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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 332]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 332]
Send date: 2012-07-24 09:17:26
Issue #: 148
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 23/07 to 29/07/2012
  2. Our video guest: Komla Prosper Bissi, AUC
  3. Envisioning the future of African agriculture
  4. EU-Africa science cooperation: a matter of replacing rhetoric with action
  5. Aid donors to face difficult challenges by 2025
  6. Discussions on Rural development and Single CMO regulations
  7. EC president welcomes the first chairwoman of the AUC
  8. Ministers re-discuss fishing opportunities for 2013
  9. EU presses Ghana to tackle corruption
  10. Barroso and Piebalgs visit Tanzania to grow ties
  11. Growing Chinese trade with Africa compensates for EU’s slowdown
  12. No food safety risks in EU
  13. Sanctions on Zimbabwe: despite rumours, decisions yet to be made
  14. CAP reform: (global) far-reaching consequences
  15. Discussions of measures for the milk market
  16. AFET Committee says a new approach is needed
  17. Ugandan coffee exports to shrink by 26%
  18. Samoa: Pacific and EU MPs will exchange views on trade issues
  19. EP urges development education
  20. DDCA molecule prompts entry restrictions for Dominican bananas
  21. The EESC will push for Rio Conference results at EU level


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 23/07 to 29/07/2012
    2012-07-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    Council of Ministers
    -23 July: Foreign Affairs Council
    -23July: COREPER I
    -24: General Affairs Council
    -25 July: COREPER II
    ACP Group
    - 23 July:  Management meeting
    - 24 July: Committee of Ambassadors

    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: Komla Prosper Bissi, AUC
    2012-07-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Policy

    As we informed our readers, in June Brussels witnessed the preparation meeting of the next Pan-African Farmers Organization (PAFO) Continental Briefing, which will focus on defining the future of African agriculture and the renewed role of farmers’ organizations. Following a day of discussions, we could speak to Mr. Komla Prosper Bissi, Adviser of Rural Infrastructure and Trade at the African Union Commission (AUC),  and one of the participants of the meeting. He listed the reasons why a briefing at Continental level is necessary and stressed that African Farmers Organisations must be taken into account in any decision pertaining to African Agriculture.


    Link Watch the video
    Link Envisioning the future of African agriculture
    Link ACP rural development


  3. Envisioning the future of African agriculture
    2012-07-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, ACP-EU Policy

    African farmers’ organizations feel that they need to re-strategize the debate concerning African agriculture and maximize the benefits for smallholders. There is also an urgent need to create incentives, encourage farming as an economic activity, and integrate young farmers into agricultural policies. On June 28th, 2012, a meeting was held in Brussels to outline the structure of the next Pan-African Farmers Organization (PAFO) Continental Briefing, which will focus on defining the future of African agriculture and the renewed role of farmers’ organizations with the support of CTA and the African Union Commission.
    The PAFO Continental Briefing will aim to expand knowledge on key areas; promote the exchange of expertise and experience; facilitate networking; provide a platform for policy dialogue and strengthen the PAFO as the continental farmers’ platform. Around 150 participants representing the five African regions are expected to attend the Continental Briefing, one-third of which will be representing farmers’ organizations. Other stakeholders will include: decentralized local communities, policy makers, researchers, agri-business sector representatives, financial institutions and insurance providers, as well as international organizations and RECs. Updates will follow on the Continental Briefing to be held in January 2013. For further information contact boto@cta.int or brasesco@cta.int.




  4. EU-Africa science cooperation: a matter of replacing rhetoric with action
    2012-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    According to an article by the Science and Development Network, European cooperation with Africa on science “needs redefining”. The non-profit organisation which aims to provide reliable information about science and technology for the developing world, reproduces some of the statements made at the Euroscience Open Forum 2012 (ESOF), in Ireland last week, which pointed out that the framework for cooperation on science does not address wide-ranging needs and challenges faced by African countries.
    Speaking at the Forum, Ismail Serageldin, director of the New Library of Alexandria in Egypt, stated that Europe should not limit its science and technology cooperation with Africa merely to funding, but also involve the continent in European flagship research initiatives, and implement 'twinning' programmes that "promote real action on the ground in Africa”. "There is a need to translate rhetoric into action […] rhetoric is not equal to action", he stated.

    Source: cience and Development Network


    Link Read more
    Link Euroscience Open Forum 2012
    Link S&T cooperation with Africa


  5. Aid donors to face difficult challenges by 2025
    2012-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Archive

    According to a recent report entitled Horizon 2025, and published by the Overseas Development Institute, by 2025, most of the world's poorest people will live in conflict-affected states in Africa, presenting serious challenges for aid donors who have traditionally focused on helping well-governed countries.
    The reports points out that global poverty has declined and will continue to do so in middle-income countries (MICs) such as India and Vietnam.
    As a result, even though currently MICs may have more poor people than the world's poorest countries, this will be a temporary phenomenon. By 2025, the number of poor people in MICs (using a poverty line of $2 a day) could be as low as 100 million out of a global total of 560 million.

    Source: The Guardian


    Link Read more
    Link Horizon 2025
    Link Aid cuts to middle-income countries


  6. Discussions on Rural development and Single CMO regulations
    2012-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    During the course of the last meeting of the Council on Agriculture, ministers held two orientation debates in the framework of the common agricultural policy (CAP) reform. The discussions focused on the proposal for a regulation on support for rural development (rural development regulation) and the proposal for a regulation establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO regulation).
    Most of the delegations agreed that in light of the challenges modern agriculture faces due to climate change and price volatility, risk management has become essential for farmers. Many member states also supported the Commission proposal on risk management through the second pillar, allowing flexibility to member states in its implementation, as well as the possibility of combining the measures with other actions under pillar II.
    However, some delegations were not convinced about support for risk management under the second pillar and oppose, in particular, the income stabilisation tool, as they were concerned that the measure would require a high level of funding, and therefore absorb a large portion of their national envelope at the expense of other measures, such as climate and environment actions.
    Regarding the CMO regulation, there was broad support within the Council for the proposed exceptional support measures. Nevertheless, some member states considered that the proposed approach was not sufficiently ambitious and that more might be done.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Rural Development Proposal
    Link Single CMO Proposal


  7. EC president welcomes the first chairwoman of the AUC
    2012-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, welcomed  Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a South African politician and former anti-apartheid activist, following her appointment as Chairwoman of the African Union Commission (AUC).
    He took the opportunity to delve into the EU-Africa Strategic Partnership and said that it is “a partnership of equals, [ which ] has grown ever stronger across a wide range of areas such as Peace and Security, Democracy and Human Rights, Trade and Infrastructure, Climate Change and Environment, and economic and social development”.
    European Commission President stressed he “looks forward to further reinforcing our partnership with the African Union Commission” under the leadership of Dlamini-Zuma. Barroso also had some pleasant words for the former AUC Chairman, Dr Jean Ping, in view of his “outstanding work in taking the AU forward over the past four years”.

    Source: New Europe


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
    Link Africa-UE Partnership


  8. Ministers re-discuss fishing opportunities for 2013
    2012-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    At the last Council meeting on Agriculture, ministers were briefed and held an exchange of views on a Commission communication concerning a consultation on fishing opportunities for 2013. Most of the member states acknowledged the global improvement of the state of the fish resource. Concerning data-poor stocks, many delegation said they would prefer a case by case approach based on the existing total allowable catches (TACs).
    During the discussion on fishing opportunities, several delegations referred to the agreement reached in June this year under the Danish Presidency to achieve maximum sustainable yields (MSY) by 2015 where possible (e.g when scientific advice on the stocks was available in the necessary detail) and by 2020 at the latest.
    Several delegations mentioned the need to review the fishing effort for cod in order to adapt it to the actual situation of this stock. In general setting pluriannual plans was also considered essential by a majority of member states.
    Many delegations regretted the continuation of last year's practice of presenting two proposals for 2013 fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks for EU vessels: one on internal stocks and another on shared and international stocks.
    In its presentation, the Commission said that fish stocks were generally in a better state than last year, with the increasing number of stocks at MSY level. The Commission also highlighted the improved scientific information on fish stocks that was available: the number of data-poor stocks for which no quantitative advice was available had been greatly reduced since last year.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Total Allowable Catches
    Link EC Communication


  9. EU presses Ghana to tackle corruption
    2012-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    Increasing corruption in Ghana has caught the attention of the development community, particularly the EU, which has called on the country to take action and put measures in place to address this as soon as possible .  
    The EU made this observation at a political dialogue meeting with the Ghanaian government, in Accra, where they discussed the conclusion of the ECOWAS-EU EPA talks as we informed last week.
    The meeting was under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement, which demands political dialogue meetings between ECOWAS member countries and their development partners.

    Source: All Africa


    Link Read more
    Link Prompt conclusion of EPA talks
    Link Ghana presses ECOWAS for consensus on EPA


  10. Barroso and Piebalgs visit Tanzania to grow ties
    2012-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Rural development, Archive, Food Security

    According to recent updates by the European Commission (EC) Press service, José Manuel Barroso, president of the EC, along with  European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, visit Tanzania this week. The visit is intended to reinforce the high-level political dialogue and economic cooperation with Tanzania. Notably, six new development programmes are to be launched to improve access to water and sanitation, strengthen the road transport sector and rural road infrastructure, as well as good governance and social accountability (worth a total of €126.5 million).
    Ahead of the visit, President Barroso has stated: "Tanzania has become one of the EU's main partners in Africa, and is also playing an increasingly important role in the stability of the whole region. We now want to deepen our regular political dialogue with Tanzania and further increase our cooperation in areas like energy, security, anti-piracy, counter-terrorism or migration; issues which are of concern both for Africa and the European Union."

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Six Development programmes
    Link Tanzanian government asks the EC for EPA review


  11. Growing Chinese trade with Africa compensates for EU’s slowdown
    2012-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    According to the China daily, the expansion of China's trade with Africa in the first half of 2012 has helped compensate for the slowdown in trade with the EU and other regions affected by the economic crisis.
    Trade between China and Africa surged by 22.3 percent year-on-year in the first five months to $80.5 billion, according to the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.
    China's imports from Africa rose by 25.5 percent to $49.6 billion during the same period, while its exports to Africa grew by 17.5 percent to reach $30.9 billion, she said.

    Source: The China daily


    Link Read more
    Link Rising Chinese role in WA provides alternative
    Link China makes a big impact in Kenya


  12. No food safety risks in EU
    2012-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy

    According to an European Commission report published this week,  thanks to the EU's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) many food safety risks have been averted or mitigated. The RASFF is intended to ensure safety from "farm to fork", by triggering a rapid reaction when a food safety risk is detected.
    Accordingly, John Dalli, Commissioner in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, has said: "European consumers enjoy the highest food safety standards in the world. The EU's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed is a key tool as it allows risks to be identified and removed from the European market. RASFF reinforces the confidence of our consumers in our food and feed safety system."

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about RASFF
    Link Food safety: import conditions


  13. Sanctions on Zimbabwe: despite rumours, decisions yet to be made
    2012-07-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    Following rumours published in a British newspaper, which suggested that the EU may be about to lift the sanctions imposed in 2002, when vocal criticism was seen regarding the bad governance of Mr. Mugabe and his lieutenants, the EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr. Dell'Ariccia, underlined that decisions have yet to be taken.
    According to a recent declaration by H.E. Mr. Dell'Ariccia to VOA news: “Discussions are ongoing, so we don’t know what is the origin of this news, but I can tell you that it is not the case […]"It’s not what is written in a British newspaper that should be taken into consideration for that.”
    Sanctions, including an arms embargo, are only due for review next February, unless the Harare situation improves, which may trigger an earlier consideration.

    Source: The Zimbabwean


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Zimbabwe
    Link Prospects for improvement of Zimbabwean trade


  14. CAP reform: (global) far-reaching consequences
    2012-07-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    A number of potential implications of the reform of the EU’s Agricultural Policy (CAP) are raised in an opinion article by KOPIN, a voluntary, autonomous, non-profit and non-governmental organisation based in Malta, which works in the field of North-South cooperation and global education. The author notes that the EU has become one of the world’s most important players in agricultural trade and “consequently has a wide-ranging impact on the sector beyond member states.”
    Underlining the mounting pressure for reform by the international community, the author highlights that the global implications of a renewed CAP have not yet made it onto the local agenda.
    In words of the author, the heavy subsides which are given to farmers have a direct impact on the  “majority world”. Even if EU actions on world poverty eradication and development are recognised, the author states: “This is not to say that the EU is not making efforts for development in Africa, but the CAP, with a budget of around €50 billion, is a direct contradiction of the aim to eradicate poverty around the world. ”

    Source: The independent


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about KOPIN
    Link  Differing views on CAP reform


  15. Discussions of measures for the milk market
    2012-07-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    During the course of the last Council meeting on Agriculture, the deteriorating situation of the market of milk and dairy products in the EU has been again discussed. This discussion follows the former request of the Polish and Lithuanian delegations, when these called the Commission for market measures.  The Commission has given an evaluation of the situation of the market of milk.
    Some member states have supported the request by Poland and Lithuania to the Commission for  a temporary restoration of export refunds, and an increase in the current reference and intervention prices of butter and skimmed milk powder.
    Other member states, while acknowledging the situation described by Poland and Lithuania, took the view, along with the Commission, that measures were not needed now or would not be effective. They would like the Commission to continue monitoring the situation in the milk and dairy market.
    In its report on the situation of the milk and dairy market during the first months of this year, the Commission noted that the current decrease in the milk price was linked to several factors including the global increase in milk production and the seasonal nature of the production. It also noted that this decrease in prices had a greater effect in some member states with a specific situation and structural problems in this sector.
    However, the Commission said it was still closely following the evolution of the milk market. On the basis of its evaluation of the situation, the Commission would return to this matter at a later Council meeting if necessary. It was ready to activate appropriate measures when it considered that there was a need.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Support for Polish milk market request
    Link EC Report


  16. AFET Committee says a new approach is needed
    2012-07-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    According to the Foreign Affairs committee MEPs , the EU should develop a strategic concept for its external policy, with the aim of boosting its weight at international level. Pointing to the lack of consistency of the EU’s Foreign policy,  MEPs stressed that the EU needs a new and comprehensive approach.
    Accordingly, Elmar Brok (EPP, DE), Chairman of the foreign affairs committee, who steers the debates on the Council's annual report on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) said: "We live in times of challenges to our security but also opportunities to promote peace and democracy. At the same time we need to focus our efforts and resources. This is why I urge Baroness Ashton and our Member States to be strategic and forward looking […]And in this context the role of the European Parliament is essential: we give voice to the expectations and aspirations of Europe's citizens and at the same time we provide the democratic legitimacy which is needed to launch a bold and engaging European foreign policy. It is now up to Catherine Ashton to show whether she can live up to this challenge - we are ready to support her in this."

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about AFET Committee
    Link Exploring EU Foreign policy


  17. Ugandan coffee exports to shrink by 26%
    2012-07-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    According to recent updates by the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, coffee exports from Uganda may see a drop of around 26 % this month compared to July 2011, as a result of a smaller crop. The EU,  as well as countries such as Sudan, the U.S., India, Morocco, Ecuador, Switzerland, Japan and South Africa are some of the major importers of Ugandan coffee.
    Uganda may export 3.1 million to 3.2 million bags in the 2011-12 season, which started on Oct. 1 and runs through September, according to the Uganda Coffee Development Authority. This compares with the forecast of 2.8 million to 2.9 million given by National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises on May.

    Source: Bloomberg


    Link Read more
    Link Uganda Coffee Development Authority
    Link Uganda Trade Statistics


  18. Samoa: Pacific and EU MPs will exchange views on trade issues
    2012-07-18

    Samoa will see the 8th Regional Meeting of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, which will gather Pacific politicians as well as some of the members of the European Parlament.
    Fifteen Members of Parliament from the Pacific bloc of the African ACP Group  and 15 counterparts from the European Union will discuss a range of issues, including regional integration and cooperation and the state of EPAs with the EU, as well as exchange views on climate change, the Millennium Development Goals and democracy and human rights.
    The sessions will be chaired by the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) Hon. Musikari Kombo of Kenya and Hon. Louis Michel of Belgium. ACP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas will also attend.
    Samoan MP and Chair of the ACP Parliamentary Committee on Political Affairs Mr Lenata’i Victor Faafoi Tamapua said the meeting will be a key platform for Pacific representatives to address EU lawmakers directly and openly on issues concerning the region.“The Joint Parliamentary Assembly has been a very important vehicle through which we have pushed Pacific concerns and agendas at the political level with the EU. For instance in the previous ACP-EU Assembly I attended in Denmark [May 27-30], the European ban on kava and Fijian political situation were discussed. As a result of consistent dialogue in such forums, a high level ACP-EU Parliamentary fact-finding mission will be visiting Fiji in the coming weeks to look into the progress made on the roadmap to the restoration of a democratic government,” said Mr Tamapua.

    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about the ACP JAP
    Link Samoa to become WTO's newest member


  19. EP urges development education
    2012-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Rural development, Archive

    Following several months of campaigning by CONCORD and DEEEP (the latter being a programme initiated by the Development Awareness Raising and Education Forum of CONCORD), the European Parliament (EP) has adopted a written declaration on development education and global active citizenship.
    The written declaration sets out the framework for new political debates on the role of European citizens within development. It promotes the strengthening of development education policies, both at national and European level and “represents a paramount political milestone for the development education sector”.

    Source: Concordeurope


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about DEEEP
    Link Briefing on DEAR


  20. DDCA molecule prompts entry restrictions for Dominican bananas
    2012-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    According to Freshplaza, two supermarkets in Germany recently restricted the entry of bananas from the Dominican Republic after finding DDAC molecules in the skin of the fruit, which is not allowed in organic bananas. After some investigation, it was discovered that the DDAC molecule was present in the product of post-harvest BioLife.
    The blockade of organic bananas from the Dominican Republic by two German supermarkets caused great losses to producers. The main cause was due to a product endorsed by the international certification company BCS, and not due to poor management on the Dominican producers side.
    From the moment that both German supermarkets reported the presence of the DDAC molecule in the product BioLife, Dominican producers immediately suspended the use of this product and continued to send organic bananas to Europe.
    Dominican Republic is exporting 350,000 boxes of 18.14 kg per week, of which 53% are organic bananas and the remaining 45% is conventional bananas.

    Source: Freshplaza


    Link Read more
    Link DDAC in organic and conventional fruit
    Link DR-EU trade statistics


  21. The EESC will push for Rio Conference results at EU level
    2012-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development, Archive

    According to recent updates by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Staffan Nilsson, the EESC president, is committed to working towards the implementation of the Rio+20 conference results at EU level, taking care at all times to give a key role to civil society in framing the Sustainable Development Goals.
    Since the Rio conference, the EESC has led a series of follow-up events as, in words of Mr. Nilsson, "the road from Rio is at least as important as the road to Rio". More broadly, the Committee recognises the limits of the Rio+20 agreement. However  but it is convinced that the agreed text is a good basis for EU civil society and the institutions to work on practical ways in which our economies and societies can develop sustainably.

    Source: EESC


    Link Read more
    Link Sustainable Development Goals
    Link Solutions to achieve SDGs




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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
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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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