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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 279]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 279]
Send date: 2011-07-01 17:50:18
Issue #: 95
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. Main events for the week from 04/07 to 08/07/2011
  2. Greenpeace warns West Africa: No more fish by 2030
  3. ALDE: Post 2013 Financial Framework contains courageous proposals
  4. Innovative development financing
  5. Mozambique and EU sign new fisheries agreement
  6. Barroso tables €1trillion budget for EU until 2020
  7. EU sugar price cut leaves Mauritius unconcerned
  8. Invitation to the public to discuss EU fisheries management
  9. Commission to abolish notion of diet foods
  10. Grant projects: Financial access to poor and vulnerable populations
  11. Caribbean and EU explore new initiative for development cooperation
  12. EU allows unapproved GM material in feed imports
  13. Financial measures for the common fisheries policy
  14. The Council adopts conclusions on the protection of water resources
  15. MEPs put off key vote on climate change reduction target
  16. Public consultation on trade and development communication
  17. Food labelling: final deal one step closer
  18. Fisheries: new reports confirm need for reform of EU fisheries policy
  19. The Commission and the UN agencies team up to fight food insecurity


  1. Main events for the week from 04/07 to 08/07/2011
    2011-07-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament
    -4-7 July: Plenary session of the European Parliament (Strasbourg)
    -4-7 July: Committee Meetings in the European Parliament
    Council of Ministers

    -5/6 July: Informal meeting of health ministers
    -7/8 July: Council Employment and Social Policy (Informal)
    European Commission

    -8 July: Meeting of the college with the Polish Presidency

    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 Polish Presidency Website


  2. Greenpeace warns West Africa: No more fish by 2030
    2011-07-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    In the framework of a presentation of its activities in West Africa, Greenpeace organized a public event at the House of Culture Douta Seck on 29 June 2011. At the meeting, several fisheries specialists predicted that the West African fishing grounds will be depleted by 2030. The European Union is said to be the main threat to fishing grounds and animal diversity in the region. “Until 2030 there will not be any fish left in Africa,” says Dip Thioune, spokesperson for the small fishermen who made the authorities aware of the threats and consequences of overfishing in the most popular African fishing waters. Every year, giant fish trawlers and massive industrial boats rid the West African waters of its sea life. This organized plunder, he says, while feeding European customers “brings along the gradual extinction of some species like the Thiof”. To counter the threat and help African states understand the danger that these trawlers represent, Greenpeace Europe and Greenpeace Africa have joined forces in a project called African voices. Better even, six African fishermen have been chosen to meet ministers, Members of the European Parliament and civil society.

    Source: AllAfrica/Sud Quotidien


    Link Read more
    Link Greenpeace Africa
    Link CFP Reform


  3. ALDE: Post 2013 Financial Framework contains courageous proposals
    2011-07-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Liberals and Democrats have reacted positively to courageous and innovative proposals presented last night by the European Commission for the next multi-annual financial framework and the system of own resources. Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader, stated in a preliminary analysis that "these proposals are worthy of serious consideration as a bold and coherent contribution to the discussions on the future of the EU budget. I am particularly pleased at the Commission's acceptance of our idea to launch an inter-parliamentary conference, modeled on the Convention, allowing national parliaments and governments to take part in the debate with the EU institutions. Parliament and Commission will bring a joint initiative before the Council's Polish presidency asking that it organise and start this inter-parliamentary conference in the coming months. I have spoken with Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Secretary of State Mikolaj Dowgielewicz and there is a positive attitude surrounding this initiative." "I am also satisfied with the proposals concerning a new system of own resources, something I have long pleaded for. The attitude of European citizens toward the EU will change greatly if it is the taxpayers who directly fund the European Budget and no longer the member states who secretly negotiate for each to have their "fair" return. This new approach which is fiscally neutral, will also permit the abolition of 43 dispensations, exceptions, rebates and other returns which make the current system incomprehensible and curb the financing for policies."

    Source: ALDE


    Link Read more
    Link Budget: CAP freeze, yes to Tobin tax
    Link Budget in your EU country: Web tool


  4. Innovative development financing
    2011-07-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Food Security, Archive

    At the occasion of the 9th session of the leading group on innovative financing which took place in Bamako on 25 June 2011 and in which the French development minister Henri de Raincourt participated, eight pioneer states from the African continent signed the declaration on innovative financing for development. Mali, Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Guinea, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo joined the community of states looking for new ways of financing for international solidarity and development of the poorest countries in addition to official development aid. The declaration had already been signed by Belgium, Spain, Norway, Brazil, Japan and France in September 2010 in New York. It speaks out in favour of a financial transaction tax that would benefit development. By signing the declaration, the eight African states also challenge the G20 countries to declare themselves in favour of a financial transaction tax. France also welcomed an announcement by Guinea during the pilot group session that it had established a tax on flight tickets. Innovative means of financing have been made a priority of the G20 in Cannes. They represent an efficient solution to raise new stable and predictable funds and allow governments to respond to urgent issues with regard to reduction of poverty, access to health, education and nutrition, construction of infrastructures and job creation as well as environmental protection. So far, innovative means of financing have been able to raise 6 billion dollars, save 6 million lives and vaccinate 260 million children.

    Source: French Ministry for Foreign Affairs


    Link Read more [FR]
    Link Leading group
    Link Commission: Innovative financing


  5. Mozambique and EU sign new fisheries agreement
    2011-06-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Mozambique and the European Union in June signed a three year extension to the current fisheries partnership agreement that is due to expire at the end of this year. Under the agreement 75 European boats will be allowed to fish off the coast of Mozambique. The main fish sought by the boats is tuna. The agreement sets a quota for catches by boats from the European Union, which will drop to 8,000 tonnes (down from 10,000 tonnes). This is due to the fall in the number of boats fishing the waters because of the increased risk of piracy. The European Union pays the Mozambican government for the right to fish in its territorial waters. Because of the drop in quota, the amount paid will fall under this agreement from 650,000 euros (917,000 US dollars) a year to 520,000 euros per year. However, the European Union points out that this drop will be more than offset by increased financial support for the fisheries sector. Over the new period support for the sector will rise from 250,000 euros to 460,000 euros per year. According to the European Union, this will take financial contributions for the fisheries sector to 980,000 euros per year and "demonstrates the good partnership relations between the EU and Mozambique".

    Source: AllAfrica/Mozambique News Agency


    Link Read more
    Link EU Delegation to Mozambique
    Link EU: Authorisation to fish in foreign water


  6. Barroso tables €1trillion budget for EU until 2020
    2011-06-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    The European Commission yesterday (29 June) presented long-awaited proposals for the EU's next seven-year budget (2014-2020). In a bid to reduce national contributions, the Commission suggested levying new taxes directly, a proposal that was strongly rejected by the UK, which labelled it "unrealistic". José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, proposed to increase the EU budget from the current €976 billion to €1.025 billion for the next seven-year period, which starts in 2014. This represents a 4.8% increase, which is beyond the average 2% inflation recorded in the last decade.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: The budget 2014-2020
    Link Implications for EU agriculture


  7. EU sugar price cut leaves Mauritius unconcerned
    2011-06-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Mauritius' Sugar Syndicate said on Monday producers would be paid 15,000 rupees per tonne of sugar this year as the Indian Ocean island shifts to exporting refined sugar. When the European Union cut its guaranteed price for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) sugar by 36 percent in phases, with the final tranche taking effect in October 2009, Mauritius switched to exporting value added sugars instead of raw sugar. Sugar producers received 13,535 rupees per tonne in 2010. "This rise in prices over the previous crop year is the result of the ... industry's focus on the development and the commercialisation of value added sugars, both refined and special, coupled with better conditions prevailing on our export markets," the Sugar Syndicate said in a statement. Mauritius' sugar output is seen falling to 420,000 tonnes this year from 452,473 tonnes in 2010, largely due to a reduced area under cultivation and poor weather. However, the Sugar Syndicate expects revenue to increase on the back of the production of refined sugar. Last year, Mauritius produced 256 267 tonnes of refined sugar and 110 000 tonnes of special sugar. Sugar, a centuries-old pillar of the Indian Ocean island's now almost $10 billion economy, accounts for roughly 1.2 percent of gross domestic product according to Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam. The Chamber of Agriculture says the country has been losing about 2,200 hectares of sugar cane fields annually. Mauritius, which has a population of 1.3 million, is the leading sugar exporter from the ACP bloc to the EU.

    Source: Reuters


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: DG Trade
    Link ACP-EU Sugar


  8. Invitation to the public to discuss EU fisheries management
    2011-06-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    European citizens, companies and other interested parties are invited to give their opinions and comments on the Commission's plan for improving the current system of allocating fishing quotas and "total allowable catches" – the tools designed to manage fish stocks and at the same time ensure the livelihoods of fishermen – for the year 2012. The primary aim of this plan for 2012 is to accelerate the phasing out of overfishing in European waters. Overfishing is mainly the result of fleets that are too large fishing for stocks that are too small. The current fisheries management system has helped to reduce the proportion of overfished stocks in the Atlantic from 94 % to 63 %, but the problem persists in the Mediterranean, where 82 % of known stocks are still being overfished. Overfishing is harmful not only for fish species, but also for fishing companies, because it means that often too much expensive fuel and effort is being used for nothing. It is therefore proposed that the methods used to link the allocation of quotas to scientific advice should be simplified, and that allowable catches should be reduced by 25 % where there is no scientific advice on a particular stock.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link OCEAN2012
    Link CFP Reform


  9. Commission to abolish notion of diet foods
    2011-06-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Security, Archive

    The concept of diet foods must be abolished to close loopholes in existing EU legislation and "to limit the possibility for companies to do 'legislative shopping'," the Commission argued in new proposals put forward this week (20 June). Indeed, an impact assessment carried out by the Commission showed that current EU legislation on dietetic foods is being used by some companies to circumvent stricter European legislation on nutrition and health claims.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: More healthy choices for consumers
    Link New diet food legislative proposal


  10. Grant projects: Financial access to poor and vulnerable populations
    2011-06-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    The ACP/EU Microfinance Program announces the launch of a call for proposals to grant projects aiming at providing financial access to poor and vulnerable populations in the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. With these grants, ACP/EU Microfinance intends to:

    • Facilitate access to finance for communities excluded from the formal financial system in a sustainable manner and by using innovative delivery models;
    • Improve the MFIs’ capacity in the fields of financial and risk management, and transparency on financial and social performance;
    • Build the financial capability of microfinance clients, to enhance their capacity to become autonomous economic actors.

    The guidelines and annexes of this restricted tender Call for Proposals are available on Europeaid’s website. The deadline for the submission of concept notes is August 1, 2011. All questions and requests for clarifications should be sent before July 8, 2011.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Further information
    Link ACP-EU Microfinance


  11. Caribbean and EU explore new initiative for development cooperation
    2011-06-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    The European Union is pursuing a new strategy with the Caribbean to explore avenues of development, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Trinidad and Tobago. It said that Head of Division for the Caribbean Area to the European External Administration Service, John Caloghirou, recently held talks with Foreign Minister Dr. Surujrattan Rambachan to discuss the new “Joint European Union/Caribbean Strategy”. The statement quoted Caloghirou as saying that the new strategy would not “replace the Cotonou Agreement or the External Partnership Agreements”. According to the statement, Rambachan suggested that the EU consider focusing on other human rights issues pertaining to alleviating poverty for children, but that Caloghirou “explained that the Caribbean was relatively stable with regards to human rights with the exception of Cuba and that not much funding was allocated in this area”. The statement gave no further details of the new EU/Caribbean strategy, but said that the meeting also discussed the need to diversify regional economies with Caloghirou indicating that there “was an urgent need for the Caribbean to adopt a more modern approach that would be more beneficial”.

    Source: caricomnewsnetwork.com


    Link Read more
    Link Outline of the joint strategy (2010)
    Link Commission: ACP-EU Trade


  12. EU allows unapproved GM material in feed imports
    2011-06-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Archive

    The European Union adopted new rules allowing traces of unapproved genetically modified (GM) material in animal feed imports, in a bid to secure grain fodder supplies to the import-dependent bloc. "The regulation ... addresses the current uncertainty EU operators face when placing on the market feed products imported from third countries," the Commission said in a statement. The EU and its trading partners - backed by industry - argue the 0.1 percent threshold is needed to avoid a repeat of supply disruptions in 2009, when U.S. soy shipments to Europe were blocked after unapproved GM material was found in some cargoes. But environmental campaigners and consumer groups have accused the EU of caving in to GM-industry lobbying by reversing its "zero-tolerance" policy on unauthorised GM crops. Some environmentalists argue that the effect of consuming GM crops is unknown and say these varieties have not completed the EU's safety assessment process. The GM crops in question must have been approved in a non-EU producing country and an EU authorisation request must have been lodged with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for at least three months.

    Source: Checkbiotech


    Link Read more
    Link Economic impact of unapproved GMOs
    Link Commission: GMOs


  13. Financial measures for the common fisheries policy
    2011-06-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The Council adopted an amendment to regulation 861/2006 establishing community financial measures for the implementation of the common fisheries policy (CFP) and in the area of the law of the sea, following a first-reading agreement with the European Parliament (17/11). Regulation 861/2006 provides for financing in the following areas: international relations, governance, data collection and scientific advice, and control and enforcement of the CFP. In each field of action, this regulation is completed by other regulations or decisions. Several elements of the related legislation have evolved since the adoption of the initial regulation, which should be amended in order to ensure coherence between all the elements of the legislative framework.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link Follow legislative process
    Link Commission: CFP Reform


  14. The Council adopts conclusions on the protection of water resources
    2011-06-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    The Environmental Council last week adopted conclusions on the protection of water resources and integrated sustainable water management, set out in 11308/11, and held an exchange of views on this topic. The protection of water resources is a priority of the Hungarian presidency. The Council conclusions recognise the numerous threats to water and express concern with the extreme hydrological events over the last years, which climate change is likely to aggravate. The conclusions stress that extreme weather events should be handled in an integrated way by policies dealing with land use and planning, agriculture, nature conservation and infrastructures. Moreover, the conclusions call for water concerns and objectives to be better integrated ("mainstreamed") into other EU policies, including into the forthcoming reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. In particular, the future EU cohesion policy should adequately consider future water infrastructure needs. The text also underlines the economic value of services provided by water bodies and related ecosystems and highlights the need to protect water-related ecosystems. The conclusions and the exchange of views among ministers will provide input for the Commission's blueprint to safeguard Europe's water resources, expected to be published mid-2012.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link Water-related priorities of the HU Presidency
    Link Brussels Briefing on Water


  15. MEPs put off key vote on climate change reduction target
    2011-06-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    MEPs have postponed a vote on whether or not Europe should toughen its climate targets and move to a 30 per cent emissions reduction target by 2020. At their mini plenary in Brussels they decided to postpone the vote until July, saying their agenda was too long.

    Source: theparliament.com


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: Climate action
    Link EP: June Plenary


  16. Public consultation on trade and development communication
    2011-06-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Public Consultation on the (future) Trade and Development Communication has been launched on 21 June 2011. To Participate in the Public Consultation, for more infomation and to access the Issue Paper please click here. As you know, the Commission attaches a great deal of importance to consulting social partners in the EU and abroad on new political initiatives. This online consultation will give a wide range of stakeholders the opportunity to submit their views and contribute to setting the agenda for European Trade and Development action in the coming years. The public consultation will build on the results of several other recent consultations, such as the public consultations for the Generalised System of Preferences (June 2010), the Future Trade Policy (August 2010), the Raw Materials Initiative (September 2010) and the Green Paper on EU development policy in support of inclusive growth and sustainable development (November 2010). Other public consultations on the Strategy for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries and on Corporate Social Responsibility are being organised at the same time. We count on your collaboration to spread information regarding the Public Consultation, notably to contacts based in Developing Countries. Our aim is to get half of the answers from outside Europe, as it was the case for the 2010 Consultation on the GSP revision. The Public Consultation will last 2 months. For the moment only the questionnaire in English is available, but the French and Spanish versions (most used European languages in DCs) will follow at the beginning of July. Please, do not hesitate to send any relevant comment or remark to this address: TRADE-and-DEV-Communication@ec.europa.eu

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Further information
    Link ACP-EU Trade


  17. Food labelling: final deal one step closer
    2011-06-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Archive

    Parliament's negotiating team has received the Council's green light for the provisional agreement reached last week on new EU legislation on food labelling. The deal, which aims to ensure that food labels become clearer in future, now needs to be approved by Parliament in a plenary vote in July. "The deal is a milestone in the EU`s food legislation that will benefit both the consumer and food business operators", commented Parliament's rapporteur Renate Sommer (EPP, DE), adding that "In future, European citizens will find much more information on the packages than before". The draft legislation aims to modernise, simplify and clarify food labelling within the EU. It would harmonize existing rules on information that is compulsory on all labels, such as list of ingredients, "best before" or "use by" dates, specific conditions of use, and add a requirement to list key nutritional information. For producers and food business operators, it will reduce red tape and strengthen the single market.

    The negotiating teams agreed that key nutritional information, such as energy content and amounts of fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt, must be indicated in a legible tabular form on the packaging. All this information would normally have to be expressed per 100g or per 100ml. It could also be expressed per portion and could also be accompanied by guideline daily amounts, after the Commission has defined portion sizes. Concerning the labelling of transfats, MEPs agreed that before introducing any obligation to label food containing transfats, the Commission will have to submit within three years a report on the presence of transfats in food in the EU, which evaluates possible ways to tackle the problem. If neccessary, this report should be accompanied by a legislative proposal.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Follow legislative process
    Link Agritrade: Food safety, implications for ACP


  18. Fisheries: new reports confirm need for reform of EU fisheries policy
    2011-06-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Two recent reports by the European Commission add further weight to calls for significant structural change within the EU fish catching sector and a far reaching reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The 2010 Annual Economic Report on the EU fishing fleet shows a reduction in economic performance of the EU fishing sector in recent years. The report lays out economic trends in the EU fisheries sector in the period 2002-2008. It notably shows that 2008 was the second consecutive year in which the profitability of the EU fleet declined. A second report, on Member States' fishing capacity, concludes that the size of the EU fishing fleet continues to decrease at a very slow pace, maintaining a situation of overcapacity in most of the fleet. To address these issues, the Commission is currently finalising its proposals for a thorough reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, in which sustainable solutions will be proposed to turn this situation around and ensure a viable economic future for the EU fisheries sector.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read the Annual Economic report
    Link Read the report on fishing capacities


  19. The Commission and the UN agencies team up to fight food insecurity
    2011-06-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    On Monday, 27 June, the European Commission, together with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launched a new Strategic Framework of Cooperation to address food insecurity and malnutrition worldwide. This agreement was signed during the Annual Meeting of the FAO in Rome and builds on existing agreements with WFP and FAO. Today, around 925 million of people in the world remain undernourished. The poor are particularly vulnerable to crises, the negative effects of climate change and high food prices. Over the past year, more than 40 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty by an increase in food prices. The three Rome-based Organisations are the key UN forces in food security and nutrition. The European Commission is one of the biggest global donors in the area of food security. Humanitarian food assistance is the single largest aid sector in the EU's humanitarian budget, representing more than € 1,1 billion from 2007 to 2010. Additionally, around €850 million is allocated to fight food insecurity each year through food assistance. With these institutions joining forces, the international community will be better equipped to achieve better food security and nutrition on the ground both in the short and the longer term.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Further information
    Link Briefing Geopolitics of Food



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