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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 302]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 302]
Send date: 2011-12-09 10:44:08
Issue #: 118
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 ACP-EU events for the week from 12/10 to 18/10/2011
  2. Our video guest: Dr. Máximo Torero, IFPRI
  3. Malawi and Germany have talks on development cooperation
  4. Germany Development Policy criticised
  5. EPAs and the African Regional Integration
  6. The council appoints EU Representative to the Horn of Africa
  7. Global Forum on Migration and Development
  8. New fund for the EU's maritime and fisheries policies
  9. Key discussions before the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference
  10. Eastern & Southern Africa (ESA) and the EU negotiate in Mauritius
  11. Europeans citizens support development cooperation
  12. 2014-2020 Budget proposals: Strengthening EU external action
  13. ICT to boost development in Africa
  14. The EU: with potential to ensure the Global Partnership is running
  15. Low average for the 27 EU member states
  16. Ranking priorities for EU Common Fisheries Policy
  17. European Parliament delegation to Durban
  18. EU to progressive development cooperation with Madagascar
  19. Proposals for a greener PAC policy: a source of debate
  20. New fisheries fund to be unveiled


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 12/10 to 18/10/2011
    2011-12-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Parliament

    -12/15  December  Plenary Sessions in Strasbourg.

    Council of Ministers
    16 December Agriculture and Fisheries Council (Brussels).

    ACP-EU

    -12 December Joint ACP-EC Ministerial Trade Committee meeting.

    EU Development Days

    -15/16 December in Warsaw, Poland.

    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.




  2. Our video guest: Dr. Máximo Torero, IFPRI
    2011-12-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    Dr. Máximo Torero is the Director of the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington. In this video, taken at a Brussels Briefing on Food Price Volatility on 30 November, Dr. Torero explains how food price speculation works, and what impact an ambitious climate agreement in Durban could have on global food prices.


    Link Watch the video
    Link EU faces opossition in Durban
    Link Rising Food Crisis in East Africa


  3. Malawi and Germany have talks on development cooperation
    2011-12-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Germany and Malawi recently held gov­ern­ment negotiations on de­vel­opment cooperation in Lilongwe. At the ne­go­ti­a­tions, 41 million euros have been committed for bilateral de­vel­op­ment co­operation, 23 million euros less than in 2009.

    "In its de­vel­op­ment cooperation, Germany has responded to the changed en­vi­ron­ment in Malawi […] And there is a risk that the impressive development progress achieved over the past few years may not last. So in the absence of a number of crucial prerequisites, we were unable to commit new general budget support. However, we are con­tin­u­ing and expanding our accompanying measures to strengthen public fi­nan­cial management", says the German Development Minister, Dirk Niebel.

    Germany, adds Niebel,  will be pro­viding in­creased support in the future to Malawi's National Audit Office as well as other accountability institutions.  In the aftermath of a remarkable economic and political crisis in the country, German Development Minister welcomes the first steps that have been taken, such as the establishment of a forum for dialogue between the government and civil society. “However, sustainable answers to the country's pressing problems need to be identified and implemented", he concludes.

    The remaining commitments have been issued for pov­er­ty reduction, especially by means of investment in health and population policy along with efforts to strengthen transparency and accountability.

     

    Source: Federal ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development


    Link Read more
    Link Malawi's economic outlook
    Link Germany: effective use of funds


  4. Germany Development Policy criticised
    2011-12-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive, Rural development

    In the light of the debated 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (4th HLF), German Development Policy has been fiercely criticized by a recent report published by Terre des hommes and Welthungerhilfe. Entitled “Reality of Aid 2011”, the report underlines quantitative and qualitative aspects of German official development assistance and integrates the international scope of German development policy. German Government refutes all points.

    Main critiques outline that the German government’s medium-term financial planning up to 2014 shows great reduction in spending for development aid. Organizations also point out a disappointing performance in coordinating technical cooperation although German government refute  all points of criticism.

    Last January 2011, the three organizations responsible in implementing technical cooperation merged to become the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). German Government has refuted all points t and the development ministry’s budget has shown at its highest for the third time in a row.


    Link Read More
    Link German Development Policy
    Link Malawi-EU relations


  5. EPAs and the African Regional Integration
    2011-12-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Security, Rural development

    Erastus Jarnalese Onkundi Mwencha, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, has his reservations about the benefits of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs). He says to be concerned about the African regional integration and states: “I don’t think EPA is a priority for Africa”.

    Onkundi Mwencha, keen on supporting regional integration, believes that this latter will develop larger markets and boost greater competition. Highlighting the lack of trade among African countries, the Deputy Director of the AU, claims that structures of African economies “have been intended to produce raw materials” and therefore they “export these raw materials”.

    Strongly suggesting to foster African competitiveness, Onkundi Mwencha, calls for a change of mentality  and stresses the need to look at infrastructure or quality of the products.  Only an average of 10-12% of African trade has been with African nations.

     

    Source: Ghana Business News


    Link Read More
    Link ACP Parliamentarians urge 'flexibility' on EPAs
    Link Integrating agrarian economies in Africa


  6. The council appoints EU Representative to the Horn of Africa
    2011-12-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Food Security

    Mr Alexander Rondos, Greek diplomat with extensive experience in diplomatic negotiations around the world, has been recently appointed by the council  as EU Special Representative to the region comprising Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.

    The task of  Alexander Rondos is to actively contribute to regional and international efforts to achieve lasting peace, security and development in the region. The new Special Representative will initially focus on Somalia and the regional dimensions of the conflict there as well as on piracy, which has its root causes in the instability of the country.

    Concerning Catherine Ashton, the High Representative has said: "I look forward to working closely with Alexander Rondos, whose vast experience of the region makes him an excellent choice for this vital role. The recent adoption of the strategic framework for the Horn of Africa shows our determination to do all we can to help achieve lasting peace, security and development in the region. This is a priority for the European Union."


    Source: Consilium


    Link Read more
    Link More EU funding for the Horn of Africa
    Link Council conclusions on the Horn of Africa


  7. Global Forum on Migration and Development
    2011-12-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    In the light of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) 2011, one of the largest and most comprehensive global platform for dialogue and cooperation, Switzerland recently welcomed over 700 representatives from 162 UN Member States, 37 GFMD Observers, and varied civil society groups.

    A panel comprised of representatives from governments, civil society and international organizations debated the topic; “Looking at the Big Picture: Demographics, Youth (Un-) Employment, Development and Migration”.

    Two Working Sessions subsequently discussed the highlights of the 14 thematic meetings organised around the globe this year under the framework of the GFMD, followed by Special Sessions on the GFMD Assessment, the GFMD Platform for Partnerships and the Relationship between the GFMD and Non-governmental Partners.


    Source: Africa and Europe in Partnership


    Link Read more
    Link GFMD
    Link New migration strategy


  8. New fund for the EU's maritime and fisheries policies
    2011-12-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The European Commission (EC) has finally unveiled its proposals for the new maritime and fisheries fund that will run for the period 2014-2020. Maria Damanaki, Commissioner in charge of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries states that “this new fund will increase economic growth and create jobs in the sector. No more money will be spent to build big vessels. Small scale fisheries and aquaculture will benefit of this budgetary greening of the Common Fisheries Policy." The proposed envelope amounts to € 6.5 billion.

    According to the EC, the so-called European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will help deliver the ambitious objectives of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and assist fishermen in the transition towards sustainable fishing, as well as coastal communities in the diversification of their economies.

    The fund will finance projects that create new jobs and improve quality of life along European coasts. Red tape will be cut so that beneficiaries have easy access to financing.Likewise, it will replace the existing European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and a number of other instruments.

     

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Maria Damanaki, European Commission
    Link Ranking priorities for Fisheries Policy


  9. Key discussions before the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference
    2011-12-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, ACP-EU Trade

    Senior trade officials from ACP member countries have participated in two days of discussions in preparation for key meetings within the coming weeks. According to Paulo Kautoke, ACP Assistant Secretary General and Head of the Macroeconomics, Development Finance and Intra-ACP Programming, “the ultimate objective is to put before the ACP Ministers a solid document that will assist them, first to participate effectively at the Joint Ministerial Trade Committee and secondly, to make a forceful contribution during the forthcoming WTO Ministerial Conference”.

    More than 150 trade executives and experts, accompanied by their ministers, met to address changes in the ACP-EU trade regime, the state of regional Economic Partnership Agreements, and to consolidate a position for WTO talks in Geneva.

    This meeting was a lead-up to the ACP Trade Ministers Meeting, which will be combined with the ACP Council of Ministers. Representatives will then hold discussions with European counterparts in the Joint Ministerial Trade Committee before attending the 8th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation on 14 – 15 December.


    Link Read more
    Link 8th WTO Ministerial Conference
    Link ACP- EU Trade


  10. Eastern & Southern Africa (ESA) and the EU negotiate in Mauritius
    2011-12-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    EU and Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) agents met recently in Mauritius to negotiate relevant issues in the comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Among the topics on the agenda, they discussed on trade in goods, sustainable development, trade in services, and trade-related rules.

    According to the European Commission, talks were constructive: if the good will and positive approach displayed by the parties are maintained, the objective of concluding the negotiations in 2012 will become realistic.

    While subjects such as the Most Favored Nation (MFN) clause, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS), and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) have experienced progress, additional discussions are needed on others, namely Rules of Origin and export taxes. Next negotiation round at technical and senior officials' level will take place in March 2012 in Brussels.

     

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU-AfOA Negotiations
    Link Peter Thompson, DG Trade


  11. Europeans citizens support development cooperation
    2011-12-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive, Food Security

    In an interview conducted by Europolitics, Andris Piebalgs highlights some of the key issues for greater aid effectiveness, core debate in Busan, South Korea. He stresses the importance of coordinated action among Member states.  Speaking of China he hopes this latter plays an active role in this discussion and then participates in the partnership. He highlights that European citizens support development cooperation.

    Coordinated action among EU donors is, according to Development commissioner, one of the best strategies to “increase the impact of aid”.  He says that countries such as France and Germany are very supportive and details some of the projects ongoing:  “We have started joint programming of EU aid in Haiti and South Sudan and we will do it soon in ten more countries, mainly in Africa and Latin America.”

    Piebalgs says that he expected that China “would endorse the Paris and Accra declarations, action by action” and “behave like any other EU member states when delivering aid around the world, abiding by the same principles” .  Nevertheless, this is not the case yet and “south-south cooperation remains different from North-South cooperation”. “Yet, it would be wrong not to congratulate the Chinese […] for them to join the partnership is a very good step forward” he adds.

    Piebalgs stresses that developing countries fear a shortage of EU aid and less trade with Europe but he also underlines that “European citizens support development cooperation”, fact that “gives [the EU] strong credibility in the future”. Development commissioner adds, however, that he is likely to answer more questions on the crisis than on his responsibilities: “we should be proud that everybody cares about Europe but we should also realise how concerned the rest of the world is and should tackle the problem as fast as possible”.

     

    Source: Europolitics


    Link Read more (Interview)
    Link Piebalgs: 'A view from Busan'
    Link NGOs voice criticism of EU's action


  12. 2014-2020 Budget proposals: Strengthening EU external action
    2011-12-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development, ACP-EU Policy

    The budget proposals for the EU external instruments have been recently adopted by the European Commission. These, which will allow the Union to meet its responsibility as global actor, will notably support developing countries. The total amount proposed is €96,249.4 million.

    According to Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, "even in times of crisis, Europe must look outwards and engage in the world […] The EU will stand by its international commitments to the poorest and most vulnerable people […]"

    Likewise, Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, stresses that "the EU is the first donor in the world”  and “most Europeans agree that the EU should show solidarity by increasing its development aid”. For the period 2014-2020 the total amount proposed for the nine instruments issued is €96,249.4 million from which 34,276 million will be allocated to the European Development Fund (EDF, outside EU Budget).

     

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link European Development Fund
    Link European Commission


  13. ICT to boost development in Africa
    2011-12-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    Several ICT and development experts discussed on policy and business requirements to foster ICT-based entrepreneurship for development, with great focus in Africa. Among the conclusions, experts agreed that partnership approach is crucial for success cases. The discussion, which took place in Brussels, was held after the presentation of the study entitled; “Leveraging Information and Communication Technology for the BoP– Innovative business models in education, health, agriculture and financial services”.

    According to the study, which reviews more than 280 projects, while the entrepreneurship approach seems key to starting successful services, cross-border and cross-actor collaboration are crucial to scale up. Apart from the always claimed investment, some underlined that one of the main challenges for projects to succeed in developing countries is the policy environment.

    Eddy Hartog, Head of Unit, International Relations, Directorate-General Information Society and Media, European Commission (EC), attended also to the presentation. Hartog said that, in the course of time, he would like further application of ICT in development projects carried out by the EC.


    Link Read more (Report)
    Link European Commission: Capacity4Dev
    Link eLearning Africa


  14. The EU: with potential to ensure the Global Partnership is running
    2011-12-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    In the aftermath of the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, European NGOs voice criticism of EU’s performance. Natalia Alonso, Head of Oxfam International EU office in Brussels, says that the EU "allowed a watered-down agreement on global aid reform to accommodate geopolitical agendas". She adds that the summit unfortunately turned to be "a conversation between Northem and Southern donors about what kind of aid they want to give".

    Alonso underlines that European NGOs expected leaders "to endorse a global system of checks" aiming at improving the way donors provide foreign assistance and fostering aid transparency. "Europe should not use the economic crisis as an excuse for not to meet their promises to the world’s poorest", she claims. Nevertheless she adds that "the EU certainly has the potential to play a stronger role in the next six months to ensure the Global Partnership launched in Busan is up and running soon".

    Though the EU went to Busan with a decisive focus on strengthening developing countries' ownership and accountability, NGOs express concern about the final declaration as they consider that it is just a roadmap lacking binding commitments.

     

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read full interview
    Link Partnership but not binding commitments
    Link Effective Development Cooperation


  15. Low average for the 27 EU member states
    2011-12-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    While key actors discuss in Durban, a new report commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) analyses  EU’s climate policies  and considers that  such a strategy is "standstill in long-term". Among potential measures to undertake, the study suggests an agricultural policy reform.

    The report grades both EU-level policies and those of the 27 member states according to an A to G scale. The 27 EU member states as a whole get an 'E'.Other findings include a claim that the EU's emission trading system will fail to achieve a decarbonised economy by 2050, as "the current trajectory overshoots this goal by 20 years."

    The report details a range of potential policy measures such as a carbon tax, a legal agreement on targets beyond 2020, and reforming farm policy to take climate change into account.

    The report was funded by the European Climate Foundation and written by Ecofys, a consultancy specialising in renewable energy and climate policy.

     

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Durban Conference
    Link European Parliament delegation to Durban


  16. Ranking priorities for EU Common Fisheries Policy
    2011-12-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Regional Fisheries, Food Policy

    In the aftermath of the Commission‘s reform proposal, EU’s  Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) priorities come to debate. Lowi  Evans, Director General of the DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission, and Alain Cadec, Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee (MEP, EPP) detail the major goals of the CPF and exchange views on its priorities.

    During the debate Citizen's Controversy, moderated by Pierre Defraigne, Executive Director of The Madariaga-College of Europe foundation, Evans stresses that the proposal is aiming  at reaching environmental sustainability,  integrating a local development agenda and evolving towards a policy more attentive to consumer demand as well as simplifying procedures.

    Thought keen on remarking the importance of environmental sustainability and fisheries resources, Cadec  claims that the proposal forgets fishermen’s needs . Furthermore, he voiced criticism of treating fisheries as “adjustment variable” in trade agreements as he stresses  that these are as “sensitive “ as agricultural products.

    Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), as Pierre Defraigne says, constitutes one of the most complex European policies as it implies both the internal and external dimensions of the EU where a wide range of actors are involved.

     

    Source: The Madariaga-College of Europe foundation


    Link Read the report
    Link Reform of the the Common Fisheries Policy
    Link European Fund for the EU's Maritime and Fisheries Policies


  17. European Parliament delegation to Durban
    2011-12-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    15 members of European Parliament delegation to the UN climate summit (COP 17) begin their programme in Durban, South Africa. According to the delegation Chair, Jo Leinen (S&D, DE), this week is crucial "in laying these vital building blocks towards a binding international deal."

    Leinen, who holds a joint press conference with Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, highlights that "the European Parliament believes the future of the Kyoto Protocol and the climate fund for developing countries is key to success or failure in Durban".

    In their Durban programme, MEPs discuss negotiations with the Commission and Polish Presidency, meet counterparts from other parliaments (Japan, South Africa and Mexico), as well as local and international NGO representatives.

    The European Parliament calls for the EU to give "clear and unequivocal" support to a new phase of the expiring Kyoto Protocol, urges agreement to 'operationalise' the Green Climate Fund and notes the economic benefits to the EU if it goes beyond its 20% 2020 emissions target.

     

    Source: The European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Durban Conference
    Link Durban must achieve


  18. EU to progressive development cooperation with Madagascar
    2011-12-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Policy

    In response to the last political developments in Madagascar, EU’s position changes before the country. Though under some conditions, the EU will support transition in Magadascar as well as boost progressive development cooperation therein.

    The EU, which has actively supported the efforts of mediation, notably carried out by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU), welcomed the signature of the "Roadmap" which put an end to the Madagascar’s crisis last 16th September, 2011.

    Catherine Ashton, high representative of the Union for foreign affairs and security policy, declared to be glad the political situation of Madagascar has changed and stated the EU will support, though with conditions, the transition in the country.

    Likewise, M. Andris Pielbags, Development Commissioner, has welcomed the progress achieved in the country and highlighted that "several Population Support Programmes are already under the course of preparing".

     

    Source: Consilium


    Link Read More (FR)
    Link EU -Magadascar relations
    Link European Commission:DEVCO


  19. Proposals for a greener PAC policy: a source of debate
    2011-12-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Trade

    While key farmers’ organizations voice criticism of the European Commission´s commitment to fostering a greener Common Agricultural  Policy (PAC), organic producers welcome proposed changes as they think these are positive steps toward more sustainable farming practices. The proposals would use 30% of direct payments -first pillar of the CAP-, to promote conservation measures.

    The proposals, defended by the Agricultural Commissioner, Dacian Cioloş, are part of proposed changes to the €54-billion annual farm support programme that consumes some 40% of EU spending. The proposals include plans encourage farmers to rotate crops, set aside permanent pasture and create woodlands or buffer zones.

    Antje Kölling, policy coordinator for the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) has stated that they  are "really very happy that this is really clearly recognised".

    The draft which would take effect in 2014 reflects what organic farmers already do. So far, the second pillar has been supporting ecology measures and rural development with matching contributions from member states.

     

    Source: Euractiv; the European Commission


    Link Read More
    Link Commission: DG Agriculture
    Link UN Food and Agricultural Organization report


  20. New fisheries fund to be unveiled
    2011-12-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Trade

    The European Commission will unveil soon its proposals for a European maritime and fisheries fund (EMFF) which is expected to amount a subsidy package of  € 6.7bn.  The EMFF will be then used to both fund and ease in the reformed common fisheries. This announcement comes ahead of what is expected to be a damning European Court of Auditors report, to be released on 12 December,  and which is expected to be extremely critical of the current EU CFP.

    While member states are looking to the fund to offset the effects on fisheries-dependent communities,  the commission is looking to use it to support its discard ban proposal. In addition, the European commission has stressed that the reformed EMMF is aimed to policy change rather than keep the status quo.

    The environmental group WWF suggested that the "immediate" task was to reform subsidies to support the "transition to effective and sustainable" fisheries management. WFF expects that the new fund "ensure that the EU meets its commitment of achieving sustainable fisheries and a resource efficient fisheries sector".

     

    Source: The Parliament


    Link Read More
    Link European Commission
    Link WWF



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Editor: André Feldhof (feldhof@cta.int)

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