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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 309]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 309]
Send date: 2012-02-10 18:15:29
Issue #: 125
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 13/02 to 17/02/2012
  2. Addressing long term issues in humanitarian crisis
  3. Pastoralism: at the core of the next Brussels Development Briefing
  4. End of market access for EAC members?
  5. Sahel: Further assistance before "reaching the peak"
  6. SCOF agrees new EU rules for ‘Organic Wine’
  7. Danish proposal does not meet expectations
  8. Recommendations to promote agro-ecology
  9. Lamy congratulates the Netherlands on “its commitment to development"
  10. “A day will not pass by” without EU pressure
  11. Towards a free trade area for Africa?
  12. Talks with Nigeria amid unrest
  13. Meeting in Kampala
  14. The EC to foster “Sustainable Energy for All”
  15. MEPs call for closer ties with BRICs
  16. Javier Niño to become Head of Delegation in Port-au-Prince
  17. The EAC: Following the European model?
  18. Jamaica: moving towards better forest conservation
  19. Guyanese sugar sector will benefit from further EU support
  20. ICTs role in African development to increase
  21. AGRI Committee backs “food for the needy”
  22. Biofuels: not “so good” after all?
  23. Uncovering the root causes of debt in developing countries


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 13/02 to 17/02/2012
    2012-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Gender and development, Migration and development, New Technologies, ACP-EU Fisheries, Food Security, Health and Development, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy, Humanitarian Aid

    European Parliament
    -13/16 February: Plenary session of the European Parliament
    Council of Ministers
    -13 February: Strategic Committee on Inmigration, Frontiers and Asylum (SCIFA)
    -15/16 February: Coreper II
    -15 February: Coreper I
    ACP Group
    -14/16 February: 1st Meeting of Experts in charge of ACP-EU Dialogue on Migration
    Research events
    -International Seminar on the Future of Development Cooperation in 2020 (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. Addressing long term issues in humanitarian crisis
    2012-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid, Aid effectiveness

    In the course of recent weeks, CTA Brussels has reported at some length on the alarming situation in the Sahel. International actors discuss ways to provide better assistance to the region's people, and organizations such as Oxfam stress that addressing the root causes and providing longer-term support are crucial to preventing further crises. Given the significant impact of the current African food crisis, we revisit the points made by Luca Alinovi, Senior economist at FAO, who participated in our Development briefing on "Humanitarian assistance and rural development: responding to new challenges”. Mr. Alinovi addresses long term issues in humanitarian crisis contexts and speaks of ways that may improve Food Security Analysis and Response.


    Link Watch the presentation
    Link The Briefing on Humanitarian aid
    Link Situation in the Sahel


  3. Pastoralism: at the core of the next Brussels Development Briefing
    2012-02-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Gender and development, Migration and development, New Technologies, ACP-EU Fisheries, Food Security, Health and Development, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy, Humanitarian Aid

    VOIRLAVIDEO_TEXT

    Pastoralism will be at the core of our next Brussels Briefing. We will discuss 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 (revised) 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. End of market access for EAC members?
    2012-02-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, ACP-EU Trade

    The EU may withdraw access to its markets for countries that have not signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) by 2014, a move that will affect all EAC member states as well as some other Least Developed Countries (LDCs).  According to Bilaterals, trade analysts argue that this situation is "a reflection of the fatigue within the EU".
    Operations Officer at the EU Delegation in Uganda Alex Nakajjo explained during a discussion on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Kampala, Uganda, that "[t]here is less momentum in the EU side to continue with endless negotiations". In 2007, EAC members states initialled the trade agreement.  The lack of consensus on some issues, such as development cooperation where the EAC countries are asking for more funding, has resulted in the signing of the EAP being postponed. Furthermore, we recently read that the Tanzanian government asked the European Commission to review the EAP. EAC's operations in the ongoing EPA negotiations are still largely financed by the EU.

    Source: Bilaterals


    Link Read more
    Link Negotiations with EAC
    Link Tanzanian government asks for EPA review


  5. Sahel: Further assistance before "reaching the peak"
    2012-02-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Humanitarian Aid

    Given the alarming situation in the Sahel Region, where 12 million people are at risk of hunger, the European Commission has scaled up its humanitarian assistance to €123.5 million. EU Member States, the United States of America, Canada, and Brazil, among other donors, will meet this week in Brussels to find ways to provide better assistance to people in the Sahel countries.
    In line with the recommendations of some International Organizations, Kristalina Georgieva, the Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, stated that "by acting now we can save a lot more lives as well as avoiding the additional burdens which come with reacting when the situation is already reaching its peak". Moreover, she stresses her committment to ensuring that the resources mobilised by the international community match the scale of the crisis.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Major Food Crisis in 2012
    Link EC to double aid


  6. SCOF agrees new EU rules for ‘Organic Wine’
    2012-02-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The standing Committee on Organic Farming (SCOF) has agreed new EU rules for “organic wine. With the new regulation, which completes the EU organic farming legislation, organic wine growers will be allowed to use the term “organic wine” on their labels. The new rules have the advantage of improved transparency and better consumer recognition. These will not only help to facilitate the internal market, but also to strengthen the position of EU organic wines at international level, since many other wine producing countries (USA, Chile, Australia, South Africa) have already established standards for organic wines.
    The labels must also show the EU-organic-logo and the code number of their certifier, and must respect other wine labelling rules. Although there are already rules for “wine made from organic grapes”, these do not cover wine-making practices, i.e. the whole process from grape to wine. It is important to remember that wine was the one remaining sector not fully covered by the EU rules on organic farming standards under Regulation 834/2007. The regulation will apply from the 2012 harvest.

    Source: European commission

     

     


    Link Read more
    Link Regulation 834/2007
    Link Know more about SCOF


  7. Danish proposal does not meet expectations
    2012-02-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    According to a recent article published by EurActiv, activists express disappointment at the EU Danish presidency’s version of the proposed Energy Efficiency Directive. Notably, independent groups that work closely with the EU institutions on the bill say the proposed directive has no binding targets, no “meaningful review” in 2014 and easy opt-outs.
    The proposal, which is to be negotiated between member states and the European Parliament, takes the Polish presidency’s ambitions further. However it lacks a solid base for the negotiations to come.
    As remarked by some of the independent groups, the main measure in the bill is the obligation scheme for energy companies to have 1.5% energy savings each year, calculated as a total at national level, industry and civic sources.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Energy Efficiency Directive
    Link Danish presidency


  8. Recommendations to promote agro-ecology
    2012-02-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Food Policy

    What is the common opinion on agro-ecology? As there is a misperception on agro-ecology, as it is associated with low-input agriculture and low-yields, Julia Wright, Deputy Director at the Centre for Agroecology and Food Security at Coventry University, highlighted the main points of action to challenge this thinking during the Oxford Real Farming Conference.
    According to AgriCultures, Julia Wright recommended to promote agro-ecological literacy, making more information available and providing evidence about sustainable agriculture. Likewise, she stressed the importance of challenging the conventional agriculture mindset, as some people believe that maximizing yields is necessary to fighting hunger.

    Source: AgriCultures


    Link Read more
    Link Real Farming Conference
    Link Resilient food systems


  9. Lamy congratulates the Netherlands on “its commitment to development"
    2012-02-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Gender and development, Migration and development

    In the course of the Jubilee Conference of the National Committee for International Co-operation and Sustainable Development of the Netherlands (NCDO), Pascal Lamy, WTO Director-General, congratulated the Netherlands on “its commitment to development assistance and supporting the use of trade as a tool for growth and poverty reduction”.  Notably, he said: “My visit here confirms what I experienced in a previous life with the European Commission that your country has much to share with the global community through international trade.”
    Furthermore, he highlighted the positive effects of international trade  for countries and underlined: “Trade opening can have a transformational effect on a country’s economy and we have seen many examples of this in the WTO ledger from Angola to Zambia and many others in between”.  
    Regarding Doha negotiations, he recognized that “[A]dapting the rules to the realities of a fast-changing global community is challenging [as] we see this in the Doha Development Agenda”. Though Mr. Pascal wondered what the right balance of trade-related rights and commitments between countries at different levels of development is, he said that “this is the geo-political reality of the day and one of the central questions that [the] global community will face.

    Source: WTO


    Link Read more
    Link Doha negotiations
    Link  NCDO (NL)


  10. “A day will not pass by” without EU pressure
    2012-02-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The EU will push for firm international commitments on sustainable growth at RIO +20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro next June, 2012.  According to Janez Potočnik , Environment Commissioner, “a day will not pass by” without the EU pressing for action.
    In line with the EU’s REACH regulation, Potočnik underlines that he supports more global attention to chemical hazards. Furthermore, Potočnik stresses that EU’s own environmental standards offer a global model for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, better resource efficiency and improving the sustainability of agriculture.
    Notably, the commissioner remarks that Europe has “the duty and the responsibility” to play a key role at the UN Conference and calls on countries to strive for binding milestones rather than general goals.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link EC Communication on Rio +20
    Link EU’s REACH regulation


  11. Towards a free trade area for Africa?
    2012-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    As CTA Brussels reported in recent weeks, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia hosted the African Union summit for Heads of State. Following some key discussions, the 79-member African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States expressed its support for efforts to create an Africa-wide free trade area. "A free trade area for Africa could be seen as a building block for future all-ACP free trade area and a way out of the current impasse from EPA negotiations", according to the Secretary General of the ACP Group, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas.
    Additionally, he urged to reinforce interregional approaches to trade. Notably, he stated that "boosting interregional trade for Africa will also provide an opportunity for African members of the ACP Group to strengthen their regional integration processes and to deepen their trade flows".

    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link EU support to regional integration
    Link EPA: the biggest threat?


  12. Talks with Nigeria amid unrest
    2012-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Amid unrest, Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal visited Nigeria this week for talks with President Goodluck Jonathan and other officials. As the Danish EU presidency noted in a statement, Mr. Soevndal represented EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton.
    The Danish Foreign Minister expressed his concerns about the situation in the most populous nation in Africa: "Nigeria has recently been plagued by riots and acts of terrorism, and right now it's incredibly important that (the) EU shows solidarity with the Nigerian people". Though talks between the parties focused on the current instability in the country, Mr. Soevndal and  President Goodluck also discussed EU-Nigeria cooperation.

    Source: M&C


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Nigeria
    Link The EU helps improve service delivery


  13. Meeting in Kampala
    2012-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni recently held talks with the European Envoy, Mr. Nick Westcott. They discussed a variety of key issues, notably economic growth and sustainable development in the region.
    The president and Mr. Westcott stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation between Uganda and the EU. Notably, the European Envoy highlighted the key role Uganda is playing in bringing peace to Somalia, as the European Union military mission to aid with the training of Somali security forces  (EUTM Somalia), which started in May 2010, takes place in Uganda and that the country facilitates the coordination of EU action with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). State Minister for International Affairs, Mr. Okello Oryem and the Head of the EU Delegation in Uganda Mr. Roberto Ridolfi, also attended the meeting.

    Source: Suubbi FM

     


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Uganda relations
    Link EU Delegation to Uganda


  14. The EC to foster “Sustainable Energy for All”
    2012-02-08

    “The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon set up inspiring goals and I'm determined to foster the EU contribution to these objectives”. Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development, will stress the European Commission's commitment to achieving sustainable energy for all by 2030 at the official European Launch of UN's Year on Sustainable Energy for All. The event, that will take place this week, will address the types of commitments for action needed from all sectors to provide access to energy for the poorest people on the planet.
    Ahead of the event, Commissioner Piebalgs says he is aware of the fundamental role that energy access plays as a driver for development, in delivering health, education, food security and economic growth, to name but a few. With around €2bn allocated to the energy sector worldwide, the EU is a leader in empowering the world. Through the promotion of our technology and expertise combined with a targeted use of our aid funding, we will aim to increase access to modern energy services for the world's poorest."

    Source:


    Link Read more
    Link Sustainable energy for all
    Link Piebalgs' blog


  15. MEPs call for closer ties with BRICs
    2012-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    MEPs have recently adopted a report that underlines that the EU shares a common interest with emerging countries in tackling global instability and security risks to economic development. As the EP reports, “the EU should work together with emerging countries to build a multi-polar, inclusive system of global governance that deals efficiently with global challenges”.
    The report, adopted last week, calls for a closer relationship with the group of BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as their fast economic growth is turning them into increasingly important players on the global scene
    This collaboration could either be bilaterally or multilaterally, based on the issue involved. The Parliament believes in a mixed model that cuts across the developed/emerging world divide. For example, the EU could work together with the BRICS in pushing for reform of the IMF and the World Bank to reflect changes in countries' economic weight. However, it should prioritise relations with those BRICS that share and respect democratic values and strive for a social market economy.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report
    Link EU-South Africa


  16. Javier Niño to become Head of Delegation in Port-au-Prince
    2012-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, has announced her intention to appoint a new Head of the European Union Delegation to Haiti. Once accreditation procedures have been completed, Javier Niño Perez will become Head of Delegation in Port-au-Prince.
    Also, regarding Peter Zsoldos, who will be appointed as Head of the EU Delegation to Libya, Catherine Ashton has said: "I am delighted to appoint these excellent candidates to these key posts in the External Action Service. Their experience and expertise will be a huge asset to our work in two countries which face many challenges over the coming years. I have been very impressed by the quality of the candidates who put themselves forward. The opportunity to represent the EU in the world clearly continues to attract the very best diplomats."

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Delegation to Haiti
    Link New programme in Haiti by the EC


  17. The EAC: Following the European model?
    2012-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    As reported by The Citizen, the economic growth rates of the five East African member states exceeded 5 % last year, making the region one of the fastest growing in the world.  Christian Friss Bach, the Danish minister for Development Cooperation, who attended a forum organised by TradeMark East Africa, in Kenya, recognized that this average was impressive and hoped “to take back lessons to Europe”.
    Furthermore, Bach highlighted the EAC is among the eight regional economic blocs the most advanced in terms of growth and fast tracked programmes. Comparing the experience of his country, which has benefited from the single European market, he added that he believes “all countries in East Africa can reap similar benefits if the single market in East Africa is implemented”.

    Source: The Citizen


    Link Read more
    Link EU-EAC
    Link TradeMarkEA


  18. Jamaica: moving towards better forest conservation
    2012-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Policy

    Rural Jamaican communities will play a greater role protecting the country's forests thanks to a shared management system. This initiative has been launched by St. Andrews communities of Dallas Castle and Constitutional Hill and the Government's Forestry Department.
    The Local Forest Management Committees (LFMC), funded through the Global Climate Change Alliance in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group, aims to involve communities in co-managing forested areas, while building their resilience to the risks that come with natural hazards. The project is managed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), and is being implemented by the Forestry Department, National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Environmental Management Division of the Ministry, and the Meteorological Service.
    Notably, EU Representative Pierre-Luc Vanhaeverbeke  has underlined that the EU has been working with UNEP and the government to develop an effective strategy to curtail the effects of climate change on the local environment.

    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Jamaica
    Link Setting sights on non-European markets


  19. Guyanese sugar sector will benefit from further EU support
    2012-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The European Union (EU) will commit funds to supporting Guyana's sugar industry, one of the Caribbean countries worst hit by the cut in sugar prices by the EU. Guyana could receive around EUR 24.9 million this year, 2012.
    As CTA Brussels reported, EUR12.5 million was transferred in December 2011 to support the local sugar sector in Guyana. This support, which was part of the EU-funded Multi-annual Sugar Programme 2007-2010, aimed to improve the competitiveness and viability of the local industry.
    More funds are set to be disbursed once the Financing Agreement is signed between the EU and the Government of Guyana in the near future. This will be part of the second Multi-annual Sugar Programme for the period 2011-2013.

    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link Sugar Support Programme
    Link EU-Guyana relations


  20. ICTs role in African development to increase
    2012-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : New Technologies

    As we have recently reported, Information, Communication Technologies (ICTs) have showed to play a key role on development. According to most recent updates on Allafrica, the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) has recently signed a Grant Facility Agreement (GFA) with the French Development Agency (AFD) aiming at investing in the development of ICTs.
    The grant of Euros 1,350,000 is made available to NEPAD by the European Union Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-ITF), a European donor coordinated fund, through the AFD. It will finance the NEPAD ICT broadband infrastructure network for West, Central and North Africa projects.

    Source: Allafrica


    Link Read more
    Link ICT to boost development in Africa
    Link NEPAD


  21. AGRI Committee backs “food for the needy”
    2012-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Humanitarian Aid

    Parliament’s Agriculture (AGRI) Committee has recently backed a two-year reprieve for the EU's "food for the needy" programme, on which 18 million of the EU's most deprived people rely. If Parliament as a whole follows AGRI Committee recommendation to rescue the programme, it will run until the end of 2013, with a budget of up to €500 million per year.
    As  stated by  Czesław Adam Siekierski, head of AGRI Committee negotiating team and Parliament's rapporteur for the regulation, the compromise will "solve the pressing situation of those depending on the programme for now" and will "leave enough space for further negotiations" on how to pursue the programme after 2014.
    AGRI Committee chair, Paolo de Castro also said that "in a time of global economic crisis that leaves many citizens unable to feed their families, this is good news”. The MEP, who appears to agree with some points made by Bill Gates during his recent visit to the Parliament, stated: "we must ensure that in [the] current economic situation we do take care of those who urgently need our attention now".
    The plenary vote is scheduled for 15 February in Strasbourg.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link AGRI committee
    Link Free food for the most deprived


  22. Biofuels: not “so good” after all?
    2012-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    As the EU executive concludes an assessment of the potentially damaging effects they may have over the earth's climate, Connie Hedegaard, EU climate commissioner, cautions on the expanded use of biofuels.  In an interview conducted by EurActiv, Hedegaard says the Commission is still committed to the Renewable Energy Directive, which provides 10% of transport fuels from biofuels along with other green alternatives by 2020.
    As Euractiv reports, a draft Commission impact assessment indicates that the greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels such as palm oil, soybean and rapeseed may exceed those of fossil fuels when wider factors are considered.
    Hedegaard tells Euractiv that she, has “always been very cautious on biofuels,”  and recognises the potential in new technologies. Nevertheless she underlines: “we should take very much care in Europe that we are now not establishing a new big industry that we then - after some time - say, wow,  that was not so good.”

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Commission impact assessment
    Link Biofuels and other renewable energy


  23. Uncovering the root causes of debt in developing countries
    2012-02-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    According to the latest research by Eurodad, more than 2/3 of bilateral debts cancelled between 2005 and 2009 were a result of export credit guarantees.  Consequently, significant portions of aid funds found their way from aid budgets into the coffers of Export Credit Agencies, institutions that seek to support export industries in their home countries, cutting the availability of much-needed resources for poverty eradication.  
    The results appear to suggest that export credit guarantees are at the root of most developing country debt owed to European governments. Following the assessment of debts owed by developing countries to four European countries, one of the important findings of the study is that almost 80% of poor countries' debts are not a result of development loans, but rather of export credits.

    Source: Eurodad


    Link Read the study
    Link Export Credits
    Link EU Directive on Export Credit Insurance



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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
If you have questions or suggestions, please write to us at : boto@cta.int
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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