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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 319]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 319]
Send date: 2012-04-20 18:06:36
Issue #: 135
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 23/04 to 29/04/2012
  2. Mauritius will see the 7th Regional Development Briefing
  3. EP in urgent call for an EC proposal on the 7th EAP
  4. EP to push EU to clean up its biodiversity act
  5. World Input-Output Database to help trade analysts have a better view
  6. Inclusive Green Economy dominates at Informal Environment Council
  7. Africa fears becoming a perpetual raw materials supplier
  8. EU to identify priority sectors for cooperation with Ivory Coast
  9. EP to lend a hand to African forests
  10. Zambian livestock eyeing the European market
  11. Conference on the Role of ICT for Africa’s Development
  12. Caricom and Cariforum: Two better than one?
  13. Development money being misused?
  14. ECA’s Opinion on legislative proposals for the reform of the CAP
  15. EU energy aid to developing world may not cover biofuels
  16. EU: main contributor to the economic recovery in Ivory Coast
  17. All seem to succumb Africa’s attractiveness
  18. EU to go beyond a donor-recipient relationship with the Pacific region
  19. Revised trade deals will help enhance self-resilience in the Caribbean
  20. CARDI to help get Haitian agriculture back on its feet
  21. Energising development: The EU is “in”


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 23/04 to 29/04/2012
    2012-04-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Parliament
    -23/24 April: Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
    -23/24 April: Committee on Foreign Affairs
    -23/24 April: Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
    -23/24 April: Committee on Fisheries
    -24/25 April: Committee on International Trade
    -24/25 April: Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
    Council of Ministers
    -25 April: COREPER I
    -25 April: COREPER II
    -24 April : General Affairs Council (GAC) (Luxembourg)
    ACP Group
    -23/24 April: 2nd Meeting of Experts in charge of ACP-EU Dialogue on Migration
    -25 April: Meeting of the ACP-EC Development Finance Cooperation
    -25 April: W/G on the Future perspectives of the ACP Group
    -25 April: African Union
    -26/27 April:  SEDT Department
    Research events
    -23/24: 7th Regional Briefing “Building resilience in small island economies: from vulnerabilities to opportunities” (Mauritius)
    -23/27: The 10th meeting of the International Resource Panel

    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. Mauritius will see the 7th Regional Development Briefing
    2012-04-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    Several weeks ago, the Brussels development Briefing on Small Island economies was held with great success. As a follow-up, the CTA and its partners, and in collaboration with the Mauritius Government, are organising the 7th Regional Development Briefing. The event, which  will be held in Mauritius  on 23-24th April 2012, will gather representatives from the Pacific, the Caribbean and Africa to exchange views and identify what urgent and concrete policy actions of common interest need to be in place.
    The Briefing will be intended to share knowledge on the main challenges and opportunities of the small island economies, notably in key areas such as trade, climate change and natural disasters, as well as new economic opportunities for rural areas (new markets, green growth, services, ICTS...).
    The Regional Briefings are linked to the Brussels Development Briefings that CTA, the European Commission (DG DEVCO), the ACP Secretariat , Concord (the Platform of European Development NGOs) as well as various media partners, organise every two months since 2007 on key issues affecting Rural Development.

    The event will be webstreamed live


    Link Watch the Briefing
    Link Know more about the Briefing


  3. EP in urgent call for an EC proposal on the 7th EAP
    2012-04-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    According to a resolution recently adopted by MEPs,  the Seventh Environment Action Programme (EAP), the EU's next flagship environmental strategy, must outline steps and set targets to protect the EU's environment and encourage a more efficient use of energy and natural resources. As the current sixth edition is set to expire in July, MEPs are calling upon the Commission to propose a Seventh EAP as soon as possible.
    Following the adoption of the resolution, the Parliament's rapporteur Jo Leinen stressed the urgency for a new programme, so as to press the EU to reduce its environmental footprint and curb Europe's unsustainable consumption of resources. “The programme should help achieve targets for 2020, set mid-term 2030 targets for emissions reductions, energy efficiency and renewables, and set out a vision for the state of the environment in Europe in 2050", he added.
    According to the Parliament,  the 7th EAP should help mainstream climate change and other environmental objectives across all policy areas, particularly in industry, transport, agriculture and fisheries.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Text adopted
    Link Sixth Environment Action Programme


  4. EP to push EU to clean up its biodiversity act
    2012-04-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development, Regional Fisheries

    As the EU failed to meet its overall biodiversity target for 2010, the European Parliament insists that the EU must prioritize the preservation and restoration of damaged ecosystems. In a resolution adopted last week, the EP also calls for the naming and phasing-out of environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020.
    Regarding the steady loss of biodiversity in the EU, as pointed to in several studies, rapporteur Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, notably says: "The services that nature provides us with, like clean water, clean air, fertile soil, food, are not only crucial for the well-being of human kind, they also represent an astronomical economic value. According to economists, each year we lose 3% of GDP due to the loss of biodiversity. That costs the EU €450 billion year after year. Compared to these figures, investing €5.8 billion per year in Natura 2000 is a bargain!"
    Additionally, in the words of the resolution they key question to this issue is not a new strategy "but, rather, the forthcoming reforms of the common agricultural and fisheries policies and the multiannual financial framework (MFF]”

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link ENVI committee responds to EU failure
    Link Biodiversity Strategy to 2020


  5. World Input-Output Database to help trade analysts have a better view
    2012-04-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    According to recent updates, the European Commission held a high level conference this week to mark the launch of the new "World Input-Output Database". This new database, which allows trade analysts to have a better view on the global value chains created by world trade, reveals the value added embodied in goods and services as they are traded internationally.
    It  covers 27 EU countries and 13 other major countries in the world for the period from 1995 to 2009. The project is funded by the European Commission, Research Directorate General as part of the 7th Framework Programme.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The Database
    Link EU Trade Commissioner Speech


  6. Inclusive Green Economy dominates at Informal Environment Council
    2012-04-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    During the course of the Informal Environment Council, which took  place in Horsens, Denmark,  ministers exchanged views on Rio+20. They agreed that the inclusive green economy is key to achieving long term sustainable development and eradicate poverty. Ministers pointed out that the EU and member states thereof should continue with concrete and ambitious proposals in the negotiation process.
    The European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik said that “An inclusive green economy will [offer] opportunities for all countries around the world and in all stages of development”. Additionally, he said that to respond to the challenges of resource constraints and pressures, it is necessary that all focus on clear goals in five pillars of life, namely:  water, sustainable energy, oceans, land and ecosystems, and resource efficiency and waste in particular.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Rio+20
    Link Rio+20 at the core of discussions


  7. Africa fears becoming a perpetual raw materials supplier
    2012-04-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    Several weeks ago we raised awareness of some of the declarations made by Benjamin W. Mkapa, the former president of Tanzania and Chairperson of the South Centre, on EPA negotiations with the East African Community. Mr Mkapa expressed doubts over whether or not these were driven by European interests.  This week, he goes deeper and presents the three possible scenarios for EU-EAC negotiations and the consequences thereof.  According to his analysis, the elimination of tariffs on 80 per cent of trade, restrictions on the use of export taxes and quantitative restrictions, as well as the standstill clause will result in nothing less than Africa becoming a perpetual supplier of raw materials.
    His criticism is also levelled at EU agricultural subsidies, which the EU has thus far not indicated any willingness to abolish, and which, in the words of Mr Mkapa, “constitutes major unfair competition against African producers of milk, poultry, pork, beef, cereals, etc.”
    As the EPAs would lead to an 80% liberalization of trade, he warns of the prospective wave of European products flooding African regional markets, which could also harm the development of the regional trade and integration, which represent an opportunity “for Africa to diversify and develop”.

    Source: Deccan herald


    Link Read more
    Link Raw materials race in Africa
    Link Another stinging rebuke of the EPAs


  8. EU to identify priority sectors for cooperation with Ivory Coast
    2012-04-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    According to recent reports, Andris Piebalgs, the European Commissioner for Development, will visit Ivory Coast this week.  He is to meet with President Alassane Ouattara and the Prime Minister, Jeannot Kouadio-Ahoussou, to relaunch political dialogue; jointly identify priority sectors for cooperation; and discuss key challenges facing the country. It is expected that Mr. Piebalgs will meet with several other members of the government and will inaugurate an EU-funded water and sanitation programme.
    Mr. Piebalgs stated before his departure that his visit “confirms that the European Union is and will remain a reliable partner for Ivory Coast as it pursues its long-term development goals.”
    Since the end of the post-election crisis in 2011, new resources have been mobilized to help the EU's total aid for the country  reach more than € 600 million, covering the period from 2008 to 2013.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU main contributor to the economic recovery in Ivory Coast
    Link EU-Ivory Coast


  9. EP to lend a hand to African forests
    2012-04-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Rural development, Environment, ACP-EU Trade

    According to recent reports by the European Parliament Press service, MEPs have agreed on forest protection agreements with the Central African Republic and Liberia, two countries which possess significant shares of Africa's rain forests.  The main aim is to help the African states halt illegal logging and the degradation of rain forests.
    Parliament's rapporteur Elisabeth Köstingersaid has said that these agreements are an important step forward in avoiding the misuse of timber, in addition to raising people's awareness. ”I am confident that the proceeds of Liberian timber sales will no longer be misused to finance bloodshed. We must also ensure that the rights and concerns of indigenous peoples are fully taken into account by Central African Republic's authorities.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Adopted text
    Link EU forest protection policy


  10. Zambian livestock eyeing the European market
    2012-04-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Zambian Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Emmanuel Chenda, has recently declared that the country is set to participate in the international market for livestock products with a cattle population of over three million. Although Zambia has been regularly exporting to a few regional markets, international markets like the EU have not been exploited due to cattle diseases.
    In the minister's own words: “One of the challenges that the livestock value chain is facing is inadequate access to foreign markets for our livestock products. This is due to the fact that we cannot export to the EU market and other markets in the region since Zambia is not considered to be a disease-free zone”.
    According to the Zambia Daily Mail, Mr. Chenda stressed that Commodity-Based Trade (CBT) is a popular option for improving market-access for African meat exports, focusing on the health and safety attributes of the product rather than the disease status of the country of origin.
    The minister called upon the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) secretariat to help gain the support of other member states within the region and beyond, with the aim of increasing trading opportunities.

    Source: Zambia Daily Mail


    Link Read more
    Link Zambia CBT Dialogue
    Link Know more about COMESA


  11. Conference on the Role of ICT for Africa’s Development
    2012-04-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    With the support of both the European Commission Information Society and Media, and the African Union, the Republic of Tanzania will host the seventh annual IST-Africa 2012 Conference and Exhibition. This event, which will take place on 9th -11th May,  2012,  will focus  on the Role of ICT for Africa’s Development and  bring delegates from well accredited commercial, government and research organizations.
    Among other areas, the Conference will deal with on Applied ICT research in eHealth, Technology Enhanced Learning and ICT Skills, Digital Libraries, Open Source Software, ICT for eInclusion and eAccessibility and eInfrastructures.

    Source: IST-Africa


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about the Conference
    Link ICTs role in African development to increase


  12. Caricom and Cariforum: Two better than one?
    2012-04-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    A recent article by the Jamaica Observer raises the question of whether should there be two Secretariats for the ACP group of states in the Caribbean region, namely Caricom and CARIFORUM, the latter comprising Caricom and the Dominican Republic . “The dilemma is that there are now two secretariats, namely the Caricom Secretariat, an inefficient underfunded bureaucracy, and a CARIFORUM Secretariat which is really a fictitious institution in which the number two spot is given to a national of the Dominican Republic […] The same person serves as Secretary General of both the Caricom and CARIFORUM secretariats […] should there be one or two secretariats and, if there are two secretariats, should there be one or two secretaries general?”
    While Caricom, which represents 15 Caribbean countries, is quite far along in the regional integration process and has the aim of creating an "economic union”, CARIFORUM is a group whose members are signatories to the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.
    The main concerns on this issue are raised by the Dominican Republic, as “[it] has no input in the selection of the secretary general of CARIFORUM […] and has no say in the superintending of the EPA Implementation Unit”.

    Source: Jamaica Observer


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about Caricom
    Link EU-CARIFORUM


  13. Development money being misused?
    2012-04-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    According to a recent report by European Dignity Watch, two of the world’s largest abortion providers, namely International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International, have received funding from the EU’s development aid budget for projects related to Sexual and Reproductive Health, including abortions, among other projects.
    As one article by Eurasia reports, EU regulations on supporting developing countries explicitly exclude abortion funding. The organization deals with questions such as “How much money is given to the organizations?”, “ Is this negligence on the part of the European Commission or is it done deliberately?”, or “Who is responsible for such a misuse of the European funds?”.
    These findings were presented in Brussels as part of a “Week for Life” initiative, at the European Parliament.

    Source: European Dignity Watch/Eurasia review


    Link Read more
    Link EU accused
    Link 2011 Report


  14. ECA’s Opinion on legislative proposals for the reform of the CAP
    2012-04-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has recently published its opinion on the Commissions’ legislative proposals for the reform of the Common agricultural policy as of 2014. Even if the Court recognises the efforts made by the Commission to simplify the provisions of the CAP and to address a number of observations made by the Parliament, the Council and the Court, it considers that the legislative framework of this policy remains too complex.
    Notably, the Court  states: “In spite of the claim that it focuses on results, the policy remains fundamentally focussed on spending and controlling expenditure and therefore oriented more towards compliance than performance.”
    Regarding rural development, the Court underlinesthe importance of setting out specific concrete objectives that the proposed measures are designed to achieve and of ensuring that support is targeted to rural areas where the aid is most needed.
    The Court underlines that the effectiveness of the reform will depend on the clarity of the “implementing regulations” the Commission is to set forth, as well as how quickly paying agencies will adapt their procedures and systems.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about ECA
    Link What does the future have in store for Agriculture?


  15. EU energy aid to developing world may not cover biofuels
    2012-04-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    According to the EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, part of the energy aid to the developing world could be spent on gas projects. However, biofuels, nuclear and coal energy will be excluded. Notably, the EU commissioner has said: “We would like to support a very clean energy mix [and] in some cases gas could be supported. At least I would not exclude it a priori.”
    Nevertheless, Piebalgs told EurActiv that he did not foresee a big gas investment. He also clarified  that the money he referred to could also be used for environmental impact assessments and using natural gas that is now flared.
    These statements come after the recent launch of  the €50 million ‘Energy Development’ initiative, whose aim is to help poorer countries that ‘opt in’ with a series of EU reforms with capacity-building and policy-development programmes, and is designed to entice private investment.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Energy access for all by 2030
    Link Sustainable energy for all


  16. EU: main contributor to the economic recovery in Ivory Coast
    2012-04-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Rural development, Archive

    According to the European Commission, since the end of the post-election crisis in 2011, new resources have been mobilized to help the EU's total aid for the Ivory Coast reach more than € 600 million, covering the period from 2008 to 2013. The EU has actively supported the country's economic recovery and national reconciliation. Particular attention is being paid to infrastructure-building, transportation, governance, justice, rural development, vocational training and social sectors, notably health and education.
    Five new programs were launched during the summer of 2011, totaling € 125 million. The EU has also provided humanitarian aid (€ 80 million) and supported elections and reconciliation in response to the Ivorian crisis (€ 12 million).

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more [FR]
    Link EU-Ivory Coast relations
    Link Read the 5 programmes


  17. All seem to succumb Africa’s attractiveness
    2012-04-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    According to an article by Ritesh Kumar Singh and Sudhakar Kasture, both experts in international trade,  the economic slowdown is leading the EU and the US to resort to non-tariff barriers, with the aim of restricting imports into their territories and protect local employment. As emerging economies such as India and China  continue to see growth in their manufacturing sectors, “resource-rich Africa” appears to be catching the attention of global players as prospective strategic partner.
    The authors of the article notably state that following a remarkable improvement in the political and economic arenas, as well as in terms of urbanisation and consumption, Africa has gained the necessary credentials to be acknowledged as a profitable investment. “Gradually, Africa has stopped being considered as a dark continent and everybody wants a pie of the African market”, they stress.  

    Source: Hindu Business Line



    Link Read more
    Link Non tariff barriers
    Link India boosts trade with Africa


  18. EU to go beyond a donor-recipient relationship with the Pacific region
    2012-04-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Policy

    According to the EU High Representative, Catherine Asthon, the EU aims to develop a more comprehensive partnership with the Pacific region, as this would successfully address issues of global importance, such as climate change, and which would go beyond the “mere” donor-recipient relationship currently in place. Furthermore, the Pacific islands are an alarming case of the adverse effects of climate change where rising sea levels have an impact upon every aspect of citizens' lives and hamper the economic development. Therefore, the EU has decided to reinforce its response to these raising challenges and issue a Communication ''Towards a renewed EU–Pacific development partnership'.
    The Joint Communication by High Representative Ashton and the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, pays special attention to addressing climate change and development in a tailored manner, and calls for more coordinated cooperation. It which will be  presented at Rio+20, that the development of a greener economy is essential to promoting long-term sustainable and inclusive growth, human health and well-being.

    Source: European Commission/Euroalert


    Link Read more
    Link EU to tackle climate change and fight poverty
    Link Read the Joint Communication


  19. Revised trade deals will help enhance self-resilience in the Caribbean
    2012-04-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    According to recent updates, the Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation of the Netherlands, Ben Knapen, recently stressed  the positive aspects of the revised EU trade deals with the Caribbean region. He stated that these will help enhance the self-reliance of the developing countries concerned. Additionally,  the Minister noted that the revised Cotonou Agreement is more committed to combatting child labour, piracy, human trafficking and organised crime.
    15 countries in the Caribbean region have tariff-free access to the European market for all their products, on the basis of the free trade agreement with the EU.

    Source: Egomonitor


    Link Read more
    Link Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Link EU's relations with the Caribbean


  20. CARDI to help get Haitian agriculture back on its feet
    2012-04-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, ACP-EU Policy, Environment

    The Caribbean Agriculture and Research Development Institute (Cardi) will work towards boosting the Haitian agricultural sector, seriously weakened following the earthquake two years ago.  Donor funding from Caricom, Australia, the Common Fund for Commodities and the EU will make three Cardi projects possible . While project one will focus on re-vegetation, the second project will be intended to improve Caribbean production of roots and tuber crops through the introduction of more advanced technologies. The main objective of the third project will also target increased production, though through the use of protected agriculture.
    Cardi’s executive director Dr. Arlington Chesney, recently explained that the Intitute aims to meet two main challenges: Revive agriculture,  but also assist in the development of a sustainable sector.
    The three projects are being executed in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture, with support and active participation from Haiti’s Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, said Cardi’s executive director Dr Arlington Chesney.

    Source: The Guardian


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about CARDI
    Link Two years after the earthquake


  21. Energising development: The EU is “in”
    2012-04-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development, Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    Following the opening ceremony of the EU Sustainable Energy For all Summit that took place in Brussels last week, José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, stressed the EU’s commitment to supporting the goals set forth by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Mr Barroso also recalled the EU’s engagement to promoting energy access and efficiency in developing countries. Towards that end, the EU aims to provide access to sustainable energy services to 500 million people by 2030,  regarding which Mr. Barroso commented: “This is a huge objective, but if we work together it can be done”.
    He announced that in the framework of  "Energising Development" initiative, the EU will create a Technical Assistance Facility which will be expected to help those developing countries that commit to the necessary reforms to catalyse and leverage investment. “Because it is clear that aid alone is not enough, we need the private sector on board and a strong commitment of our partner countries.”

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Sustainable energy for all
    Link EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit



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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/
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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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