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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 280]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 280]
Send date: 2011-07-08 17:11:24
Issue #: 96
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 11/07 to 15/07/2011
  2. Philip Kiriro, East African Farmers' Federation
  3. EU stands shoulder-to-shoulder with South Sudan
  4. British aid battles starvation in Ethiopia
  5. Africa’s biggest market lies within
  6. Direct budget support: Partnership and dialogue are key to cooperation
  7. France wins first round of CAP budget battle
  8. Mixed views on EU long-term budget proposals
  9. Food labels: clearer information for consumers
  10. European Energy Efficiency Fund EEEF launched
  11. New EPA Implementation Bulletin launched
  12. Somaliland: More EU support for stability and regional cooperation
  13. Malawi to compensate tariff cut for EU goods through more VAT
  14. MEPs must not ignore impacts of climate change on developing world
  15. Time out on the promises of EU partnership
  16. EPAs putting trade at the service of development
  17. Luxembourg provides new funds for microfinance in ACP countries
  18. Member States should be able to ban or restrict the cultivation of GMOs
  19. €37.6 million support for the promotion of EU agricultural products
  20. MEPs want risk radar for raw materials
  21. Commissioner Piebalgs in Djibouti
  22. G20 - Outcome of the ministerial meeting on agriculture
  23. Fisheries Partnership agreement between EU and Gabon
  24. European funding for the fisheries sector post-2013?
  25. Coal comfort as Poland takes over EU presidency


  1. Main events for the week from 11/07 to 15/07/2011
    2011-07-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament
    -11-14 July: Committee Meetings in the European Parliament
    Council of Ministers

    -11/12 July: Environment Council (informal)
    -12 July: Economic and Financial Affairs Council
    -15 July: Development ministers Council (informal)
    European Commission

    -13 July: Weekly meeting of the college
    Economic and Social Committee
    -13/14 July: Plenary session

    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 Economic and Social Committee


  2. Philip Kiriro, East African Farmers' Federation
    2011-07-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness, Food Security

    Philip Kiriro is the President of the East African Farmers' Federation. In our video interview, he speaks about farmers' cooperation with the international institutions.


    Link Watch the video
    Link EAFFU
    Link EESC: Food for everyone


  3. EU stands shoulder-to-shoulder with South Sudan
    2011-07-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive

    As South Sudan prepares to announce its independence on 9 July, the EU has extended a welcoming hand, reiterating its intention to continue support and develop a regular dialogue. Over 98% of voters from South Sudan voted in favour of separation from North Sudan in a January referendum. EU observers found the election to be peaceful and credible, and the turnout overwhelming at 97.5%. Voters’ wishes will become reality on 9 July, when independence is announced. EU High Representative Catherine Ashton will travel to the capital, Juba, to participate in the celebrations for Independence Day. Secession will also mark the end of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), agreed in 2005 and ending 21 years of civil war between North and South Sudan. The EU has been a staunch supporter of the CPA, and will now pursue a ‘comprehensive approach’ to relations with both North and South Sudan. The approach – agreed by EU Member States in June – covers all aspects of EU policy towards an independent South Sudan: political and diplomatic relations, security and the rule of law, development, trade, human rights and fundamental freedoms. Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs recently visited South Sudan with the comprehensive approach in mind. ‘Let us rejoice, but let us also remind each other that with independence comes enormous responsibility,’ he said. The Commissioner urged the state to give itself a good springboard from which to fight corruption, build up governance and state structures and generate income for itself and its people. ‘The EU can engage with South Sudan in a broad and honest dialogue on these issues. As partners, we should be brave enough to tell each other the truth – even if the truth can sometimes be difficult to hear. In any event, the people of South Sudan can count on the EU to be a reliable partner,’ he said. Dialogue will be further strengthened when the EU establishes a full Delegation in the South Sudan capital, Juba. The current office in Juba, open since 2009, will be upgraded as soon as possible following independence. Decades of civil war have left South Sudan extremely poor. It has the highest infant-mortality rates and lowest education indicators in the world. One child in 10 dies before its first birthday, and less than 1% of girls complete primary education. Since 2005, the EU has committed development assistance of over €650 million. Humanitarian aid since 2003 meanwhile amounts to €776 million. In May, EU foreign affairs ministers agreed to allocate an additional €200 million to South Sudan to support a development plan for 2011-2013, and to fund projects in the areas of education, health, agriculture, food security and democratic governance.

    Source: EEAS


    Link Read more
    Link EU cooperation with Sudan
    Link Equitable oil deal needed for peace


  4. British aid battles starvation in Ethiopia
    2011-07-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Archive

    Britain will provide emergency food relief for 1.3 million people in Ethiopia as the region faces its worst drought in a decade, Andrew Mitchell said. The International Development Secretary warned that the rest of the international community will need to pull its weight if a full-scale disaster is to be avoided. Britain will fund the World Food Programme to provide emergency food for drought-stricken Ethiopians for the next three months to help them through the driest months of the year. Supplementary food will also be provided for 329,000 malnourished children and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Britain is working with international agencies and NGOs on the ground across the Horn of Africa region to assess the humanitarian need and ensure that lifesaving help reaches those most in need andprevents the wholesale destruction of their livestock. The British Government is supporting 8 million people with food, livestock and basic support through the Productive Safety Net Programme. However the current crisis underlines the need for immediate additional help.

    Source: DFID


    Link Read more
    Link Oxfam launches largest ever emergency appeal
    Link EU: New emergency funding for Horn of Africa


  5. Africa’s biggest market lies within
    2011-07-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    Global demand for African oil and precious metals has fuelled a continental surge in exports, helping some of the world’s poorest countries rebound from the 2009 economic shock. African countries also stand to benefit from trade deals with donors and development agencies. Seeking to boost "south-south" trade, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its African counterpart, the AfDB, launched a programme Jun. 27 to provide investment loan guarantees to nations that are locked out of international financial markets. The arrangement comes on the heels of recent commitments by the European Union to strengthen its approach to reducing poverty in Africa, including more development aid and efforts to diversify trade beyond the minerals, petroleum and a handful of agricultural products that account for the bulk of African exports. But such efforts could undercut development of what may be Africa’s most important market - Africa.

    Source: IPS News


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: ACP-EU Trade
    Link EuropeAfrica


  6. Direct budget support: Partnership and dialogue are key to cooperation
    2011-07-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    A report by Charles Goerens (Parti Democratique, Luxembourg) on budget support to developing countries was voted during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.  Goerens underlined that "The policies of the European Union tend to make our partners agents of their own development - hence the notions of partnership, political dialogue and above all the partner country's ownership of development.  Budget support takes issue with a neo-colonialist approach and remains more loyal to the European Unions philosophy". Budget support involves the transfer of financial resources to a funding agency outside the Treasury of the partner country, provided that it meets the agreed payment terms. Goerens added, "Budget support is not a risky business if you take the precautions necessary for the judicious use of funds. Any disbursement presupposes an ability by the recipient country to manage funds appropriately. The fact that the IMF needs to first endorse any disbursement limit, reduces even further the potential for abuse." Partnership over dependence is the key to future cooperation and endogenous development is the only true form of sustainable development. The rapporteur also stresses that "Budget support is neither a panacea nor a financing instrument accessible to all countries.  Far from it. Conditionality excludes a large number of developing countries."

    Source: ALDE


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report
    Link Commission: Budget support


  7. France wins first round of CAP budget battle
    2011-07-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Food Security

    France scored a provisional victory in the battle for the EU's long-term budget last week when the European Commission proposed to leave support for farmers broadly unchanged until 2020. A deal with Germany on regional funds appears to be the key to France's success. The future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a major source of tension between supporters like France and critics such as the UK and the Netherlands. But a strong lobbying campaign led by Paris – the CAP's single biggest beneficiary – seems to have paid off. Last week, the European Commission tabled proposals for the EU's 2014-2020 budget which largely leave current farm funding untouched.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Nicolas Sarkozy: Defend the CAP down to the last Euro
    Link Commission: Agriculture


  8. Mixed views on EU long-term budget proposals
    2011-07-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    The European Commission's proposals for the EU's long-term budget for 2014-2020 drew both praise and criticism from political group leaders in a lively debate on Tuesday. EP President Jerzy Buzek said the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) would be one of the most important issues that Parliament would deal with in the coming months.

    Commission President José Manuel Barroso opened the debate by saying the budget would not cost more, but would be made more effective by focusing on shared goals designed to boost growth and employment and directly linked to the EU's 2020 growth strategy. "Without growth we cannot get back on the path to prosperity." By linking policies and seeking synergies "a euro spent at EU level can mean savings at member state level," he said.

    Poland's Secretary of State for European Affairs Mikołaj Dowgielewicz, representing the Council, described the negotiations on the next MFF as "the most important and most challenging task of the Polish presidency". "The EP is going to be briefed and debriefed on every debate in the General Affairs Council", he said, adding that  the Polish presidency had invited EP representatives to an informal meeting of European affairs ministers, to be held in Poland in July.

    Salvador Garriga Polledo (ES, EPP), regretted the budget freeze. The failure to include the increase of 5% as demanded by MEPs "will leave us without any margin for negotiating with the Council if it finally rejects the proposal of the Commission and reduces the resources," he said.

    S&D group leader Martin Schulz (DE), accused many EU governments of  taking a "schizophrenic" approach to budget negotiations. "Many member states want the EU to fulfil more European tasks with less money - that will not work!" He called on Parliament to back the Commission proposal by a huge majority. Only then could they fend off countries bent on cutting the EU budget. "This debate will be decisive for the future of Europe," he warned.

    Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE/BE), said Mr Barroso had kept his promise of a bold and radical MFF based on own-resources. Now the main task will be to win public support in the face of "wrong arguments" from those against own resources, he said. Own resources are not extra taxes, but a way for the public to have direct control over the EU budget, he added.

    Martin Callanan (ECR, UK), told Mr Verhofstadt "Nobody believes you when you say that more European taxes will result in less contributions from Member States. This MFF proposal is yet another wish list by a European elite that every day becomes more and more distant from the concerns of ordinary people." A budget freeze is the right way to go at a time of austerity across Europe."

    Daniel Cohn-Bendit  (Greens/FR), also criticised the budget freeze and backed a financial transaction tax to increase the EU's own resources. "If you take 1% of all financial transactions you would have €20-30 billion. It would be a new tax and it would not be for the ordinary man to pay, but for the financial institutions that profit massively from the European Union."

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: The budget 2014-2020
    Link The battle for the EU's long-term budget


  9. Food labels: clearer information for consumers
    2011-07-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Regional Fisheries, Archive

    Food shoppers will be able to make better informed, healthier choices as the result of new EU food labelling rules approved by MEPs on Wednesday. Labels will have to spell out a food's energy content as well as fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, sugar, protein and salt levels, in a way that makes them easy for consumers to read. MEP Renate Sommer (EPP, DE), who led Parliament's team in successful negotiations with the Council, said in the debate ahead of the vote: "Despite political and ideological differences in the EP, despite national ideological convictions, we have come up with a good compromise.  The new rules are supposed to provide more and better information to consumers so they can make informed choices when buying.  But is more than that: the food industry should benefit too. There should be more legal certainty, less bureaucracy and better legislation in general. (...) this is very important for SMEs (...) more than 80 percent of the European food sector is SMEs." Under the new rules, the energy content and amounts of fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt must all be stated in a legible tabular form on the packaging, together and in the same field of vision. All this information has to be expressed per 100g or per 100ml. It may also, in addition, be expressed per portion,Parliament approved the new food labelling rules by 606 votes to 46, with 26 abstentions. Once the legislation is published in the EU Official Journal, food companies will have three years to adapt to most of the rules, but five years for the rules on nutrition values.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Questions and Answers on the Food Information regulation
    Link Campaign for honest food labelling goes on


  10. European Energy Efficiency Fund EEEF launched
    2011-07-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Deutsche Bank announced the launch of the European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF) in Brussels. The EEEF aims to provide market-based financing for commercially viable public energy efficiency and renewable energy projects within the European Union. The fund is the centrepiece of a new sustainable energy facility that the European Parliament and Council of Ministers agreed to launch using unspent funds from the European Energy Programme for Recovery for a new sustainable energy facility. It will support EU member states in meeting their objective to, by 2020, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, increase renewable energy usage by 20%, and lower energy consumption through a 20% improvement in energy efficiency. It will target the substantial potential for energy efficiency and small scale renewable energy in the European public sector. The Fund will pursue a two track investment approach, either investing directly in projects or via financial institutions. It has a layered risk/return structure to stimulate private investment with a fixed commitment of EU budget funds. The European Commission is investing EUR 125 million in the Junior Tranche of the Fund, partly assuming the economic risks associated with the investment projects. The European Investment Bank is committing EUR 75 million in the Mezzanine Tranche and in Senior Shares. Further commitments are from the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), contributing EUR 60 million also in Mezzanine and Senior Shares, and EUR 5 million in the Mezzanine Tranche by Deutsche Bank, who will also act as Investment Manager of the fund.

    Source: EIB


    Link Read more
    Link Further information [DOC]
    Link Commission: Climate Change


  11. New EPA Implementation Bulletin launched
    2011-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The CARICOM secretariat has launched a new EPA Implementation Bulletin reporting on issues around the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Caribbean. The bulletin is a platform for outreach which the EPA Implementation Unit is leveraging, with a view to deepening and expanding engagement with an array of stakeholders. Raising awareness of and drawing attention to EPA implementation-related issues inform these efforts, as does interest in eliciting feedback from stakeholders. Such feedback is of interest, as EPA implementation is proceeding in earnest, pursuant to the signing of the Agreement by fourteen CARIFORUM States in October 2008 and by the fifteenth CARIFORUM State, Haiti, in December 2009. The Agreement has been provisionally applied since 29 December 2008. FRAYY75BJRW4

    Source: CARIFORUM


    Link Read more
    Link EU-CARIFORUM EPA Negotiations
    Link EU-Caribbean Partnership


  12. Somaliland: More EU support for stability and regional cooperation
    2011-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    During a visit to Somaliland, the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, announced today that the European Union is considering to provide around additional €175 million in EU support to Somalia, including to Somaliland. In his speech before the Somaliland Parliament, Mr Piebalgs said: “The European Union welcomes the contribution that Somaliland is making to peace and good governance in the region. It is an encouraging example of peace, democracy and stability. This is why we will invest additional development funds as security and the socio-political conditions favour sustainable development.” Additional EU support in Somaliland will focus on areas to foster economic development, education and governance. During his visit, Commissioner Piebalgs met President Silanyo and delivered a speech to the House of Representatives in Hargeisa. Commissioner Piebalgs underlined that Somaliland is an example of stability and democracy which will hopefully encourage others to promote broader political dialogue, development and integration. He stressed that Somaliland has a role to play in economic integration and development in the Horn of Africa region. Mr Piebalgs encouraged Somaliland to stay engaged in international efforts to curb piracy, and commended the efforts of the Somaliland coastguard, police and judiciary. The EU Development Commissioner discussed the political, social and economic situation of Somaliland during a meeting with members of civil society and the business community. He commended the constructive role played by the Somaliland Diaspora and reiterated the importance of the European Union’s engagement with Non-State Actors - including civil society and the private sector - in its development efforts.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Examples of EU Projects in Somaliland
    Link New emergency funding to reach Horn of Africa


  13. Malawi to compensate tariff cut for EU goods through more VAT
    2011-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The increase of taxes by government would continue to maximise domestic revenue ahead of abolition of international trade tariffs after endorsement of the proposed Free Trade Area (FTA) arrangements by African, European and Caribbean countries. Minister of Finance Ken Kandodo gave an indication that the phasing out of international trade tariffs would cause introduction of more Value Added Tax (VAT) as government would continue to rely on domestic revenue to sustain the non-donor funded recurrent budget. In his wind up speech of budget debate in Parliament Kandodo said once the regional integration in the Sadc, Comesa and East Africa Community (EAC) had taken place and most trade taxes phased out countries like Malawi would rely more on VAT. “We will, therefore, need to minimise exemptions in the Vat regime,” Kandodo said. Malawi’s major trade partner on the continent is South Africa and the FTAs, which include abolition of trade tariffs and trade quotas, will reduce revenues collected from imports. […] Apart from the African free trade area proposal, the European Union is also pushing for African Caribbean Partnership (ACP) countries signing of the new ACP-EU new trade agreement which also provides for free trade area among member countries.

    Source: The Times


    Link Read more
    Link EU relations with Malawi
    Link SADC


  14. MEPs must not ignore impacts of climate change on developing world
    2011-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Parliament must take into account the effects of climate change in the developing world and vote for deeper emissions cuts, argues Chris Bain. As more developing countries face extreme weather patterns and competition for land use, the price of food staples is increasingly volatile, pushing people further into extreme poverty and undermining the good development work of the past generation. The European Union, has provided ongoing development assistance, and yet European countries are also among the major contributors to climate change. The EU, as a bloc, not only has the political power to bring about action on climate change, it has a moral obligation to do so. As an international alliance of Catholic development agencies with 14 European members, CIDSE has seen the effects of climate change on poor communities first hand, and the human, environmental and economic costs on a global scale are rising exponentially. It is time for the EU to lead the international community on climate action by upping their commitment from 20% to at least a 30% reduction in emissions by 2020. Scientific opinion concludes that anything less than a 40% reduction will not put us on track to prevent catastrophic changes in our climate. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), meeting this week will vote on whether to support a stronger cut of 30% below 1990 levels and they must not allow creeping climate skepticism to undermine the opportunities and benefits this shift to a greener economy will bring.

    Source: CIDSE


    Link Read more
    Link The Eickhout report rejected
    Link Commission: 30% emission cut


  15. Time out on the promises of EU partnership
    2011-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    In October 2008, when the 15 member countries of Cariforum (CF) individually signed a full Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the collective European Union (EU) of 27 countries, much was made of the promise of increased benefits to Caribbean countries. Two-and-a-half years later, the promise remains unfulfilled. At the time of signing, observers stressed the importance of setting-up two bodies throughout the CF countries, which are the 14 independent states of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) plus the Dominican Republic. These two bodies were: a unit in each country to ensure implementation of the many demanding clauses of the EPA; and the other was a unit to monitor the delivery of the promises that the EPA proffered. It was also anticipated that the Caricom secretariat would have established similar oversight bodies for the CF countries as a whole.

    Source: guardian.co.tt


    Link Read more
    Link EC-CARIFORUM EPA Negotiations
    Link EU-Caribbean Partnership


  16. EPAs putting trade at the service of development
    2011-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    As the interventions of the President of Uganda in South Africa early in June and recently, through the Prime Minister at the EAC in Tanzania testify that trade and freer trade is essential to economic growth. Discussions on EPAs continue, in Europe and EAC countries, among trade and development experts, parliamentarians, civil society and private sector representatives. In the debate, few civil Society Organisations have continued to maintain a critical attitude. The EU welcomes constructive criticism and open debate. However, sometimes such criticism is based on inadequate information, and or deliberate misrepresentation of facts. We need to be guided by clear principles of the WTO agreement provisions and desired development ambitions in setting out priorities that will benefit the Ugandan citizen. Past European Union-African Caribbean Pacific trade co-operation has not brought the expected results. It has neither prevented the increasing marginalisation of the ACP in world trade, nor prevented the share of the ACP in total EU imports from decreasing constantly (from 6.7 per cent in 1976 to 2.6 per cent in 2006). This is one of the main reasons why the ACP and the EU agreed jointly in the binding ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, signed in Cotonou on June 23, 2000, to completely overhaul the framework for economic and trade co-operation.

    Source: Monitor.co.ug


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: EU-EAC negotiations
    Link EAC


  17. Luxembourg provides new funds for microfinance in ACP countries
    2011-07-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the European Investment Bank are joining forces on a third technical assistance operation in support of microfinance. Luc Frieden, Finance Minister, and Philippe Maystadt, EIB President, today signed a new cooperation agreement that will bring together the expertise, networks and resources of the EIB and the Finance Ministry in order to develop microfinance and the private sector in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The Finance Ministry of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has pledged to earmark a new envelope of EUR 3m (EUR 1m a year until 2013) for technical assistance projects supporting EIB investments in microfinance companies and institutions, i.e. intermediaries that provide retail financial services to small businesses or micro-enterprises. The technical assistance will take the form of support and training in the fields of accounting, administration and risk management as well as sound governance of those intermediaries. Under their cooperation agreement, the EIB, through its participation in the investment funds that it supports, identifies for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg the technical assistance projects that merit financing. On the basis of the EIB’s recommendation and following an examination, the Finance Ministry funds the technical assistance operation directly. Monitoring and evaluation are conducted jointly at a later stage. Over the past five years, under two previous agreements, 15 microfinance projects received aid and technical assistance totalling EUR 5m in nine countries: Cameroon, Uganda, Chad, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Tanzania, Namibia and Afghanistan.

    Source: EIB


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU Microfinance Programme
    Link ACP Secretariat


  18. Member States should be able to ban or restrict the cultivation of GMOs
    2011-07-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Food Security, Archive

    The European Parliament today adopted a report which allows Member States to ban or restrict the use of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) on environmental and agricultural grounds (eg. pesticide resistance, the invasiveness of certain crops and threat to biodiversity). The final report drafted by ALDE MEP Corinne Lepage (CAP 21, France), maintains a common EU authorisation framework of rules that will apply to all Member States seeking more legal certainty when exercising their freedom to decide on GMO crop cultivation. It means that Member States may adopt measures restricting or prohibiting the cultivation of GMOs on their territory in accordance with EU legislation.

    Source: ALDE


    Link Read more
    Link Greens: Stronger basis after EP vote
    Link Read the draft report


  19. €37.6 million support for the promotion of EU agricultural products
    2011-07-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Archive

    The European Commission has approved 26 programmes in 13 Member States to provide information on and to promote agricultural products in the European Union. The total budget for the programmes, which will run for between one and three years, is €75.1 million, of which the EU will contribute €37.6 million (50%). The selected programmes cover wine, PDOs, PGIs and TSGs, organic food and farming, fruit and vegetables, horticulture, milk and milk products, olive oil and table olives, eggs, seed oil and meat. ‘European Union agricultural products are unique in their quality and diversity,’ said Dacian Cioloş, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. ‘In an increasingly open global market, it is not enough to produce excellent food and drink. We must increase efforts to communicate the standards and quality of European agricultural products to consumers. EU programmes of this kind are an effective way of helping our producers in an increasingly competitive world.’ In addition to these programmes and in light of the E. coli crisis, Commissioner Dacian Cioloş has proposed a regulatory change which will enable professional organisations to submit additional promotional programmes for fresh fruit and vegetables in the single market and in third countries by 15 August. He intends to propose an additional budget of €15 million for this initiative. These promotion campaigns could be launched by the autumn (a Commission decision is expected on 15 November 2011 on the basis of projects submitted by the Member States by 15 September). The proposed schedule will halve the usual adoption procedure associated with cofinanced programmes of this sort. Details of the practical arrangements for this initiative will be available soon.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link European Food Safety Authority
    Link Commission: Information on E.coli


  20. MEPs want risk radar for raw materials
    2011-07-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Lawmakers on 1 July asked the European Commission to establish a permanent task force to assess the EU's need for raw materials used in a wide range of hi-tech, defence and green products. The European Parliament's industry committee adopted last week a draft report on the EU's raw materials strategy, presented by the Commission in February. The report asks the Commission to establish "a risk radar for critical raw materials (CRM)" to analyse future needs and prices, as well as the impact of potential shortages. MEPs called for particular attention be paid to rare earths, renewable energy, high-tech industries, and the defence and automotive sectors.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link MEPs call for sustainable raw materials strategy
    Link Read the draft report


  21. Commissioner Piebalgs in Djibouti
    2011-07-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive

    On 5 July, Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development will arrive in Djibouti for a visit during which he will meet with President Ismail Omar Guelleh, Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita and several other high-level representatives of the Djibouti government. During his encounters with government officials the Commissioner will discuss issues of governance and of reinforced cooperation between the EU and Djibouti, particularly in the area of energy, water and sanitation. Exchanges will also cover more generally topics of poverty alleviation and how the Millennium Development Goals can be achieved in Djibouti. Prior to his departure Commissioner Piebalgs said: "Djibouti is an important player in the Horn of Africa, which has clearly demonstrated its commitment to peace and stability in the region. The Commission wants to support its people in addressing the main challenges of the coming years, such as access to affordable and green energy and water supply. In the course of 2011, we plan to sign financing agreements worth €22 million." In addition to his meetings with government representatives, the Commissioner will hold exchanges with the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is a regional organisation in the Horn of Africa. He will also carry out visits to a number of EU projects in Djibouti.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Djibouti
    Link Further information


  22. G20 - Outcome of the ministerial meeting on agriculture
    2011-07-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Archive

    The 3104th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg on 28 June 2011 was briefed by France on the outcome of a meeting of G20 agriculture ministers held in Paris on 22 and 23 June to discuss the price volatility affecting agricultural commodities. The June meeting proposed an action plan on the volatility of agricultural prices to be endorsed by the G20 Heads of State Summit scheduled for 3 and 4 November 2011 in Cannes. France, which currently holds the presidency of the G20, presented the main output of the action plan agreed by the G20 agriculture ministers:

    • developing agricultural production in the long run in order to match the increasing demand and to limit shortages;
    • improving market information and transparency in the interests of governments and economic operators by creating a joint database on stocks and production;
    • improving 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 world forum able to respond quickly in the event of a crisis;
    • developing risk management tools for the most vulnerable in order to cope with excessive food volatility; and,
    • better organising the agricultural markets.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more [PDF]
    Link French G20-G8 Presidency
    Link G20: Action Plan on food security


  23. Fisheries Partnership agreement between EU and Gabon
    2011-07-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    The 3104th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg on 28 June 2011 adopted a decision to authorize the Commission to open negotiations on behalf of the European Union for the renewal of the protocol to the fisheries partnership agreement with Gabon. The current protocol, which entered into force on 3 December 2005, will expire on 2 December 2011.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Gabon Fisheries Agreement
    Link Pirate fishermen loot West African waters


  24. European funding for the fisheries sector post-2013?
    2011-07-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The 3104th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg on 28 June 2011  was informed about a joint declaration of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania concerning the European funding for the fisheries sector post-2013 (11904/11). These delegations acknowledge the role of European fisheries in providing food safety while ensuring sustainable management of natural resources and its potential to contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy. They pointed out the need for an appropriate funding of the fisheries policy. Furthermore, they consider the need for reform of CFP in order to secure sustainable management of the natural resources but insist on the necessity to keep a sufficient funding available for the support measures of the future CFP. Some specific sectors such as marine or freshwater aquaculture should be supported by such funding. The declaration points out the needs of the "new" member states which were not able to fully benefit from the EU funds available before that date. Six member states (Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Ireland and Portugal) had already submitted to the Commission a common declaration in May 2011 highlighting the importance of the future financial instrument of the PCP.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more
    Link Read the joint declaration
    Link Commission: CFP Reform


  25. Coal comfort as Poland takes over EU presidency
    2011-07-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Environmentalists say that Poland bent the law to get free greenhouse gas emissions permits for 13 unbuilt coal plants, the day before it took over the EU presidency on 1 July. The EU's emissions trading scheme was designed to deter high carbon investments. But free emissions allowances granted to coal plants under its auspices could actually provide an incentive to pollute. An appeal to the Environment Ministry in Warsaw is now "imminent," according to the green NGO Client Earth, and further moves could follow. "We're looking at legal action in Poland," Karla Hill, Client Earth's director of programmes, told EurActiv.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Polish Presidency
    Link Commission: Emission Trading Scheme



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