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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 264]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 264]
Send date: 2011-03-18 17:50:53
Issue #: 80
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. Our video guest: Hafez Ghanem, FAO
  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 21/03 to 27/03/2011
  4. Acting SG Bassilekin says these are challenging times for the ACP Group
  5. Mozambique: EU finances studies for centre on illegal fishing
  6. France Eyes Increasing Aid to Tanzania
  7. EIB to invest up to EUR 75m in EU energy efficiency fund
  8. European businesses show big appetite for low carbon technologies
  9. Wind market forecast predicts fair breeze ahead
  10. Commitment to green CAP reaffirmed at Forum for Agriculture
  11. CARIFORUM countries need development finance for tourism
  12. Single permit: equal rights and treatment for foreign workers
  13. Council in favor of a green CAP
  14. Climate change: Follow-up to the Cancún climate conference
  15. The Council discussed cultivation of genetically modified organisms
  16. COMESA developing agro-processing sector strategy
  17. EU advises sugar producers to diversify markets
  18. Cooperation with European Union attracts little resources says Angola Minister
  19. EU urged to calculate its water footprint
  20. UEMAO offensive to relaunch cotton dossier at the WTO
  21. Joint invitation to project proposals between France, Germany and Africa
  22. EU Forest Law Program Calls for Proposals from ACP Countries
  23. Britain, Germany to lead push for deeper CO2 cuts


  1. Brussels Briefing on “The water we eat”
    2011-03-18
    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.intThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can also ask us your questions about the event to Brussels.briefings@cta.intThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We will do our best to bring them into the debate. You can also address your questions or journalistic enquiries to Brussels.briefings@cta.intThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


    Link Read more
    Link Past Briefings
    Link UNESCO: Water


  2. Our video guest: Hafez Ghanem, FAO
    2011-03-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security

    ur guest of the week is Mr. Hafez Ghanem, Assistant Director-General of the Economic and Social Development Department, FAO. 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 FAO
    Link Geopolitics of Food


  3. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 21/03 to 27/03/2011
    2011-03-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament
    -21/22 March: Committee meetings
    -23/24: Plenary session in Brussels
    European Commission
    -23 March: Weekly College Meeting
    -21-25 March: Commissioner Ciolos in China
    Council of Ministers
    -21 March: Council of General Affairs and External Relations
    -21 March: Extraordinary Council for Transport, Communication, Energy
    -24-26 March: Informal Environment Council
    Hungarian Presidency
    24/25 March: Conference on the Future of European Waters

    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 Hungarian Presidency


  4. Acting SG Bassilekin says these are challenging times for the ACP Group
    2011-03-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    Acting Secretary-General Mr Achille Bassilekin III, Assistant Secretary-General for Sustainable Economic Development and Trade told the 23rd Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Parliamentary Assembly that these are challenging times for the ACP Group as a whole – as a number of issues and developments within and outside the EU framework have caused the Group to reflect seriously on its future. “We are nonetheless aware of the tremendous hurdles we need to overcome to place our countries on the path to sustainable development, especially at this time when Negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements, as well as those on the multilateral front, the Doha Development Agenda, have all but stalled,” Mr Bassilekin III, reading the statement on-behalf of Secretary-General Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas. He also said that the ACP Group should ask itself as what impact EPAs, EU initiatives and the perceived downgrading of the preferential status of the Group by the EU will have on the ACP Group as an entity, its organizational structure, role and purpose, and invariably its future? “As ever before, the foundations of our existence - ACP unity and solidarity - are being challenged,” he said. The ACP Parliamentary Assembly had debated political, social and economical developments in the ACP countries.

    Source: ACP Secretariat


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Parliamentary Assembly
    Link Cotonou Agreement


  5. Mozambique: EU finances studies for centre on illegal fishing
    2011-03-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Regional Fisheries

    The European Union has disbursed 140,000 euros (about 195,000 US dollars) for studies that will culminate with the construction in Mozambique of a regional centre for the monitoring, control and surveillance of illegal fishing. Speaking to AIM on Tuesday, Leone Tarabusi, the project manager of ACP FISH II (the fisheries programme for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, financed by the EU), said that the centre to be established in Mozambique will benefit all members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). "Illegal fishing is a major problem and the SADC countries have joined together to fight against it", said Tarabusi. "They have decided to set up a centre to monitor illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing that will be based here in Mozambique". Tarabusi is attending the third Monitoring Seminar of the ACP FISH II Programme for Southern Africa.

    Source: AllAfrica


    Link Read more
    Link Future of ACP-EU Fisheries
    Link EU Delegation to Mozambique


  6. France Eyes Increasing Aid to Tanzania
    2011-03-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    The French Development Agency, or AFD, is planning to increase its financial aid to Tanzania from $70 million to $150 million, according to France’s ambassador to the African country. The increase is part of AFD’s efforts to boost economic cooperation between the two countries but it will depend on how the Tanzanian government manages the agency’s existing financial aid, Jacques Champagne said, according to The Citizen. “I believe that in the future AFD will increase its commitment to Tanzania in the range of $150 million per year, depending on how it is managed. This in turn, will help not only the development of Tanzania, but also strengthening the regional integration, which I believe will be the basis for further development and political stability,” Champagne said.

    Source: Devex


    Link Read more
    Link AFD
    Link Tanzanian Government Website


  7. EIB to invest up to EUR 75m in EU energy efficiency fund
    2011-03-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    The European Investment Bank’s Board of Directors approved on March 10 a potential investment of up to 75 million euro in a European energy efficiency fund to be launched with the European Commission and other investors. The fund’s aim will be to finance sustainable energy projects developed at mainly local or regional level by public authorities, or private companies, such as utilities or Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), acting on their behalf. The fund is part of a new European Energy Efficiency Facility (EEE-F) being launched by the European Commission using unallocated funds from the EU’s European Energy Programme for Recovery.

    Source: European Investment Bank


    Link Read more
    Link EIB delivers record lending for climate action
    Link To address climate change, measure poverty


  8. European businesses show big appetite for low carbon technologies
    2011-03-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    More than 150 proposals for large-scale demonstration projects involving innovative renewable energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies have been submitted under the EU's "NER 300" programme, the world's largest demonstration programme for such technologies. According to reports provided to the European Commission by 25 EU Member States, applications for 22 CCS projects and 131 projects involving innovative renewable energy technologies were received by the 9 February deadline for responses to the first call for proposals. The NER 300 programme aims to fund at least 8 carbon capture and storage (CCS) and at least 34 innovative renewable energy demonstration projects. The programme is so named because it will be funded from the sale of 300 million emission allowances held in the New Entrants Reserve (NER) of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). At the current carbon price, these allowances are worth 4-5 billion, but as project sponsors must also bring funding it is expected to leverage around the same amount in addition from private or other sources. A first call for proposals was launched in November 2010. Project sponsors had to submit their funding applications to their respective Member State authorities by 9 February.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU: Carbon Capture and Storage
    Link DG Energy


  9. Wind market forecast predicts fair breeze ahead
    2011-03-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    A new five-year industry forecast has predicted a pick up in the wind energy market, with more than 40 GW of new capacity being added in 2011. By 2015, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)'s annual report expects globally installed wind power capacity to have more than doubled to 450 GW from 194.4 GW at the end of 2010. The 'Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update 2010' assumes an average growth rate of 18.2% per year for wind, compared to 28% cumulative capacity growth over the last decade. By 2015, annual market additions are expected to reach 60.5 GW, up from 35.8 GW in 2010. "2010 was a tough year also for our industry, but 2011 is looking up," GWEC Secretary-General Steve Sawyer said in a statement. "We've paid the price for the 2008/9 financial crisis last year," he added. 2010 saw strong investments in wind power, which at the height of the recession rose 31% on 2009 to $96 billion, a record level. The main driver of wind market growth is expected to remain China, which made up almost half of the global capacity additions (16.5 GW) last year.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: Wind Energy
    Link ACP-EU Energy Facility


  10. Commitment to green CAP reaffirmed at Forum for Agriculture
    2011-03-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment

    At the Forum for Agriculture, held in on 15 March in Brussels, Agriculture Commissioner Cioloş and Environment Commissioner Potocnik reaffirmed their commitment to a green CAP. While farmers only make up 2% of the European population, they handle about two thirds of the European territory. “With the new CAP, we want farmers to produce public goods and maintain the environment,” Cioloş said, “but we also need to give them the means to do so.” The Commissioner pointed out that consumers had to be prepared to pay adequately for high-quality food. “We cannot impose more duties on farmers and at the same time expect prices to drop.” Panel discussants highlighted the need to apply equal safety controls to food produced within the EU and imported food. “Lenient controls in Rotterdam undermine the European prices”, deplored Padraig Walshe, president of the European farmers association COPA. They also lead to the fact that European consumers have no understanding of what they are really eating. Overall, panel members agreed that courageous reforms of food systems are needed. Lester Brown, founder of the Earth Policy Institute, put this into perspective by speaking about food and water bubbles in the world. “We have to change global understanding of security,” he said, “away from military confrontations towards water shortage and demographic change.” At present, the world is already consuming more food than it produces. China and India, two of the largest wheat producers in the world, are straining their water resources to grow crops. “At some point, global water supply will peak, probably at the same time that oil peaks, and then it will start decreasing,” Brown warned. He urged countries to create coherence between food and energy policy. “In future, decisions in the energy ministries will have more impact on food and water supply than decisions in the agriculture ministries.” He also suggested thinking about measures to limit population growth and to slow down water decrease.

    Source: CTA


    Link Commissioner Potocnik's speech
    Link Ex-commissioner calls for 'radical rethink' of CAP
    Link The plight of European forests in pictures


  11. CARIFORUM countries need development finance for tourism
    2011-03-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The critical importance of tourism to the Caribbean Region coupled with the sector’s vulnerability to the negative impacts of major global crises necessitated that the Region intensified its quest for development finance to support the industry. This view was expressed by Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite, CARICOM Secretary-General (ag) at the opening of the Annual Caribbean Tourism Summit in Brussels, Belgium on 14 March 2011. Ambassador Applewhaite pointed out that the Summit was taking place at a time when societies and economies in the Region had not yet recovered from the global economic and financial crises to which their vulnerable economies had been exposed over the past three years. […] Against that backdrop, Ambassador Applewhaite said that Caribbean Forum of African and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) anticipated that the Summit will result in “closer and sustained policy dialogue on tourism and related tourism development issues with Member States of the European Union, the European Parliament and the European Commission and begin a process that will give tourism a greater focus in future Caribbean-EU relations.” […] It was crucial given that tourism was one of the major economic development drivers providing investment, employment and foreign exchange earnings for most of the members of the Caribbean Community, the Acting Secretary-General said.  She added that while most of CARICOM countries had experienced a deficit in trade in goods, it was offset by a surplus in trade in services, fuelled mainly by receipts from tourism and travel-related activities. Enumerating the specific figures which revealed the Region’s dependence on tourism, Ambassador Applewhaite explained that during 2008-2009, for example, the deficit in trade in goods averaged 3.1 billion Euros. In that same period, the surplus generated from tourism and travel related activities averaged 2.5 billion Euros. In the wider context, she related that the industry accounted for 12.8 per cent of the Caribbean’s GDP, making it the most tourism-dependent region in the world.

    Source: CARICOM


    Link Read more
    Link CARICOM
    Link EU relations with CARICOM


  12. Single permit: equal rights and treatment for foreign workers
    2011-03-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Non-EU workers in Europe should have the same rights regarding working time, leave and social security as EU nationals, said the Employment Committee on Wednesday. However, MEPs also made it clear that Member States may choose to allow tax benefits only when workers' family members live in the same country. In addition, they backed the Commission's proposal to exclude posted workers from the scope of legislation. 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. It would also confer a standard set of rights on non-EU workers comparable to those enjoyed by EU citizens, such as minimum working conditions, recognition of educational and professional qualifications and access to social security.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Committee on Employment
    Link EU Blue Card Directive


  13. Council in favor of a green CAP
    2011-03-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment

    The 3075th Council meeting on Environment held in Brussels on 14 March 2011 discussed environmental aspects of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), in view of its upcoming reform. Ministers emphasised the importance of the CAP for the protection of the environment and the climate and for delivering environmental public goods, such as biodiversity protection or flood prevention. It was welcomed that the Commission had proposed to make sustainable management of natural resources and climate action the second main priority of the reformed CAP. Delegations stressed that "greening" the CAP was important. For the Commission, measures such as the maintenance of permanent pasture and green cover, set aside and crop diversification could be made mandatory for beneficiaries of direct payments. They help to curb climate-harming emissions. At the same time, some ministers advocated targeting rural development measures to support biodiversity, water, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climate change. Many asked for greater simplification and for more flexibility to take into account regional and national environmental conditions. Some argued that the rural development measures in the so-called second pillar of the CAP were better suited to provide such flexibility.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: THe CAP after 2013
    Link Consequences of the CAP for Africa


  14. Climate change: Follow-up to the Cancún climate conference
    2011-03-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The 3075th Council meeting on Environment held in Brussels on 14 March 2011 adopted conclusions on the follow-up to the UN climate conference in Cancún in December 2010, which discussed the global framework for climate protection. The conclusions strongly welcome the outcomes of the Cancún conference and call on the EU's international partners to fully implement the agreements. The Council also welcomed the presentation by the Commission of a roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy in 2050. The Environment Council is expected to adopt conclusions on this issue at its next meeting in June.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link Disaster risk reduction in developing countries
    Link Cancun conference outcomes


  15. The Council discussed cultivation of genetically modified organisms
    2011-03-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive, Food Security

    The 3075th Council meeting on Environment held in Brussels on 14 March 2011 exchanged views on possible justifications that would allow member states to restrict the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their territory. A number of delegations felt that this list of possible grounds for restricting GMO cultivation was a good basis for further work on the proposed law. Some wished to see a non-exhaustive list of justifications for national restrictions included in the text of the act to increase legal certainty. It was asked to add the protection of biodiversity and agricultural structures, socioeconomic factors and new scientific knowledge on the risks of GMO cultivation to the list of possible grounds. On the other hand, some delegations were concerned about the legal compatibility of some grounds in the suggested list with WTO and internal market rules. Doubts were voiced as to whether justifying a ban by general environmental policy objectives could stand, given that authorised GMOs have already undergone an environmental risk assessment. Some said that an overlap between these two must be avoided. A couple of delegations reiterated their concern about the overall workability of the proposal. Responding to the request of several member states, the Council legal service indicated that the list of possible grounds for national measures set by the Commission is being examined and that an assessment of its compatibility with the internal market and WTO rules will be presented in order to facilitate future work on the proposal in the ad-hoc working party and in the other bodies of the Council. Member states are currently examining legal opinions on the draft as well as a list of possible grounds on which member states could base their decision to restrict GMO cultivation.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: Considerations on GMOs
    Link EC proposes shift from zero tolerance


  16. COMESA developing agro-processing sector strategy
    2011-03-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    COMESA is developing an agro-processing sector strategy in partnership with the International Trade Centre under the All-African Caribbean Pacific Agricultural Commodities Programme. Available data shows that in the developed countries, more than 98 per cent of all primary agricultural products are sold to agro-processing facilities, while in the COMESA region, only 30 per cent are sold to processing facilities. As a result, around 30 per cent of all cereals produced and up to 50 of fruit produced was wasted. COMESA director of investment promotion and private sector development Dr Chungu Mwila described this as a gloomy picture that needed to be challenged and improved. Recognising the challenge, COMESA, in collaboration with ITC under the All ACP Agricultural Commodities Programme, was developing the agro-processing sector strategy to capture the full value of production and create employment, reduce poverty levels and increase economic growth. “The eventual strategy is intended to describe and prioritise practical regional solutions and activities across all stages of agri-food sectors’ value chains,” Dr Mwila said. “It will take into consideration the considerable body of existing work, studies, national strategies and regional policy instruments.”

    Source: Post Zambia


    Link Read more
    Link Burundi and Rwanda receive € 30.9 million
    Link COMESA


  17. EU advises sugar producers to diversify markets
    2011-03-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    AFRICAN sugar producing countries which have been affected by reforms of European Union Sugar Protocol should target regional markets to sell their commodity. EU Head of Co-operation Mr Enrico Strampelli said in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday that the union was supporting African countries adapt to changes resulting from the Sugar Protocol which has been in place since 2006. "The key to the EU's 2006 Sugar Protocol reform was a 36 per cent in the guaranteed minimum sugar price for both EU and ACP producers. At that time, the European Commission committed to accompany the adaptation process of 18 ACP countries through the Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol countries," Mr Strampelli told delegates from 11 African countries attending a meeting in Dar es Salaam. Mr Strampelli said the EU Sugar Protocol which was part of a Common Agriculture Policy has been reformed because it was not sustainable. The EC has allocated 1.24 billion euros to support African Caribbean and Pacific countries adapt to the changes since 2007 and will end in 2013. "A shift in emphasis towards domestic-led growth for job creation is needed. And I would add that regional markets are another avenue to reduce a one-sided export orientation," the EU official noted. He said commodity dependent countries should undertake diversification of both products and markets, while maintaining commodity production where a comparative advantage remains. "Precisely this has been the EU's policy orientation in the past years, a policy orientation that continues to be relevant, in sugar and in other commodities," Mr Strampelli pointed out. Addressing the meeting, Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Co-operatives, Mr Mohammed Muya revisited the vital importance of EU Sugar Protocol to ACP countries and the effects of its expiry. Mr Muya pointed out that although the EC has been supporting ACP countries adapt to the reforms, the package of aid allocated has been considered to be small by many in the group of developing countries."Sugar Protocol as we know is no more, beneficiary countries have been granted assistance under accompanying measures to become more competitive, consolidate, diversify and retreat to regional markets," he noted. Mr Muya paid tribute to Brussels based ACP ambassadors for maintaining unity in the bloc and guarding interests of members.


    Link Read more
    Link DG DEVCO
    Link EU Delegation to Tanzania


  18. Cooperation with European Union attracts little resources says Angola Minister
    2011-03-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The National Indicative Programme for 2008/2013 between Angola and the European Union has a level of absorption of resources of 26 percent of the 214 million Euros planned, which is considered as low. This was said Thursday in Luanda by Angolan minister of Planning, Ana Dias Lourenço. The minister was presenting the topic “Relations between Angola and the European Community: Document of strategy for the country and the National Indicative Programme for 2008-2013", as part of the Round Table on the Cotonou Accord and the African, Caribbean and Pacific – European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly, organised by Angolan Parliament. Ana Dias Lourenço explained that this fact results from the delay in the preparation of projects by Angola and in the process of their approval by the European Union, which requires improved procedures. On the other hand, the minister criticised the EU, saying the organisation needs to be more flexible and less bureaucratic in handling projects submitted to it for approval. She informed that the EU has since 2008 taken the commitment to placing at the disposal of Angola 214 million Euros, over a period of five years, to finance macro-economic, social and human development programmes, including the sector of Agriculture and Rural Development. According to the source, this is in addition to another 13,9 million Euros that might be made available to cover emergency aid situations. The National Indicative Programme is an operative instrument that realises the strategy, defines the resources available for implementation of programmes, within the framework of the cooperation in respect, by identifying focal and non-focal projects.

    Source: AngolaPress


    Link Read more
    Link Angolan Planning Ministry
    Link EU Delegation in Angola


  19. EU urged to calculate its water footprint
    2011-03-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Food Security

    "The Global Water Footprint Standard helps us all know more about how much water we use, where it comes from and how we each can take steps to make our water footprint sustainable," said Ruth Mathews, executive director of the Water Footprint Network, which developed the standard. The standard explains how countries, companies or individual citizens can assess their water footprint, Mathews told EurActiv. The key driver behind the water footprinting concept is "to help move humanity as a whole to sustainable, equitable and efficient water use," she stressed. "We need to look at the humanity's water footprint at a river basin compared to what's needed for ecological and social purposes," she said, "and determine whether it is within the sustainability boundaries for the environment and social proposes". Existing calculations by the network show that "the water footprint of common products such as coffee can be surprising".

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Briefing: The Water we Eat
    Link Water Footprint Network


  20. UEMAO offensive to relaunch cotton dossier at the WTO
    2011-03-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The multilateral negotiations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), launched in 2001 in Doha, are in an impasse. With regard to the crucial subject of eliminating American and European subsidies for cotton that worry the members of UEMOA and C4 (Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali and Chad), no significant improvement has been made since 2006. It is before this context that UEMOA has decided to launch an offensive with a view to put discussions about the Sectoral Cotton Initiative back on the WTO agenda. It is an initiative that aims at restarting cotton negotiations efforts. The offensive is essentially a lobbying effort towards the European Union and the United States in order to achieve a substantial reduction or even elimination of domestic subsidies that distort international cotton trade. With regarding to the European Union, the efforts are aimed at sensitising and mobilising Members of the European Parliament for African cotton in the framework of the current CAP revision. The reform process disregards the worries of the C4 countries when it comes to a complete decoupling of subsidies for cotton producers in Greece and Spain. The offensive will be officially launched on Tuesday 15 March in Brussels.

    Source: UEMOA


    Link West African Economic and Monetary Union
    Link EU Cotton Legislation
    Link WTO Cotton Sub-Committee


  21. Joint invitation to project proposals between France, Germany and Africa
    2011-03-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF/Germany) and the "Agence inter-établissements de recherche pour le développement" (AIRD/France) under the patronage of the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research (MESR) and the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MAEE) call for proposals within the framework of the Federal Government’s Strategy for the Internationalization of Science and Research Regulations for funding joint exploratory and preparatory measures for trilateral German-French-African research initiatives in sub-Sahara Africa. The deadline is 24 March 2011.

    Source: Africa-EU Partnership


    Link Read more
    Link Call for proposals
    Link AIRD


  22. EU Forest Law Program Calls for Proposals from ACP Countries
    2011-03-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) is issuing a call for proposals for its Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Support Programme to African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP-FLEGT). The ACP-FLEGT Programme provides support to countries to implement the EU FLEGT Action Plan, a package of measures set out by the European Commission in follow-up to the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). The Action Plan aims to address illegal logging and related trade, with a focus on governance reforms and capacity building, through developing multilateral cooperation and complementary demand-side measures designed to reduce the consumption of illegally harvested timber. The call for proposals is open to government institutions, civil society and private sector organizations, for pilot projects or technical assistance. Proposals must support one of the nine FLEGT thematic areas in an ACP country or countries. Special consideration will be given to proposals regarding: private sector organization initiatives; domestic or regional market issues; and information and knowledge of FLEGT. The deadline for submitting proposals is 20 May 2011.

    Source: FAO


    Link Read more
    Link Report: Improving forest governance in ACP countries
    Link Commission: FLEGT


  23. Britain, Germany to lead push for deeper CO2 cuts
    2011-03-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    The European Union should deepen cuts to greenhouse gases beyond the current 20% target by the end of this decade, according to environment ministers from seven EU countries, including Britain and Germany. Such cuts would not only help protect the climate but would also shelter Europe from future spikes in the price of oil, said a joint statement from the ministers, also including those from Spain, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden and Greece. The statement comes ahead of a meeting of the EU's 27 environment ministers in Brussels on 14 March, and one week after EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard laid out a strategy showing a low-cost route to 25% emissions cuts in 2020.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: Low-carbon roadmap
    Link PES: Press release on 2020 strategy



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