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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 306]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 306]
Send date: 2012-01-20 17:59:48
Issue #: 122
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 23/01 to 29/01/2012
  2. Our Video Guest: Nicolas Chevrollier, TNO
  3. Next Brussels Development Briefing: 22 February 2012
  4. AFROMAISON: for a better INRM in Africa
  5. Improving safety checks
  6. ACP welcomes Ban Ki-Moon's 2nd Term
  7. New strategy to improve animal welfare
  8. The EC to double its humanitarian aid to the Sahel
  9. EP calls for a strategy to tackle food wastage
  10. European banks: Increasing global hunger and poverty
  11. MEPs to support the 6-month programme:
  12. A "climate-smart" approach to agriculture
  13. European Parliament: Vice-presidents and Quaestors elected
  14. EU-funded research to study climate change's impact
  15. Regionalizing the Common Fisheries Policy
  16. EAC-EU: restarting EPA negotiations
  17. Mitigating climate change impacts on African regions
  18. Mitigating near-term climate change
  19. Ghana’s Forest and Wildlife Policy reviewed
  20. Martin Schulz, new president of the EP
  21. Promoting sustainable farming practices
  22. “Other options to avoid Cotonou are being considered”
  23. EU Aid spending may face cuts
  24. Kristalina Georgieva: "we must and will go further"


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 23/01 to 29/01/2012
    2012-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Parliament
    -24/25 January: CONCORD 'PCD Report' presented to EU Parliament (Brussels).
    -25 January: EP Water Group."Water priorities of the Danish Presidency" (Brussels).
    Council of Ministers
    -23/24 January: Agriculture and Fisheries Council (Brussels).
    ACP Group
    -27 January: 2nd meeting on ACP-EU Dialogue on Migration and Development (Brussels).

    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: Nicolas Chevrollier, TNO
    2012-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development

    We recently met Nicolas Chevrollier, Deputy Programme Manager Innovation for development, TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) in Brussels. He participated in a panel discussion that aimed at identifying the policy and business requirements that foster ICT-based entrepreneurship and bottom-up developments in Africa. Speaking of the ICT investment opportunities in Africa, he thinks that donors can play a key role supporting ICT education.


    Link Watch the video
    Link The discussion
    Link Euroafrica-ICT


  3. Next Brussels Development Briefing: 22 February 2012
    2012-01-20
    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 Commission, 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 see the programme, 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. AFROMAISON: for a better INRM in Africa
    2012-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Environment

    The adaptive and integrated tools and strategies for natural resources management (AFROMAISON) will be financed under 7th FWP (Seventh Framework Programme) for an amount of 4.15 million euro. The main outputs of AFROMAISON are a toolbox, short-term to long-term strategies, quick wins (much gains with little effort) and operational strategies for adaptation to global change. It will focus on the three groups of tools: strategies for restoration and adaptation (including sustainable landscape intensification), economic tools and incentives for Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM) and tools for spatial planning.
    Despite the availability of many tools, expertise, strategies, local practices and indigenous knowledge, the concept of INRM has hardly been brought into practice and the building blocks of INRM in many cases still need to be integrated. AFROMAISON will make use of what is available regarding INRM and will contribute to a better integration of the components of INRM. In view of the decentralization policy in Africa, we aim to focus on the operational requirements of INRM for sub-national (or meso-scale) authorities and communities.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The FP7
    Link Participate in FP7


  5. Improving safety checks
    2012-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Following a European Parliament vote "Biocides" - ranging from rat poisons to disinfectants - will be subject to tougher safety checks. The aim is to better protect human health and the environment, while streamlining the marketing approval process.
    "I am very pleased that we have found balanced answers to improve both safety checks and the approval process, so that Europeans will have access to new pest control products that are safe and effective", said rapporteur Christa Klass (EPP, DE), after MEPs approved the legislation by a show of hands. Council, which has already provisionally agreed to the new legislation, must give a formal green light for it to enter into force.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Biocides FAQs
    Link The directive


  6. ACP welcomes Ban Ki-Moon's 2nd Term
    2012-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    As H. E. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon recently began his second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Secretary-General of the ACP Group of States,  has issued a message of congratulations and support.
    Dr. Chambas commended Ban Ki-Moon for his efforts and leadership in steering the global body in difficult times. In particular, he noted improvements in the area of peacekeeping, peace-building and social development, in addition to enhanced human resources management as among the important achievements of the Ban tenure.
    Dr. Chambas further applauded the excellent working relations that have evolved between the UN and the ACP Group, including important agreements signed with Specialised UN agencies such as the Food and agricultural Organisation (FAO), World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Flegt programme
    Link UNIDO-ACP cooperation


  7. New strategy to improve animal welfare
    2012-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy

    The European Commission has recently adopted a new four-year strategy (2012-2015) that aims to further improve the welfare of animals in the European Union. EU Animal Welfare legislation, developed in response to contingencies and political demand over the past 3 decades, is often detailed and sector specific but sporadic in its coverage.
    EU Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner, John Dalli,  has said: "[…] The new strategy will permit appropriate flexibility allowing operators to attain the necessary welfare standards by different routes. Optimising policy coherence and market transparency in a comprehensive animal welfare legislative framework will minimise real or perceived tensions between welfare and economics. Animal welfare measures need to be cost-effective. The proposed dedication of resources to education and training is expected to be highly cost-effective, economically and in welfare terms"
    Uneven application of these rules in the member States makes for an uneven playfield in this important economic sector. Viewed against the background of the diversity of climatic, terrain and farming systems in which it must be applied, this area of European law calls for change.
    The new Strategy was adopted in the form of a Commission Communication to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee. The Communication identifies the lack of enforcement of EU legislation by Member States in a number of areas as one of the major issues adversely affecting animal welfare in the EU. Another brake on full and even implementation is the fact that the market does not provide sufficient economic incentives for compliance. It also notes that many of the parties involved lack sufficient knowledge about animal welfare, while it points out gaps in EU legislation which make it harder to ensure adequate welfare conditions for some categories of animals.
    To address these issues and concerns, the Strategy provides for a two-pronged approach: a proposal for a comprehensive animal welfare law and a reinforcement of current actions. The legislation to be proposed is expected to promote an innovative approach focusing on actual welfare outcomes instead of mechanistic inputs, and to increase the focus on the education and professional standards of all parties concerned.
    The second element proposes reinforcement and the optimisation of current Commission actions: enhancing tools to strengthen Member State compliance with the legal requirements; boosting the already existing international co-operation on animal welfare issues; providing consumers with better information, and performing studies where animal welfare appears to encounter the most problems.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read the Strategy
    Link EU animal welfare policy


  8. The EC to double its humanitarian aid to the Sahel
    2012-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    As we reported few days ago, Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union's crisis response commissioner is visiting Chad and Niger this week. During her visit she has announced that the European Commission is doubling its humanitarian aid to the African Sahel region to 95 million EUR in response to the food crisis.
    The funding surge comes on top of the 10 million EUR that the Commission allocated to the looming drought crisis in the region last November. The total 105 million EUR in humanitarian funding will lift more than 2 million people out of the danger zone during the most critical period. This includes nearly 300,000 children under the age of two and pregnant and breastfeeding women. At least 35% of the assistance will be distributed in Niger.
    She warned that "[t]his crisis will bite from next month onward and we are now in a race against time". Moreover, she has praised the government of Niger for their early recognition of the scale of this crisis and expressed hope that its consequences can be mitigated with early response, as it happened in 2010, when another drought-induced disaster was avoided in the region.
    Finally, she has stated: "I am determined to ensure that the European Commission will mobilise 250 million EUR to cover food assistance and longer term food security in the Sahel. We are already doing a lot, but this crisis needs an even greater response. I appeal to everyone, the international community and the governments in the region, to do all they can to assist”.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Looming hunger crisis in Sahel
    Link Georgieva: 'We will go further'


  9. EP calls for a strategy to tackle food wastage
    2012-01-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    European Parliament calls for urgent measures to halve food waste by 2025 and to improve access to food for needy EU citizens. Up to 50% of edible and healthy food gets wasted while 79 million EU citizens live beneath the poverty line and 16 million depend on food aid from charitable institutions.
    Since food is wasted at all stages - by producers, processors, retailers, caterers and consumers, MEPs call for a co-ordinated strategy, combining EU-wide and national measures, to improve the efficiency of food supply and consumption chains sector by sector and to tackle food wastage as a matter of urgency. If nothing is done, food wastage will grow 40% by 2020, says a study published by the Commission.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Watch the debate
    Link EC study on Food Waste


  10. European banks: Increasing global hunger and poverty
    2012-01-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    According to a new report published by Friends of the Earth Europe, European banks, pension funds and insurance companies are increasing global hunger and poverty by speculating on food prices and financing land grabs in poorer countries.
    The report analyses the activities of 29 European banks, pension funds and insurance companies, including Deutsche Bank, Barclays, RBS, Allianz, BNP Paribas, AXA, HSBC, Generali, Allianz, Unicredit and Credit Agricole. It reveals the significant involvement of these financial institutions in food speculation, and the direct or indirect financing of land grabbing. Environmental and development organisations are calling for strict regulation to rein in these destructive activities.

    Source: Friends of the Earth Europe/ CNCD


    Link Read the report
    Link Friends of the Earth Europe
    Link Know more about CNCD


  11. MEPs to support the 6-month programme:
    2012-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt  recently presented the programme of her Government's 6-month Presidency of the Council.  Most of MEPs expressed their support.
    Ms Thorning-Schmidt focused on the programme's priorities, which are budget discipline, growth and jobs, green policies, ensuring safety of citizens and strengthening the voice of Europe in the world.
    Joseph Daul (FR), on behalf of the EPP, told Ms Thorning-Schmidt: "You need to be a political Presidency" because "the times in which we are living call for European players not to just oil the wheels or build bridges but to be committed players who make themselves heard".
    "We are victims of financial markets and credit rating agencies, who decide on Europe more than we do", said Hannes Swoboda (S&D, AT). He criticised the talks on a new international fiscal compact agreement, citing the Financial Times description of it as "an irrelevant distraction".
    Morten Messerschmidt (EFD, DA), likened the Prime Minister to the EU as regards lack of "popular support". He urged Mrs Thorning-Schmidt to "Come to Brussels, come to Strasbourg" as this would "minimize damage to her population".

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Daninsh presidency of EU Council
    Link The priorities


  12. A "climate-smart" approach to agriculture
    2012-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    FAO and the European Commission recently announced a new €5.3 million project aimed at helping Malawi, Vietnam and Zambia transition to a "climate-smart" approach to agriculture. The EU is providing €3.3 million to support the effort; FAO's contribution is €2 million.
    Agriculture — and the communities who depend on it for their livelihoods and food security — are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. At the same time agriculture, as a significant producer of greenhouse gases, contributes to global warming.
    "Climate-smart agriculture" is an approach that seeks to position the agricultural sector as a solution to these major challenges. It involves making changes in farming systems that achieve multiple goals: improving their contribution to the fight against hunger and poverty; rendering them more resilient to climate change; reducing emissions; and increasing agriculture's potential to capture and sequester atmospheric carbon.
    "We need to start putting climate-smart agriculture into practice, working closely with farmers and their communities," said FAO Assistant Director-General for the Economic and Social Development Department, Hafez Ghanem. "But there are no one-size-fits-all solutions — better climate-smart farming practices need to respond to different local conditions, to geography, weather and the natural resource base," he added.
    "This project will look closely at three countries and identify challenges and opportunities for climate-smart agriculture and produce strategic plans tailored to each country's own reality," Ghanem said. "While not all solutions identified will be universally applicable, we can learn a lot about how countries could take similar steps and begin shifting to this approach to agriculture."

    Source: FAO


    Link Read more
    Link FEO-EU partnership
    Link Climate-Smart Agriculture


  13. European Parliament: Vice-presidents and Quaestors elected
    2012-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    All 14 European Parliament Vice-Presidents were elected in the third round with a simple majority of the valid votes cast. Notably, Edward McMillan-Scott (ALDE, UK) was re-elected Vice-President.  Likewise, 5 Quaestors, who will deal with administrative matters directly affecting MEPs themselves, have been elected.
    The Vice-presidents elected are: Gianni PITTELLA (S&D, IT), Miguel Angel MARTÍNEZ MARTÍNEZ (S&D, ES), Anni PODIMATA (S&D, EL), Alejo VIDAL-QUADRAS (EPP, ES), Georgios PAPASTAMKOS (EPP,EL), Roberta ANGELILLI (EPP,IT), Othmar KARAS (EPP, AT), Edward McMILLAN-SCOTT (ALDE, UK), Isabelle DURANT (Green/EFA, BE), Alexander ALVARO (ALDE, DE), Rainer WIELAND (EPP, DE), Oldřich VLASÁK (ECR, CZ), Jacek PROTASIEWICZ (EPP, PL), László SURJÁN (EPP, HU)
    The new 14 Vice-Presidents will be Members of the European Parliament Bureau. The Bureau is the body that lays down rules for Parliament. It draws up Parliament’s preliminary draft budget and decides administrative, staff and organisational matters.
    Quaestors were elected in the third ballot by simple majority of the votes. They are: Astrid LULLING (EPP, LU), Lidia GERINGER DE OEDENBERG (S&D, PL), Bogusław LIBERADZKI (S&D, PL), Jiří MAŠTÁLKA (GUE/NGL, CZ), Jim HIGGINS (EPP, IE). The Quaestors are members of the Bureau in an advisory capacity.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link More about the EP
    Link The EP Bureau


  14. EU-funded research to study climate change's impact
    2012-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    A group of researchers in Finland is studying how climate change impacts nature and the various spheres that depend on it, namely agriculture, forestry, fishing and tourism. The study, which is funded under the VACCIA ('Vulnerability assessment of ecosystem services for climate change impacts and adaptation') project, is supported by the EU LIFE+ programme. The results of the study are expected to help decision-makers, industry and the general public, and give Finland the support it needs to adapt to a changing climate.
    Nearly 100 experts from the Finnish Environment Institute, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, and the Universities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Oulu are contributing to this study. They predict the climate in Finland will warm more during the winter season instead of the summer season.
    During the summer months, Finns will have to deal with more hot days and longer hot periods. Thermal winter, which is the period as determined on the basis of temperature, will become shorter. In their study, the team has put a number of cities, including Helsinki and Lahti, as well as tourist centres like Kuusamo and Sotkamo, in the spotlight. They have also been probing the effects of climate change and the possibilities for change in various environments within the forest, agricultural and water areas. The researchers point out that the tourism sector will have to adapt to the lack of snow and ice across the region.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU LIFE+ programme
    Link VACCIA


  15. Regionalizing the Common Fisheries Policy
    2012-01-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Following recent debates on the Common Fisheries Policy, OCEAN2012, has published a paper  entitled “Regionalizing the Common Fisheries Policy”. The paper's main purpose is to: Encourage debate on the concept of regional fisheries management, particularly in a EU context; explore  potential reforms that might be useful or possible under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP); consider the key issues and challenges that may affect the possibilities to take a more regional approach to the management of the European Union’s (EU) fisheries.
    The paper, which has three main sections, firstly defines and describes  “regional fisheries management”, inspired by approaches from around the world. First section is followed by a background to the EU’s legal and policy context in relation to regional fisheries management and the Commission’s proposal for regionalisation in the reformed CFP. Finally,  four examples describe different international, national and local ‘regional’ fisheries governance structures or management arrangements. These latter illustrate different approaches and give an overview of the issues, challenges and benefits of successful, or innovative, regional fisheries management.

    Source: OCEAN2012


    Link Read the paper
    Link Ranking priorities for EU CFP
    Link The CFP


  16. EAC-EU: restarting EPA negotiations
    2012-01-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    According to recent updates, protected negotiations on comprehensive Economic Parntership Agreements (EPA) between the East African Community (EAC) member countries and the European Union (EU) are expected to restart in a few months, and probably be concluded within this year.
    Speaking in a telephone interview to The Guardian, Tanzanian Industry and Trade deputy minister Lazaro Nyalandu said that progress on the EPA talks between the two blocks (EAC and EU) was impressive and that both parties were still packaging their issues ready for the next round of discussions.
    According to the minister, the next round of EAC-EU EPA discussions are scheduled for the first or second quarter of this year, and probably be concluded this year. “Otherwise, EPA negotiations are now at an advanced stage…and last discussions held in Brussels, Belgium, were very good as the parties agreed on certain issues and put on hold others for the next round of discussions,” said Nyalandu in the wake of increasing concerns over the delayed conclusion of talks on comprehensive EPA.

    Source: The Guardian


    Link Read more
    Link EU-EAC
    Link Peter Thompson, EC, talks about EPAs


  17. Mitigating climate change impacts on African regions
    2012-01-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Financed under 7th FWP, a key pillar for the European Research Area (ERA),  and  for an amount of 1.27 million euro, the AFRICAN Climate Project has been launched. Its main aim is the development, operation and promotion of a web-based Knowledge Platform for efficient dissemination of climate change research results and good practices, to encourage users for uptake of success stories and research knowledge in new projects. Thereby, the project will contribute to mitigate climate change impacts on African regions and help communities to adapt to the changing climatic conditions.
    Emphasis will be placed on a variety of innovative and creative web functionalities (e-tools) when developing the interactive, multimedia, pan-continental, multi-lingual and interdisciplinary AFRICAN Climate Platform. The new platform visitors, the already registered users and the members of the online communities will be facilitated by the editorial team to actively participate in knowledge exchange and uptake of research results. The high profile consortium includes a large variety of experienced EU and African organizations, corresponding to the diversity of target audience addressed by the call.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about the 7FP
    Link European Research Area


  18. Mitigating near-term climate change
    2012-01-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Security, Archive

    A scientific paper recently published by Science shows that a limited number of air quality measures can substantially mitigate global warming and have significant benefits for human health and agriculture. Together with twelve partners from all over the world, including UNEP, NASA and the Stockholm Environment Institute, JRC scientists identified 14 emission control measures that can best help to limit global warming and improve health and food security in the coming decades.
    The paper, entitled ‘Simultaneously mitigating near-term climate change and improving human health and food security’, builds on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s (2011) Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone. The Science paper extends this Assessment by providing more detailed climate modelling (in particular identifying detailed precipitation impacts), extending the impact analyses to the national level with more detailed spatial information, and providing more detailed cost-benefit analyses.
    It finds that only a small fraction of air quality measures provide substantial warming mitigation, but that if these are immediately applied, in conjunction with measures to reduce carbon dioxide, they can help keep global warming below 2ºC relative to preindustrial levels, mitigate warming in the Arctic and Himalayas, and reduce regional disruption to traditional rainfall patterns. It concluded that such strategies would help prevent up to 5 million annual premature deaths from air pollution, and increase annual crop yields by 30-135 million tonnes. The benefits of methane reductions were estimated at US$700-5,000 per tonne.

    Source: JRC


    Link Read more
    Link Article in Science
    Link Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon


  19. Ghana’s Forest and Wildlife Policy reviewed
    2012-01-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The 1994 Forest and Wildlife Policy is now being reviewed by the Ghana's Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. This review was notably needed by several issues, such as  institutional and legislative reforms within the forest sector. Moreover, this review was also desirabe  regarding current global initiatives such as the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between the Government of Ghana and the European Union (EU), the EU's Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and the Non-Legally Binding Instruments (NLBI) project .
    The new Forest and Wildlife Policy is currently in its final draft version. Remarkably, there is a shift from timberization to biodiversity conservation which represents the new policy's main focus on conserving and protecting biological resources, as opposed to feeding the timber industry which the 1994 policy did by prioritising the provision of raw materials for industry over conservation of natural resources.
    Source: All Africa


    Link Read more
    Link Ghana FLEGT VPA
    Link Additional support to Ghana


  20. Martin Schulz, new president of the EP
    2012-01-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Martin Schulz, will be the new European Parliament president until the beginning of the next legislature in July 2014. He has been elected with 387 votes in favour out of 670 cast. Martin Schulz (S&D, Germany) replaces the outgoing President Jerzy Buzek (EPP, Poland). Parliament's standing committees will elect their Chairs and Vice-Chairs during the week starting on Monday 23 January.
    Schulz, who was elected to the EP in 1994, has served on a number of committees, including the sub-committee on Human Rights and the Civil Liberties Committee. He led the German delegation of the Socialist group (SPD members) from 2000 and was also a vice-chair of the Socialist Group in the EP. He was elected group leader in 2004, a position held until he was elected EP president. Since 2009, Schulz has also acted as representative for European Affairs for Germany’s SPD party and his views have deeply influenced his party’s pro-European politics.
    Next week, Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Parliament's standing committees will be elected. Parliament's inter-parliamentary delegations will do likewise.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Biography
    Link Know about the EP


  21. Promoting sustainable farming practices
    2012-01-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    As Euractiv recently reported, a group of young European farmers is encouraging a shift to sustainable agriculture. The campaigners, which hope Brussels policymakers take note, are promoting farming practices that conserve resources, reduce emissions and improve the land through less intensive chemical use. They aim to influence the future of European Union’s farm support programme, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
    As policy debates and research into what can be done to reduce the environmental footprint of food production are not always likely to translate into useable information for farmers, Sander Kerkhoffs, one of the leaders of the Climate Farmers project said: “A lot of research is done by universities and other institutions, but a lot of those results from the research don’t fit to the practical circumstances at the farm level”. He said that they want “to look at practical measures which are already implemented on some farms which have proven their effect in lowering emissions, for example, or can be further introduced to colleague farmers.”
    Remarkably, Climate Farmers has produced information on sustainable farming methods in several EU countries, such as Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden, and wants to share their recommendations across Europe. The campaigners moreover use case studies to show that farmers can play a role in trimming carbon emissions, cutting pesticide and fertiliser use, and reducing their water footprint while improving crop output and animal husbandry.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Climate Farmers
    Link CAP post-2013


  22. “Other options to avoid Cotonou are being considered”
    2012-01-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    In an interview conducted by Sudan Vision, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Rahamatullah Osman, sheds light on some key questions regarding Sudan-EU relations. Speaking of the COTONOU Agreement, he underlines that Sudan did not sign amendments to this, as these clashed with the Sudan policy. “Our relations with Europe follow two tracks. Collective, that is with the EU as a group and direct, that is between us and the EU members. It is true that our relations with EU are not satisfactory and have faced some obstacles”.  At the bilateral level, however, he states that Sudan continues to interact with EU member states:  “The Foreign Minister has visited many EU countries such as Portugal, Spain, England, France, Italy, Germany and Austria”.
    Furthermore, Ambassador Rahamatullah Osman stresses that Sudan-EU cooperation continued outside the CONOTOU framework, such as on humanitarian and technical assistance. Nevertheless, he adds that “efforts are continuing to that end”, and that “other options to avoid COTONOU, which has become an obstacle to get resources from the EU” are being considered.
    During the interview, he explained to Sudan Vision that the new strategy for dealing with South Sudan “is based on close cooperation between the two countries”, as South Sudan “is not a normal neighbor”. He concludes that “the hostility between the two countries will not last forever”.
    Source: Sudan Vision


    Link Read the interview
    Link EU-Sudan
    Link EU-South Sudan


  23. EU Aid spending may face cuts
    2012-01-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Policy

    What are the prospects for EU development aid? One article recently published by Worldandmedia reviews how the economic crisis may lead to cuts to EU development aid. Although a number of European leaders reaffirmed their aid pledges in June, 2011, some countries, have frozen or decreased their development budget.
    According to the article, Catherine Ray, spokesperson for the EU Commissioner for Development, states that there will be a “new, graded co-operation” and that direct aid will not be always provided. “I can’t predict accurately, I don’t know what could happen […] But our aim is to make sure people see that increasing aid is not a luxury”, she adds.  
    Moreover, she underlines that aid budgets should remain predictable and, though conscious of the crisis, the EC asks EU member states “to respect their commitment to spending 0.7 per cent of their budget on aid by 2015”. Similarly, Ms. Ray highlights that Africa’s growth rate and long-term aid should be seen as “win-win situation”.
    Thus, a key question appears to be the negotiations for the next period. Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs has proposed an increase of around 17% to the aid to the 130  countries which remain in the programme. Ray concludes by stating: “We have asked for more. It is complicated to ask European tax-payers to pay [for aid] we are seeing a huge drop in budgets. But I think politicians are aware that aid is not a luxury – everybody needs to have poverty taken care of”..
    Discussions will take place during the course of several months. Decisions resulting from these are foreseen to be taken and unveiled in late 2012


    Link Read more
    Link Changes to EU Development Policy
    Link The future of EU budget Support


  24. Kristalina Georgieva: "we must and will go further"
    2012-01-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    Responding to calls for assistance from the Sahel countries, which are affected by the looming  food crisis, the European Union's Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, visits this week Niger and Chad, two of the five Sahel countries (including Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania) most at risk of major food shortages over the coming months. "This is the third time in a decade that this region has fallen into crisis. Every year we save more than 200,000 children from severe acute malnutrition but we must and will go further", she has said.
    The Commissioner has stressed that, as in the last major crisis in 2010, by anticipating the worst effects of the looming food shortages and acting before they strike more lives would be saved. Kristalina Georgieva will be evaluating humanitarian needs with the authorities and the European Commission's current response to the crisis as well as identifying the potential needs for further assistance.
    Commissioner Georgieva highlights that the Commission has provided more than €225 million since 2005. However the main objective is to break the cycle of hunger. “We are working closely with other agencies to build a comprehensive aid strategy to cover both the short and long-term actions required to make malnutrition history", she states.
    Because crops failed in last September's harvest the annual 'lean season' – when food reserves have dwindled – will begin next month instead of June. Seven million people are already facing shortages. Food prices have already risen by 40 per cent, with some forecasts predicting that they will triple with the onset of the lean season.
    Most people who live in the Sahel are heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture and livestock for survival. Food production deficits are as high as 52% in comparison to last year while an estimated 1.3 million children in the region are currently suffering from acute severe malnutrition.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link 10 million EUR to fight hunger crisis
    Link Commission acts to save lives



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