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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 270]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 270]
Send date: 2011-04-29 18:46:21
Issue #: 86
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 ACP nutrition security: the key role for agriculture
  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 02/05 to 07/05/2011
  3. Our video guest: Ruth Mathews, Water Footprint Network
  4. Cameroun : Louis Michel received by Paul Biya
  5. Presentation of the main orientations of French cooperation for the next ten years
  6. Sida grant to boost region, EU trade negotiations
  7. Africa: Agricultural research and development inflows still low
  8. Africa still debating GMOs' pros and cons
  9. Commission boosts its response to tackle malnutrition in Congo
  10. Emissions trading: EC decided on allocation of allowances
  11. East Africa: EU official urges Europe to boost ties with the region
  12. PNG and the EU renew their commitment to enhance trade relations
  13. Netherlands calls for more effectiveness in EU aid projects
  14. SADC: EPA negotiations on backburner
  15. A Doha round collapse is a betrayal of poor countries
  16. Africa and Europe – partnerships for agricultural development
  17. Africa is betting on green energy
  18. Brussels warns Italy against slashing solar energy incentives
  19. EU–27 trade in goods with ACP countries: small trade surplus in 2010
  20. Changing trade patterns threaten Caribbean


  1. Brussels Briefing on ACP nutrition security: the key role for agriculture
    2011-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Food Security, Archive

    The 23rd Briefing will be held on 15th June 2011 and focus on Nutrition and Agriculture. It will  discuss the key challenges and opportunities for achieving nutrition security, especially in the context of ACP countries, and the policies and actions to improve the linkages between agriculture and nutrition in future. Besides the European Commission (DG DEVCO), the ACP Secretariat and Concord, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Washington will join us as co-organiser. You can view recordings of the discussions, interviews, reports of previous meetings at http://brusselsbriefings.net. You can also register online and follow the preparation of the next Briefing on the same website.


    Link Brussels Development Briefings
    Link Last briefing
    Link IFPRI


  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 02/05 to 07/05/2011
    2011-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament
    -2 May: Development Committee
    -2 May: Agriculture Committee
    -5 May: Committee Meetings
    Council of Ministers
    -2/3 May: Informal Energy Ministers Meeting
    European Commission
    -4 May: Weekly Meeting of the College
    -6 May: Commissioner Piebalgs in Guinea
    -7 May: Open Door at the European institutions
    ACP Group of States

    -3, 5-6 May: Committee of Ambassadors

    You can also read our newspaper “CTA Brussels Daily” (fed by our Twitter account), 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


  3. Our video guest: Ruth Mathews, Water Footprint Network
    2011-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Security

    Our video guest this week is Ruth Mathews, Executive Director of the Water Footprint Network. We spoke to her in the margin of a Brussels Briefing on the Water we eat.


    Link Watch the video
    Link Water Footprint Network
    Link The Water we eat


  4. Cameroun : Louis Michel received by Paul Biya
    2011-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    The co-president of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, received by Cameroun’s president Paul Biya on Thursday, had words of praise for bilateral cooperation. After a conversation of half an hour, Louis Michel was not looking for words when he addressed the cooperation between the European Union and Cameroun. “I expressed my great satisfaction about the way in which this cooperation is conducted. Development projects between the EU and Cameroun are going very well. They are always superb examples for successful development projects.” […] The 6th meeting of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly for the central African region opened on Tuesday in Yaoundé. “This is the first time that a regional meeting is taking place in the Parliament of the host country. I find this very importants,” Louis Michel stressed.

    Source: AllAfrica/Cameroon Tribune


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
    Link For a frank EU-ACP cooperation


  5. Presentation of the main orientations of French cooperation for the next ten years
    2011-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    Henri de Raincourt, French Minister of Cooperation, has released the framework document “Development Cooperation: a French Vision”. France’s cooperation strategy aims to meet the challenge of how to control globalization and guarantee the environmental balance of the planet over the long term by focusing on four core objectives: to promote sustainable and equitable growth for the most disadvantaged populations; to combat poverty and inequalities; to preserve global public goods; to guarantee global stability and the Rule of Law. France is seeking global solutions to these challenges and is now one of the only countries in the world to use not only traditional official development assistance tools, but also long-term financial instruments, as well as an increasing range of innovative financing. This document presents a medium-term vision of the challenges, priorities and intervention methods for France’s development cooperation. It aims to make France’s development cooperation more understandable for French citizens, who contribute to it through the budget voted by Parliament, as well as for France’s international partners with whom this policy will be conducted.

    Source: AFD


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report
    Link AFD


  6. Sida grant to boost region, EU trade negotiations
    2011-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness, Regional Fisheries

    The minister of East African Affairs, Monique Mukaruriza, has said that the US$3.48 million (Rwf 2 billion) grant received from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) will be used to foster Economic Partnership Agreements between the East African Community and the European Union. This comes after members of the East African Legislative Assembly disapproved the move arguing that it could weaken the bargaining power and compromise the ongoing talks since the donor is a member of the EU bloc that is engaged in the negotiations. However, EAC Heads of State overruled the idea opting to use the fund to revive the talks and speed up negotiations which have been hampered by several deadlocks in the past. Speaking in an interview yesterday, Mukaruriza said that the negotiations need immediate funding; and therefore, the grant would not be channelled to other development activities but rather serve negotiation purposes. "Since we started the negotiations, some of the funding has been coming from the EU. This grant will not slow the negotiations but rather empower our negotiators and improve our position," Mukaruriza said.

    Source: AllAfrica/The New Times


    Link Read more
    Link EEAS: EU-EAC relations
    Link SIDA


  7. Africa: Agricultural research and development inflows still low
    2011-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    Investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) in Sub-Saharan Africa increased by more than 20 per cent from 2001-2008, but most of this growth occurred in only a handful of countries. Nigeria alone accounts for one-third of the increase. Spending in most of the region has stagnated or fallen, according to a new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). In a survey of 32 African nations, the study found that investment in agricultural R&D had rebounded in many of the larger countries, primarily Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. However, in 13 countries, spending actually declined. Even where funding did increase, much of the money went to boost low salaries and rehabilitate infrastructure and equipment after years of neglect. The state of agricultural R&D is particularly grave in francophone West Africa, where insufficient national investment has left programs debilitated and dangerously dependent on volatile external funding. Many of these countries are also struggling with a rapidly aging pool of scientists, many of whom will approach retirement within the next decade.

    Source: AllAfrica/The Citizen


    Link Read more
    Link Read the study
    Link EIB: Research and Development


  8. Africa still debating GMOs' pros and cons
    2011-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Archive

    Most African governments are still sceptical about genetically modified organism (GMO) crops as a result of concerns about food safety, the environment and the general public mistrust of multinationals that are often seen as manipulative and unscrupulous, food and agricultural experts say. "Polarisation and lack of awareness are still the biggest challenge," said Abisai Mafa, the chief executive of the National Biotechnology Authority. "People are not informed. Polarisation is the biggest constraint. People are still taking very polarised positions and that it is very dangerous." Mafa and other pro-GMO agricultural proponents at a seminar on agricultural trade and rural financial solutions held recently charged that bickering over GMO issues had prolonged delays in developing and implementing national biosafety regulations and guidelines in most African countries. African governments are still sceptical about genetically modified organism (GMO) crops as a result of concerns about food safety, the environment and the general public mistrust of multinationals that are often seen as manipulative and unscrupulous, food and agricultural experts say. "Polarisation and lack of awareness are still the biggest challenge," said Abisai Mafa, the chief executive of the National Biotechnology Authority. "People are not informed. Polarisation is the biggest constraint. People are still taking very polarised positions and that it is very dangerous." Mafa and other pro-GMO agricultural proponents at a seminar on agricultural trade and rural financial solutions held recently charged that bickering over GMO issues had prolonged delays in developing and implementing national biosafety regulations and guidelines in most African countries.

    Source: AllAfrica/The Herald


    Link Read more
    Link Africa resistant to GMOs because of relationship with EU
    Link EFSA: GMOs


  9. Commission boosts its response to tackle malnutrition in Congo
    2011-04-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Food Security, Archive

    Child mortality is very high in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where more than one child out of ten dies before turning five. In order to reduce this severe acute malnutrition and implement humanitarian projects benefiting primarily malnourished children under five, the European Commission has allocated new funding worth €9.975 million. In concrete terms, this funding will allow acutely malnourished children to be provided with the right treatment they need to survive, such as therapeutic food and medical care. Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "Malnutrition deserves more of our attention for the sake of the many children at risk of dying in the Democratic Republic of Congo." She added: "By responding to immediate needs, the European Union's humanitarian aid complements Europe's longer-term development assistance which aims, among other objectives, to help the DRC to achieve the Millennium Development Goals of reducing hunger and poverty and infant and maternal mortality." With its humanitarian funding in response to the nutritional emergency in the DRC, the Commission also intends to strengthen the coordination role of UNICEF and the capacity of the national nutrition programme (PRONANUT) as well as to improve planning of aid activities.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: ECHO
    Link World Food Programme: Malnutrition


  10. Emissions trading: EC decided on allocation of allowances
    2011-04-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment

    The European Commission today adopted a Decision on how free emission allowances should be allocated from 2013 to industrial installations covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Although auctioning will become the main principle for allocating allowances as of 2013, a proportion of free allowances will still be given to industry until 2020, notably to reduce costs for installations in sectors deemed to be exposed to significant competition from outside the EU. The Decision sets out the rules, including the benchmarks of greenhouse gas emissions performance, to be used by the Member States in calculating the number of allowances to be allocated for free annually in these sectors. […] A particular treatment will be given to installations in sectors or sub-sectors that are deemed to be exposed to a risk of "carbon leakage" – relocation to outside the EU – because they face competition from industries in third countries which are not subject to comparable carbon restrictions. The list of exposed sectors and sub-sectors was determined at the end of 2009. Installations in these sectors will receive allowances for free up to the level of the benchmark until 2020.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Further information
    Link ACP-CD4CDM


  11. East Africa: EU official urges Europe to boost ties with the region
    2011-04-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The head of the European Union Delegation to Tanzania, Ambassador Tim Clarke, has called upon European business community to tap the increasing trade and investment opportunities resulting from the East African regional integration. Speaking at a Business Networking meeting in Dar es Salaam this week, Ambassador Clarke said that given its geographic location Tanzania has potential to serve as a gateway to the East African region. He therefore urged European businesses to see to it that they fully utilise the opportunity for their benefit and that of the country and the EA region as a whole. "Implementation of the EAC Common Market, as it evolves, will bring increasing trade and investment opportunities for EU businesses," he said. The EU, with its member states, is not only the largest development partner of Tanzania, but EU companies also bring significant investment to Tanzania, Ambassador Clarke said. The Business Networking meeting, which aimed to provide a platform for European business representatives to meet and exchange views on challenges and opportunities of doing business in Tanzania, was organised by the EU Delegation and EU member States present in Tanzania.

    Source: AllAfrica/The Citizen


    Link Read more
    Link EU Delegation to Tanzania
    Link EU-Tanzania Trade


  12. PNG and the EU renew their commitment to enhance trade relations
    2011-04-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    On 15 April 2011 in Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), EU and Papua New Guinea representatives held the first meeting of the Pacific-EU Trade Committee, in charge of the implementation of the Interim Partnership Agreement. This was the first EPA trade committee meeting ever – the one for the Caribbean region is scheduled for June. Both parties welcomed this significant step in enhancing the trade and development partnership between PNG and the EU. PNG was represented by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Fisheries. The EU was represented by Peter Thompson, Director for Development and Economic Partnership Agreements at the Trade Directorate-General of the European Commission. He indicated the EU remains committed not only to support PNG in implementing the Agreement, but also to strengthen it further by deepening its coverage – to include provisions on development, services, investments and sustainable management of fisheries – and by widening its membership to other Pacific Island States. The EPA with the Pacific region, also covering Papua New Guinea, is the first EPA that has completed the process of ratification on the EU side. The Agreement was initialled in 2007, and then signed in 2009, by Papua New Guinea and Fiji. It has been provisionally applied between PNG and the EU since December 2009. It grants unconditional duty free – quota free access to EU markets, while committing Papua New Guinea and Fiji to an asymmetric opening of their markets. On top of this, the interim EPA ensures favourable conditions to Pacific countries in terms of rules of origin for fisheries.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More information
    Link Fiji returns to EU fish list


  13. Netherlands calls for more effectiveness in EU aid projects
    2011-04-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The Netherlands wants the European Commission to explain some of the “misguided” development projects the European Union is funding, following the release of a report claiming that less than half of EU foreign aid goes to the world’s poorest countries. The report by the U.K.-based think tank Open Europe says EU aid spending lacks a focus on poverty and is subject to unnecessary transaction and administration costs. The think tank says it also found evidence of poor project selection, citing EU’s support for a €500,000 ($728,333) dance training initiative in Burkina Faso. “This strikes me as totally unnecessary. And that’s a shame, because EU development aid is very important, including for the Netherlands. And in fact, in the past ten years quality has been improving,” Dutch Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation Ben Knapen said, while urging for more effectiveness in EU aid projects. Knapen said the EU should focus more on energy, agriculture and infrastructure and spend far less on budget support, unless for governments that can be trusted to respect and uphold human rights.


    Link Read more
    Link Open Europe
    Link Dutch Foreign Ministry


  14. SADC: EPA negotiations on backburner
    2011-04-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    Negotiations for a new economic partnership agreement (EPA) between SADC members and the European Union appear to have been shelved with no fixed date for resumption of the protracted trade negotiations. The Southern Times understands that talks between SADC countries and the EU for a new trade deal are on the backburner, with both parties shifting focus to pressing domestic economic and trade issues. The SADC and EU negotiating teams last met in November 2010 in Mozambique. Instead, the Southern Africa bloc seems more concerned with talks on coalescing SADC, the East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa into what has become known as the trilateral free trade area (T-FTA). The T-FTA brings together 26 countries with a combined gross domestic product of US$624 billion and a population of approximately 700 million. The T-FTA is in line with continental ambitions to deepen and widen integration and trade opportunities from Cape to Cairo. The EU is grappling with its sovereign debt crisis, which analysts say could spiral out of control. The European bloc also has to contend with a market squeeze induced by the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). Namibia's Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila last month hinted that negotiations for a new trade deal with the EU could be concluded in July, something trade analysts say looks increasingly unrealistic.

    Source: Trade Law Centre for South Africa


    Link Read more
    Link Poor strategies failing Africa in EPA negotiations
    Link Commission: EU-SADC Trade


  15. A Doha round collapse is a betrayal of poor countries
    2011-04-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    This is the position of Abdoulaye Sanoko, counsellor at Mali's mission to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, speaking to IPS in an interview. “However, we don't want to conclude the round at any cost, but rather to emphasise its developmental aspects. In contrast, the big stakeholders are stressing market access.” Nobody knows exactly how least developed countries (LDCs) would be affected by a collapse of the round. A study requested by the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group has not been started. But LDCs would be happy with a conclusion on the round on the basis of the current (2008) negotiating texts as “it would be better than losing everything”, Sanoko added. However, Romain Benicchio, trade policy officer at Oxfam International in Geneva, differs: “We do need a multilateral agreement that responds to the needs of poor countries, but one can doubt that what is on the table now would really benefit them.” Recently, WTO director general Pascal Lamy acknowledged that the round “could fail”. The U.S.'s demand that large emerging markets slash tariffs in entire industrial sectors have led to seemingly insurmountable differences with Brazil, India and China.

    Source: IPS


    Link Read more
    Link Overview over Doha package
    Link EU: Doha Round


  16. Africa and Europe – partnerships for agricultural development
    2011-04-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The Montpellier Panel, headed by Sir Gordon Conway, says food security, nutrition and long-term growth in Africa depend on a clear commitment to agricultural investment. Africa has an unique opportunity to achieve economic prosperity by investing in agricultural development; and the region is making appreciable progress toward this goal. However, some experts say the lack of clear signals of guaranteed long-term support from Europe—a major partner for Africa—could have a serious impact on Africa’s food and nutrition security. More than 200 million Africans suffer from chronic malnutrition, and five million children starve to death every year. Though European donors have substantially increased their commitments to agricultural development in Africa over the last few years, experts observe that donor investments are not always fully aligned with the opportunities available, opportunities that would stimulate the interdependent economies of Africa and Europe.

    Source: Agropolis International Newsletter


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report
    Link Watch the conference video


  17. Africa is betting on green energy
    2011-04-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    More than 30 African countries came together in Paris on 21 April 2011 to attend the start of the “Paris-Nairobi Initiative for clean energy in Africa”. It aims to develop more renewable energy in poor countries. Africa, which suffers from an energy deficit, is now turning towards green energy. “We have to give Africa modern, reliable and clean energy; it’s the key for development. We have to reassure the donors and attract suitable financing by proving that it is possible to use funds for high-quality projects,” declared French environment minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. In the global south, more than two millions of human beings still don’t have access to electricity. Turning to renewable energy can therefore reduce this energy deficit that prevents African countries from developing. According to many experts, African growth will surge by two or three percent if the energy gap can be closed. The “Paris-Nairobi Initiative for clean energy in Africa” will allow the global south to obtain funds to finance projects all over the continent. From north to south, from west to east, a lot of countries are now betting on renewable energy. The country at the forefront is South Africa with has multiplied its projects in this area. It plans to invest 90 billion dollars over the next 20 years. While South Africa needs to reduce its dependency on coal, it wants to double its electricity production over the same period. The latest project in the pipeline is a solar park with a capacity of 5000 megawatts (MW).

    Source: RFI


    Link Read more [FR]
    Link Clean energies
    Link ACP-EU Energy Facility


  18. Brussels warns Italy against slashing solar energy incentives
    2011-04-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    The European Union's energy chief urged Italy to set up a clear and predictable support scheme for the solar energy sector and ensure stability for investors to avoid possible penalties. Under a law passed in Italy in March, current generous incentives to the booming solar market - originally expected to run from 2011 to 2013 - will apply only to those solar plants that connect to the grid by the end of May. The law was issued in compliance with the EU's directive on 2020 green energy targets but the sudden change in the support scheme has caused uproar among investors and operators about the future of business in one of Europe's biggest solar markets.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Diversifying exports in the context of climate change
    Link Green Economy Report


  19. EU–27 trade in goods with ACP countries: small trade surplus in 2010
    2011-04-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    In 2010, the overall trade in goods (the sum of imports and exports) between the EU and the ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) was valued at EUR 133 billion. This was a rise of 20 % compared with 2009 but failed to regain the value recorded in 2008. The growth was evenly shared between imports and exports. The trade deficit, which had persisted for nearly a decade, turned into a trade surplus in 2009 and continued in 2010 (EUR 3.8 billion). South Africa continues to be the most important trading partner among ACP countries accounting for more than a quarter in terms of EU-27 imports and exports. Nigeria and Angola follow in second and third places, although together they account for lower trade values than South Africa.

    Source: Eurostat


    Link Read more
    Link Africa-EU Partnership
    Link ACP-EU Partnerships: Agriculture


  20. Changing trade patterns threaten Caribbean
    2011-04-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    Almost unnoticed, a development has occurred in Africa’s negotiations for their Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with Europe that could result in increased levels of foreign investment in the Caribbean and Overseas Territories. […] What has been tabled in the African EPA negotiations significantly extends what Europe is prepared to accept by way of cumulation using inputs from third nations. Although this has not, nor will be formally extended to Cariforum, it appears that if the European Commission is requested by Cariforum to offer the same treatment, this is likely to be agreed by Europe. Without going fully into the technical details, the texts allow under certain conditions EPA signatory nations to cumulate with other countries which have duty-free quota-free access to the EU market through the generalized system of preferences and on a case by case basis with countries linked to the EU by a free trade agreement for products which enter duty-free and quota-free. Significantly the texts allow African EPA signatory nations to use as originating, materials which are subject to MFN zero duty when imported into the Europe; an offer which would appear to allow the Caribbean, global sourcing of all EU zero rated MFN imported products. What this could mean practically for Cariforum, if a request to Europe is made and accepted, is the sourcing of inputs from Mercosur, Andean and Central American nations once the free trade aspects of their Association Agreements come into force. If Cariforum acts, what is now on offer to Africa could offer new opportunities for Caribbean companies and external investors to make use of the region as a manufacturing or processing base for Europe utilising hemispheric inputs.

    Source: Dominican Today


    Link Read more
    Link Government to help transform banana industry
    Link ACP-EU EPAs




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