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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 330]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 330]
Send date: 2012-07-06 21:09:02
Issue #: 146
Content:
Bulletin CTA

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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 9/07 to 15/07/2012
  2. Our video guest: Tristram Stuart, Uncovering the Global Food Scandal
  3. Latest Brussels Development Briefing material online
  4. Santa Lucia to host 2012 Green Growth Investment Forum
  5. EU citizens fret about feeding the world
  6. EC fails with earth-friendly policy
  7. EFSA reiterates safety of derived food products
  8. Full support to Cyprus Presidency
  9. Alternatives prompt demand for ban on potent greenhouse gasses
  10. EU-GRASP: delving into EU’s role in multilateralism
  11. Rio+20: cities and regions role to be the future of sustainable development
  12. WTO members agree revised accession framework for LDCs
  13. EC releases its 9th annual report on trade defence actions
  14. MEPs suggest attaching water-saving conditions to farming
  15. Zimbabwe : EPA may expose local industries to unfair competition
  16. South Sudan to join the ACP
  17. International leaders discuss solutions to achieve SDGs
  18. Steps against unsustainable fishing
  19. No slowdown in new trade restrictions
  20. FMD global strategy to improve living conditions
  21. European Council reaffirms its determination to fulfill ODA commitments
  22. Auditors urge tighter quality-control for organic foods


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 9/07 to 15/07/2012
    2012-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Parliament
    -9/10 July : Committee on Foreign Affairs
    -9/10 July : Committee on Development
    -11/12 July : Committee on Fisheries
    -9/10 July : Committee on International Trade
    Council of Ministers
    -11 July: COREPER I
    -09 July: COREPER II
    ACP Group
    - 9 July:  Management meeting

    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: Tristram Stuart, Uncovering the Global Food Scandal
    2012-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Rural development, Food Policy

    "Waste shows how the way we live now has created a global food crisis - and what we can do to fix it". This and other statements come fromTristram Stuart, author of "Waste. Uncovering the Global Food Scandal", and an active campaigner. Following the Last Brussels Development Briefing, we had a chance to speak to him about consumer behaviour and possible ways to reduce food waste.


    Link Watch the video
    Link Know more about Tristam Stuart
    Link Brussels Briefing on Food Waste


  3. Latest Brussels Development Briefing material online
    2012-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    The last Brussels Briefing on " Addressing Food Waste in Times of Crisis” took place on 26th June, 2012 and attracted  more than 150 ACP and EU policy-makers, NGO representatives and Member States delegates actively participated. A wider audience followed the Briefing through a live webstream and participated via email and Twitter.
    As we announced last week,  you could find all material related to the Briefing, including photos and the videos, here.




  4. Santa Lucia to host 2012 Green Growth Investment Forum
    2012-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    The 2012 Green Growth Investment Forum (GGIF) will take place on 25-26 July 2012 at the Bay Gardens Hotel, Saint Lucia. The meeting will be jointly hosted by the ECS Mission and the OECS Secretariat.Building on the last year’s GGIF and the Rio+20 Summit, the ECS Mission in collaboration with the OECS Secretariat’s Environment and Sustainable Development Unit, the ACP-EU Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and CDE proposes to organise a Meeting of Experts to look closely at the proposals coming out of the Forum and to propose an action plan.
    The major deliverables of the Forum are: (i) proposal for a Green Award for enterprises which produce based on sustainable and environment-friendly criteria; (ii) a study on the development of a technical and regulatory (legislative) framework to allow for more effective implementation of a green economy in the Eastern Caribbean; (iii) a joint energy policy formulation in the OECS, with regulated exchange of information and technology with neighboring territories such as the French and Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) and Outermost Regions (ORs) in the Caribbean.
    The Forum intends to share experiences within the region and with other regions of the world to pursue and deepen an important dialogue with European partners from the private sector, civil society, academia and EU institutions about the need to ensure economic development while simultaneously prioritizing environmental sustainability in the Eastern Caribbean, with a central role for innovation and clean technology.

    For more information about the GGIF’12 please contact Isolina Boto (boto@cta.int) or Filippo Brasesco (brasesco@cta.int).




  5. EU citizens fret about feeding the world
    2012-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Food Policy, Rural development, ACP-EU Trade

    According to a recent survey on Food security, food quality and the countryside, more than 90% of EU citizens find quality and price an important factor when buying food, and more important than origin (71%) and brand (47%) – indeed they were deemed "very important" by 65% (quality) and 54% (price).
    Quality labels are important for two-thirds of respondents, and there is an improvement on previous years in the recognition of the different EU quality logos. The survey showed that 24% of those asked already recognise the EU organic logo, less than 2 years after it was launched. On food security, three-quarters of EU citizens expressed concern at the challenge of feeding the world’s population, but less than 60% are concerned about the ability of the EU and Member States to meet the food needs of their populations. Most EU citizens regard agriculture as making a positive contribution to preserve rural areas. This is consistent across most Member States and socio-demographic groups. There is a broad consensus that agriculture plays a beneficial role. For the survey, more than 26 500 European citizens aged 15 and above were interviewed in all 27 EU Member States.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link See the findings
    Link Food Security Thematic Programme


  6. EC fails with earth-friendly policy
    2012-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    According to a group of environmentalists, the European Commission has been too slow in advancing earth-friendly policies on agriculture and energy. Ten environmental organisations argue in a scorecard of the EU executive’s performance that the Commission has been too reserved across an array of conservation issues, chemicals regulation and pollution, and in some cases has retreated in the face pressure from lobbyists and EU national governments.
    “Overall, we’re extremely concerned that the Commission is very behind in the race to create a better environment in Europe,” said Jorgo Riss of Greenpeace, one of the 10 groups involving in grading the Commission.
    Speaking of agriculture as "the most important delivery mechanism for biodiversity and resource efficiency,”  Tony Long of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), saidthat the Commission’s proposals for the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have failed to make the link between farming, land management and biodiversity protection.
    The report also says the Commission failed to strengthen the rural development pillar in its proposal that is now being reviewed by the Parliament and Council, “thus jeopardising one of the most useful parts of the CAP.”

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report
    Link DG Environment


  7. EFSA reiterates safety of derived food products
    2012-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy

    The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a scientific statement upon request from the European Commission that takes into consideration the latest research on animal clones and their offspring for food production purposes. Following the Authority’s call for data and discussions with experts in the field, EFSA reconfirms findings from its previous work. With respect to food safety, there are no indications that differences exist between food products derived from healthy clones or their offspring – in particular milk and meat - from those of healthy, conventionally bred animals. Nevertheless, the Authority recognises that animal health and welfare concerns continue to be associated with this technology.
    EFSA’s latest statement on animal cloning concurs that no new scientific information has become available since its previous 2010 statement that would require reconsideration of the Authority’s earlier conclusions and recommendations.

    Source: EFSA


    Link Read more
    Link Previous findings
    Link EU integrated approach to food safety


  8. Full support to Cyprus Presidency
    2012-07-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    According to the President of the European Council Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, the Cyprus Presidency enjoys the full support. During a recent meeting, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy  and the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr Demetris Christofias discussed, inter alia, the priorities of the Cyprus Presidency, the decisions taken at the 28 and 29 of June European Council meeting, and the on-going negotiations for the Multiannual Financial Framework.
    President Christofias and President Rompuy spoke of the on-going negotiations of the Multiannual Financial Framework for the programming period 2014-2020. The final phase of negotiations is expected to peak towards the end of the Cyprus presidency.
    “We aim at having a fair development budget that shall improve competitiveness of the European economy and at the same time create conditions of sustainable development, with economic, social and territorial cohesion” President Christofias said.


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about the EU Presidency
    Link Cyprus Presidency work plan


  9. Alternatives prompt demand for ban on potent greenhouse gasses
    2012-07-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    According to an article by EurActiv, six NGOs are calling for the European Commission to propose a ban on some uses of the most potent greenhouse gas known to humankind, sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), after a new report found that existing alternative technologies were no more expensive.
    SF6, which is used in power line switchgears, is a fluorinated gas (aka F-gas) that is 22, 800 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and has an atmospheric lifespan of 3,000 years. “A ban on SF6 use in medium volt switchgear is a no-brainer, like the switch away from old fashioned light bulbs,” said Ton Sledsens, a spokesman for Natuur and Milieu, the Dutch NGO which commissioned the report.
    “It would prevent the use of a chemical with a gigantic climate effect, and SF6-free alternatives have the same price and are already widely sold by all producers.”
    The report by the Dutch consultancy firm CE Delft finds no evidence that using air or solid insulation materials is more expensive, in contrast to an EU impact assessment by the Öko-Recherche institute last year.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link F-Gas Regulation Briefing
    Link Gases and Global Warming


  10. EU-GRASP: delving into EU’s role in multilateralism
    2012-07-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    After 3 years, EU-GRASP, research project funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission,   has come to an end. From February 2009 to Spring 2012. EU-GRASP studied the role of the EU as a global-regional in a context of challenged and changing multilateralism.
    The project has resulted in the organisation of 23 events and 134 publications. Amongst the latter, the publication of 12 policy briefs, 30 working papers, 6 (forthcoming) books, 27 (forthcoming) peer-reviewed journal articles and 59 (forthcoming) book chapters and other papers.

    Source: Eugrasp


    Link Read more
    Link Regional trade agreements and multilateralism
    Link Know more about the FP7


  11. Rio+20: cities and regions role to be the future of sustainable development
    2012-07-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    According to a joint statement by the Committee of the Region's delegation to Rio+20 - President Bresso, Illmar Reepalu, and Michel Lebrun, at the occasion of the ENVE meeting, “it is undeniable that the Rio Conference failed to live up to expectations and set out the necessary roadmap needed to ensure the protection of our planet”. However, they  pointed out that this opportunity, which was missed by world leaders, is “an opportunity gained for world’s cities and regions”.
    “We welcome that at the very least sustainable development and the green economy has been placed at the top of the political agenda, and local and regional authorities formally recognised as being a major contributor to creating a sustainable future […] Rio is not the end of our work, but only the beginning.”
    They have called upon the European Institutions to show their political will, provide support and start to engage them even more within decision-making on sustainable development. They have also set a Five Point Action Plan on Sustainable Development that will form the basis of their work in the short-term term.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about ENVE
    Link An opportunity missed, but not a failure


  12. WTO members agree revised accession framework for LDCs
    2012-07-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    After long talks, WTO Members reached consensus in the sub-committee on LDCs concerning the revision of the guidelines which set key principles when examining LDCs' accession requests. They concurred with new "benchmarks" to guide market access negotiations on goods and services and on enhanced principles regarding transparency in accession negotiations, technical assistance, special and differential treatment and transition periods.
    According to the European Commission, the EU welcomes that the WTO membership delivered those results in a short timeframe. The WTO General Council will be invited to formally adopt the proposed decision at its meeting.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Trade officials from LDCs attend WTO course
    Link EU-LDCs


  13. EC releases its 9th annual report on trade defence actions
    2012-07-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Commission  (EC) has recently published its 9th annual report providing an overview of trade defence actions undertaken by third countries against the EU.
    The report highlights the actions undertaken by the European Commission to ensure that third country trade defence proceedings potentially affecting EU exporters are carried out in accordance with the established rules of international trade.
    According to the report,  the number of new trade defence investigations being carried out by third countries seems to be stabilising. However,  the number of measures in force reached its highest level since the beginning of the global economic crisis in 2008.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report
    Link No slowdown in new trade restrictions


  14. MEPs suggest attaching water-saving conditions to farming
    2012-07-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    During the course of the last meeting of Environment (ENVI) Committee, MEPs suggested to work on clearer water pricing schemes, better wastewater management, blue flags for rivers and attaching water-saving conditions to farming and energy subsidies. For them, reducing water consumption should be a priority.
    They insisted on the need for an audit of the state of Europe's water network, and stress the need "to encourage infrastructure investments". They also recalled that about 20% of water in the EU is lost due to inefficiency.

    Source: European Parliament



    Link Read more
    Link Report on EU water legislation
    Link Agriculture and water


  15. Zimbabwe : EPA may expose local industries to unfair competition
    2012-07-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    According to The Standard, the African Development Bank (AfDB) recently warned Zimbabwe that opening its domestic markets to the EU under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), could be conducive to unfair competition. In words of the AfDB “the opening up of domestic markets to European markets through the elimination of tariffs will expose local producers to competition from EU firms as their ability will be highly limited due to severe supply side constraints and also the country’s ability to use its tariff policy will be bound by the EPA.”
    As we informed last may,  Zimbabwe along with Mauritius, Seychelles and Madagascar, agreed to an EPA with the EU, which has since come into effect.Under the agreement, exports from Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe, would have duty and quota-free access to EU markets while in return, the African countries agreed to gradually open their markets to European goods over a period of 15 years, with the exception of certain goods deemed sensitive.

    Source: The Standard


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about the AfDB
    Link ACP on ambitious EPA deadline


  16. South Sudan to join the ACP
    2012-07-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The Republic of South Sudan  is set to  become the 80th member of the ACP Group, as its request  (March 2012) to accede to the ACP-EU partnership has been approved at the recent Joint Council of Ministers meeting in Vanuatu. In the meantime, South Sudan has been granted observer status in the partnership.
    Speaking of the world’s newest nation, Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Hon. Christian Friis Bach, who represented the EU Presidency at the ACP-EU Joint Council, said: “The EU welcomes the request from South Sudan for accession to the ACP-EU Partnership agreement. We do believe that South Sudan is characterised by a structural economic and social situation comparable to those of ACP States and it fulfils the criteria for accession to the agreement.”

    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU to speed up South Sudan's membership
    Link Key meetings in Vanuatu


  17. International leaders discuss solutions to achieve SDGs
    2012-07-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Archive

    During the course of a recent panel-event entitled “South-South and Triangular cooperation:  An innovative solution to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, which took place  at the Rio+20 conference and was organised by the ACP Group along with  the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), policy-makers and international leaders stressed that technology-transfer amongst developing countries is essential to bringing energy access to the poorest of the world.
    They also called for stronger synergies, solidarity and partnerships amongst each other, especially in sharing information and knowledge, as these could lead to positive results in renewable energy use.
    “Poor countries are the ones paying the most expensive bill on energy.  Unless the international community agrees to settle collectively that bill and catalyze universal access to energy, achieving sustainable development in ACP countries will never become a reality,” said ACP Assistant Secretary General Achille Bassilekin III.

    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link Current Ideas on SDG
    Link SDG in the EU


  18. Steps against unsustainable fishing
    2012-07-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Policy

    According to a recent press release by the Council of the EU, the Committee of Permanent Representatives supported the compromise text agreed by the Council and the EP for a regulation on certain measures in relation to unsustainable fishing fishing for the purpose of conservation of fish stocks. Notably, the mechanism proposed by this regulation will allow the third countries concerned to be heard and to have an opportunity to rectify their action.
    This regulation provides a framework allowing the EU to take measures for protecting fish stocks against third countries engaged in unsustainable practices in the management of fish resources they share with the EU.
    Once all procedural steps are completed this regulation will be adopted by the Council and the European Parliament in the first reading.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Compromise text agreed
    Link Deep sea fish stocks


  19. No slowdown in new trade restrictions
    2012-07-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    According to a recent report on trade-related developments, there has been no slowdown in the imposition of new trade restrictions over the past seven months. Since mid-October 2011, 182 new measures that restrict or can potentially restrict or distort trade have been recorded, affecting around 0.9 per cent of world imports. The main measures are trade remedy actions, tariff increases, import licences and customs controls.
    Accordingly, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy has stressed that “the more recent wave of trade restrictions seems no longer to be aimed at combatting the temporary effects of the global crisis, but rather at trying to stimulate recovery through national industrial planning, which is a an altogether longer-term affair”.

    Source: WTO


    Link Read more
    Link EU Trade Barriers
    Link EU sets out priorities to dismantle trade barriers


  20. FMD global strategy to improve living conditions
    2012-07-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive

    A new global strategy is to benefit farmers and consumers. The plan, which has been endorsed representatives from more than 100 countries and international donors at a 3-day conference on foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Bangkok, will  help control the spread of a deadly livestock disease.
    The Strategy is expected to achieve three main goals;  FMD to be controlled in most countries and eliminated in some of them; Veterinary services and their infrastructures to be improved; some other major diseases of livestock to be further prevented and controlled
    In words of World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Director-General, Bernard Vallat, "[f]oot-and-mouth disease is not a priority in many countries, but when it strikes, the damage is enormous, ranging from losses in production to the culling of animals and trade bans. Good governance of national veterinary services using the OIE PVS Pathway is a critical element of mitigating foot-and-mouth disease with a positive impact on food security and poverty”.

    Source: FAO


    Link Read more
    Link The Strategy
    Link EU Policy Animal Health and Welfare


  21. European Council reaffirms its determination to fulfill ODA commitments
    2012-07-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    Following the latest meeting of the European Council, member states’ representatives welcomed the second annual report on European Union Official Development Assistance and reaffirmed its commitment to achieve development assistance targets by 2015 as set out in its June 2005 conclusions.
    It is important to remember that in those days, the Council of the EU  decided to attain the internationally agreed ODA target of an ODA/GNI ratio of 0,7%.

    Source: European Council


    Link Read more
    Link Read the conclusions (2005)
    Link EU needs to keep ODA promise


  22. Auditors urge tighter quality-control for organic foods
    2012-07-02
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    According to the latest conclusions of the European Court of Auditors,  consumers who are willing to pay extra for organic fruits, vegetables and other goods may not always get what they are hoped for due to lax oversight in some EU countries. The Court also found that not all goods labelled ‘organic’ actually comply with strict rules on how they were grown or handled.
    In some cases, investigators found pesticides in apples from Italy and fresh milk from France, antibiotics in bacon from the UK, genetically modified lemons in lemonade from Germany and conservation agents in eggs from Spain. Organic farming is a sector of European agriculture which has seen a constant growth in recent years.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link An analysis of the EU organic sector
    Link New EU labelling rules



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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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