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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 324]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 324]
Send date: 2012-05-29 15:29:54
Issue #: 140
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 28/05 to 03/06/2012
  2. Our video guest: Lino Briguglio, Islands and Small States Institute
  3. The scandal of food losses and food waste!
  4. Recommendations of Farmers and fishers' organisations before G20
  5. Standby Facility to help with EPA implementation in the Caribbean
  6. EU urges major economies to play ball on Climate Change
  7. Funds to JSIF will make better respond to Jamaican vulnerable population
  8. Fears of a drop in banana exports
  9. Horsens sees the next ACP-EU JPA
  10. The desalination dilemma
  11. Rising Chinese role in WA provides alternative to dependence on EU
  12. Towards more sustainable EU fishing in Mozambican waters
  13. South Africa eyes rapidly-growing countries for trade
  14. EP to help save bluefin tuna
  15. ACP Group: Did it weaken itself?
  16. EIB support for Zambian regional energy will help achieve MDGs
  17. Piebalgs visits Timor-Leste
  18. How have EU rules on organic production and labelling been applied?
  19. Calls for unity from ACP members
  20. EU-EAC discussions continue in Mombasa
  21. H.E Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo to head up Commission of ECOWAS
  22. EU support for New alliance to benefit small farmers
  23. ACP-EU updates: African iEPA, development in Uganda and greener CAP


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 28/05 to 03/06/2012
    2012-05-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Parliament
    -29/30 May: Committee on International Trade, Brussels
    -30/31 May:  Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development meeting, Brussels
    -29/30 May:  Committee on Foreign Affairs  
    Council of Ministers
    -1 June : COREPER I
    -1 June : COREPER II
    ACP Group
    -23/30 May: The Joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly, Horsens, Denmark

    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: Lino Briguglio, Islands and Small States Institute
    2012-05-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    As the Under Secretary General of United Nations Mr. Cheick Sidi Diarra recently explained to us in an interview, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) demonstrate more economic vulnerability to external shocks than other developing countries. Delving deeper into this topic, Lino Briguglio, Director of the Islands and Small States Institute (University of Malta)  discusses the so-called "Singapore Paradox". Furthermore, Mr. Briguglio, a professor in Economics, lists the advantages and disadvantages of the EPAs for the SIDS, as these pertain to the ACP group.


    Link Watch the video
    Link The briefing on SIDS
    Link Interview with Cheick Sidi Diarra


  3. The scandal of food losses and food waste!
    2012-05-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Food Policy, Food Security, Rural development, Archive, Environment

    The next Brussels Development Briefing will be held on 26 June from 8.30 – 13h00 on Food Losses and Food Waste. Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted! This briefing wants to address the concerns revolving around global hunger, food security, sustainability and waste recovery. A variety of different actors – farmers, retailers, governments and consumers – involved in the food supply chain contribute to large amounts of global food losses and waste. Several strategies are available for the reduction of food losses and waste. However, these strategies are not always known and much action needs to be taken to reduce losses and waste at global, regional and national scale.
    Thus, the objectives of the Briefing are to raise awareness of the causes and impact of food losses and waste in low, medium and high-income countries, increase an exchange of information and expertise relating to strategies and successes in preventing and reducing them and to facilitate networking amongst development partners working in these areas.
    Speakers will include research, policy makers, food industry, farmer's organizations. More details on the content will be available shortly at brusselsbriefings.




  4. Recommendations of Farmers and fishers' organisations before G20
    2012-05-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Archive, Food Security, Food Policy

    As a follow-up to the Brussels Briefing on Food price volatility, held on 30th November 2011 and  organised in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the African regional farmer's organisations who participated at the Briefing,  asked the CTA to facilitate their input to the next G20, whose core goal is to increase food production and productivity in a sustainable basis with the aim of promoting food security and foster economic growth.
    Subsequently, the CTA, IFPRI and the Mexican Government  held discussions as to feature their input, and facilitated with the support of the World Rural Forum the input from the farmer's and fishers´ organisations worldwide.
    Read the main recommendations submitted to the Ministers of Agriculture of the G20  to feed the process in the upcoming Summit of the G-20 in Mexico, in June of 2012.


    Link Main_recommendations.pdf

  5. Standby Facility to help with EPA implementation in the Caribbean
    2012-05-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, ACP-EU Policy

    According to latest updates, CARICOM member states will be the beneficiaries of funding from the EU. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will enter into a contribution agreement with the EU,  for a €3.5 million EPA Standby Facility.  Although the implementation period of the Facility will be thirty-six months, the two parties may agree to an extension.
    These funds are to be used by the beneficiary countries for national EPA implementation units; for administrative, technical and other support for national focal points and for technical assistance assignments to advise on or to assist in taking advantage of opportunities under EPA.  

    Source: Caribbean Press releases


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about CDB
    Link EPA concerns over Caribbean region


  6. EU urges major economies to play ball on Climate Change
    2012-05-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) have been meeting in Bonn this week for the mid-year climate change talks. The EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, recalled that the EU is “almost the only player taking a second commitment period” under the Kyoto Protocol and keeping it alive. “Because we believe climate change needs to be addressed in a legally-binding international framework, we are willing to do this, even when other major economies are at present only willing to enter into voluntary commitments”, she stated.
    However, she emphasised that the commitment and involvement of other major economies is also necessary. “The world cannot afford that a few want to backtrack from what was agreed in Durban only five months ago. Durban was - and is - a delicately balanced package where all elements must be delivered at the same pace. It is not a pick and choose menu”.
    It is very worrisome that attempts to backtrack have been so obvious and time-consuming in the Bonn talks over the last two weeks. Regrettably, only procedure, no substance was discussed.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about the UNFCCC
    Link The EU and the Climate Change


  7. Funds to JSIF will make better respond to Jamaican vulnerable population
    2012-05-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    A total of $1.868 billion, allocated to the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) by the European Union along with the Jamaican Government, Caribbean Development Bank, and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, will make possible undertake several initiatives, including: Poverty Reduction Programme II and III; Rural Economic Development Initiative; and Tropical Storm Gustav Emergency Recovery Fund, among others. Funds allocated are for the period 2012/13.
    The scheme, which started in November 1996 and has been extended several times, is intended to assist the Government in responding to the needs of the most vulnerable population groups in the country. On a particular note,  it will help stimulate and enhance income generating and employment opportunities in agriculture and rural tourism.
    According to  Jamaica Information service, up to February 2012, some 1,074 projects had been completed; and 1,632 projects had been approved from inception.

    Source: Jamaica Information Service


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about the JSIF
    Link EU cooperation with Jamaica


  8. Fears of a drop in banana exports
    2012-05-24

    An expected decrease in custom tariffs for exporters from Central America ( namely, Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica) are matter of concern for African banana producers. Indeed, Apibana (African Pineapples and Bananas Association), warns of a drop of African exports to Europe by 15%, while seeing an increase of  17% of Central American exports.
    The banana sector now enjoys free trade with Europe but this may not be renewed in 2014, if the well-known and often discussed requirements by the European Commission are not met.  According to  Freshplaza, Apibana thinks that the EU should sign this agreement again at any cost to allow the sector to retain its privileged position.
    In 2010,  around 550,000 tons of bananas were exported by Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Ghana, which represented barely more than 10% of the quantities sold in Europe. The production in Central America  (2.4 million tons) now already profits from the advantages of scale, as a consequence of which they can offer more attractive prices.

    Source: FreshPlaza


    Link Read more
    Link Apibana , the art of lobbying [EN]
    Link Again a 'banana issue'?


  9. Horsens sees the next ACP-EU JPA
    2012-05-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    MEPs will be meeting their counterparts from the ACP countries during the 23rd session of the EU-ACP  Joint Parliamentary Assembly, next week in Horsens, Denmark. It will be co-chaired by Louis Michel, Parliament's ACP delegation head, and Mr Musikari Kombo, president of the ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA).
    Notably, the meeting will consider agricultural product prices, the social and environmental consequences of mining as well as climate change and energy. MEPs will discuss the consequences of the instability in Libya and the crisis in  Sahel region on ACP members.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about the JPA
    Link See agenda


  10. The desalination dilemma
    2012-05-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Environment

    According to an article by EurActiv, countries like Spain have become trendsetters in Europe in the harnessing seawater for human use. Desalination offers some promise for farmers and households that compete for freshwater, is economically vital and an answer to long-term water security concerns. In Europe, which accounts for 10% of the world’s desalination capacity, this means may be one answer to water needs.
    Yet, desalination raises environmental concerns, as making seawater drinkable is an expensive and energy-intensive process, depending on the salt levels in the water. In this regard, environmental groups have for years raised concerns over the expansion of desalination plants and their potential harm to coastal habitats and generation of far higher levels of greenhouse gases than conventional water plants.
    Responding to this criticism,   the desalination industry says it is working to reduce its environmental impact and underlines that EU policymakers are doing little to promote a technology that could help address growing water scarcity, as the European Innovation Partnership on Water, which was recently announced, does not list desalination amongst its proposals to address future needs.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Innovation Partnership on Water
    Link Call for stronger EU action on water


  11. Rising Chinese role in WA provides alternative to dependence on EU
    2012-05-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Rural development

    How can we assess the impact of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in West Africa? Is FDI boosting economic development there?  Is the increasing inflow of Chinese FDI to West Africa providing an alternative to dependence on Europe and the United States?  A recent article by the International Relations and Security Network (ISN), analyses if FDI is a blessing or a curse for the region, presenting the the case ‘for’ and ‘against’.
    The author highlights the “dramatic changes” in the sources of FDI into West Africa over the last three decades.  While the US and the EU accounted for over 40% of FDI in the region in the 1980s, China's FDI only accounted for 0.1%. Nowadays, China’s share of FDI into West Africa has skyrocketed to 27.5%, and, significantly, Asia accounts for 37% of the total FDI inflow for projects in agriculture.
    The article also emphasises that this increase results from Beijing’s less restrictive approach to FDI, given the EU or US requirements of democracy and good governance to keep FDI in third countries. No similar conditionality on the Chinese side for West African countries, and therefore no reason to stop delivering funding to the region, proves, “vital to reducing poverty across West Africa and the region’s further insertion into the global economy”, according to the author.

    Source: ISN


    Link Read more
    Link China makes a big impact in Kenya
    Link The EU and China’s engagement in Africa


  12. Towards more sustainable EU fishing in Mozambican waters
    2012-05-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    This week, MEPs voted for a new deal with Mozambique that makes more sustainable fishing and better controls possible.  75 EU vessels from  Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and the UK licensed to fish in the waters of the African country will have to employ local fishermen.
    According to the press service of the European Parliament, in recent years, total catches by EU vessels in Mozambique's waters have not attained the levels assigned to them. The reduces the reference tonnage from 10,000 to 8,000 tonnes per year, but allows the ceiling to be raised if necessary. Accordingly, the number of EU vessels allowed to fish in these waters will be reduced from 89 to 75: 43 tuna seiners and 32 surface long-liners. Under the deal the EU will pay Mozambique €980,000 per year: €520,000 for access to its waters and €460,000 to develop its fisheries policy.
    The resolution, which has been drafted by the MEPs Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo (S&D, ES) and which has been approved by a large majority, re-emphasises Parliament's call to be more extensively involved in its monitoring and enforcement. The deal, which has applied provisionally since 1 February 2012, will remain in force until 31 January 2015.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Read text adopted
    Link EU-Mozambique FPA


  13. South Africa eyes rapidly-growing countries for trade
    2012-05-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    According to an article by Rob Davies, the South-African Minister of Trade and Industry, the country will seek to boost trade relations with rapidly-growing developing nations. His statement does not come as a surprise, however, as the minister reminded parliamentarians that South Africa's trade with BRICS members grew by 29 percent last year, hailing the expansion as a boom.
    Speaking of this approach, Mr. Davies recalled that "global economic power is shifting before our very eyes from the North and West to the South and East". Furthermore, he noted that even though the European Union remains South Africa's biggest trade partner, troubles on the continent have left trade volumes depressed.
    South Africa has seen a rapid growth in trade with emerging countries, led by China and India. Nonetheless, its exports to Europe and other developed countries remain below their 2008 peaks.

    Source: AllAfrica


    Link Read more
    Link BRICS in Africa
    Link South Africa looks to seize new opportunities


  14. EP to help save bluefin tuna
    2012-05-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    With the aim of further reducing illegal catches of bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and therefore ensuring more sustainable development of stocks,   MEPs recently backed new international measures, which were agreed at the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) in November 2010.
    The MEP Raül Romeva i Rueda, who steered the new legislation through Parliament, notably stresses that these rules must be implemented quickly, as the bluefin fishing season has just opened. Additionally, given that the EU is a contracting party to ICCAT, it  is obliged to incorporate its recommendations into EU law.  
    Nonetheless,  Mr Romeva i Rueda thinks that,  while taking a step in the right direction, the rules fall far short of following scientific advice. “This is a missed opportunity to bring bluefin back from the brink”, he adds.
    The regulation will enter into force once it has been endorsed by the Council.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about ICCAT
    Link Text adopted


  15. ACP Group: Did it weaken itself?
    2012-05-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    Reviewing the latest events of note for developing countries, Ronald Sanders, an international consultant and former diplomat in the Caribbean region, spoke of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the ACP Group meeting held in Brussels last week. Even if the two parties agreed to join forces on key challenges, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding, Mr. Sanders regrets that actions taken would be limited to “the exchange of information and views”. Still, he states that “even this small step with the UNDP is better than nothing”.
    But key questions he delves into lie at the core of the ACP Group. While aware of the strong unity demonstrated by the members between 1975 and 2000 “when they found enough strength in their unity to secure advantageous aid, trade and investment treaties with the EU”, the author states that the ACP members “allowed the EU to fragment them in the negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)”, which has led, in his opinion, to an unfair arrangement.
    Yet, he states that unsatisfactory EPAs are not only the fault of the EU: “The ACP group has also failed to collaborate effectively in analysing the weaknesses and strengths of their member states and regions, and to provide collectively their own pool of experts to overcome hurdles and take advantage of such opportunities and funding as the EPAs provide”, he stresses.
    He points out that should the ACP Secretariat in Brussels be properly supported by ACP member governments, “it could strengthen bargaining for countries and regions and help unlock barriers to EU markets and funding”. Accordingly, he invokes the calls of the ACP secretary-general, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, for a collective voice of the ACP, which is yet to be seen.

    Source: Kaieteur news


    Link Read more
    Link ACP on ambitious EPA deadline
    Link Calls for unity from ACP members


  16. EIB support for Zambian regional energy will help achieve MDGs
    2012-05-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Policy

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) will allocate US$30 million for the upgrade of a project designed to improve regional energy distribution and double electricity transmission capacity between the Victoria Falls hydro-power station and Lusaka, Zambia. This deal, signed by the Zambian Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda, MPs, and senior officials from the European Investment Bank, is expected to help achieve the Millenium Developemnt Goals (MDGs) in that country.
    Recognising the importance of electricity for the promotion of sustainable development, the EIB Vice President Plutarchos Sakellaris explains: “Upgrading the Kafue-Livingstone transmission line will assist the Zambian Government’s efforts to ensure that a reliable supply of energy can keep pace with economic growth in Zambia and improve electricity distribution across southern Africa. The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting the Zambian energy sector and contributing to global goals highlighted by the 2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy”.

    Source: Waterpower magazine


    Link Read more
    Link Transmission Line Kafue-Livingstone
    Link Country Strategy Paper


  17. Piebalgs visits Timor-Leste
    2012-05-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    EU Commissioner of Development Mr. A. Piebalgs represented the European Commission at the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the restoration of the Independence and swearing-in ceremony of the new elected President of Timor-Leste H.E. Taur Matan Ruak , following the invitation send by the former President of the country Jose Ramos Horta to President Barroso.
    Visiting the country for the second time, Mr. Piebalgs met officially with Taur Matan Ruak, as well as Ramos Horta and Xanana Gusmao, Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister. The Presidents of Indonesia, Portugal, Tuvalu and Governor Generals from New Zealand and Australia were also present at the ceremonies, as well as other dignitaries and representatives of 10 Members States, five of them from the ambassadorial level.
    Timor-Leste is a relatively new member of the ACP Group, though has enjoyed a special relationship with Portugal due to their shared history. The EU and Member States thereof, have contributed half of total assistance to Timor-Leste since 1999.

    Source: Delegation of the EU in Timor-Leste


    Link The EU is a 'faithful partner of Timor-Leste'
    Link Q&A on EU aid to Timor Leste
    Link The EU supports rural development in Timor Leste


  18. How have EU rules on organic production and labelling been applied?
    2012-05-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The European Commission (EC) has published this month a new report on the way EU rules on organic production and labelling have been applied. As required under the Regulation 834/2007, that specifies in its Article 41 that particular issues should be reviewed, the EC takes stock of the experience gained by the application of the legislation from 1st January 2009, when it started to apply.
    Based on the limited experience since 2009, the reports concluds that it is too early to table proposals to adjust the Regulation, , but states that this will stimulate a constructive debate on the organic farming regulation – with the European Parliament, the Council, and other stakeholders – on the basis of which the Commission may come forward with proposals at a later stage.
    On a particular note, the report suggests that a wide range of topics could be considered, such as the simplification of the legislative framework, co-existence rules between organic and GMO production, improving the system of controls, improving the equivalence regime in trade of organic products.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read the regulation
    Link What is organic farming?


  19. Calls for unity from ACP members
    2012-05-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    Taking into account the evolution of the Group’s relations with the EU and, accordingly, recent concerns, ambassadors from Samoa and Jamaica stress that unity and innovation among ACP members is needed. Additionally, as geopolitical shifts occur with the rise of emerging economies and current challenges such as climate change or food security, key discussions delve into the direction the ACP Group will take for the future.
    Ms. Vilma McNish, Jamaica's ambassador to the EU, highlights that changes to the internal dynamics of the EU have been reflected in the EU’s approach to certain policies, a conclusion based on the latest communications from the European Commission on development cooperation, budget support, and trade and growth development.
    In this regard, the newly appointed Samoan ambassador to the EU, Dr. Fatumanava Pao Luteru, warns that the 79-member Group will have to review both its relevance to its constituencies, and its value-added and strategic importance as a partner of the EU in the future. “The ACP-EU partnership is now at a crossroad. What is more worrying for the [ACP] Group, are the subtle and less overt signals emanating from the EU regarding their thinking for the future - signs of disengagement”, he states.

    Source: ACP

    Calls for unity from ACP members

    Taking into account the evolution of the Group’s relations with the EU and, accordingly, recent concerns, ambassadors from Samoa and Jamaica stress that unity and innovation among ACP members is needed. Additionally, as geopolitical shifts occur with the rise of emerging economies and current challenges such as climate change or food security, key discussions delve into the direction the ACP Group will take for the future.

    Ms. Vilma McNish, Jamaica's ambassador to the EU, highlights that changes to the internal dynamics of the EU have been reflected in the EU’s approach to certain policies, a conclusion based on the latest communications from the European Commission on development cooperation, budget support, and trade and growth development.

    In this regard, the newly appointed Samoan ambassador to the EU, Dr. Fatumanava Pao Luteru, warns that the 79-member Group will have to review both its relevance to its constituencies, and its value-added and strategic importance as a partner of the EU in the future. “The ACP-EU partnership is now at a crossroad. What is more worrying for the [ACP] Group, are the subtle and less overt signals emanating from the EU regarding their thinking for the future - signs of disengagement”, he states.

    http://acp.int/content/new-ambassadors-watchful-shifting-acp-eu-relations


    Link Read more
    Link AfC leaves middle-income countries out cold
    Link ACP,shunned in global governance


  20. EU-EAC discussions continue in Mombasa
    2012-05-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Following a meeting held in Brussels several weeks ago, EU and East African Community (EAC) negotiators at technical level met in Mombasa, kenya to discuss certain aspects of the EPA. According to the European Commission press service, they continued the discussions started during the last negotiation round on rules of origin, dispute settlement and institutional provisions, agriculture, and economic and development cooperation.
    On the EU side, it has been said that “good progress” has been made. The next round of technical negotiations will take place in Brussels again, in July.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU and EAC meet in Brussels
    Link EAC-EU trade negotiations


  21. H.E Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo to head up Commission of ECOWAS
    2012-05-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Delegations of the ACP Group said their goodbyes to H.E Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo, whose term as Dean of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors has ended, and who will now head up the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
    Following his service as Prime Minister of Burkina Faso from 1996 to 2000, H.E  Ouedraogo assumed the duties as his country's ambassador in Brussels. During his mandate, he served as Chairman of the Working Group on Cotton, as well as working at the Working Group on the Future Perspectives of the ACP Group, and the Committee of Ambassadors.


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about ECOWAS
    Link Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo


  22. EU support for New alliance to benefit small farmers
    2012-05-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Policy

    As a prelude to the G8 Summit, the European Commission welcomed the May 18 launch of the "New Alliance to improve Food and nutrition security". The EU has been actively supporting the preparation of the "New Alliance",  which is intended to boost productivity, domestic and international private sector investments and supporting innovation and technology in Africa.
    The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva and EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs recalled the EU's support during the food crises which seriously affected both the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, and stated: “We are confident that, by making donors and the private sector work together, we can help tackle the root causes of hunger and eradicate hunger. The EU will actively support the New Alliance and ensure that all new initiatives benefit primarily small farmers and women."

    Source: The European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The EU at the G8 Summit
    Link EU Strategy to tackle fragility of Sahel region


  23. ACP-EU updates: African iEPA, development in Uganda and greener CAP
    2012-05-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Environment, Regional Fisheries, Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    While criticism has dominated the EU's foreign policy in recent months, positive notes have appeared to prevail in the media last week. Following long negotiations, the first iEPA has come to pass: Four African countries, namely Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe,  will gradually open their markets to European exports over the course of 15 years. The trade and development agreement concluded by the EU and the aforementioned African countries takes effect. “This is excellent news and I salute the hard work of negotiators and colleagues on all sides. With this trade deal we hope to accompany the development of our partners in Eastern and Southern Africa and open up better and lasting business opportunities", praised EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
    Good news also came out of the Caribbean region, as weeks after the visit of Jolita Butkeviciene, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Directorate General for DEVCO,  Guyana’s  parliamentarians have unanimously approved a motion ratifying the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The Pacific region did not go unnoticed either, as the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands,  Gordon Darcy Lilo, recalled the EU’s role as a “development driver”, and stressed that the EU would remain a key partner. He also noted that through Cotonou’s provisions  the Solomons receive substantial assistance in crucial areas of development, such as agriculture or climate change.
    In particular, certain countries have been the subject of the headlines. Uganda was one such case, as  the EU Delegation in Uganda exchanged views with East African stakeholders.  Talks were intended to start the preparation of the  programming exercise for the 11th European Development Fund, but also With the aim of finding a way to implement a new approach to development cooperation, and in line with the recently released EC communication “An Agenda for change”, the EU delegation stressed that, as Uganda’s needs point to energy, water and sanitation systems, transport and communication, a combination of  EU grants with loans coming from different financial institutions, including private capital and banks, may boost effectiveness in terms of  infrastructure and rural development.
    At the EU ministerial level, the Council on Agriculture and Fisheries tackled crucial issues. Agriculture ministers re-visited the environmental aspects of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), in view of its upcoming reform. In particular, delegations exchanged views on possible ways to encourage farmers in Europe to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. Potential greening measures that were put forward focused on an increase in crop diversity; the creation and maintenance of permanent pastures; and the preservation of natural areas. Likewise, two main issues were discussed regarding the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP): while the first debate focused on achieving environmental sustainability through maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and the integration of environmental law requirements into the proposal covering the basic provisions of the CFP; the second issue delved deeper into the proposal for a regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), replacing the existing European fisheries fund.  The lack of EU vessels in Mauritanian waters prompts however  concern at the Council. Given the current deadlock in negotiations with Mauritania, the Polish delegation briefed the Council on the consequences of the suspension of fishing by EU vessels in Mauritanian waters. The Polish request to the Commission for action was supported by several members states, as this partnership agreement is considered to be of high importance for the EU fishing fleet.
    Other events that the CTA reported on focused on the MEPs call on EU to take action on Sudan-South Sudan issue and the prospects for improvement of Zimbabwean trade , among others.




    Link Read more



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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)

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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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