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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 316]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 316]
Send date: 2012-03-30 19:15:31
Issue #: 132
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 02/04 to 08/04/2012
  2. Our video guest: Nuur Mohamud Sheekh, IDMC
  3. Next Brussels Development Briefing: Small island economies
  4. More transparency in derivatives trading
  5. EU Strategy to tackle fragility of Sahel region
  6. The Council supports revised International Cocoa Agreement
  7. Objection on proposed new contribution key for the EDF
  8. South African avocados to ‘explode’ onto European scene
  9. Reservations on EPAs' potential in boosting African trade
  10. Fijian farmers see Papaya’s potential
  11. EU food security interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa need improvement
  12. Looking further afield: What does the future have in store for Agriculture?
  13. EU to contribute to improvement of Ghanaian water quality
  14. BRICS to shape Africa´s development trajectory
  15. South Africa: BRICS' allure greater than EU's
  16. Copenhagen Declaration: towards a European genuine renaissance
  17. EU Support to rural development in Sahel Region
  18. CLIMATE-ADAPT to help develop climate change adaptation policies
  19. European NGOs: conspiring to “keep Africa poor”?
  20. EU freezes development operations in Mali
  21. ACP on raw materials: combating a "race to the bottom”


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 02/04 to 08/04/2012
    2012-03-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    ouncil of Ministers
    -4 April: COREPER I
    -4 April March: COREPER II
    ACP Group
    -2 April: S/C on Political, Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Affairs
    -3 April: Enlarged Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors
    -3 April:Committee of Ambassadors’ W/G on the preparation of the 7th ACP Summit
    -4 April: SEDT Department
    -4 April: Steering Committee of the ACP Sugar research Programme
    Research events
    -4 April : Next Brussels Development Briefing: Small island economies
    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: Nuur Mohamud Sheekh, IDMC
    2012-03-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Archive

    The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), established in 1998 by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), is the leading international body monitoring internal displacement worldwide. Nowadays, this issue affects more than 27.5 million people, according to the centre's recent updates. In Somalia in particular,a member of the ACP Group which has recently caught a great deal of media attention,  there are around 1,5 million of internally displaced people.  CTA-Brussels met Nuur Mohamud Sheekh, a Horn of Africa analyst at the IDMC. Notably,he spoke of the role of state actors and the case of Somalia as it pertains to this issue.


    Link Watch the video
    Link Know more about the IDMC
    Link Kampala Convention


  3. Next Brussels Development Briefing: Small island economies
    2012-03-30

    The next Brussels Development Briefing will focus on  “Small island economies: from vulnerabilities to opportunities” and take place on April 4th, 2012. It will be organised by the CTA, with the European Commission (DG DEVCO), the ACP Secretariat, Concord and various media partners.
    The Briefing will discuss policy options to reduce the vulnerability of small islands economies. We will also discuss some best practices to enhance sustainable development, especially in the context of Rio+20.
    You can follow the updates, see the programme and register online at brusselsbriefings.

    You can follow the debate online, as the event will be webstreamed.




  4. More transparency in derivatives trading
    2012-03-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Policy

    The European Parliament approved EU legislation by a wide margin to make trade over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives safer and more transparent. According to the EP Press service, derivatives trading is believed to have contributed to the global financial crisis.
    The regulation lays down that OTC derivative contracts would have to be cleared through central counterparties (CCPs), thus reducing counterparty credit risk. All derivative contracts  would have to be reported to central data centres or "trade repositories", which would have to publish aggregate positions by class of derivatives, thereby offering market players a clearer view of the market. This work would be monitored by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), which would be responsible for granting or withdrawing their registration.
    Regarding CCPs from third countries, these would be recognized in the EU only if the legal regime of the third country in question provided for an effective equivalent system for recognition. However, this does not set a precedent for other legislation on the supervision and oversight of financial market infrastructures.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Derivatives
    Link Know more about ESMA


  5. EU Strategy to tackle fragility of Sahel region
    2012-03-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Archive, Aid effectiveness, Food Security

    Last week, ministers adopted conclusions on EU's Strategy for the Sahel region. While in March 2011, the Council welcomed the presentation of a European Union Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel, ministers are now proposing ways of improving the coherence and effectiveness of EU engagement. In its initial phase,  the Strategy focuses primarily on Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Algeria.
    The Council on Foreign Affairs  expressed deep concern about the security situation in the Sahel region and condemned attempts to seize power by force in Mali.  Last week CTA Brussels informed of  suspension of the EU development assistance to Mali. Nonetheless, ministers  have stressed that humanitarian aid and direct support to the population will continue.
    The Council invited both the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission to accelerate implementation and to "report regularly on progress". Moreover, ministers announced plans to allocate an additional 164.5 million euros to existing action on food security in the region.
    According to the Strategy, security and development have to go hand in hand. The lines of action which have been proposed are the following: development, good governance and internal conflict resolution; political and diplomatic; security and the rule of law; and countering violent extremism and radicalisation.
    There have been dramatic changes in the political, security and humanitarian situation in the Sahel region since the Strategy was first presented, confirming the high vulnerability and fragility of the Sahel states. The fragile security situation has been further exacerbated by a deepening food and nutrition crisis affecting 15 million people.

    Source: Council of the EU

     

    source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link The conclusions
    Link The EC and WFP to devote more funds


  6. The Council supports revised International Cocoa Agreement
    2012-03-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    The Council adopted a decision approving the conclusion of the revised international cocoa agreement, which was negotiated by the UN cocoa conference in 2010, and replaced the 2001 version. One has to remember that the agreement was signed by the EU in June 2011 and provisionally applied since then. In January,  International Trade Committee (INTA) MEPs  recommended the Parliament to give its consent to a new International Cocoa Agreement. The Parliament followed its advice and gave its approval 2 weeks ago. Although cocoa is grown in several areas, production is concentrated in West Africa, specifically Côte d'Ivoire (the world’s largest producer), Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon, which together represent more than 70% of world cocoa production. Togo, Sierra Leone and Liberia produce small amounts of cocoa.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link See Revised Cocoa Agreement
    Link Against child labour in cocoa production


  7. Objection on proposed new contribution key for the EDF
    2012-03-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    During the course of the last Council meeting on General Affairs, ministers discussed, in public session, the first elements of the negotiating box outlining the most central issues and options for certain parts of the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the 2014-2020 period. The negotiating box discussed by ministers covers budget  5 headings , as well as some horizontal issues, in particular the question of whether some instruments should be placed inside or outside the MFF. Related issues to the European Development Fund (EDF), which is the main instrument for providing Community development aid in the ACP countries, and which is funded by the Member States according to a specific contribution key, were part of the discussions.
    On the question of whether some instruments should be placed inside or outside the MFF, some member states considered that, for the sake of transparency and budget discipline, all instruments should be placed inside the MFF. In line with the Commission’s proposal, some delegations however thought that, on account of their specific characteristics, some instruments should be placed outside.
    According to a recent Press release by the Council of the EU, several member states objected to the proposed new contribution key for the  EDF, that the Commission has repeatedly asked for with the aim of increasing public control of this aid, as well as transparency and effectiveness.
    Following several meetings, scheduled within the coming months, the European Council will discuss the negotiating box as the basis for the final
    stage of negotiations in June. The aim is to finalise the negotiations on the MFF by the end of this year.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Know more on the EDF
    Link The implications of the 'budgetisation'


  8. South African avocados to ‘explode’ onto European scene
    2012-03-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    According to recent reports, South African avocado exports, have reached traditional volumes this year, after a down season in 2011. Around 48,000 tons are expected to  be exported to the UK and Europe. Derek Donkin, CEO of the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA), says  this is expected to further increase in the coming years.
    Mr Donkin, explains that this growth has come as result of optimal climate conditions: "Plenty of rain in the first part of the growing season followed by dry and sunny weather later has allowed a heavy crop with good internal quality." Furthermore ,  South African fruit is getting more and more demanded in European markets, with the Israeli season ending early and the Spanish fruit affected by the cold in February.





    Link Read more
    Link EU and South Africa
    Link SA Avocado Industry


  9. Reservations on EPAs' potential in boosting African trade
    2012-03-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, ACP-EU Policy

    As Kenyan flowers could be subjected to 16 per cent duty if Kenya did not ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)  by June, concerns about the EPA's potential in boosting trade on the continent emerge. According to one article by The Standard, Kenya has much to lose if a new EPA is sealed, as differing from the rest of the EAC members, the country does not  benefit from LDC conditions, which provides free access for goods to the European market. Musikari Kombo, President of the ACP Joint Parliamentary Group, says this can be detrimental to regional integration.
    Mr Kombo, says that although EPAs are key components of the Cotonou Agreement and their purpose is to increase exports of ACP countries to the EU, “[these] have not achieved much".  
    "EU insists that Kenya is not a member of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) like Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, hence she should negotiate the trade deal alone. If you force Kenya to sign because it is not an LDC, the move is going to thwart regional integration", he states.

    Source: The Standard


    Link Read more
    Link Kenya asks for time for EAC “to reach consensus”
    Link Kenya taking steps to ensure full traceability


  10. Fijian farmers see Papaya’s potential
    2012-03-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Archive

    According to the Fiji Times, an analysis of the market carried out by the EU noted organic papaya as a product with considerable potential for Fijian farmers. This industry, which started as a means of insulation against the decline of the onetime backbone of Fiji's economy, the sugarcane industry, has become highly successful in the country.
    While 15 years ago, Fiji exported 30 tonnes, nowadays it has increased to 1346 tonnes exported annually. In particular, since 2011, papaya is now leading the way for agricultural products in terms of growth of exports.
    Notably, investments in research, training for its farmers and strict awareness on bio-security issues have made this particular industry a growing success, to the point now where the demand for the Fijian papaya is greater because of renewed confidence in its quality.

    Source: Fiji Times


    Link Read more
    Link Fiji and the EU
    Link Next Briefing on Small island economies


  11. EU food security interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa need improvement
    2012-03-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Food Policy, Archive, Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Policy

    Around one billion people suffer from hunger in the world. More particularly, in Sub-Saharan Africa, some 30 % of the total population faces food insecurity. According to the European Commission (EC) Press service, the EU funded a total of over €3,1 Billion for food security interventions in sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2002 – 2010.  This amount has been allocated through the European Development Fund (EDF), as well as three thematic instruments financed through the general budget of the European Union, namely the Food Security Budget Line (FSBL), the Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP) and the Food Facility. Now, the European Court of Auditors asses whether EU development aid for food security in the region is effective. The audit focuses on EU direct development support for the three dimensions of food security, namely, food availability, access to food and food utilisation (nutrition).The Court concludes that EU development aid for food security in sub-Saharan Africa is mostly effective and makes an important contribution to achieving food security. However, it stresses several areas to be further improved.
    For example, the Court of Auditors says that while EU aid properly addresses countries’ needs and priorities as regards food availability and access to food, the EC did not focus enough on nutrition. Speaking of the Food Facility instrument, the Court says this was not designed to address long term food price volatility. It also critisises the lack of realistic objectives of some NGOs projects.
    Among recommendations, the Court suggests the EC to ensure that the objectives are achievable by better assessing the risks and assumptions concerning the successful implementation of interventions. Moreover,  both the EC and  EEAS should give adequate priority to nutrition when defining the cooperation strategy, identifying and designing interventions, and using policy dialogue with partner governments.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Food Security Thematic Programme
    Link Know more about Food Facility


  12. Looking further afield: What does the future have in store for Agriculture?
    2012-03-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Food Security, Food Policy, Archive, Environment

    Brussels recently witnessed the 5th Forum for the Future of Agriculture.  The conference, first held in 2008, opened discussions on the future of both the European and world agricultural sectors. While debates focused principally on two main issues, namely food and environmental security agendas, expectations of the presentation of the Brazilian case study by the executive President of EMBRAPA, Mauricio Antonio Lopes, were more than satisfied, as some participants told CTA-Brussels.
    European Commissioners, including Dacian Cioloş and Janez Potočnik, MEPs, National Government Ministers, Industry Leaders, NGOs, International Organisations, as well as academics, actively participated during the Q&A discussions and “live-tweeting” speakers' most important remarks.

    Global agricultural challenges: A question of paradigm?
    Geo-technology was the kick-off event. Speakers, such as Parag Khanna, the Hybrid Reality Institute Director, and Christopher Delgado, from the World Bank, reminded that the main issue with food security does not have to do with sources of supply but rather access to these. Taking the case of Africa as an example, they stressed that the main obstacle for the continent is indeed the “lack of infrastructure”, and raised the question of why Europe sells food instead of “sharing technologies”.  Some key remarks also pointed to the global food system as being the result of geopolitical stability “or instability”, and governments' willingness to protect markets.
    Participants paid close attention to the presentation of the case study on Brazilian Agriculture. Mauricio Antonio Lopes, illustrated how Brazil has become food secure in a short period of time.  According to his presentation, the country has a diverse and dynamic agricultural system and benefits from an active and growing private sector, which supplies technologies and technical assistance.  Moreover, Brazilian farmers are progressively adopting conservation practices, and more resource-efficient processes.
    Mr. Lopes raised awareness about the further need for strategic thinking in Agriculture and insisted that sustainability and economic growth can be complementary. Speaking of Europe, some statements made during the Q&A by participants pointed out that the main problem is the present paradigm of intensive agricultural production, which has been abandoned by countries such as Brazil and Canada, later becoming conservation-agriculture-oriented.
    The morning session closed with the prospective for more innovative agriculture, where speakers appeared to agree that this sector “lack[ed] research". In addition to this challenge, speakers emphasized that Europe needs a different perspective concerning subsidies, and that the world has to better address and tackle the food waste issue.

    Special note on CAP reform
    The afternoon's pace was set by discussions on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). During the event, and as CAP reform will be debated in the coming months, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş,  suggested approaching the reform from a historical perspective, thereby facilitating emphasis on “its main dynamics […] and see the reforms' medium- and long-term's guidelines”.
    Expressing concern over the trouble faced by farmers, he called for a “clear line” at both political and budgetary levels, and urged work on a realistic effort, avoiding the sale of “idealistic illusions”. Accordingly, he pointed out the necessity to “offer instruments on which [member states] are capable of finding consensus”.
    He listed two main problems pertaining to the performance of the CAP in the last 20 years. First, Mr. Cioloş stressed the meaning of the CAP and instruments thereof, as knowledge of these is restricted to a very small group of experts. As for the second problem, he addressed the means of action. In his opinion, and even though the CAP has been successful in certain aspects, the EU has only gone half a way. “Today´s CAP somehow pushes farmers to race against time […] not only must [we] guarantee food safety [but also] respond to society´s more and more pressing demands”.
    For Mr. Ciolos, the EU should have another look at the completion rules, as agriculture appears to be fragmented. Likewise, he highlighted public authorities’ duty to offer legal instruments and ensure “these put in place effective safety [and less costly] mechanisms”.
    The EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development told participants of the crucial necessity of restoring the sense of the CAP and concluded by underlining that farmers “must have real control over their future”.
    Like most speakers, during the debate of the panel he insisted on the complexity surrounding the  EU27's reaching an agreement, as it is easier said than done when trying to carry out new measures related to agriculture. “This is not a question of Brussels, this is reality”, he stated.
    One has to remember that, referring to the international arena, Dacian Cioloş recently spoke of the need for coordination and coherence at the EU level, and called for an integrated approach: "Agriculture is discussed from a lot of different angles and its international component is getting more and more important. Our approach cannot be efficient on trade, development and sustainability if we are not coherent and transparent”.

    Source: CTA


    Link Know more about the 5TH Forum
    Link CAP reform
    Link Brussels Briefing on Food price Volatility


  13. EU to contribute to improvement of Ghanaian water quality
    2012-03-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    According to recent reports, the EU is providing €1,141,730 out of a total cost of €1,615,730  for a project that aims to improve the independence of Ghana’s water quality control. This initiative, which is expected to soon be replicated in other African countries, will lead to a transformation of the delivery of water to users.
    Under the project, a water control organisation, which will act independently from Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), will be established to allow for sustainable operation of quality control programmes. Kwaku Dovlo, Deputy Managing Director of the GWCL, has welcomed this opportunity, as it will "improve [Ghana's] water quality", monitoring and surveillance, more especially because water is critical to improving the health of the people”.

    Source: The africa report


    Link Read more
    Link The EU and Ghana
    Link Water system in Ghana


  14. BRICS to shape Africa´s development trajectory
    2012-03-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    Standard Bank (SB) has named the BRICS, Asian and Middle Eastern countries as Africa's most prominent commercial partners. Simon Freemantle and Jeremy Stevens, economists from the SB, which is the African largest retail bank, classify Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa (BRICS), together with Indonesia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey as the new emerging 10 (EM10) economies whose ties with Africa are shaping the continent’s development trajectory. They stress the significant role the EM10 is playing in shaping the international economic arena.
    Half of the world’s population lives in the EM10 countries, which are benefit from the globe’s main trading routes. These experience a positive economic growth, while Europe and the US are battling recession. Moreover,  EM10 economies have, on average, expanded at twice the speed of global output; more than doubling their share of output to 23 percent from 10 percent and global trade to 20.8 percent from 11.2 percent.
    If current growth trends are maintained, EM10 will lift combined output to US$26 trillion by 2015 from US$16.5t in 2011.

    Source: The Southern Times



    Link Read more
    Link BRICS: Prospects in Africa
    Link BRICS' allure greater than EU's


  15. South Africa: BRICS' allure greater than EU's
    2012-03-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Archive

    According to a statement released by the Union of South African Businesspeople,  economic ties of South Africa with the rest of members of the BRICS (economic alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa ) appear to get higher and more profitable development than with EU countries.
    While the South Africa’s trade’s activity with BRICS partners increased  by 108%, with the EU only did by 12% , in the same period, 2007-2011. On March 28 and 29, BRICS will hold a summit in New Delhi,  India. One of the topics to discuss will be  the possibility to create a common development bank. This idea, which was proposed by India during a meeting of the BRICS finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Mexico,  will follow a  further scrutiny at the BRICS summit.

    Source: The Voice of Russia


    Link Read more
    Link A common development bank
    Link EU calls for closer ties with BRICS


  16. Copenhagen Declaration: towards a European genuine renaissance
    2012-03-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    According to a recent Press release by the Committee of Regions (CoR),  Mayors and Presidents of regions from all EU Member States have adopted the “Copenhagen Declaration”. This declaration is intended to make cities greener, more socially inclusive and more economically competitive, in line with various core issues to be discussed at  Rio+20 Earth Summit.
    Notably, Mercedes Bresso, the president of CoR, said that [...] In the face of climate change and overconsumption of natural resources, […] towns and cities are in the front line for driving sustainable development […] these thus hold the key to a European genuine renaissance”.
    Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark and President-in-office of the EU Council,  was nothing but clear in her closing remarks: “In this context of crisis, can Europe really afford the transition towards a green economy? […] it would be a big mistake to leave it […]No, Europe cannot afford not to discuss green growth.”

    Source: CoR


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about Rio+20
    Link Know more about the CoR


  17. EU Support to rural development in Sahel Region
    2012-03-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive, Aid effectiveness

    EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, has recently proposed a €164.5 million aid package to improve the situation in the Sahel. Mr Piebalgs noted the EU’s quick response to the looming food crisis in the region, as the European Commission (EC) has already mobilised €123.5 million for preliminary humanitarian assistance.
    According to the EC,  the new aid package will support the existing national food security systems managed by governments. In addition, cash/food for work initiatives will be reinforced to benefit the poor so they can afford to buy food and the farmers will receive vouchers for seeds and fertilizers. Moreover, information on food security and nutrition will be improved through improved early warning systems on the food situation.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Addressing the situation in the Sahel
    Link Indigenous people in Sahel Region


  18. CLIMATE-ADAPT to help develop climate change adaptation policies
    2012-03-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Climate Adaptation Platform (CLIMATE-ADAPT), an interactive web-based tool on adaptation to climate change, has been recently launched by the European Environment Agency (EEA). This platform is a publicly accessible, web-based platform, designed to support policy-makers at EU, national, regional and local levels in the development of climate change adaptation measures and policies. European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard has highlighted that this initiative  can be “a tremendous tool helping decision makers to choose the best solutions to the benefit of their citizens.”
    CLIMATE-ADAPT will be hosted and managed by the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen and support the generation of the knowledge-base required to support the development of evidence-based adaptation policies.
    Its contribution will inform the development of a comprehensive EU Adaptation Strategy that the Commission plans to adopt in the beginning of 2013, with the goal of supporting the needs of Member States, transnational organisations and local stakeholders with appropriate actions at EU level.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link CLIMATE-ADAPT
    Link Know more about the EEA


  19. European NGOs: conspiring to “keep Africa poor”?
    2012-03-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    Recent statements made at a Conference on Africa held last week in London, point to European humanitarian organizations as part of the “conspiracy to keep Africa in the throes of poverty”. According to an article published by The Citizen, Lord Peter Mandelson, the former EU Trade commissioner, said that European charities opposed his attempts to re-negotiate trade agreements that would benefit Africa with more commercial opportunities: “When I tried to re-negotiate EU’s trade rules […] who were the people trying to silence me? [...]It was the European NGOs!”.
    Lord Mandelson did not, however, list the NGOs he was referring to, his statements may lend credence to the recent criticism raised by African governments. This has been  the case of Uganda, where Western charities have been criticised  for  their “unfriendly agenda”.

    Source: The Citizen


    Link Read more
    Link Lord Peter Mandelson
    Link EC and Europea NGOs


  20. EU freezes development operations in Mali
    2012-03-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Rural development, Archive, ACP-EU Trade

    Following the coup d'etat in Mali, Andris Piebalgs, EU Development Commissioner, announces that EC development operations will be suspended until “the situation clarifies”. Mr Piebalgs also says this decision won’t affect Humanitarian aid and recalls , as EU High Representative Catherine Asthon, for a “speedy resolution of the crisis, restoration of constitutional order and the holding of democratic elections as soon as possible”.
    Recognising the country's positive achievements in terms of development, the EU Commissioner says that this progress “can only be preserved in a stable and democratic environment”. Given the the looming food crisis in the region, he urges  “all the parties to ensure protection of civilians and respect for human life”.
    For the 2008-2013, the European Commission  planned to allocate €583 million of development aid to Mali.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The ACP expresses concern


  21. ACP on raw materials: combating a "race to the bottom”
    2012-03-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment, ACP-EU Policy

    “The structural transformation of our Mineral resources potential into competitive and sustainable industries is an essential component of any long-term strategy to ensure the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for poverty reduction”. These were among the statements made by Mr Achille Bassilekin III, Assistant Secretary General of the ACP Secretariat and Head of the Department of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade,  during the 2nd European Raw Material Conference, held in Brussels last week.
    The Head of the Department of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade, encouraged awareness of  transparency, as this has been a core element in the debate on raw material initiatives at the European Council and EU Parliamentary level since 2008. In this regard, he re-welcomed  the proposal of the Commission to amend the existing Directive on Transparency for listed companies, and stated that this proposal “could be a major step towards global standards in transparency”.
    He pointed out that concerning the issue of raw materials “all [actors] are interdependent”. Mr. Achille Bassilekin III also called on the ACP Group and the cooperating partners thereof to collaborate in the area of mineral resources to “make this area an instrument for inclusive growth in line with Agenda for Change”: “If we want to improve fairness in Global Trade, we also need to restore balance of negotiation capacity between ACP states and mineral resources investors. In that context, assistance from developed partners and relevant International Institutions would be required”. 
    Nonetheless, he warned of the risks of global competition for access to mineral resources to eventually producing a “race to the bottom” if certain countries didn’t respond properly to their lagging development, a fact that seems “potentially dangerous for the most vulnerable countries, such as those of the ACP Group”.

    Source: ACP/CTA


    Link Read more
    Link EU Raw materials policy
    Link Directive on Transparency



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Ms Isolina BOTO
Head
CTA Brussels Office
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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/
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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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