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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 305]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 305]
Send date: 2012-01-17 12:46:51
Issue #: 121
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 16/01 to 22/01/2012
  2. Our Video Guest: Jean-Marc Bellot, AFD
  3. Next Brussels Development Briefing: 22 February 2012
  4. The ACP Group welcomes Fiji democracy moves
  5. Euro area external trade surplus 6.9 bn euro
  6. The EEAS: leaving aside anti-poverty objectives
  7. Support to food safety in Ethiopia
  8. Eastern EU: 'encouraged' to 30 % CO2 cuts
  9. 2012–16 strategy to help developing countries meet standards
  10. Congolese elections to jeopardise ACP-EU cooperation
  11. Additional support to Ghana
  12. EU Zambian envoy's mandate comes to an end
  13. European Parliament: changes approaching
  14. Genetics: contributing to sustainable fishing
  15. A new housing programme in Haiti
  16. Contributions of private sector to development
  17. Harmonising inspection procedures
  18. Sustainable energy: key for Sub-saharan Africa
  19. Priorities of the Danish EU Presidency
  20. Haiti : Two years after the earthquake


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 16/01 to 22/01/2012
    2012-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Parliament
    -6/19 January: European Parliament plenary session (Strasbourg)
    ACP Group
    -19 January: Committee of Ambassadors of ACP Group
    -20 January: S/C on Sustainable Development

    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: Jean-Marc Bellot, AFD
    2012-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive

    Following the presentation of the study “Leveraging Information and Communication Technology for the BoP– Innovative business models in education, health, agriculture and financial services”, which took place in Brussels, we met Jean-Marc Bellot, Head of the Brussels representation office of the  Agence Française de Développement (AFD). He explains to us how the ICT can help farmers to get  the so-called “fair price”.


    Link Watch the video
    Link More on AFD
    Link The study


  3. Next Brussels Development Briefing: 22 February 2012
    2012-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    The next Brussels Development Briefing will take place on the 22 February 2012 and will be organised in partnership with the African Union, the European Commission (DG DEVCO) the ACP Secretariat, Concord and various media partners.
    The Briefing will provide an overview of the main challenges affecting the pastoralists, especially in the ACP countries, and the opportunities provided by existing continental and regional policy frameworks and processes. It will then focus on sharing good practices and experiences from the field across regions. We will also identify what urgent and concrete policy actions need to be in place to increase support pastoralism.
    The Briefing will be fully webstreamed in English and French. To learn more, to register for the Briefing and to follow the webstream on22 February (from 8h30 a.m. to13.00 p.m. CET) please visit brusselsbriefings.




  4. The ACP Group welcomes Fiji democracy moves
    2012-01-16

    Following the Fiji Government’s decision to lift the Public Emergency Regulation with effect from Saturday 7th January 2012, the Secretary General of the ACP Group of States H.E Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has recently said that this was a significant move which should pave the way for inclusive internal consultations leading to credible elections and restoration of constitutional rule. Furthermore he said the ACP Secretariat stands ready to provide appropriate technical expertise and support to Fiji towards pursuing constructive dialogue with the European Union in the context of the formal consultations under Article 96 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, at an appropriate time as it has done in the case of other ACP countries in recent times.
    The ACP Committee of Ambassadors have been closely monitoring the developments in Fiji, and in turn have regularly apprised the ACP Council of Ministers, the most recent being in December last year.

    Source:ACP


    Link Read more
    Link EU statement on Fiji
    Link Cotonou Agreement and the article 96


  5. Euro area external trade surplus 6.9 bn euro
    2012-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    According to Eurostat, the first estimate for euro area1 (EA17) trade with the rest of the world in November 2011 gave a 6.9 bn euro surplus, compared with -2.3 bn euro in November 2010. The October 2011 balance was +1.0 bn, compared with +3.1 bn in October 2010. In November 2011 compared with October 2011, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 3.9%, while imports remained stable.
    The first estimate for the November 2011 extra-EU271 trade balance was a 7.2 bn euro deficit, compared with -16.8 bn in November 2010. In October 2011 the balance was -11.2 bn, compared with -9.5 bn in October 2010. In November 2011 compared with October 2011, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 2.8%, while imports fell by 0.6%.
    Compared with former release  of 16 December 2011, the trade balance for October 2011 has been revised from +1.1 bn euro to +1.0 bn for the EA17 and from -11.0 bn euro to -11.2 bn for the EU27.

    Source: Eurostat


    Link Read more
    Link EU-ACP Trade
    Link External Trade Statistics


  6. The EEAS: leaving aside anti-poverty objectives
    2012-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    According to a report published by CONCORD, the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development, the EU is marginalising anti-poverty objectives as the European External Action Service (EEAS), fails to integrate development policy. As stated by the organization, competition between the EEAS and DG DEVCO seems to prevail.
    Klavdija Cernilogar, CONCORD, Head of Policy states that "EU foreign policy is turning a blind eye to poverty eradication […] In regions such as the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, anti-terrorism and security operations have been prioritised with little consideration to long term development efforts. Catherine Ashton and her colleagues need to realize that while poverty remains, conflict and instability will always find fertile ground. We’re also concerned that development policy risks being instrumentalised for self-interest policies”. Furthermore, she adds that “there is still no clarity on how the European Commission and the EEAS will coordinate €11billion in development programming”.  
    Notably, the report gives 5 recommendations for the improvement of the EEAS on this issue.

    Source: CONCORD


    Link Read the report
    Link Responding to criticism
    Link The development elements of the EEAS


  7. Support to food safety in Ethiopia
    2012-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Following the application of an Ethiopian horticultural company, whose core business is growing, processing and exporting fresh herbs to the EU market for support from the PIP, a BRC implementation training was recently organised. The mission was to develop and install the documentation system required to comply with the requirements of the Global Standard for Food Safety (formally known as BRC).
    The PIP, which is financed by the European Development Fund,  was established by the EU at the request of the ACP Group of States to prevent the negative effects of regulatory changes underway on the export sector concerned and strengthen sustainable this business.
    Once all the trainings were completed, an expert assisted the food safety manager to develop tailor made documentation and record system based on the requirements of the BRC standard and the needs of the company. He also coached the middle management team on the installation of the developed tools, involving translation of some key documents to Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia.

    Source: The PIP


    Link Read more
    Link Strengthening food Safety SyStemS in ACP
    Link EU market access challenges for ACP


  8. Eastern EU: 'encouraged' to 30 % CO2 cuts
    2012-01-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    In the course of the Durban Climate Summit, held last December in South Africa, a proposal allowing eastern European member states to bank some €3.2 billion of unused carbon credits if they agree to extend the EU’s emissions reductions target from 20% to 30% was made in a policy paper. The Danish presidency , which views the proposed trade-off positively, may seek to advance it at the level of EU heads of state and governments.
    As Martin Lidegaard, Denmark's climate and energy minister, told EurActiv, “`[t]he assigned amount unit [AAU] question is one of the elements on the table but we also have other issues such as steadying up the ambitions on the CO2 reduction targets and milestones for 2030, and they are all very closely inter-linked”. Although he added that they did not know how far they could get the AAU issue during the Presidency, Denmark's climate and energy minister said that this is an issue that they have “look at”.
    Stig Schjølset, a market analyst for Point Carbon, explained that, thought the deal was vetoed by a handful of states, “there is clearly a link to be made because those countries opposing more ambitious European [CO2 reduction] targets are the same ones pushing for banking of AAUs”.
    Each AAU is an allowance to emit one metric tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent. It is important to remember that former eastern bloc states were deluged with the carbon credits after the heavy polluting industries  and were intended to deter collapsed along with communism.
    The issue of the 3.1 billion surplus AAUs left over from that first Kyoto commitment period is supposed to be agreed at the UN Doha Climate talks in December 2012. Yet the EU should submit its second binding commitment targets to the UN's climate change body  next May 2012

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Kyoto Protocol on climate change
    Link Durban Platform for Enhanced Action


  9. 2012–16 strategy to help developing countries meet standards
    2012-01-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy, Environment, Archive

    A new medium-term strategy for 2012-16 has been recently adopted by a five-agency programme to reinforce coordination in a number of key areas to help developing countries meet international standards on food safety and animal and plant health. As a recent articles report, the main goal is to assist developing countries tackle pests, animal and plant diseases and contaminants so that they can expand and diversify food and agricultural production and exports. This is expected to result in economic development, poverty reduction, better nutrition, food security and environmental protection. The EU as well as some EU member states are current donors.
    'The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), joint initiative in capacity building and technical cooperation, will greatly contribute to this objective as it aims at raising awareness on the importance of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues to this by helping them build up their capacity to implement requirements known as “sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS)” standards through increased awareness and knowledge of good practices and by funding projects that promote compliance with the standards, including grants to help prepare projects.
    It was set up by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Trade Organization (WTO), and is run by the five partners together with donor countries and representatives of developing countries.
    Funding to implement new strategy will remain at the current target of $5m per year, with a mid-term review due in 2013. Its current donors are Canada, Denmark, EU, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, US.

    Source:WTO


    Link Read more
    Link Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement
    Link Standards and Trade Development Facility


  10. Congolese elections to jeopardise ACP-EU cooperation
    2012-01-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    In the light of the outcomes of the last elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the European Union (EU) might suspend cooperation with the African country. As EU election observers report, there have been several irregularities in the course of the Congolose presidential polls.  According to an EU spokesman, Maja Kocijancic, the EU could invoke article 96 of the Cotonou agreement.  
    Under this article, the EU can suspend cooperation with any ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) country that has not respected democratic principles. Were the case of such an action, EU direct financial aid to the DRC would be frozen, with the exception of the humanitarian assistance.
    The multi-annual indicative programme in the DRC for the current spending round has budgeted €561.7 million for these priorities.
    The EU's activities in the DRC also involve cross-cutting issues such as democracy, good governance, human rights, the rights of children and indigenous peoples, gender equality, long-term environmental protection and the fight against HIV/AIDS.

    Source: Afrique en ligne


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about EU-RDC cooperation
    Link More on the Cotonou Agreement and article 96


  11. Additional support to Ghana
    2012-01-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    The European Commission will give additional support (€52 million) to Ghana to reduce maternal mortality and achieve the MDG 5 targets. The European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs  says that “[it] will make a major contribution to the fight against poverty”. This support is part of the additional  funding  to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries aimed to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
    The European Union will focus on three priority areas: improving family planning, skilled attendance at delivery and emergency obstetric and newborn care, contributing therefore to the implementation of the “MDG Accelerated Framework and Country Action Plan”.
    “In line with our recent proposals for the future EU development policy, the ‘Agenda for Change’, we will invest our money where it is needed most and where we can achieve real results”, Andris Piebalgs highlighted.
    The additional support’s initiative was launched by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, at the UN summit in September 2010.

    Source: VibeGhana



    Link Read more
    Link EU-Ghana: 35 years of cooperation
    Link Most Offtrack MDGs


  12. EU Zambian envoy's mandate comes to an end
    2012-01-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Zambia's Ambassador to the EU, ACP and Benelux countries, Dr. Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika, whose tour of duty has recently come to an end, bid farewell to ACP Secretary-General, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas. According to this latter, during her mandate, though short, she brought wisdom and experience to the table.
    During her mandate in Brussels, she has chaired ACP Committees on Least Developed Countries(LDCs), the Brussels' chapter of the International Conference of Great Lakes Region(ICGLR) as well as the Trade and Commodities committee. All in all, the Zambian envoy has had 20 years of public service, 11 as a parliamentarian in Zambia and nine as diplomat the bulk of which were in Washington before her transfer to Brussels, less than two years ago.

    Source:ACP


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Zambia cooperation
    Link Dr. Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika' s biography


  13. European Parliament: changes approaching
    2012-01-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The Parliament will elect a new President as well as the 14 new Vice-Presidents and Quaestors at the first plenary session of 2012, that will take place on 16-19 January. Current office-holders can be confirmed for a second mandate. All elected offices are renewed every two and half years, so once in the 5-year legislative term.
    Parliament's standing committees will elect their Chairs and Vice-Chairs during the week starting on Monday 23 January. Chairs and Vice-Chairs can also be elected for a second mandate. Parliament's inter-parliamentary delegations will do likewise.
    Offices are expected to ensure an overall fair representation of Member States and the political views thereof.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Know all about JPA
    Link Rules of procedure


  14. Genetics: contributing to sustainable fishing
    2012-01-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, Archive

    Its use is not new in the fisheries sector but it has considerably expanded in recent years: the use of genetics is increasingly supplementing the old methods of identification based on protein profiles and adds to existing verification procedures. Research from European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) shows that new technologies in the field can be used to identify species and detect fraud help guarantee sustainable fishing as  normally checks carried out by control authorities, fraud squads, consumer associations or NGOs seem to show high levels of labelling errors: 10- 40 % of products present incorrect information, which does not only concern consumer protection but fisheries regulations.
    While traceability tests become less costly , DNA sequencing is being carried out on a growing number of species. As more than 200 commercial fish species are already registered in a genetic catalogue, the main goal now is to give analytical laboratories in Member States access to common registers. ‘Fishtrace’, the existing online database which is financed under the European Union’s fifth research framework programme, is the first step.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Fishtrace
    Link European Commission/DG Fisheries


  15. A new housing programme in Haiti
    2012-01-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    As part of its support to Haiti,  of the European Commission (EC) launches in Port-au-Prince a €23 million programme to repair and rebuild safe homes to the benefit of more than 60 000 displaced people. This new housing programme, will be implemented together with local communities, the municipalities as well as the Haitian Ministry for Public Works. “Two years after the terrible earthquake, the reconstruction of Haiti is and will remain a priority in our agenda”, Andris Piebalgs highlights.
    Equally, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton, says that the Commission will keep its support to Haitians. Regarding the new administration under President Martelly and Prime Minister Conille, she hopes that it “will mark the the beginning of a period of political stability and economic growth” as “[t] his is essential for the success of the reconstruction process”.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The aftermath
    Link Goal: better conditions than before


  16. Contributions of private sector to development
    2012-01-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development

    In recent meetings held in Brussels and other regions, experts and policy-makers have greatly discussed on the impact of the ICT in development as well as the role of the private sector therein. Since this latter is increasingly taken into account by international aid agencies, the Development Policy Center, a research unit at the Crawford School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, has recently published a paper where the contribution of the private sector to development is reviewed.
    The paper, which considers the information that the private sector provides regarding its development contributions, suggests that private sector reporting is oriented to serve the needs of business rather than those of the development community and gives recommendations about how corporate reporting can better show the private sector’s role in development.

    Source: Development Policy Center (ANU)


    Link Read the paper
    Link ICT for the BoP
    Link ICT-based projects


  17. Harmonising inspection procedures
    2012-01-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    EU fisheries inspectors have been designated to check compliance with common fisheries policy rules, particularly in the framework of the EU’s international control obligations and specific control and inspection programmes adopted by the Commission for certain fisheries.  The recent adoption of the new ‘control’ regulation harmonises inspection procedures and methods, and ensures the admissibility of inspection reports drawn up by one Member State in another Member State.
    As part of the 2002 reform, the European Union decided to set up the so called ‘Community’ inspectors, these known as 'EU inspectors' following adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon. The idea was to have experts of all nationalities available to carry out shared fisheries surveillance missions and inspect vessels operating in the zone concerned, regardless of the flag they fly. The new ‘control’ regulation helps strengthen the system aiming at developing a stronger culture of compliance among operators.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link ICT to support inspection systems
    Link Common Fisheries: Development


  18. Sustainable energy: key for Sub-saharan Africa
    2012-01-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    According to a recent article published by UNDP, almost 45% of the world’s population who lack access to energy live in Sub-Saharan Africa, that’s to say, over 585 million people.  Likewise, around 78% of those  living in Sub-Saharan Africa use  of traditional biomass for cooking and heating. UNDP stresses the importance for developing countries to have access to sustainable energy.
    UNDP states that access to sustainable energy is crucial “for making societies more equitable and inclusive, and for encouraging green growth and sustainable development overall”. Additionally, it lists equity, inclusiveness, resilience, and sustainability as the guiding principles for efforts to achieve universal energy access.
    As the International Energy Agency estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa will need high cumulative investments to achieve universal electricity access by 2030 and for clean fuels and devices for cooking and heating by 2030, UNDP highlights that Public funding alone will not be enough to cover the costs: “African countries need to be able to attract and access different sources of finance”.

    Source: UNDP


    Link Read more
    Link key World Energy Statistics
    Link Catalysing Climate Finance


  19. Priorities of the Danish EU Presidency
    2012-01-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Policy, Archive, Environment

    Denmark has recently presented the official programme of the Danish EU Presidency for the next 6 months. The programme, which has been unveiled to the Danish and international press along with the diplomatic corps in Copenhagen, notably presents 4 priorities that will be to contribute to: A responsible Europe: a dynamic Europe: a green Europe: and a safe Europe.
    At a press Conference, the Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, along with the Minister for Economic Affairs and the Interior, Margrethe Vestager , and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Villy Søvndal, and the Minister for European Affairs, Nicolai Wammen , presented the programme.
    In the programme, the four priorities, which were already listed some days before, are expanded.   Notably, some of the topics that the Danish EU Presidency will focus on will be  the energy efficiency and future climate policy as well as the sustainable future agricultural and fisheries policies.

    Source: Danish EU Presidency


    Link Read more
    Link The programme
    Link Recommendations of Amnesty


  20. Haiti : Two years after the earthquake
    2012-01-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti has been one of the most complicated the world has coped with. The involvement of the International community has been unprecedented as many initiatives, the UNDP reports, have been and are still being carried out.
    2011 has been  not only marked by political and administrative transition but also by the transition from the humanitarian to the recovery phase. As UNDP states in its report 'Haiti rebuilds', although the recovery phase will still take some years  a series of results have been already observed  over the last year, 2011, such as  the 50% of the debris removed, more than 300,000 jobs created and 2,000 meters of gabion walls erected.
    Even if early international enthusiasm has faded, thousands of volunteers from civil and international organizations still work to meet the ultimate goal:  to reach yet better living conditions than there were before the earthquake.

    Source: World Vision, UNDP


    Link Read more
    Link Shifting to reconstruction
    Link EU Solidarity with Haiti



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Please feel free to forward this newsletter to other interested colleagues.

Ms Isolina BOTO
Head
CTA Brussels Office
39 rue Montoyer
1000 Brussels - Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 2 513 74 36 (direct); Fax +32 (0) 2 511 38 68
E-mail: boto@cta.int
Website: http://www.cta.int/
Brussels weblog: http://brussels.cta.int/
Brussels Briefings: http://brusselsbriefings.net/

Editor: Alejandra Morales (morales@cta.int)

NOTE
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For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
More information on CTA activities in Brussels at : http://brussels.cta.int/
CTA is an institution of the ACP Group of States (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) and the EU (European Union), in the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is financed by the EU.
Copyright © 2011 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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