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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 325]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 325]
Send date: 2012-06-04 17:27:27
Issue #: 141
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 04/06 to 10/06/2012
  2. Next Brussels Development Briefing
  3. Long run water challenges
  4. EU needs “to effectively manage its external borders”
  5. Training course for West Africans on agricultural biodiversity
  6. CARIFORUM-EU: New strategy on the horizon
  7. Pacific region looks forward to EC feedback on EPAs
  8. Vanuatu to host 37th ACP-EU council of ministers session
  9. Guinea-Bissau: EU to tighten sanctions
  10. [Re]Calls for 'development friendly' trade agreements
  11. RFMOs to discuss how to maximise efficiency
  12. EU a model for the SADC to follow?
  13. ACP-EU JPA fears instability domino effect
  14. Cameroonian banana sector to receive EU funds
  15. Restrictions prompt complaints by Rwandan traders
  16. Fiji asks ACP-EU for understanding
  17. Another note on EPAs and African integration
  18. EU hopes for trade deal with SADC this year
  19. ACP-EU updates: ACP unity, custom tariffs, and the Singapore Paradox


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 04/06 to 10/06/2012
    2012-06-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Parliament
    -4 June: Committee on Foreign Affairs
    Council of Ministers
    -5 June: COREPER I
    -5/6 June: COREPER II
    -3/5 June: Informal meeting of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries (AGRI), Horsens (Denmark)
    -10 June: Informal Meeting of Ministers and State Secretaries for European Affairs (GAC), Horsens (Denmark)
    ACP Group
    -4 June: Special meeting of the Committee of Ambassadors
    -5 June: UNDP’s Africa Human Development Report 2012
    -10/15 June: 95th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers  
    -10/15 June: 37th Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers

    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. Next Brussels Development Briefing
    2012-06-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Food Security, Archive, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    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.
    You can register online at brusselsbriefings.




  3. Long run water challenges
    2012-06-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Following concerns expressed over water management, MEPs on the environment committee (ENVI) voted in favour of a report aimed at creating an ambitious legislative base to address the EU's long term water challenges.  The report, by Austrian Christian-Democrat Richard Seeber, notably calls for more efficient and sustainable water use in agriculture through the introduction of innovative technologies and practices.
    Furthermore, the report urges to control pollution at source with the aim of  protecting  environment  from hazardous substances,  as well as reducing the burden on wastewater treatment.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Draft report
    Link Water protection and management


  4. EU needs “to effectively manage its external borders”
    2012-06-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The Commission recently published a Report on the 2011 developments in the areas of immigration and asylum.  The figures of the report appear to support the Commission’s opinion that there must be a move towards a coherent migration policy that is able to respond to short- and long-run challenges. According to the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, the EU needs “to effectively manage [its] external borders, to safeguard free movement within the EU, to provide genuine protection to those in need whilst at the same time providing channels for legal migration and mobility”.
    The report is accompanied by a Eurobarometer on European citizens' attitudes towards cross-border mobility, migration and security.
    According to the survey, 8 out of 10 Europeans agree that EU Member States should offer protection and asylum to those in need and that rules for admitting asylum seekers should be the same across the EU.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Asylum policy
    Link Read the report


  5. Training course for West Africans on agricultural biodiversity
    2012-06-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, ACP-EU Policy, Archive, Rural development

    The EU, along with the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Improved Nutrition and Health, will fund a training course aimed at developing the capacity to assess and measure agricultural biodiversity in the context of food and nutrition security in West African food systems. This training is open to potential candidates from Benin, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. These are welcome to submit an essay and apply for participation in the course.
    The course is organized by the Institut de Recherché et de Développment sur la Biodiversité des Plantes Cultivées, Aromatiques et Médicinales (IRDCAM), Bioversity International, African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE) and Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).
    The deadline to apply to participate in the course and submit an essay is June 6, 2012.

    Source: Biodiversity International


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about CGIAR
    Link Food and Nutrition Security in West-Africa


  6. CARIFORUM-EU: New strategy on the horizon
    2012-06-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    During the course of recent talks in the Dominican Republic, the EU and Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries stated that a new strategy which outlines greater cooperation between the two regions could be soon finalised. Managing Director for the Americas of the EUs European External Action Service, Christian Leffler, told EU and CARIFORUM officials that the two regions have had an excellent record of cooperation over the years.
    According to Bilaterals, Mr. Leffler also said that the relationship has been evolving from a classic, old-style, post-independence relationship based essentially on development cooperation and preferential trade arrangements, to a far more mature multifaceted relationship between equal partners who choose to work together on a whole range of issues in political, economic, social, commercial and developmental areas. “The strategy is coming very close to completion and I am sure before very long we will be celebrating a simultaneous adoption in Europe and in the Caribbean”, he stated.

    Source: Bilaterals


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


  7. Pacific region looks forward to EC feedback on EPAs
    2012-06-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy, Rural development

    As proposals on the EPAs have not yet received any formal written comment from the European Commission (EC), Majuro, the Marshall Islands/The Pacific bloc of the ACP group have expressed concern and are pressing to receive an official response.  Tonga’s Minister for Labour, Commerce and Industries and the Pacific ACP Lead Spokesperson, Hon. Isileli Pulu, underlines that the Pacific region “remains committed to concluding negotiations for a comprenhensive EPA with the EU by 2012.”
    The EC must still provide formal written comments on the draft legal text, the development cooperation chapter, and the market access offers that were submitted by the Pacific ACP region in July 2011.
    "Eight Pacific ACP states have submitted market access offers to the European Commission with another four Pacific ACP states intending to submit their offers over the coming months. The Pacific region also submitted a revised legal text after carrying out the relevant national consultations”, highlights Mr. Pulu.
    Although the last formal, face-to-face negotiation session between the Pacific ACP bloc and the EC was in 2009, and the Pacific ACP bloc has been requesting further such negotiation sessions since, Mr. Pulu recalls that “[…]these have not eventuated, although other ACP regions have had numerous meetings with the EC at various levels over the same period.”

    Source: Bilaterals


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Pacific regional strategy
    Link Calls for rigorous tuna fishing measures


  8. Vanuatu to host 37th ACP-EU council of ministers session
    2012-06-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Vanuatu will host the 37th session of the joint ACP-EU council of ministers between June 11 and June 15, 2012. It will be preceded by the 95th session of the ACP council on ministers in Port Vila. The conference is expected to attract 1,000 participants from ACP and EU member states.

    Source: Acpeuvanuatu2012


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Council of ministers
    Link See programme


  9. Guinea-Bissau: EU to tighten sanctions
    2012-05-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    In light of the worsening of Guinea-Bissau’s political situation, the Council of the EU has decided to tighten EU sanctions against persons who threaten peace, security or stability in the country. In the midst of the instability, the High representative Catherine Ashton states: “We continue to demand that constitutional order be immediately restored."
    The Council has added 15 individuals to the list of those barred from entering the EU and whose assets are to be  frozen within the EU. This decision incorporates the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 2048 (2012) into EU law. The resolution subjects five members of the military junta, who had already been listed under the EU's autonomous sanctions regime, to a UN travel ban.
    Although EU development aid to Guinea-Bissau has been suspended since April, the EU has continued to supply humanitarian aid and direct support to the country’s population.


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Guinea Bissau
    Link Ministers adopt conclusions on Guinea-Bissau


  10. [Re]Calls for 'development friendly' trade agreements
    2012-05-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    Renewed calls for flexibility on trade negotiations between the ACP members and the EU (EU) have echoed from the 23rd session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) in Horsens, Denmark. The President of the ACP members, Hon. Musikari Kombo (Kenya), has demanded a withdrawal of the EU proposal to amend market access laws, which would set a deadline for finalising Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) for ACP countries, or else lose duty- and quota-free access to EU markets.
    ACP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas appealed for an approach based on “partnership”, with coherence between trade policies and development goals. .“We will continue with the negotiations with a view of concluding EPAs that will be development-friendly – that is, EPAs which address our supply side constraints, development constraints and infrastructure constraints which do not enable us to produce and take advantage of the big European market,” said Dr Chambas.
    He added that to strengthen developing economies, EPAs should promote regional integration efforts: “[Countries] should not sign agreements which then dismember a region, creating different regimes with different countries in a common region”.
    Should steps not be taken to ratify EPAs by January 1st, 2014, 18 lower-middle income ACP members would have to start paying higher or full duties on their imports to Europe. But these states are adamant that they are only willing to adopt the EPAs once “contentious” issues are resolved between the two groups.

    Source: ACP/CTA


    Link Read more
    Link EPAs
    Link See programme


  11. RFMOs to discuss how to maximise efficiency
    2012-05-31
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    How do Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) need to manage fisheries to maximize efficiency and sustainability across the world's oceans? European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki will soon host a day event in Brussels (1st June, 2012) to discuss this issue. "RFMOs play a key role for sustainable fisheries management worldwide. Dialogue and networking events such as the one I am hosting […] are essential to move our sustainability agenda forward on the international stage", she says.
    For the first time, representatives, chairs and executive secretaries from 15 RFMOs stretching from the North Atlantic to the South Antarctic and from the Indian Ocean to the West Pacific will be brought together. According to the European Commission Press service, this event is part of the EU commitment to promote responsible fishing outside European waters. The debate will focus on issues such as the need for better data and enhanced science as well as better compliance with agreed rules to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Other essential elements such as the need to adopt proper conservation measures for sustainable stock levels and capacity building for developing countries will also be discussed.

    The event is to  take place at the Charlemagne building and will be webstreamed.


    Link Read more
    Link See EU policy on RFMOs
    Link Watch the event


  12. EU a model for the SADC to follow?
    2012-05-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    Taking into account the success of the EU in terms of integration, Carlos Rosado de Carvalho, an Angolan economist, has suggested that the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) should adopt the same functional model. In some discussions with The Angola Press, the economist recalled the EU’s history and its current status as the world's main economic bloc.
    Mr. Rosado underlined, however, that following economic integration, there must be a stronger political integration, which he stated was on the agenda. Emphasising that the SADC needs major regional integration, trade and knowledge sharing among its member states, he suggested that some homework should be done in advance.

    Source: Angola Press


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about SADC
    Link SADC EPA Group and EU hold EPA talks


  13. ACP-EU JPA fears instability domino effect
    2012-05-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Food Security, Aid effectiveness, Rural development, Archive

    The opening ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, took time to recall the state of affairs of several states in Africa.  While Louis Michel, Co-President of the Assembly, spoke in particular of the potentially devastating consequences of political instability in Mali for neighbouring states, such as Niger, Mauritania and Senegal, the side effects of the Libyan conflict on both the ACP Group and the EU were also discussed. Addressing the deputies, Mr. Michel also warned that the current crisis in the Sahel region could not be solved without both political and military intervention.
    Recent events may also trigger price volatility and affect adversely the functioning of agricultural markets. In this regard, Mr. Michel talked about a possible domino effect throughout the region, which could also hit Algeria, Burkina Faso, and even Libya itself.
    He urged a rapid deployment in July 2012 of a civilian-military mission to the region and EU financial support for possible ECOWAS military operations in Mali.

    Source: Egovmonitor


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about ACP-EU JAP
    Link EU fears spill-over of Mali´s instability


  14. Cameroonian banana sector to receive EU funds
    2012-05-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    As Cameroon is set to meet the challenge of doubling its annual banana output by 2013, the EU will grant the country €48 million for the sector. In this regard, the head of the External Trade Department in Cameroon’s Ministry of Trade, Emmanuel Mbarga, stressed that this support is expected to find its way major producing firms that aim to increase production.
    According to an article by Bilaterals, the Central African country produced  230,000 tonnes of bananas in 2010, amount which increased the following year thanks to an improvement of the farming methods, reaching 250,000 tonnes.   The current plans are therefore to raise output to 500,000 tonnes, mainly by establishing more plantations.

    Source: Bilaterals


    Link Read more
    Link Cameroon-EU
    Link Cameroon and the bananas


  15. Restrictions prompt complaints by Rwandan traders
    2012-05-30
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Tight restrictions for Rwandan traders are currently leading to several complaints. As some products, especially horticulture, are facing difficulties in accessing the European market, Rwandans feel forced to export goods to US or Japan where the markets do not appear to be as protective.
    According to, Nicolas Ndagijimana, a Rwandan coffee exporter, one " […] will find that in Europe they are more protective of their local businesses; that's why some products, especially horticulture exports are not allowed in". In this regard, Nathan Gashayija, the Director of the Policy and Programs unit-MINEAC recently announced that this issue would be addressed following the conclusion of the EAC-EU negotiations pertaining to the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA). He explained that negotiations have been delayed because EU negotiators disagreeD with the indicators proposed by the EAC, which would monitor outcomes in economic development areas. "There are some disagreements on different issues like domestic and export subsidies, where we would like to support our traders to exploit their market and they (EU negotiators) don't want it" he said.

    Source: Newtimes


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Rwanda
    Link Know more about MINEAC


  16. Fiji asks ACP-EU for understanding
    2012-05-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The Fijian government has called for support and understanding from the EU and the ACP regarding the political situation in the country, and reforms and processes involved. Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has assured those on the Committee on Political Affairs at the 23rd Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA),  that Fiji’s journey toward parliamentary elections is on-track and in line with the government’s Roadmap for Democracy, and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development.
    The Foreign minister also took advantage of the opportunity to call for support, and welcomed the proposed ACP-EU fact-finding mission that is set to visit Fiji in July.

    Source: Fijivillage


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Fiji
    Link Progress towards restoring constitutional order


  17. Another note on EPAs and African integration
    2012-05-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Trade

    In seeming agreement with some of the statements made by Professor Chukwuma Soludo, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and Benjamin Mkapa, Chair at The South Centre,  Robert Mabere, professor at the University of Dar es Salam, recently presented a paper entitled: 'Boosting intra-African trade', where he stresses that EPAs should meet Africa's integration priorities, as these seem to focus excessively on Western countries' requests. Moreover, he states that it is necessesary that ACP countries consider bloc-specific socio-economic dynamics.
    He recalls that EPAs contain many problematic clauses that will have a negative impact on the ability of African countries to develop and industrialise. He argues that Africa has had to promote regional trade in accordance with the March 2010 Abuja Declaration on Development of Agribusiness and Agro-Industries in Africa, which endorsed fast-tracking the implementation of regional trade agreements. Likewise, he believes that Africa should take steps towards the removal of barriers to intra- and inter-regional trade.

    Source: All Africa


    Link Read more
    Link Stunning statements on EPAs
    Link Sympathy exists for African concerns


  18. EU hopes for trade deal with SADC this year
    2012-05-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    The EU and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) groups will soon restart negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).  At the celebrations of the 62nd anniversary of the Schuman Declaration in Luanda, Ambassador Gerard McGovern, the EU Head of Delegation in Botswana, voiced his hope that the two parties would soon reach an agreement.
    Speaking of Botswana in particular, H. E. Gerard McGovern underlined that the country has much to gain from its relationship with the EU: “As a landlocked country, Botswana stands to gain much from improved regional transport links, more free trade and cross-border co-operation”.
    He also stated that “Europe is ready to invest in this project for the benefit of Botswana and its neighbours”. Amid criticism of the provisions of the EPAs, he stated that “after years of uncertainty, an agreement is within sight” and called on Africa’s leadership to make the trade deal a reality this year.

    Source: Southern times Africa


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about the SADC
    Link EU-bostwana


  19. ACP-EU updates: ACP unity, custom tariffs, and the Singapore Paradox
    2012-05-29

    If Secretary General Dr Ibn Chambas has always taken advantage to voice the issue along his mandate, the question of ACP unity has prompted much discussion in the past week. Ambassadors from Samoa and Jamaica to the EU stressed that unity and innovation among ACP members is needed. They warned 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”, underlined the newly appointed Samoan ambassador to the EU, Dr. Fatumanava Pao Luteru.  Days after the aforementioned talks , Ronald Sanders, an international consultant and former diplomat in the Caribbean region, expressed his concerns about the ACP in an opinion article. 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 stated 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. He also added that unsatisfactory EPAs are not only the fault of the EU and 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 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”. A number of ACP-related issues are set to be discussed this week. The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly is taking place in Horsens and will focus on 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.

    Trade issues have also been a hot topic this week. 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.
    Likewise, 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.
    On a positive note,  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.  
    To conclude, CTA Brussels conducted an interview with Lino Briguglio, Director of the Islands and Small States Institute (University of Malta), and discussed 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 Read all ACP-EU updates



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Please feel free to forward this newsletter to other interested colleagues.

Ms Isolina BOTO
Head
CTA Brussels Office
39 rue Montoyer
1000 Brussels - Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 2 513 74 36 (direct); Fax +32 (0) 2 511 38 68
E-mail: boto@cta.int
Website: http://www.cta.int/
Brussels weblog: http://brussels.cta.int/
Brussels Briefings: http://brusselsbriefings.net/

Editor: Alejandra Morales (morales@cta.int)

NOTE
If you have questions or suggestions, please write to us at : boto@cta.int
For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
More information on CTA activities in Brussels at : http://brussels.cta.int/
CTA is an institution of the ACP Group of States (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) and the EU (European Union), in the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is financed by the EU.
Copyright © 2011 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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