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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 271]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 271]
Send date: 2011-05-05 21:11:02
Issue #: 87
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 09/05 to 13/05/2011
  3. Our video guest: David Molden, IWMI
  4. EUCARINET 2011 travel grant scheme
  5. EIB: EUR 40m for small businesses in Uganda
  6. Andris Piebalgs to travel to Ivory Coast and Guinea
  7. EU to take seat at UN
  8. Making progress on ending global poverty
  9. Commission proposes better management of migration to the EU
  10. Orange juice: Commission clears merger between Votorantim and Fischer
  11. Growing pressure to change EU biofuel policy
  12. Energy ministers discuss carbon-free Europe
  13. Climate crime threatens billions in aid
  14. EU allows maritime pollution until 2050
  15. EU lifts Ivory Coast sanctions
  16. EU launches three research infrastructures on biological sciences
  17. An interview with Kristilina Georgieva
  18. ACP-EU: Difficult negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements
  19. Development financing : In favor of a financial transaction tax
  20. Vanuatu on verge of WTO membership
  21. Deal on textile labelling: fur must be mentioned
  22. Fellegi: In energy policy everything goes according to plan
  23. Members confront Doha deadlock with pledge to seek meaningful way out


  1. Brussels Briefing on ACP nutrition security: the key role for agriculture
    2011-05-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Food Security

    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. Please direct questions and journalist enquiries to the address brussels.briefings@cta.int.


    Link Read more
    Link Past Briefings
    Link IFPRI


  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 09/05 to 13/05/2011
    2011-05-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament
    -9-12 May: Plenary Session  
    Council of Ministers
    -13-15 May: Foreign Affairs Council
    European Commission
    -9 May: Europe Day (Schuman Day)
    -10 May: Weekly meeting of the college (in Strasbourg)
    ACP Group of States
    -11-15 May: 21st session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Budapest

    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: David Molden, IWMI
    2011-05-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Archive, Food Security

    Our video guest this week is David Molden, Deputy Director general of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). We spoke to him in the margin of a Brussels Briefing on the Water we eat.


    Link Watch the video
    Link Briefing: The Water we Eat
    Link IWMI


  4. EUCARINET 2011 travel grant scheme
    2011-05-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    The aim of the travel grant scheme is to promote exchange between Caribbean and European researchers as well as to encourage contacts between research institutions so that they may explore possibilities for joint participation in the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program for Research and Technological Development (FP7). [...] The travel grant works as a mechanism to facilitate further networking or even joint proposal writing. The 2011 EUCARINET Travel Grant Scheme call is open from the 15th of April 2011 to the 13th of May 2011.

    Source: eucarinet.eu


    Link Read more
    Link EUCARINET
    Link EEAS: EU relations with the Caribbean


  5. EIB: EUR 40m for small businesses in Uganda
    2011-05-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Food Security

    Financial support for Ugandan small and medium sized companies will be dramatically improved following a EUR 40 million finance agreement signed today between the European Investment Bank, the long-term lending institution of the European Union, and five leading Ugandan Banks. Under the Private Enterprise Finance Facility II Bank of Africa (Uganda), Centenary Rural Development Bank, Crane Bank, DFCU Bank and Housing Finance Bank will receive long-term funds in Ugandan Shillings, US dollars and Euros from the European Investment Bank to assist their lending operations to local businesses seeking to expand or invest in new activities. This new facility follows the precursor Private Enterprise Finance Facility I in the amount of EUR 30m which has been largely used before its final phase out in 2011 and which created 1,700 new jobs across the tourism, manufacturing, agribusiness, construction and education sectors.

    Source: EIB


    Link Read more
    Link EIB: EU finance for water supply in Uganda
    Link World Development Report


  6. Andris Piebalgs to travel to Ivory Coast and Guinea
    2011-05-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Archive

    As the first EU official to visit Côte d'Ivoire after the crisis, EU Commissioner for Development Cooperation, Andris Piebalgs, will meet President Ouattara on Friday 6 May in Abidjan to confirm EU's full support towards stability and recovery of economic activities. They will discuss the government priorities for short and medium term support to stabilise the country and to ease the conditions of life of the population. Commissioner Piebalgs and President Ouattara will also sign three projects worth €44 million in support of the agriculture sector (€26 million) and reform of the justice sector (€18 million).

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU officials warn that Ivory Coast crisis
    Link Commissioner Andris Piebalgs visits Guinea


  7. EU to take seat at UN
    2011-05-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy "will now be able to address the United Nations no differently from US president Barack Obama, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez or Russia's Dimitri Medvedev,” reports EUObserver. The EU will now be symbolically given “almost all the rights” enjoyed by  fully-fledged states including “the right to speak, the right to make proposals and submit amendments, the right of reply, the right to raise points of order and the right to circulate documents”. Until now the EU has only had observer status at the UN. A similar move to give the EU something near full member status, put forward by Belgium, was last year rejected. The new status will allow EU foreign policy chief, high representative Catherine Ashton and her officials to speak on the floor. Ms Ashton was "delighted" by the move she says ‘will in future enable EU representatives to present and promote the EU's positions in the UN,’” reports the Brussels based news service.

    Source: Presseurop/EUObserver


    Link Read more
    Link Statement by Catherine Ashton
    Link UN Report by the European Parliament


  8. Making progress on ending global poverty
    2011-05-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    On a European tour as part of the preparation for the 4th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs), to be held in Istanbul from 9-13 May 2011, UN Secretary General and High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Cheikh Sidi Diarra from Mali, met members of the Development Committee in early March at the European Parliament in Brussels. MEP Eva Joly (Greens) and Development Committee chair, in welcoming her guest stressed "the new partnership that is developing between LDCs and development partners", adding that it was in Brussels' European Parliament that the Third UN Conference on LDCs was held in 2001. Joly further announced that her committee will be sending a delegation to the next conference, to emphasize the important role that the European Parliament and national partners can play in addressing the vulnerability of the LDCs that are facing economic, energy, climate and food production crises. Before an expert audience comprising African and European diplomats and observers, Cheikh Sidi Diarra thanked MEPs for their willingness to participate effectively in the Istanbul conference, before delivering a speech designed to raise awareness of the challenges and expectations related to the 4th Conference on LDCs (LDCs 4), the central theme of which will be the struggle against poverty.

    Source: New Europe


    Link Read more
    Link EP: Development Committee
    Link UN conference on LDCs


  9. Commission proposes better management of migration to the EU
    2011-05-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    On Wednesday, the Commission presented initiatives for a more structured, comprehensive, rapid-response approach from the EU to the challenges and opportunities of migration, not least in view of the current developments in the Mediterranean. The initiatives cover various aspects of migration, including strengthened border control and Schengen governance, completion of the Common European Asylum System, more targeted legal migration, exchange of best practices for successful integration of migrants, and a strategic approach for relations with third countries on migration. These initiatives come in addition to the urgent short-term measures already taken by the Commission to deal with the migration situation in the Mediterranean and migration pressures on frontline Member States.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Further information
    Link MEPs suspicious about Schengen rules review


  10. Orange juice: Commission clears merger between Votorantim and Fischer
    2011-05-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the creation of a joint venture between the Brazilian groups Votorantim and Fischer that will combine their respective activities in the orange juice sector. Although the merger will create the world's largest wholesale supplier of orange juice, the Commission concluded, after an in-depth investigation, that there would remain sufficient competition from a number of companies in Europe and worldwide. […] The Commission’s in-depth examination showed that despite the joint venture's leading position on the orange juice market, it would continue to face competitive pressure from other established suppliers. It showed that these suppliers would not be restricted in their access to fresh oranges and would therefore be able to counteract any strategy on the part of the joint venture to increase prices by reducing output. The Commission's in-depth investigation also revealed that many customers have multiple sources of supply and that switching costs are low given the commodity-type nature of the orange juice produced by the joint venture and its competitors.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Further information
    Link Belize-EU Orange Trade


  11. Growing pressure to change EU biofuel policy
    2011-05-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Archive, Food Security

    Hopes that plants could help Europe wean itself off its dependency on oil have been given a serious dent as the consequences of using land for biofuel become clearer. Powering cars with plants once seemed like an unstoppable idea. Biofuel was sold as a way to reduce Europe's oil dependency on autocratic regimes, meet climate-change targets and help Europe's struggling farmers. But since the European Union agreed laws to promote biofuel, doubts have sprouted like weeds. Now it looks increasingly likely that the EU will have to rewrite bioenergy laws to guard against their unintended consequences.

    Source: European Voice


    Link Read more
    Link EU Biofuel Strategy
    Link ACP-EU Energy Facility: Biofuels


  12. Energy ministers discuss carbon-free Europe
    2011-05-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    Energy policies of Member States will have to be harmonised, even after the implementation of the EU’s Energy Strategy 2020; therefore the objectives should be identified until 2030, and then to 2050, stressed National Development Minister, Tamás Fellegi, during the informal meeting of EU Energy Ministers, held in Gödöllő, on 3 May 2011. The meeting was focused on Energy Roadmap 2050, which aimed at the establishment of a low carbon energy system, and the EU’s external energy relations. Tamás Fellegi pointed out during the meeting that, “During the term of the Hungarian Presidency, discussions started on the documents, which could possibly determine the possible directions and the system  needed in the energy policy for decades to come.”  In addition to Commissioner Günther Oettinger attendance, the meeting was also joined by CEO of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Nobuo Tanaka, and representatives of several non-EU Member States of Europe.

    Source: Hungarian Presidency


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: Low-carbon roadmap
    Link Climate Change Adaptation in Africa


  13. Climate crime threatens billions in aid
    2011-05-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Billions of euros could be plundered unless climate change mechanisms are strengthened and made more transparent, according to Transparency International (TI).  The Berlin-based international watchdog released a report on 30 April, called 'Global Corruption: Climate Change', based on contributions from more than 50 experts. It found that stronger oversight was needed to counter the threat of embezzlement in the 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report
    Link Commission: DG CLIMA


  14. EU allows maritime pollution until 2050
    2011-05-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Regional Fisheries

    Of all industries in the EU economy the transport sector is the only one to have steadily increased its Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions since the reference year of 1990. Transport comprises of three modes, inland (road, rail and waterways), sea and air. Emissions from inland transport (mainly road) are the most important followed by maritime while aviation comes third. The greatest share of CO2 reductions has been achieved by land based emissions sources such as industrial plants and road transport. Regarding the maritime sector, it has to be said that historically it has not been addressed properly, if at all, as compared to all other transport modes. Such a privileged lack of regulation implies that currently, the cost of reducing emissions from ships would be much lower than for same results from land-based polluters.

    Source: New Europe


    Link Read more
    Link The Council debates ship emissions
    Link Commission: DG CLIMA


  15. EU lifts Ivory Coast sanctions
    2011-05-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    After the arrest of ex-president Gbagbo, the European Union has lifted the freeze of financial relations with Ivory Coast which prevented Ivorian enterprises to return to a normal way of operating. These measures concern in particular the petrol company Petroci, the National Investment Bank and four other banks, among others the Ivorian Savings Bank. Already on 8 April, the European Union had lifted restrictive measures that affected the autonomous ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, as well as the Ivorian refinery society and the Management Committee of the directory Coffee/Cocoa. The same has been granted to other economic actors that are considered crucial for the economic restart in Ivory Coast.

    Source: RFI


    Link Read more
    Link EU relations with Ivory Coast
    Link Ivory Coast: Children producing chocolate bunnies


  16. EU launches three research infrastructures on biological sciences
    2011-05-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Security, Archive

    Research Ministers and the European Commission have given the green light to three new pan-European biological science research infrastructures. These extensive new facilities will help boost research and innovation on key societal challenges such as climate change, health and maintaining sufficient supplies of high quality food. The three projects will draw on resources pooled between various Member States and on EU funding. Once complete, they will be open for use by researchers from across the EU and in some cases beyond. France will coordinate an infrastructure for studying how ecosystems respond to environment and land-use changes. The United Kingdom will lead in setting up an infrastructure on systems biology with applications expected in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and agricultural sectors. The third new infrastructure, to be developed in France and Germany, will significantly enhance pan-European access to viruses, bacteria and fungi needed for research on infections affecting humans and crops, as well as for research on bio-security. These infrastructures are part of the updated Roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) issued today. The overall investment for their construction is about € 0.7 billion.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: DG Research
    Link Adressing climate change challenges


  17. An interview with Kristilina Georgieva
    2011-05-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    An economist by training and a professor in Bulgaria for 14 years, Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva lectured in many universities around the world, among them Yale, Harvard, Columbia, and the Tsinghua University in Beijing. […] In January 2010, she was proposed by the Bulgarian government for the position of European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. Her first 14 months in this job have been busy and challenging; Commissioner Georgieva put Europe at the forefront of the international response to the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti and the record floods that affected Pakistan, as well as being an integral actor in the EU's humanitarian work in Africa.

    Source: New Europe


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: ECHO
    Link Commissioner Georgieva's Blog


  18. ACP-EU: Difficult negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements
    2011-05-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    The negotiations on new Economic Partnership Agreements between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific states are still in the impasse. ACP countries are afraid of entering into an unequal trade relationship with the richer Northern countries. John Clancy, EU spokesperson for trade, testifies of European impatience to see the talks finish. African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries mostly fear an invasion of cheap products with which they cannot compete, while the European Union shows its impatience and the merits of new Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). They are intended to follow the Lomé Convention (1975) and the Cotonou Agreement (2000) which included “non-reciprocal trade preferences” including the lifting of tariff trade barriers for ACP exports, while ACP countries were allowed to maintain tariff barriers on exports coming from the EU. In an interview for MFI, John Clancy talks about the state of the trade talks.

    Source: MFI


    Link Read more [FR]
    Link Youndé receives Joint Parliamentary Assembly
    Link EP: EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly


  19. Development financing : In favor of a financial transaction tax
    2011-05-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The International Organsation of the Francophony on 15 April 2011 organised a meeting of Finance ministers from francophone countries with low income in Washington in the margin of the Spring Assembly of the Worldbank and the IMF. Under the joint presidency of the ministers from Cameroun and the Democratic Republic of the congo, Mr Essimi Menye and Matata Ponyo Mapon, participants stressed the urgency of establishing innovative mechanisms with regard to development financing and therefore expressed the support to a speedy adoption of the financial transaction tax (FTT) proposed by France and Germany.

    Source: Fracophonie


    Link Read more [FR]
    Link Read the communication
    Link EU relations with the IMF


  20. Vanuatu on verge of WTO membership
    2011-05-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    On 2 May 2011, the Working Party on Vanuatu’s accession, which reconvened in April, cleared the path for its membership in the WTO by approving, ad referendum, the accession package which spells out the terms of Vanuatu’s accession. The Working Party on Vanuatu’s accession, which reconvened in April 2011, adopted, ad referendum, Vanuatu’s accession package which contains the reforms to Vanuatu’s trade regime, the market access schedules on goods and services, the draft General Council Decision and the draft Protocol of Accession. Members said Vanuatu had negotiated a high quality accession package which was ready for adoption. Members acknowledged the hard work undertaken by Vanuatu throughout its membership negotiations.

    Source: WTO


    Link Read more
    Link Further information
    Link EU relations with Vanuatu


  21. Deal on textile labelling: fur must be mentioned
    2011-05-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Parliament and Council negotiators reached a compromise deal on a new EU regulation on textile labelling. Parliament ensured that any use of animal-derived materials will be stated on garment labels. The Council also agreed to ask the Commission to do an assessment report, by 2013, on a possible origin labelling scheme. This report may be accompanied by a legislative proposal. To enable consumers to check the origin of textile products manufactured outside the EU, Parliament had proposed that "made in" labels be made mandatory for them. The Council has agreed to have the Commission look further into this issue. The Commission is asked to present a study, by 30 September 2013, on the feasibility of an origin labelling scheme to give consumers "accurate information on the country of origin and additional information ensuring the full traceability of the textile product". This assessment report may be accompanied by a legislative proposal. The Council also agreed to a political statement underlining the importance of providing accurate information to consumers, in particular in relation to country of origin, "so as to protect them against fraudulent, inaccurate or misleading claims".

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: Textiles
    Link ACP Cotton


  22. Fellegi: In energy policy everything goes according to plan
    2011-05-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    The informal meeting of energy ministers held in Gödöllő on 2-3 May, will discuss two items on the agenda: the Energy Roadmap 2050, and the EU’s external energy relations. Both items are key subjects and initiatives that will decide the future of the EU’s energy policy for decades to come. This is what makes the informal meeting an important stage of Hungary’s term of EU Presidency. The Energy Roadmap 2050 initiative will be a decisive energy policy document, and it will draw up a schedule for the establishment of a low-carbon energy system by 2050. The EU realised that an 85-90% cut of emissions, compared to their 1990 level, is not only a challenge, but can also become a means of enhancing employment, productivity and welfare, by a set of measures including the encouragement to using new, and innovative technologies.

    Source: Hungarian Presidency


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: Low-carbon roadmap
    Link DESERTEC Project in MENA region


  23. Members confront Doha deadlock with pledge to seek meaningful way out
    2011-05-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Regional Fisheries

    WTO ambassadors endorsed on 29 April 2011 Director-General Pascal Lamy’s plan to consult delegations in Geneva and ministers around the world in the search for a different way of achieving a breakthrough in the Doha Development Agenda negotiations. They were clear about what they do not want and said they are open to ideas. Speaking in an informal meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee, which oversees the negotiations in all topics, they were sobered by the chairs’ reports circulated on 21 April 2011. These reflected blockages in key areas of the talks but they also recorded how much has been achieved in almost 10 years of negotiations, which several speakers said should not be discarded. Mr Lamy, who chairs the committee, said he will report back to the membership at the next meeting on 31 May (see full statement here). Several speakers agreed with him that three options will not work: “business as usual” (continuing as before), “stopping and starting from scratch”, which some speakers called “rebooting” — “since the issues blocking progress today will be the same ones on the agenda tomorrow,” Mr Lamy said — and “ ‘Drifting away’ by wishing the issue would simply disappear.”

    Source: WTO


    Link Read more
    Link DG Trade: EU and WTO
    Link Doha and cotton



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