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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 273]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 273]
Send date: 2011-05-20 16:53:53
Issue #: 89
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 23/05 to 27/05/2011
  3. Our video guest: Shiney Varghese, IATP
  4. The Council discusses G20 ministerial meeting on Agriculture
  5. Lawmakers back bigger share of CAP money for forests
  6. One in six people have no access to clean water
  7. Greens call for EU to close its Bluefin tuna fishery season
  8. Trade talks at a crossroads
  9. EU finance chiefs call for global air and maritime carbon market
  10. Structured dialogue: civil society takes role in development policy
  11. For safer food and feed
  12. Discussions about democracy and budget aid at ACP-EU Assembly
  13. Council debated on cereal prices and sugar quotas
  14. Member States and Commission to streamline their humanitarian aid efforts
  15. EIB reinforces financial sector in West Africa with EUR 10 million loan
  16. France in 'crisis situation' as drought deepens
  17. EC addresses complementary considerations on trade and GMO regulations
  18. SADC acts on Zimbabwe sanctions
  19. Louis Michel favours budget aid for development, opposes discrimination
  20. The Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) under MEP scrutiny
  21. CIDSE’s priorities for Rio +20 conference
  22. UN summit adopts 10-year plan to help lift LDCs out of poverty
  23. EU and China in Africa: Not a zero-sum game
  24. Mali: EU grants Mali CFAF 371.9b under 10th EDF
  25. Copa : Mercosur agreement would increase the EU’s dependency
  26. The EU reshapes its import scheme for developing countries


  1. Brussels Briefing on ACP nutrition security: the key role for agriculture
    2011-05-20
    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. 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 23/05 to 27/05/2011
    2011-05-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament
    -23-26 May: Committee Meetings in the European Parliament
    -23 May: International Trade Committee
    -24 May: Development, Foreign Affairs Committee
    -25 May: Agriculture Committee
    Council of Ministers
    -23 May: General Affairs Council
    -23 May: Foreign Affairs Council (Development, Defence)
    -27 May: Transport, Communications and Energy Council
    European Commission
    -25 May: Weekly meeting of the college
    -24-27 May: European Green Week

    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 European Commission


  3. Our video guest: Shiney Varghese, IATP
    2011-05-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive, Food Security

    Shiney Varghese is a Senior Trade Policy Analyst at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). Her area of expertise is global water policy and its impact on water and food security, and she has published works on the environment, gender and human rights. After participating in the CTA Brussels Briefing on the Water we eat, Mrs Varghese kindly answered questions on gender and water scarcity.


    Link Watch the video
    Link Brussels Briefing on Water
    Link IATP


  4. The Council discusses G20 ministerial meeting on Agriculture
    2011-05-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The 3087th Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting  held in Brussels on 17 May 2011 was briefed by France about the organization of a meeting of the G20 ministers of agriculture on 22 and 23 June in Paris on the price volatility for agricultural commodities (9956/11). The objective of the meeting in June is to propose an action plan on the volatility of agricultural prices to be endorsed by the Heads of State Summit scheduled for 3 and 4 November 2011 in Cannes. France, which currently holds the presidency of the G20, identified the following themes for this meeting:

    • develop agricultural production in the long run in order to match the increasing demand and limit shortages;
    • improve market information and transparency in the interests of governments and economic operators with the creation of a joint database on stocks and production;
    • improve international coordination in order to enhance confidence in international markets and to prevent and manage food crisis more efficiently e.g. by setting up a specific a world forum able to respond quickly in case of a crisis;
    • develop risk management tools for the most vulnerable in order to cope with excessive food volatility; and,
    • better organise the agricultural markets.

    The French initiative was strongly supported by member states, some of them insisting on the importance of setting up a specific mechanism to mitigate the speculation on agricultural products. In the coming weeks the Presidency will propose draft terms of reference for the EU's participation in the Paris meeting, which should be approved by Council at the beginning of June. For information, on 10 March 2011 the Council adopted conclusions on tackling the challenges on raw materials and in commodity markets (7029/11). In addition the Council has scheduled to adopt a further set of conclusions on financial challenges with regard to raw materials and commodity markets very relevant for ongoing G20 discussions.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link G20
    Link Commission: ACP and agriculture


  5. Lawmakers back bigger share of CAP money for forests
    2011-05-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    The share of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) expenditure earmarked for forest protection should be increased but only if forest owners conform to biodiversity and other environmental policies, says Greek Socialist MEP Kriton Arsenis in an interview with EurActiv. A European Parliament report, adopted last week, backed calls to increase funding for EU forest protection measures via the CAP's rural development pillar. The report came in response to the European Commission's 2010 Green Paper on forest protection.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: DG Agriculture
    Link EU Forest action plan


  6. One in six people have no access to clean water
    2011-05-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Food Security, Archive

    Access to clean drinking water is a fundamental right, but it is not a fact in many parts of the world. Contaminated water causes 1.5 million deaths a year, 2.5 billion people live without basic sanitation and one in six people does not have access to clean water. The ACP-EU meeting in Budapest 17 May called for comprehensive measures to alleviate the situation, including improving sanitation, conserving rainforests and punishing water polluters. In developing countries, 70% of industrial waste is dumped untreated into water,  polluting the usable water supply. Pollution is mainly caused by industry, agriculture and sewage, but the most common contaminant of drinking water is fecal matter. The impact of this is dramatic: according to UN statistics, every 20 seconds a child dies as a result of poor sanitation. "A good infrastructure for sanitation is the most important pre-requisite for health," said German Christian Democrat Christa Klass, one of the people who drafted the report on water for the meeting. But investing in networks and disposing of waste water is expensive and many African Caribbean and Pacific countries do not have the financial means. On the other hand, the increasing urbanisation in ACP countries makes investment in delivering clean water and processing waste urgent.

    The Joint Assembly calls for:

    • more boreholes in villages and shanty towns with rising populations
    • innovative solutions, like chlorine tablets to combat epidemics including cholera, that are linked to polluted water
    • EU and ACP countries should prevent industry, deforestation, mining, chemical production and extensive use of pesticides from affecting water quality - polluters should pay.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Presidency aware of problems
    Link Brussels Briefing on Water


  7. Greens call for EU to close its Bluefin tuna fishery season
    2011-05-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The Greens/European Free Alliance have called for the EU to close its bluefin tuna fishery for the 2011 season as a consequence of the conflict in Libya. The group insists that the conflict in Libya will make it impossible to properly oversee and control fishing of the critically threatened bluefin tuna and that the only solution is to close the fishery. Green fisheries spokesperson Raül Romeva said, “Closing the entire bluefin fishery for the 2011 season is the only responsible course of action in the current circumstances. Oversight and control of the bluefin fishery, which is difficult at the best of times, will be rendered completely impossible with a major part of the fishery lying in what is a warzone. Given the critical status of bluefin, which is effectively on life support, it would be grossly irresponsible to allow fishing in a situation where proper controls will not be carried out.” “The EU has a major responsibility for the bluefin tuna fishery given the size of its catches, the number of farms to fatten the tuna and its consumption of tuna. In order to prevent complete anarchy, the EU must close its own purse seine fishery for bluefin tuna for 2011 and begin immediate negotiations with ICCAT, the fisheries management body responsible for bluefin tuna, to close the fishery for all countries.” “If the fishery goes ahead in 2011, then the recovery plan for bluefin tuna, recently adopted with so much difficulty, will probably be a complete failure.”

    Source: gozonews.com


    Link Read more
    Link Damanaki expects full compliance during 2011 fishing season
    Link Greens/EFA


  8. Trade talks at a crossroads
    2011-05-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The Doha trade negotiations have failed, but focusing on multilateral trade is more important than ever, writes Judith Sargentini. International trade agreements are disproportionately serving the interests of powerful rich nations and their industries. Developing countries should be given the opportunity to benefit from international trade too, for example by being permitted to export not only raw materials but also added value products that generate more income. Trade agreements should become win-win development agreements. This means Fair Trade and multilateral negotiations. Fair Trade is not the same as free trade. Unregulated free trade often contributes to further marginalisation of the poor in developing countries. The financial crisis also shows that unregulated free trade can easily lead to unwanted outcomes. And multilateral negotiations are essential to better serve the interests of developing countries than bilateral agreements.It is clear that the Doha Round of negotiations in the World Trade Organisation got completely stuck. In almost 10 years of negotiations, we saw a very shameful performance from the EU and other rich countries, which were not prepared to truly take the interests of developing countries seriously.

    Source: Public Service Europe


    Link Read more
    Link Video interview with Ms Sargentini
    Link EU commissioner pessimistic about Doha trade talks


  9. EU finance chiefs call for global air and maritime carbon market
    2011-05-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    EU finance ministers have proposed a carbon pricing system for international shipping and aviation, to cut emissions and raise finances for climate change mitigation. In a statement, the ministers called for the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to "develop without delay a global policy framework that avoids competitive distortions or carbon leakage". "The carbon pricing of global aviation and maritime transportation is a potential source of revenues that would also generate the price signal necessary to efficiently achieve emission reductions from these sectors," the statement said.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: Emission Trading Scheme
    Link International Maritime Organisation


  10. Structured dialogue: civil society takes role in development policy
    2011-05-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    The Hungarian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zsolt Németh welcomed the Commission’s initiative to issue a communication on involving civil society and local authorities in the formation of development policy. Németh was speaking at the plenary session of the conference on “structured dialogue” for strengthening of EU international development policy, on 17 May 2011.The conference was part of the Hungarian Presidency’s programme. Structured dialogue was initiated by Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, in May 2010 with the aim to form and make EU development policy more efficient, by involving and considering the needs of civil organisations and local authorities. During the final conference of the series of events on 17 May 2011, Andris Piebalgs appreciated the Hungarian Presidency’s efforts for organising the event. He stressed that several developing societies reached a new chapter in the past period, and civil societies and local authorities play a key role in establishing and maintaining democracy, good governance and the rule of law; as well as in securing human rights. Mr Piebalgs announced:based on the experiences of structured dialogue, the Commission will issue a communication on the involvement of civil societies and local authorities in EU development policy. The Commissioner added:the aid delivery mechanism will be simplified, and a centre will be built in Brussels to facilitate the continuation of the dialogue.

    Source: Hungarian Presidency


    Link Read more
    Link CONCORD
    Link European Economic and Social Committee


  11. For safer food and feed
    2011-05-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Food Security

    When the EU adopts food and feed standards, its decisions are generally in line with the work of the UN's Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) which establishes standards at global level. At the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 17 May, ministers were briefed on the work accomplished under the Hungarian Presidency. Food additives and rules on labelling and hygiene are some examples where the Codex has established a collection of standards and practices recognised worldwide. The aim is twofold: give consumers access to safe food of good quality and ensure fair practices in global trade with food. Among the latest negotiated achievements are the setting of maximum levels for melamine, a dangerous chemical substance fraudulently introduced into baby food; the promotion of the EU's approach to food additives and pesticide residues; the preservation of the authenticity of virgin olive oil; and a code of practice for smoked fish. Some sensitive issues have not been resolved and will be discussed in the near future, such as for example the development of guidelines on GMO labelling, which remains very controversial, in particular between the US and the EU. The issue has been on the agenda since 1996 and, despite intense negotiations, no real progress has been achieved. Another difficult question is the setting of maximum residue levels for ractopamine, a growth promoter used for pigs and cattle in certain third countries, but resolutely rejected by the EU, which has banned the use of this substance in meat production since 1989. Although the standards are only recommendations and not legally binding, they frequently provide the basis for decisions taken by the World Trade Organization in disputes, and are transposed into national legislation. The Codex Alimentarius Commission is an international organisation established under the United Nations.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link Read the Council conclusions
    Link Codex Alimentarius


  12. Discussions about democracy and budget aid at ACP-EU Assembly
    2011-05-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    MEPs and their counterparts from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific called for impartial justice to underpin reconciliation in the Côte d'Ivoire, and backed the right of citizens to demand political change wherever power is withheld from the people, at the 21st ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, in Budapest on 16-18 May. They also debated democracy-building, human rights, including homosexuals’ rights, and how best to ensure the accountability of political leaders. "Especially in times of economic crisis, many donors roll back on their aid commitments for the countries of the South", underlined JPA Co-President Louis Michel. At the same time, he advocated delivering development aid in the form of budgetary support to developing countries, be it general or sector-specific, as "the most suitable instrument if we want to achieve the objective of aid effectiveness and support state-building". "We will not accept that governments or politicians use the "cultural" argument to justify the hunting down and demonizing of homosexuality", he declared during the opening speech, sparking mixed reactions by the plenary Assembly. [...] The Assembly also adopted three reports submitted by its committees.

    Budgetary support as a means of delivering Official Development Assistance (ODA) in ACP countries, by Enrique Guerrero Salom (S&D, Spain) and Mohamed Abdallahi Ould Guelaye (Mauritania), warns that aid in this form should not be overburdened by political conditionality provided that the ACP countries meet  Cotonou Agreement criteria such as transparent public financing and well-defined policies to eradicate poverty. Neither should budgetary assistance be linked to fulfilling economic conditions that can hamper ACP countries' development, it adds.

    Challenges for the future of democracy and respecting constitutional order in ACP and EU countries by Olle Schmidt (ALDE, Sweden) and François Ibovi (Republic of Congo), says that respecting the constitution and the rights of the opposition, independent judiciary and media as well as the fight against corruption are the pillars of democracy in both in North and South.

    Water pollution, by Bobbo Hamatoukour (Cameroon) and Christa Klass (EPP, DE), says that access to safe drinking water must be a priority for governments, especially in developing countries. A proper legal framework is needed to guarantee this fundamental right. Water pollution must be tackled by striking a balance between economic viability, social solidarity, employment and environment, adds the report. ACP-EU MPs also call for sanctions to be imposed on polluters who fail to comply with proper environmental standards.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EPP: Budget aid is not a blank check
    Link ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly


  13. Council debated on cereal prices and sugar quotas
    2011-05-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The proposal on increasing the intervention price of cereals and sugar production quotas was debated by agricultural ministers on 17 May 2011, in Brussels. No decision was taken on the negotiations on a legally binding agreement on forests in Europe. Agricultural ministers could not agree on the  authorisation, which should be given to the Commission representing the EU, and the Presidency acting on behalf all Member States in the Forest Europe international negotiations. Within the framework of Forest Europe, legally binding agreement is to be concluded by 30 June 2013. As Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas said during the press conference after the meeting, three Member States, namely the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, did not back the idea of a legally binding agreement. “The qualified majority was achieved, but further negotiations are still needed in order to reach a consensus. The Council sent the question back to the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER), for further negotiation,” Mr Fazekas said.

    Source: Hungarian Presidency


    Link Read more
    Link Read the Council conclusions
    Link Recent agricultural commodity prices


  14. Member States and Commission to streamline their humanitarian aid efforts
    2011-05-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    At the 3088th Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting on 17 May, EU member states agreed to align their humanitarian aid efforts more strongly with the efforts undertaken by the European Commission. Ministers expressed their commitment to work towards a sharing of funding intentions and strategies between the Commission and member states, as well as a greater number of joint missions and evaluations. While acknowledging the leading role of the United Nations in international humanitarian aid, ministers want to give the EU a stronger and more active role in international fora. The member states also pointed to the importance of disseminating the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and good humanitarian donorship (GHD) principles more strongly.

    Source: CTA/Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid
    Link Good Humanitarian Donorship


  15. EIB reinforces financial sector in West Africa with EUR 10 million loan
    2011-05-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment

    On Tuesday the European Investment Bank, the European Union’s long-term lending institution, agreed to provide a EUR 10 million loan to support Bank of Africa’s expansion in the region. This initiative will reinforce development of a solid and professional banking sector and introduce best-banking practices in West Africa. The formal agreement was signed in Dakar by Mohamed Bennani, CEO Bank of Africa and Christophe Lucet, Head of the European Investment Bank’s regional representation in West Africa. “This agreement demonstrates the shared values of the European Investment Bank and Bank of Africa Group in recognising the importance of strong performance and stability in the banking sector for development on the continent. This agreement further shows the trusting relationship between the two institutions over the last 10 years.” said Mohamed Bennani, Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Africa Group. […] The loan signed today will contribute to finance development of Bank of Africa’s network across countries in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Togo and Senegal. This is ultimately expected to increase competition in financial services and lower the cost of a range of financial services. […] The regional approach of this initiative will further contribute to regional economic integration and increased cross-border financial services in West Africa.Additional support to Bank of Africa is also provided in particular by FMO of the Netherlands, Proparco of France, and BIO of Belgium.

    Source: EIB


    Link Read more
    Link Bank of Africa group
    Link EIB projects in ACP countries


  16. France in 'crisis situation' as drought deepens
    2011-05-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    France has curbed water consumption in 28 of its 96 administrative departments, the environment ministry said on Monday (16 May), as a rainless spell that has wilted grain crops looks set to continue. "We are already in a situation of crisis. The situation is like what we would expect in July for groundwater levels, river flows and snow melting," Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusco-Morizet told a press conference.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link European drought forecast to end late May
    Link World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)


  17. EC addresses complementary considerations on trade and GMO regulations
    2011-05-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Food Security, Archive

    The European Commission has released a staff working paper addressing legal considerations on the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), raised in legal opinions by the EU Council and EU Parliament. The paper is part of an ongoing debate on an amendment to the EU Directive on GMO regulation, which would allow member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs that have been approved at EU level, based on a list of objectives such as public morale or preventing environmental harm. The legal services of the EU Council and the EU Parliament had raised concerns regarding the compatibility of possible national measures adopted by member States with international trade law under the World Trade Organization (WTO). The staff working paper presents an analysis of possible complaints by other WTO members and how these would be treated by the WTO Apellate Body. It argues that the EU has different regulatory approaches to non-GMOs and GMOs, although such regulations provide for neutral treatment of imported and domestic products. This implies that a non-EU WTO member wanting to export GMO products to the EU cannot use the treatment of a non-GMO product as the basis for a claim of violation of the requirement that an imported product  must be treated no less favorably than the domestic like product. This argument holds as long as the list of objectives laid out in the regulation meets certain conditions, which are laid out in the paper. The paper further states that the list of potentially legitimate objectives is open and not limited to the matters expressly identified in the general exceptions set out in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: GMOs
    Link World Trade Organisation (WTO)


  18. SADC acts on Zimbabwe sanctions
    2011-05-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    A team of SADC officials was in Washington, London and Brussels last week in what could be the first concrete steps towards pressurizing the US, Britain and the European Union to remove illegal sanctions that are choking Zimbabwe's economic. The SADC team comprised representatives from Namibia (current chair of the regional bloc), Zambia (chair of the group's Organ on Politics, Defence and Security), and South Africa (the SADC-appointed mediator in Zimbabwe's interparty talks). The SADC officials returned home this week after going to Washington, where they reportedly held talks with US President Barack Obama's advisers, and Brussels – which is the EU headquarter - and London. […]  The West imposed the sanctions on Zimbabwe after the country embarked on a revolutionary land reform programme at the turn of the millennium. The EU and the US have persistently ignored calls by SADC, the African Union, the Pan African Parliament, COMESA and the Non-Aligned Movement for an end to the embargo. An assessment of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement – which governs relations between the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific bloc and the EU and under which some of the sanctions were imposed – showed that processes had been abused after the UK applied pressure for Zimbabwe to be placed under an embargo.

    Source: Southern Times Africa


    Link Read more
    Link EU Delegation to Zimbabwe
    Link Does SADC service trade liberation comply with WTO law?


  19. Louis Michel favours budget aid for development, opposes discrimination
    2011-05-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Archive, Environment, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    Human rights must not suffer because of so-called "cultural" exceptions for homosexuality, and development aid should take the form of budgetary support, said ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly Co-President Louis Michel on 16 May, at the Assembly's 21st session, held in Budapest and opened by Hungarian President Pál Schmitt. Over the next three days, MPs from over 70 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific and Members of the European Parliament will debate democratic challenges to undemocratic régimes, especially in Côte d’Ivoire and the Arab countries, and the need to deliver development aid in the form of budgetary support. "Recently, donors have very often rolled back their aid commitments to the countries of the south" especially at a time of economic crisis, pointed out Louis Michel, Co-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA). At the same time, he advocated budgetary support for developing countries, be it general or sector-specific, as this is "the most suitable instrument if we want to achieve the objective of aid effectiveness."

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Homophobia: ALDE calls for frank ACP-EU debate
    Link ACP-EU: Water management as pledge of peace


  20. The Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) under MEP scrutiny
    2011-05-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    Following the entry into force of the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), the European Parliament’s Committee on Development (DEVE) established four (now five) permanent working groups to exercise Parliament's right of scrutiny over all major programming documents proposed by the Commission. The process led to a sustained and structured in-depth dialogue between DEVE and the Commission, and constituted a useful learning process for both institutions: DEVE learned about the difficulties faced by the Commission during programming, and it hopes that the Commission also became more aware of the practical meaning of Parliament’s democratic scrutiny and the committee’s working methods. During the EP Plenary Session from 6-9 June, DEVE reviews the functioning of the instrument.

    Source: European Parliament/CTA


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: DCI
    Link Follow the legislative process


  21. CIDSE’s priorities for Rio +20 conference
    2011-05-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    CIDSE is an international alliance of Catholic development agencies working in the north and with partners in the south to promote global social justice and solidarity. CIDSE advocates a shift from models that encourage a material conception of being, illustrated by resource and carbon-intensive consumption along with extreme profits and inequalities, to models that work in favour of human well-being - living simply, in community, giving priority to equity, sustainability, and responsibility. CIDSE’s vision of sustainability is founded on the principle that human beings are stewards of creation, and called to manage the earth and all its resources in a responsible way so as to pass it on to future generations. […] Rio +20 should put in place a stronger agenda on sustainable development reflecting the ethos behind the Earth Summit, that embraces a rights-based approach, linking the imperative of ecological sustainability with human development. A focus on “green economy” should not become a substitute for the objective of sustainable development. […] As a priority, the EU should consider how the UNCSD can provide the opportunity to move towards, or reinforce, systematic approaches at the international level based on mandatory standards, regulations or processes, which contribute to delivering real results for sustainable development.

    For example:

    • Climate: Follow-on to the Kyoto Protocol

    • Finance: Taxation of activities with harmful impacts, with revenues raised being used for sustainable development purposes, including climate and development finance

    • Food security: Regulation of large-scale land acquisition

    • Private sector: Country-by-country reporting for transnational companies in natural resources and all other sectors, in international accounting standards

    • Global governance: Revisions to mandates of international institutions, for effective coherence with the objective of sustainable development, and related human rights

    Source: CIDSE


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: Sustainable Development
    Link Rio+20 Earth Summit


  22. UN summit adopts 10-year plan to help lift LDCs out of poverty
    2011-05-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    Participants at a United Nations summit today outlined a 10-year plan to support the world’s most vulnerable countries overcome poverty, calling on the private sector to play a greater role in the fight, urging wealthy nations to step up their aid commitments and demanding the elimination of many trade barriers. The Istanbul Programme of Action to spur development and economic growth was made public at the end of the Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) after five days of discussions in the Turkish city. The summit focused on ways to harness the potential of the 48 countries – many of them in sub-Saharan Africa – classified as LDCs so that they can lift themselves out of poverty and develop economically. Under the programme of action, affluent countries have committed to realizing the target of spending 0.15 per cent to 0.20 per cent of their national incomes on official development assistance (ODA). If implemented, this would represent a significant increase on current levels of aid. The plan also calls for the abolition or reduction of arbitrary or unjustified trade barriers, and the opening up of markets in wealthier countries to products from poorer nations.

    Source: UN


    Link Read more
    Link IPS Dossier on the LDC conference
    Link ACP Statement at the conference


  23. EU and China in Africa: Not a zero-sum game
    2011-05-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Regional Fisheries

    Chinese investments in Africa do not compromise European efforts, Obadiah Mailafia from the ACP Group of States told MEPs in the European Parliament. The game for more influence in Africa is not a zero-sum game, he highlighted. Yet, the official also conceded that China’s recent history in Africa was more positive than the EU’s, the latter having plundered Africa during the colonial age and now spending more time on lecturing Africans than on supporting its economic development.

    Source: CTA/EUObserver


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: EU, China and Africa
    Link Read the speech


  24. Mali: EU grants Mali CFAF 371.9b under 10th EDF
    2011-05-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    Mali has benefited from an overall budget of 567 million euros (about 371,927 000,000 CFA francs) under the 10th EDF, PANA learned from official sources. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the endowment places Mali in the forefront of Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) countries benefiting from the aid of the European Union, which is the largest contributor of Official Development Aid for Mali. The focal area of the 10th EDF is governance through support for the continuation of public sector reforms and the organization of state services, support for economic development in regions of the North and the Niger Delta as well as general budget support for the implementation of the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategic Framework (GPRSF).

    Source: afriquejet.com


    Link Read more
    Link EU Cooperation with Mali
    Link Mali Government Website


  25. Copa : Mercosur agreement would increase the EU’s dependency
    2011-05-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The free-trade agreement that is currently negotiated between the EU and Mercosur “would only increase the already considerable dependency of the EU vis-à-vis Latin America” with regards to food products according to Copa-Cogeca (agricultural organisations and cooperatives in the EU). Copa launched their warning at a public hearing in the European Parliament organised by the Committee for International Trade. A trade liberalisation of would be to European farmers’ disadvantage and could moreover lead to grave environmental degradations and deforestation,” Copa stated in a press release. The organisation holds that “the losses of the agricultural sector would largely outweigh the potential gains in other sectors. The fact that the EU offers a privileged access to Mercosur countries which are very competitive, also sends a negative signal to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.” “A study realized by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission reveals that beef production in Brazil leads to greenhouse gas emissions that are twice as high as European production, and four times as high if deforestation is included in calculations,” stressed Pekka Pesonen, Copa-Cogeca secretary general.

    Source: lafranceagricole.fr


    Link Read more [FR]
    Link Copa-Cogeca
    Link EU trade chief makes case for Mercosur deal


  26. The EU reshapes its import scheme for developing countries
    2011-05-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Commission plans to concentrate its import preferences on those developing countries most in need. It will limit its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), with which it grants specific tariff preferences to developing countries in the form of reduced or zero tariff rates or quotas, to approximately 80 countries to take into account the emergence of more advanced developing countries which are now globally competitive. At the same time the Commission seeks to encourage more countries to respect core international conventions on human rights, labour standards, environment and good governance in the GSP+ scheme which grants additional trade concessions for trade-vulnerable countries. "Global economic balances have shifted tremendously in the last decades. World tariffs are at all-time lows. If we grant tariff preferences in this competitive environment, those countries most in need must reap the most benefits. Trade and development go hand in hand and tariff preferences are a small part of our wider agenda to help poorer economies scale up their presence in global markets", said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Council conclusions on GSP
    Link More information



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