of simple appropriate technologies and by improvement in the sectors of health, education and socio-economic development. The objective of the EU, through these projects, is to help Togo to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on access to water and sanitation by 2015. This would reduce by half the percentage of the population that does not have access to potable water or basic sanitation services. According to official figures 61 per cent of Togolese did not have access to potable water in 2009. The statistics also show that 70 per cent of people living in rural areas did not also have access to potable water whereas in urban areas the rate of access is 39 per cent with only five per cent of households processing the water they drink. Besides, 69 per cent of Togolese in the urban areas do not have access to toilets as against 90 per cent in rural areas.

    Source: Africa Manager


    Link Read more
    Link EEAS: EU relations with Togo
    Link ACP-EU Water Facility


  9. EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht travels to Papua New Guinea
    2011-03-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht will make a key visit to Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea between 13 and 21 March 2011. His first stop in Kuala Lumpur will focus on the progress made in the current negotiations of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Malaysia. In Australia and New Zealand the Commissioner will discuss issues of common concern such as trade rules on raw materials and in New Zealand Commissioner De Gucht will represent the European Union at the national memorial service in Christchurch following the recent earthquake. During his final stop in Papua New Guinea the Commissioner will support a new Economic Partnership Agreement with the region covering duty-free, quota-free access to EU markets for goods. [...] The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Pacific region, also covering Papua New Guinea, is, together with the EPA with the Caribbean, the only EPA that has completed the process of adoption and is now due for implementation. Papa New Guinea now has to take the necessary technical steps, such as gradually dismantling tariffs and establishing control systems on export subsidies for goods. For this EPA to deliver benefits to rural areas and small businesses it will be closely associated with development assistance for economic activities in rural areas.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Trade agreements with the Pacific
    Link EU Delegation to PNG


  10. EU wants market-based answer to commodities surge
    2011-03-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Security

    Commodity prices have surged largely due to supply and demand bottlenecks and the European Union's response should be "considered and market-based" rather than rely on mandatory curbs, governments are set to agree. Some EU countries such as France want curbs on what they see as speculators such as hedge funds making quick gains in commodities markets at the expense of consumers. The tone of the statement, due to be endorsed by the bloc's industry ministers on Thursday (10 March), is cautious on blaming the financial sector, however, and does not call for any radical measures such as the position limits that are being introduced in the United States. The draft statement says volatility in energy, metal and food commodity prices have been exacerbated by various structural problems in the supply and distribution chains rather than pinning all the blame on the financial sector.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link The Council declaration
    Link Commission: Raw materials strategy


  11. Adapting forestry to changing climates
    2011-03-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    Tropical forests have an important role to play – not only in providing physical buffers to drought, scorching heat, dust storms and flash floods, but also in providing livelihoods to millions of people across the globe. Safeguarding these forests, notably against the effects of climate change, has been the focus of TroFCCA’s activities in three regions over four years. These three regions spanned eight countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Mali in West Africa; Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua in Central America; and Indonesia and the Philippines in Southeast Asia. As climate change adaptation is an essential component of the EU-Africa Partnership, TroFCCA was aided financially by the European Commission with some €3.3 million. While the project was financed by the Commission, it was hosted by the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and relied on input from the Agriculture Centre for Research and Higher Education (CATIE).

    Source: Africa-EU Partnership


    Link Read more
    Link EU Forest Action Plan
    Link Centre for International Forestry Research


  12. EC sets out roadmap for a competitive low-carbon Europe by 2050
    2011-03-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Commission today adopted a Roadmap for transforming the European Union into a competitive low carbon economy by 2050. The Roadmap describes the cost-effective pathway to reach the EU's objective of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% of 1990 levels by 2050. Based on the cost-effectiveness analysis undertaken, the Roadmap gives direction to sectoral policies, national and regional low-carbon strategies and long-term investments. The EU needs to start working now on long-term strategies, and the Roadmap provides guidance on how this transition can be achieved in the most cost-effective way. The European Commission has also taken the initiative because leading the global transition to a low carbon and resource-efficient economy will have multiple benefits for the EU. Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "We need to start the transition towards a competitive low carbon economy now. The longer we wait, the higher the cost will be. As oil prices keep rising, Europe is paying more every year for its energy bill and becoming more vulnerable to price shocks. So starting the transition now will pay off. And the good news is we don't need to wait for technological breakthroughs."

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link '2050 strategy' builds on energy savings
    Link ALDE: Press release on 2020 strategy


  13. Parliament battle lines drawn over energy targets
    2011-03-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    The chair of the European Parliament's environment committee has warned the EU executive that it will face a fight over enforceable energy-efficiency limits. "The Parliament will strongly lobby for a binding target," Jo Leinen told EurActiv. "We can criticise the executive of the EU and at the very end we can even sanction the Commission if there is a strong will." The German Socialist MEP said that the Parliament would be reporting back to Commission President José Manuel Barroso on energy efficiency as part of inter-institutional protocol. "Since we have positioned ourselves more than once for a binding 2020 target, I think we will get a large majority this time again," he said. A 20% improvement in energy savings is the only one of the EU's three 2020 targets that is not compulsory, and the only one not on track to be met. Instead, savings of just 9-11% are forecast. The other EU goals are for a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 20% increase in the share of renewables in its energy mix, all measured against 1990 levels.


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: Energy Strategy
    Link Commission: Energy Efficiency Plan


  14. EU gives more funding to Jamaica than any other LAC country
    2011-03-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The European Union (EU) has given more funding to Jamaica in budget support last year than any other country in the Americas, outside of Haiti, because of its good track record in accountability, according to EU officials. Eighty four per cent of the 79 million euros granted by the EU last year, was allocated to budget support. The EU first opened its office in Jamaica in 1976 offering a development partnership which has evolved over the years, making it the main provider of grant funding to the country. EU funding is provided through two major channels namely the European Development Fund (EDF) and Budget line programmes. The EU has moved away from traditional projects to budget support which allows the Government greater flexibility over the use of resources.

    Source: Jamaica Observer


    Link Read more
    Link EU Delegation to Jamaica
    Link EEAS: EU-Relations with Jamaica


  15. UK Government and Gates Foundation support agricultural research
    2011-03-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Archive

    DFID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a coordinated effort to reduce hunger and poverty in developing countries by supporting agricultural research projects to help small farmers increase their yields and incomes. DFID and the foundation will work together to identify the projects, and the foundation’s agricultural development initiative will manage them. The collaboration will focus on dealing with the most serious threats to food production in the developing world—such as crop diseases, pests, poor soil quality, and extreme weather—and tackle these threats from multiple angles to develop long-term, sustainable solutions. Scientific research that helps farmers produce more and better food using fewer resources is critical for combating hunger. Farmers also need access to new tools, better training, reliable markets, and supportive policies. However, insufficient attention and resources have been given to supporting this key poverty- and hunger-reducing research. “For many of the poorest people in Africa and Southern Asia, the crops they grow not only provide most of their food but also an important source of income. It’s these people who are hit hardest by food price spikes,” said the UK’s International Development Minister Andrew Mitchell. “Working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we can drive new ways to make direct improvements in people’s lives, whether by making disease-resistant crops more widely available so that small-scale farmers can grow and sell more, or by developing crops with added nutritional benefits that will give their families a better diet.”

    Source: DFID


    Link Read more
    Link Africa: Countries Urged to Strengthen Research Ties
    Link Gates Foundation


  16. European Space Agency helps safeguard the world's coast
    2011-03-09

    Coastal waters are vital to humanity for food, important for trade and increasingly relied on as a key source of income through tourism. Scientists are therefore using satellite data provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) to monitor coasts around the world. They are evaluating these data to check that these delicate ecosystems are not at risk from pollution or over-use. This information will encourage future developments to be carried out sustainably with the least impact on coastal waters.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link European Space Agency
    Link EEA: Classification of Coastal Waters


  17. German minister presents concept for education strategy in development
    2011-03-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Archive

    Last week, Dirk Niebel, the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, presented the draft concept for Ger­many's first ever holistic education strategy in development policy to 200 high-level education sector repre­sen­tatives from Ger­many and abroad. The presentation and discussion of the strategy took place at the international education conference "More education. More growth. More justice. On our way to an education strategy for German development policy", which was held at the Berlin-Bran­den­burg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The conference was organised by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). For the first time in the 50-year history of the BMZ, a strategy for German development policy is being designed that addresses the education sector as a whole – from primary school through secondary education, to vocational training and higher education, and all the way to adult education. Another novelty is that the Ministry is elaborating this strategy in a joint process, working with partners in developing countries, civil society, the private sector and academia, and with other German ministries and the state implementing organisations for development cooperation. Ordinary citizens are also able to provide input. "I invite all interested citizens to offer constructive comments on the draft strategy," said Dirk Niebel, "and to contribute to its further development." This can be done using the dedicated e-mail address bildung@bmz.bund.de. The draft is available on the BMZ website as a download as of 1 March.

    Source: BMZ


    Link Read more
    Link Education Strategy
    Link EU: Role of education in development


  18. The future of UK aid
    2011-03-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Food Security, Archive

    On March 1st, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced the key outcomes of two aid reviews and set out the results that UK aid will deliver for the world's poorest people over the next four years. These ambitious reviews of DFID's country programmes and funding to international organisations will make Britain’s aid budget more focused and effective.

    By 2015, UK aid will:

    • secure schooling for 11 million children – more than we educate in the UK but at 2.5% of the cost
    • vaccinate more children against preventable diseases than there are people in the whole of England
    • provide access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation to more people than there are in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
    • save the lives of 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth
    • stop 250,000 newborn babies dying needlessly
    • support 13 countries to hold freer and fairer elections
    • help 10 million more women get access to modern family planning

    Source: DFID


    Link Read more
    Link Multilateral Aid Review
    Link ODI: Next EU budget


  19. Oxfam calls for radical shake up of food aid
    2011-03-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Security

    International agency Oxfam today called for a radical shake up of the Food Aid Convention, being negotiated in London this week (week commencing 28 February), to ensure the burgeoning number of hungry people in the world get the predictable, timely and appropriate aid they need. The agency wants to see the new treaty accelerate the switch to cash and other food-related assistance, in an effort to bring food aid in line with ways to improvements to small-scale farm production and plans to help deal with the effects of widely-fluctuating food prices. The Convention, which in its current form expires this year, holds major food aid donors – the US, EU, Japan, Canada, Australia and others – to provide minimum amounts of food aid to address emergency needs. Emergency food aid levels stood at $3.6bn in 2008, just under a third of all official western humanitarian aid. “In the vast majority of emergency food crises the problem is not a scarcity of food but people’s ability to buy the food that is available. In most cases hungry people need money to buy food and cannot afford to wait for the arrival of a ship laden with food that has travelled halfway round the world.”

    Source: Oxfam


    Link Read more
    Link Food Aid Convention
    Link EU: Fighting Hunger


  20. Pooling mechanism launced for EU-ACP Energy Facility
    2011-03-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Archive, Rural development

    The Energy Facility Pooling Mechanism (PM) has been created to blend grants from the 10th EDF Energy Facility with loans from the EU multilateral and bilateral finance institutions to finance projects for access to modern, affordable and sustainable energy services in the ACP rural and peri-urban areas. The overall indicative amount made available under the PM is € 40.000.000 for the period 2010-2013. The Guidelines of the PM have been finalized and approved in September 2010.

    Source: EU-ACP Energy Facility


    Link Read more
    Link EC: EU-ACP Energy Facility
    Link DG Energy


  21. Approval of request for accession and observer status
    2011-03-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The ACP Committee of Ambassadors has approved the request by Equatorial Guinea to accede to the Partnership Agreement between the ACP Group of States and the European Community and its Member States. Equatorial Guinea will have observer status until 30 April 2011 under the amended ACP-EU Partnership Agreement. It is expected to deposit its Act of Accession within this period.

    Source: EUR-Lex


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Group of States
    Link EU: Cotonou Agreement


  22. No development without women's empowerment
    2011-03-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    To mark International Women's Day, the EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs will launch tomorrow, for the fifth year in a row, a Gender Drawing contest designed to raise awareness on women's conditions and rights in developing countries, through the involvement of children. He will also inaugurate a joint EU/UN photo exhibition in Timor Leste with the Special Representative of the UNSG Ms Ameerah Haq.  Commissioner Piebalgs will reaffirm the European Commission’s steadfast commitment to improve the rights and chances for women, as well as the representation of women in developing countries to speed up progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

    Source:Andris' Piebalgs blog


    Link Read more
    Link UN Women
    Link EU funded projects to promote gender equality


  23. Europe launches common market project for Ecowas
    2011-03-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The first phase of a European Union-funded cross-border project that seeks to set up a regional customs union and a common market within the Ecowas has been launched.Liberia’s Vice-President Joseph Nyuma Boakai launched the six-month project at the Conference Hall of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce in Monrovia last weekend.The project that will be piloted by the Liberia-based Better Future Foundation, will entail a seminar targeting 550 cross-border and inter-county market women and 300 state agents.The cross border agents to be trained include state law enforcement officers including seaport and city police, immigration, customs, commerce inspectors, anti-drug agents, and forest rangers.From Liberia, participants will be drawn from seven counties including Lofa, Nimba, Maryland, Grand Gedeh, Bomi, Bong, Rivercess, Grand Bassa and Grand Cape Mount, while the rest will come from mostly English-speaking West Africa, a statement by the Foundation said.Before the launch of the project, a delegation of Ecowas trade commission from Abuja had concluded an assessment visit to Liberia.The second six-month phase is expected to begin immediately after the first is concluded and a global impact assessment made thereafter.Intra-trade within the region and on the continental level is quite low and could count for less than 10 per cent of overall trade.

    Source:Africa review


    Link Read more
    Link ECOWAS
    Link Ecowas Calls for Improved Quality of Agro-Based Products


  24. Pacific ahead of other ACP regions in allocating Aid for Trade funds
    2011-03-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Pacific is one of the first regions of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) to fully allocate its Aid for Trade funds from the European Commission.35 million Euros has been assigned to the region for 2008-2013, the period of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).A Financing Agreement for 28 million Euros of this allocation will be signed on Friday in Port Vila for the Strengthening Pacific Economic Integration through Trade project, said a statement from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.“A further 7 million Euros has been allocated to two additional projects which are going through the final phases of application now.“This means the full 35 million Euros has been programmed by Pacific ACPS, the statement added.Several ACP regions have yet to fully programme their Aid for Trade funds for a range of reasons.“This means that we are well advanced in our access and use of EU-provided Aid for Trade funds and will be commencing our projects to support trade before some other regions complete their allocation process.Funds are programmed through a PACP defined and directed process, which was developed in early 2010.“We are now seeking additional sources of funds to be allocated through this process, both from the EC and from other development partners, said PIFS.PACNEWS understands that two proposals have been selected for funding in 2011. These are the revised allocation of 3 million Euros proposed for the Office of the Chief Trade Adviser for PACER Plus, based in Vanuatu and a 4 million Euros proposal for the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to fund Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) related issues.

    Source: Pacific Islands News Association (PINA)


    Link Read more
    Link European Development Fund (EDF)
    Link EU: Agreement with the Pacific


  25. Member states’ experts remain at odds over CAP reform
    2011-03-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The views of the member states’ agriculture experts continue to differ on essential points related to the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2013, such as the future of the agriculture budget, criteria for the distribution of direct support, the ‘greening’ of agricultural aid and the importance of market support measures in crises. A new meeting of the Special Committee on Agriculture (SCA) is scheduled for 7 March, with a view to adoption of conclusions on the CAP reform by the 27 ministers, on 17 March.On the very sensitive issue of direct support, many countries, especially France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom, find that a fair redistribution of support should not apply to the first pillar alone (direct payments and market management) but also to the second pillar (rural development). Many ‘new’ member states, along with Spain and Luxembourg, press for replacing the use of historic references with objective criteria for the allocation of direct support, while Germany, Ireland and Italy prefer a more pragmatic approach with no major revamp. The states are a long way from agreeing on the idea of setting an upper limit (ceiling) for direct payments to large individual holdings for the purposes of better distribution. Germany and the Czech Republic have the greatest misgivings since they have many large farms. Other countries are more open to the idea of a ceiling, including the UK, Belgium, Greece and Poland, which would like to see a study of the impact of such a measure.

    Source:Europolitics.info


    Link Read more
    Link TheCAP after 2013
    Link DG Agri



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Isolina BOTO
CTA
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