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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 272]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 272]
Send date: 2011-05-13 16:05:10
Issue #: 88
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 20/05 to 19/05/2011
  3. Our video guest: Mario Giuseppe Varrenti, AEGEE
  4. Schengen, foreign policy dominate May Strasbourg plenary
  5. Fishermen need help to cope with high oil prices
  6. Nicolas Sarkozy will defend the CAP down to the last Euro
  7. Mauritania fisheries agreement: priority to sustainable development
  8. France cancels Togo’s debt, 101,1 million EUR
  9. 200 million EUR for South Sudan
  10. Parliament approves new textile labelling rules for fur and leather
  11. Parliament issues urgent call to regulate cloned foods
  12. Bilateral investment treaties: limiting the Commission's authority
  13. Do EPAs undermine regional integration in Southern Africa?
  14. Digital Africa
  15. ALDE calls on Ugandan authorities not to adopt anti-homosexuality bill
  16. European biofuel dispute splits the industry
  17. Illegal logging: EU and Liberia to ensure legal origin of imported wood products
  18. Commission remains committed to publication of beneficiaries of EU farm aid
  19. Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs visits South Sudan
  20. EU seeks to steer CAP money to biodiversity protection
  21. Commission underlines commitment to help world's LDCs out of poverty
  22. Signs of EU paradigm change on agricultural subsidies vs. development aid
  23. Commission seeks to end trade-talk deadlock
  24. South Africa: Greenpeace warns govt of flaws in French nuclear design
  25. Global and EU agricultural exports rebound


  1. Brussels Briefing on ACP nutrition security: the key role for agriculture
    2011-05-13
    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[at]cta.inThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it t.


    Link Read more
    Link Past Briefings
    Link IFPRI


  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 20/05 to 19/05/2011
    2011-05-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
    -16-18 May: 21st session (Budapest)
    Council of Ministers
    -16/17 May: Agriculture and Fisheries Council
    -17 May: Economic and Financial Affairs Council
    -19 May: Employment, Health and Social Affairs Council
    European Commission
    -18 May: Weekly meeting of the college
    -16-20 May: European Youth Week
    Hungarian Presidency
    -16 May: Conference: Towards a new European Energy Infrastructure Instrument

    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 ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
    Link Council of Ministers
    Link European Commission


  3. Our video guest: Mario Giuseppe Varrenti, AEGEE
    2011-05-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Archive

    Our guest of the week is Mario Giuseppe Varrenti, coordinator of the project "UN Millenium Development Goals" that the European student association AEGEE conducted between Europe, India and South Africa. At the European Commission where Varrenti is now working, he presented the main outcomes of the project.


    Link Watch the video
    Link The AEGEE project
    Link Commission: Youth in Action


  4. Schengen, foreign policy dominate May Strasbourg plenary
    2011-05-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Archive

    While Europe celebrated its 61st birthday this week, MEPs recalled that "Europe is not a given", but a task ahead of us. They criticised the possible reintroduction of border checks in the Schengen area and asked for a stronger European voice on the international scene. Also this week, there was a musical celebration of Europe day and an unprecedented spam attack on Parliament’s Facebook page.

    Europe Day On 9 May, Europe celebrated the anniversary of the signature of the Schuman Declaration in 1950 that laid the foundations of the EU. This year is also the 25th anniversary of two EU symbols - the flag and anthem. A piano concert and traditional flag raising ceremony in Strasbourg marked the event.

    MEPs discussed the future of the Schengen agreement and French and Italian calls for the temporary reintroduction of border controls inside the Schengen area. Most speakers criticised the proposition, but some called for better control of immigrant flows.

    Consumers suffering from allergies may be the main beneficiaries of the new textile labelling scheme, which stipulates product labels must clearly indicate if textiles contain real fur or leather, both of which can be a health hazard to allergy sufferers.

    So-called cloned and other novel food will not be labelled in Europe for now, after conciliation talks between the EP and Council failed. MEPs called on the Commission to come up with new proposals as soon as possible.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Extraordinary Council for preserving Schengen
    Link The European Parliament on Facebook


  5. Fishermen need help to cope with high oil prices
    2011-05-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, Archive

    Emergency measures are needed to help fishermen suffering from high oil prices, says the European Parliament. It believes the current ceiling on state aid should rise from €30,000 to €60,000 per company and new technologies be used to improve energy efficiency. A long-term approach is required to avoid similar problems in future. The current high oil prices have had a severe impact on operating costs of fishermen, even forcing some to stop work. Parliament calls on the Commission to introduce emergency measures including raising the current ceiling for state aid from €30,000 to €60,000 per company for a transitional period of three years. These temporary measures should not result in unfair competition between Member States, says the resolution, which was tabled by several political groups and adopted by 369 votes to 203 with 27 abstentions. The possibility should be explored of temporarily financing the support measures from margins of the EU fisheries budget for as long as no other type of measure is implemented, argues Parliament. To avoid similar problems caused by oil price volatility in future, MEPs ask Commission to come up with a medium and long-term plan for improving fuel efficiency in the fisheries industry and to promote investment in new technology at European and national level to increase energy efficiency and reduce the fishermen's dependence on fossil fuels. Efforts to improve fuel efficiency should also become an integral part of the upcoming CFP (Common Fisheries Policy) reform, believes Parliament. The reform of the European Fisheries Fund should ensure that aid continues to be granted above all to small scale coastal and traditional fishermen.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EP: Resolution text
    Link Commission: DG Fisheries


  6. Nicolas Sarkozy will defend the CAP down to the last Euro
    2011-05-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Food Security

    Two days after the budget commissioner’s declarations who called for a “reduction of the share” of the EU budget made up of agricultural expenses, the French president strikes back. France will block any form of the CAP that does not stay within the same budget, Sarkozy declared during a visit in Picardie on 12 May.

    Source: Euractiv.fr


    Link Read more
    Link EU budget chief backs controversial farm aid cuts
    Link CAP Reform


  7. Mauritania fisheries agreement: priority to sustainable development
    2011-05-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment, Regional Fisheries

    Ahead of negotiations with Mauritania on the renewal of one of the most important of EU fisheries agreements, Parliament's main concern is to balance economic benefits with conservation of resources. MEPs are stressing the vital importance of sustainability, better coordination of EU funds and aid for infrastructure development in Mauritania to boost the local economy. Concerned about overexploitation of certain stocks, such as octopus, MEPs call on the Commission to discuss with Mauritania the development of long-term fisheries management plans that would include the allocation of catches to Mauritania's national fleets and to third country vessels, including those flying the EU flag. Sustainable development of local fisheries shall also be supported financially, with money being granted in particular for research, control or infrastructure. EU vessels should fish only surplus stock and exploit solely those resources Mauritanian fishermen are unable to harvest themselves, according to the resolution, which was tabled by several political groups and adopted by show of hands.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EP: Resolution text
    Link EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership


  8. France cancels Togo’s debt, 101,1 million EUR
    2011-05-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    France on Wednesday cancelled 100% of Togo’s debt, which comes up to 66,2 billion Fcfa (101,1 million Euros) in favour of a treaty on the reorganisation of debt between the two countries. “This substantial cancellation is to reduce the weight of Togolese debt to a manageable level so that Togo has the means to pursue its financial recovery and its reforms and to dedicate enough resources to its social and economic development”, the French embassy said in a press statement. The agreement signed between Dominque Renaux, France’s ambassador in Lomé and the Togolese finance and economics minister Adji Otéth Ayassor. At the end of last year, Togo benefitted from a cancelation of 80% of its external debt because it reached the fulfillment point of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) in record speed.

    Source: Republic of Togo


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: HIPC initiative
    Link French embassy in Togo


  9. 200 million EUR for South Sudan
    2011-05-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Ahead of Commissioner Piebalgs’ first visit to South Sudan from 12-14 May, the European Voice reports that the Commission asked Member States for an additional 200 million EUR of funds. The money is destined to prevent funding gaps following South Sudan’s independence, which it is expected to declare on 9 July. Member states in principle agreed on 5 May to use unspent development funds in order to support South Sudan in its development.

    Source: CTA/European Voice


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: ECHO in Sudan
    Link Commissioner Piebalgs' Blog


  10. Parliament approves new textile labelling rules for fur and leather
    2011-05-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    On Wednesday MEPs approved, by a show of hands, a second-reading agreement struck by Parliament and the Council just before Easter on a new regulation on textile labelling. Parliament's negotiators, led by Dutch MEP Toine Manders (ALDE), won concessions from Member States on mandatory labelling of fur and leather parts and a feasibility study on origin labelling. Any use of animal-derived materials will have to be clearly stated on textile product labels. Fur is often used to trim relatively inexpensive garments and it is often hard for consumers to distinguish between real fur and good quality fake fur. Parliament has ensured that textiles containing such products must be labelled "contains non-textile parts of animal origin" to enable consumers to identify them. Allergy sufferers, for whom fur is a potential health hazard, will be among the beneficiaries. The Commission is also asked to carry out a study, by 30 September 2013, on hazardous substances to assess whether there is a causal link between allergic reactions and chemical substances (e.g. colourings, biocides or nanoparticles), used in textile products.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EP: Resolution text
    Link Textile labelling agreement paves the way for more transparency


  11. Parliament issues urgent call to regulate cloned foods
    2011-05-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Archive, Food Security

    European Parliament Vice-President Gianni Pittella on Wednesday deplored the fact that the sale of food of cloned animal origin will continue to be permitted in the EU without labelling requirements, in a plenary debate on failed talks to update "novel foods" rules. He called on the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal as a matter of urgency. Mr Pittella said the failure of talks "postponed the chance for consumers to have clear information on what they eat" and underlined that Parliament had been unwilling to accept a compromise that would not guarantee this "basic right". Rapporteur Kartika Liotard (GUE/NGL, NL), revealed that Council's own legal advice was not consistent with statements from the Hungarian Presidency and the European Commission that Parliament's position would contravene WTO rules and spark a trade war. She read from an internal document that stated "The bans of food from offspring cloned animals and of food from offspring of clones could be justified on the basis of consumers' ethical considerations". She also asked if the legal opinion had been properly circulated among Member States in Council. A representative of Hungarian Minister Enikő Győri replied that there were genuine concerns, also in the cited legal opinion, about international trade rules. Commissioner John Dalli assured MEPs that there would not be undue delays in proposing new legislation.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Presidency urges for compromise on cloned foods
    Link Q&A on novel foods regulation


  12. Bilateral investment treaties: limiting the Commission's authority
    2011-05-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Parliament voted to circumscribe the Commission's rights regarding Member States' bilateral investment treaties (BITs). While urging the replacement of these BITs with EU-wide agreements, Members chose to water down the Commission's proposal that would have allowed it to review national BITs and, if warranted, withdraw its authorization from them. The Commission has proposed a regulation that would require all Member States to notify the Commission of all of their BITs, in exchange for which they would be authorised to maintain these agreements in force. After reviewing these treaties, the Commission could then withdraw this authorization, if the BIT in question conflicts with EU law, overlaps with an EU investment agreement with the same country, or conflicts with EU investment policy more generally. The report adopted in the Parliament today (345-246-14) is very close to the version that emerged from the International Trade Committee a few weeks ago. That text, in turn, was based on compromise amendments from the EPP, ECR and ALDE groups, and opposed by the Socialists & Democrats, Greens/EFA, and GUE/NGL groups. Parliament's amendments generally aim to weaken the power of the Commission in both its power to review BITs and in the reasons it can cite to withdraw authorization from them.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EP: Resolution text
    Link Commission: Bilateral Investment Treaties


  13. Do EPAs undermine regional integration in Southern Africa?
    2011-05-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Regional integration features prominently in the development strategies of most African countries.   The current regional integration agenda for East and Southern Africa is ambitious.  The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) member states have agreed to a new vision for deeper integration, and as part of SACU’s legal and institutional development, to institutionalize a Summit of Heads of State and Government.  The Southern African Development Community (SADC), which includes all the SACU member states,  is consolidating its Free Trade Area, and the East African Community has started the implementation of its common market, which was launched in mid-2010.  The 26 member states of SADC, EAC and COMESA have agreed to establish a Tripartite Free Area; a draft Agreement and 14 Annexes have been prepared, but negotiations have not yet begun.

    Source: Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa


    Link Read more
    Link Read the trade brief
    Link Latest ACP BIZCLIM report


  14. Digital Africa
    2011-05-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    In a continent with few computers and little electricity, a smartphone is not just a phone—it’s a potential revolution. J.M. Ledgard reports from Somalia and Kenya. The front-line in Mogadishu was just beyond the ruined cathedral. You could hear the small-arms fire of the al-Qaeda fighters and the return of heavy machinegun-fire from the sandbagged positions of the African Union troops. But the scene on the sun-washed street in the Hamarweyne district was calm. Women were shopping for fruit and vegetables, and the ciabatta and pasta Mogadishu gained a taste for in its Italian colonial days. A couple of cafés, serving also as electronics shops, were crowded, with people inside making voip phone calls and surfing the internet. Outside on the street boys were fiddling with mobile phones, Nokia and Samsung mostly, but also those fantastical Chinese models you find in poorer countries, nameless, with plastic dragon-like construction, heavy on battery-guzzling features like television tuners. I asked my Somali companion what the boys were up to. He wound down the window and summoned his gunmen to go and ask. The answer came back. “They’re updating their Facebook profiles.”

    Source: moreintelligentlife.com


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: ICT
    Link CTA: ICTupdate


  15. ALDE calls on Ugandan authorities not to adopt anti-homosexuality bill
    2011-05-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    ALDE MEPs wrote a letter to the Ugandan authorities to urge them not to adopt a bill that would further criminalise or even impose a death penalty on LGBT persons. The Ugandan Parliament is discussing the draft law this week and NGOs denounced the possibility of the law being approved in a hurry. This might happen just a week before the International Day against Homophobia (IDAHO), that is celebrated every year on the 17th of May and a short time since David Kato Kisule, a Ugandan human rights and LGBT rights activist, was brutally killed due to his opposition to the law. ALDE also is calling on the President of the Commission and VP/HR Catherine Ashton to express the EU's concern on the issue.

    Source: ALDE


    Link Read more
    Link ECHR: Homosexual rights in EU
    Link Ugandan Parliament Website


  16. European biofuel dispute splits the industry
    2011-05-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Archive

    A divisive debate over the green credentials of biofuels has stalled investment and threatens the future of some producers, but could also create lucrative opportunities, according to European companies. After a two-year investigation, the European Commission has decided that the complex issue of 'indirect land use change' (ILUC) – or displaced deforestation – can lessen carbon savings from biofuels. In July it may announce moves to curb the least sustainable - possibly by raising an EU-wide sustainability benchmark.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU energy policy could push world's poor further into poverty
    Link EU biofuel strategy


  17. Illegal logging: EU and Liberia to ensure legal origin of imported wood products
    2011-05-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment

    By early 2014, all shipments of wood products to the European Union from Liberia will be required to carry a license certifying their legal origin. A Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to that end was signed on 9 May by the EU and Liberia, which contains over half of the remaining rainforest in West Africa. This agreement, made in Monrovia, underpins Liberia’s ongoing forestry reforms, driven by the Government's commitment to good governance and to ensuring that natural resources contribute to sustainable development. The agreement also gives European consumers the assurance that wood products imported from Liberia, including furniture and wood chips used for bio-fuel, are of legal origin. The Agreement comes in result of the strong mutual commitment to eradicate illegal logging and to bring more transparency to the timber trade. […] Florence Chenoweth, Minister in charge of forestry and agriculture in Liberia and Lluis Riera, Director in the European Commission, the lead negotiators, initialled the Agreement in the presence of President Sirleaf Johnson and EU Ambassador Pacifici. It is the sixth in a series of bilateral accords that are negotiated between the EU and timber producing countries (agreements have been agreed most recently with Indonesia, Central Africa Republic, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and Ghana). Under the agreement, Liberia intends to set up a national system to ensure legal compliance in timber production, covering all wood products destined for the EU as well as those sold on the domestic market and to non-EU markets. The EU at the same time will guarantee unrestricted access to its market for all wood products coming from Liberia. These stronger control systems will also enable Liberia to stop illegal deforestation and environmental degradation that contribute to climate change.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Further information
    Link Illegal logging


  18. Commission remains committed to publication of beneficiaries of EU farm aid
    2011-05-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment

    Following the publication of new rules, EU Member State Ministries of Agriculture are required to publish before April 30 2011 detailed figures on all legal persons (companies) which are beneficiaries of Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) funding in 2010. These CAP transparency rules have been in place for the last 3 years, but the Commission has had to adapt the requirements to exclude the publication of data of natural persons (individual farmers), following a Court of Justice ruling last November. "While being convinced that we need to strike a balance between the objective of information and transparency on the one hand, and the fundamental right for the protection of personal data on the other hand, it is important for taxpayers to know how their money is spent within the CAP", EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Cioloş stated. The Commission is currently preparing a proposal for a revised transparency scheme which would duly take account of the judgement.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Latest agricultural food prices
    Link ACP-EU EPAs


  19. Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs visits South Sudan
    2011-05-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    From 12th to 14th May, Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs will visit the Republic of Sudan, including South Sudan. This is the first official visit by a European Commissioner since the referendum took place last January. Commissioner Piebalgs will underline that the Commission stands ready to do all it can to support the new country of South Sudan when it gains independence on 9 July. On 12 May Commissioner will be in Khartoum and will meet government representatives. During his visit to South Sudan (13th and 14th May), Commissioner Piebalgs will give a public speech in Juba where he is expected to emphasize the fact that Sudan is one of the EU's highest priorities in Africa, and confirm the EU's commitment to doing all it can to enable South Sudan to have a new start on the international stage following its expected independence in two months' time. […] During the visit, Commissioner Piebalgs is scheduled to meet the Sudanese Vice-President, Ali Osman Taha, and South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir Mayarditt, as well as other representatives of both governments and from the international donor community. Commissioner Piebalgs is also expected to say that private sector investment will be crucial in helping to boost South Sudan's economy and get the country on the road to economic growth. After independence, South Sudan will be one of the world's poorest and least developed countries, with one of the highest infant-mortality rates and the lowest education indicators in the world. In South Sudan, he will visit a European Union-funded project in Juba, which helps to target food insecurity in the area by providing training and expertise, for example in areas like crop forecasting, as well as raising awareness of the issue amongst stakeholders.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Delegation to Sudan
    Link Commissioner Piebalgs' Blog


  20. EU seeks to steer CAP money to biodiversity protection
    2011-05-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    The EU's 2020 biodiversity strategy, presented yesterday (3 May) by the European Commission, seeks to boost the bloc's tiny green budget by steering more Common Agricultural Policy payments towards rewarding farmers and foresters for protecting the environment. The European Commission's new strategy to protect and improve the state of Europe's biodiversity over the next decade highlights six priority targets, accompanied by corresponding measures needed to reach them.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Greens: Absence of new ideas in EU strategy
    Link Read the strategy


  21. Commission underlines commitment to help world's LDCs out of poverty
    2011-05-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    From 9 to 11 of May José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and Andris Piebalgs, Development Commissioner, will at a conference in Istanbul, reemphasise the European Commission's leading role in helping the world's least developed countries (LDCs) out of poverty. As the largest donor to the LDCs, with €15 billion of aid in 2010, the EU will urge other partners to match its pledge to provide 0.15-0.20% of its GNI to LDCs. It will also call for a renewed global partnership of LDCs and both developed and emerging economies, working together with civil society and the private sector, to ensure a joined up approach to helping the LDCs meet their development goals. […] The fourth LDC Conference, taking place from 9-13 May in Istanbul, will provide a key opportunity for donors to come together and provide renewed momentum to LDC support. Whilst many of them have made progress in their development, that progress has been uneven and Millennium Development Goals are still lagging behind in many of them. That is why the EU undertook to provide 0.15-0.20% of its Gross National Product (GNP) to the LDCs in November 2008. It has already made significant progress on this target - currently 0.13% of EU Gross National Income (GNI) goes as aid to LDCs. However, in order to help more countries move out of LDC status, other donors must do the same. Moreover, emerging economies like Brazil, China and India should also provide their fair share of assistance to the LDCs.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EC wants to exclude half of GSP beneficiaries
    Link More information


  22. Signs of EU paradigm change on agricultural subsidies vs. development aid
    2011-05-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    Germany’s European Union delegation suggested lowering the regional bloc’s agricultural subsidies to boost EU foreign assistance during a Brussels visit this week by State Secretary Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, who was in town to discuss Europe’s international cooperation with European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and other top EU officials. Europe’s practice of subsidizing its farmers and, in essence, shielding them from international competition is incoherent with international development goals, the politicians told Beerfeltz, who works for Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to a press release. Brussels lawmakers are currently drafting the EU’s next multiannual financial framework, which covers 2014-2020. Many economists and aid experts argue that reducing agricultural subsidies and trade barriers would spur development and alleviate poverty and hunger around the globe. Industrialized countries, including the United States, have so far resisted bold action, however, for fear of negatively affecting domestic food producers.

    Source: Devex


    Link Read more
    Link German Development Ministry
    Link Oxfam criticises EU farm policy [DE]


  23. Commission seeks to end trade-talk deadlock
    2011-05-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Commission has launched a new bid to break the deadlock in the Doha round of world trade talks with a proposed compromise on slashing industrial tariffs. Senior trade negotiators are scheduled to meet at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva on 31 May to discuss the proposal. The deadlock is also expected to figure prominently on the agenda of a G8 summit in Deauville, France, on 26-27 May. EU officials made it clear that they view the next few months as critical for the Doha round, which has been under negotiation for close to a decade.

    Source: European Voice


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: DG Trade
    Link The G20 and African development


  24. South Africa: Greenpeace warns govt of flaws in French nuclear design
    2011-05-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment, Archive

    Greenpeace reminded the South African government to rethink its nuclear expansion plans and collaboration with the French nuclear industry as major safety concerns have been identified in the French reactor design European Pressurised Reactor EPR. This reminder comes against the backdrop of 55 Greenpeace activists began blocking the construction of a nuclear reactor at Flamanville, France. Greenpeace demands a moratorium on the construction work after the French nuclear safety authority ASN outlined major safety flaws of this French reactor design European Pressurised Reactor EPR [1] following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. The South African government intends to invest in new nuclear reactors, possibly from the EPR design. Greenpeace Africa warns SA not to follow France into the dangerous trap of nuclear energy, but instead learn from France's nuclear failures and invest in this country's renewable energy industry. At the Flamanville reactor site, Greenpeace activists anchored two trucks to the ground blockading the entrance. Some activists have scaled three cranes impeding further construction work at the site.

    Source: AllAfrica/Greenpeace


    Link Read more
    Link Greenpeace
    Link Judith Sargentini, MEP, talks about the deal


  25. Global and EU agricultural exports rebound
    2011-05-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The latest Monitoring Agri-trade Policy (MAP) looks at developments in trade over the past year, focusing in particular on the EU and how it has performed compared to other world players. World agricultural trade reached an all-time high, at least 12% (expressed in Euros) above the previous record set in 2008. The impact of the economic crisis led to a contraction of 6% in 2009 but global agricultural exports rebounded by over 19% last year. The EU as well as the other top exporters all benefited from buoyant markets. Following the slump in 2009, the EU, the US and Brazil bounced back with over 20% growth in exports, to reach record levels in 2010. For the past 3 years, the EU and the US have been roughly neck and neck as the world's leading agri-food exporters. In 2010 US exports reached an all-time high of €92 billion, just ahead of the EU's record €91 billion exports. […] The EU remains the biggest importer of agricultural products from developing countries, importing €59 billion worth of goods in 2008-10. This is far ahead of the US, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand put together, whose combined imports from developing countries reached just €49 billion over this period. More than 70% of total EU imports come from developing countries compared to 50% for the US and just 40% on average for the 5 countries mentioned.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: DG Agriculture
    Link Agricultural dimension of the ACP-EU EPAs



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