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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 333]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 333]
Send date: 2012-07-30 10:02:24
Issue #: 149
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. CTA Weblog and weekly bulletin
  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 3/09 to 9/09/2012
  3. Our video guest: Robert van Otterdijk, FAO
  4. The opportunities of climate-smart agriculture for ACP countries
  5. China in race with Europe for Africa
  6. Improvement good, but not enough
  7. EU backs stabilisation force in Mali
  8. Growing Sudanese and South Sudanese needs prompt more EU aid
  9. EU takes further steps to improve security in Sahel Region
  10. Tariff removal under EPA may have adverse effects in the Caribbean
  11. ‘Change gears’ if you want results
  12. Council's position on the draft 2013 budget
  13. Reallocation of funds to help meet Intra-ACP cooperation goals
  14. Ministers adopt a decision to finance the EDF
  15. EU Ministers authorise the singing of the Food Assistance Convention
  16. ‘Joint Way Forward Angola – EU’
  17. Environmental concerns in East Africa
  18. Africa to be the next growth frontier
  19. Britain: keen on easing Zimbabwe sanctions
  20. Plans for an EAC Renewable Energy Centre in the works
  21. EU leads development work in Tanzania
  22. EC to lead new measures for better protection for deep-sea stocks


  1. CTA Weblog and weekly bulletin
    2012-07-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    Dear Reader,

    Thank you for visiting the CTA Brussels Weblog and reading the weekly newsletter! Many EU and ACP offices in Brussels will be suspending their operations as the staff go on summer vacation. As a result, we will briefly halt the publication of news and the distribution of our weekly bulletin. We will resume our regular publications on the first week of September, 2012.

    Enjoy your summer holidays.

    The CTA Weblog team




  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 3/09 to 9/09/2012
    2012-07-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Parliament
    - 3 September: Committee on Foreign Affairs
    - 3 September: Committee on Development
    - 3 September: Committee on International Trade
    - 3 September: Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
    - 3 September: Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
    - 6 September: Committee on Fisheries
    - 6 September: Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

    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.




  3. Our video guest: Robert van Otterdijk, FAO
    2012-07-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Food Security, Archive, Food Policy

    In the recent weeks, we posted some of the interviews that we conducted during the course of the Briefing on Food Losses and Food Waste. Robert van Otterdijk, the Agro-Industry Officer, Rural Infrastructure & Agro-Industries Division, FAO, was the last expert on this issue we had a chance to sit down with. He briefed us on the global state of affairs regarding food losses.


    Link Watch the video
    Link Food waste and food losses
    Link FAO-Sustainability Pathways


  4. The opportunities of climate-smart agriculture for ACP countries
    2012-07-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Food Policy

    The next Brussels Briefing will take place on 27th September 2012 and will be on the opportunities presented by climate-smart agriculture, or “agriculture that sustainably increases productivity resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes greenhouse gases (mitigation) while enhancing the achievement of national food security and development goals” (FAO).
    It will call attention to proven agricultural techniques and innovative practices, such as better weather forecasting, early-warning systems and risk insurance, which can help minimise the adverse effects of climate change faced by farmers. The briefing will highlight the critical issue of innovative ways of financing adaptation to climate change and the need to increase investment in climate-smart technologies.

    You can register at: brusselsbriefings.net




  5. China in race with Europe for Africa
    2012-07-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    According to recent updates by the South African newspaper Star, the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has been notably successful. The two-day Fifth FOCAC Ministerial Conference was held in Beijing, and was attended by government heads, officials and other delegates. Like the first Europe-Africa summit,  the forum made its debut in 2000. However, political controversy has kept summits between Europe and Africa infrequent.een Europe and Africa infrequent.
    In words of the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Tian Xuejun: "China and Africa have achieved greatly in the bilateral relations over the past 50 odd years, especially since the establishment of FOCAC in 2000. The trade between China and Africa has soared from over 10 billion US dollars to 166 billion US dollars in 2011".
    Prompting more discussion, the Star points out that the basis of the increasing cooperation between China and Africa is China’s approach to international politics as “"it does not interfere in the political affairs of the African countries" , whereas Europe seems keen on setting political conditions for its aid.

    Source: Global Times


    Link Read more
    Link FOCAC
    Link The EU and China’s engagement in Africa


  6. Improvement good, but not enough
    2012-07-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    According to an article by The Parliament, European commissioners Kristalina Georgieva and Andris Piebalgs revisited the work that remained to be done to tackle the severity of future crises in the Horn of Africa.
    In a joint statement, the commissioners underlined that despite visible  improvement , there is still much to do as "close to nine million people [are]  in need of humanitarian assistance". European commissioners conclude their statement saying: "We will work hard to ensure that the joint efforts of the EU, international community and national authorities lead to a better future for people living in these vulnerable areas."

    Source: The Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EU to strengthen cooperation in the Horn of Africa
    Link Strategy for the Horn of Africa


  7. EU backs stabilisation force in Mali
    2012-07-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, ACP-EU Trade

    According to Reuters, the EU  has affirmed its readiness to back the deployment of an African stabilisation force under United Nations (UN) mandate in Mali, and threatened sanctions against those post a threat to democratic change.
    Also, the bloc promised to lift most of the sanctions slapped against Zimbabwe a decade ago if the country holds a “credible” vote.
    The step, according to Reuters is part of the West’s strategy of rewarding Zimbabwe’s uneasy coalition government for progress made since a disputed 2008 vote, while keeping up pressure on veteran leader Mugabe to carry out more political, economic and social reforms.

    Source: Reuters


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Mali
    Link Council conlusions


  8. Growing Sudanese and South Sudanese needs prompt more EU aid
    2012-07-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Given the worsening humanitarian crisis of  Sudan and  South Sudan, the Commission is boosting by € 40 million its aid, bringing to € 127 million the Commission´s relief aid in these countries for this year.Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response has stated accordingly: "Our humanitarian experts in the crisis areas have alerted me that the situation is deteriorating fast and the needs are growing. It is vital to scale up our immediate response in the border areas".
    In South Sudan, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated drastically in 2012. The influx of refugees into already full camps has boosted food insecurity and the risks of cholera, malaria and other diseases. Poor harvests have exacerbated food shortages – the World Food Programme now estimates that this year half of the population of South Sudan – 4.7 million people – is food insecure, up from 3.8 million last year. This situation is likely to worsen due to the government's decision to shut down oil production and therefore 98% of its revenues.
    In Sudan, the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile is on-going. Neutral humanitarian organisations are denied access and therefore struggle to deliver assistance to people in need. The Commission remains engaged and ready to intervene as soon as access conditions are in place. In Darfur, in spite of access constraints, humanitarian assistance is being provided to victims of conflict, as new displacements continue to occur.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU-South Sudan
    Link MEPs urge EU to act before tensions


  9. EU takes further steps to improve security in Sahel Region
    2012-07-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    As part of the EU strategy for security and development in the Sahel region, the Council of the EU has passed a new Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission in the Sahel region which will start in August 2012: EUCAP SAHEL Niger.
    Although the primary focus will be on Niger, a scope of activities could later be extended to Mali and Mauritania, as these are both affected by unrest.
    EUCAP SAHEL Niger mission should initially last for two years, composed of around 50 international and 30 local staff, headquartered in Niamey in Niger, with liaison officers in Mali (Bamako) and Mauritania (Nouakchott). Budget allocated for the first year is €8.7 million.

    Source: Angop


    Link Read more
    Link Council conclusions
    Link EU backs stabilisation force in Mali


  10. Tariff removal under EPA may have adverse effects in the Caribbean
    2012-07-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    With the prospective closure of a copy paper manufacturer in a Caribbean country, Sir Ronald Sanders, consultant and former Caribbean diplomat, raised awareness of the possible and lasting effects of the EPAs. The removal of tariffs on certain products from the EU, which was one of the commitments made by the national government of the Caribbean country under the EPA signed in 2008, appears to be having negative effects on some sectors, such as the paper sector.
    “What is alarming about this development is that the local copy paper manufacturer was unaware of the commitment of his government that will materially affect his business and probably put 300 persons out of work.  According to the manufacturer, when he contacted the relevant government ministry, he was informed that the removal of the tariff on EU copy paper was a ‘mistake’”, explains the author.
    This Caribbean country is one of only six that have actually implemented tariff cuts on EU goods to which they committed under the EPA.  Eight other countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica and Suriname, have not done so.

    Source: Anguilla news


    Link Read more
    Link CARIFORUM-EU: New strategy on the horizon
    Link Standby Facility to help with EPA implementation


  11. ‘Change gears’ if you want results
    2012-07-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy told members in the General Council on Doha Round that they should “change gears” after the summer break and engage seriously to produce results. He told members that an “all or nothing” strategy is the best way to ensure paralysis and added that the “ball lies in your court”.

    Source: WTO


    Link Read more
    Link Doha Development Agenda
    Link Statement by Lamy


  12. Council's position on the draft 2013 budget
    2012-07-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Ministers recently adopted its position on the draft EU budget for 2013. They agreed that the increase in payments should not be higher than 2.79% compared to the 2012 budget.  One of the priority areas funded from the EU budget is the EU's policies in the area of freedom, security and justice, including activities relating to external borders and migration (an increase of 5% in payments).
    The decision was made taking into account budget implementation results in the past and realistic absorption capacities as well the overall current situation of the member states' public finances.
    The Council's position will serve as a mandate for the Cyprus presidency to negotiate next year's EU budget with the European Parliament, which is expected to adopt amendments to the Council's position in October this year.
    Following the Council’s position, President Barroso has sent a letter to all EU Heads of State and Government to express his concern, as this would result in EUR 5.2 billion less than the Commission has asked for.

    Source: Council of the EU



    Link Read more
    Link Council position
    Link Chaos in the Council


  13. Reallocation of funds to help meet Intra-ACP cooperation goals
    2012-07-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Following discussions on the ACP-EU cooperation framework, the Council on Foreign Affairs adopted the EU position within the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors in favour of a decision to transfer EUR 195 million from the unallocated resources of the 10th European Development Fund to the envelope for Intra-ACP cooperation. This will intend to meet the priorities of the EU and the ACP states, including a replenishment of the African peace facility amounting to eur 100 million.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Intra-ACP cooperation
    Link Country Strategy Papers - 10th EDF


  14. Ministers adopt a decision to finance the EDF
    2012-07-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Ministers have adopted a decision on the financial contributions by the member states to finance the European Development Fund (EDF) in 2012. According to the decision, which has been adopted at the 3183rd Council meeting on Foreign Affairs, “the annual amount of the Member States contributions to the EDF for 2012 is hereby set at 2.880.000.000 eur (2.600.000.000 for the Commission and 280.000.000 for the EIB)”.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Read the decision
    Link Know more about the EDF


  15. EU Ministers authorise the singing of the Food Assistance Convention
    2012-07-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    During the course of the last Council meeting on Foreign Affairs, ministers authorised the signing on behalf of the EU of the food assistance convention, as the latter would help to achieve the humanitarian aid objectives referred to in article 214(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Food Assistance Convention
    Link EU Food assistance


  16. ‘Joint Way Forward Angola – EU’
    2012-07-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Rural development, Environment, Archive

    The EU and Angola have recently signed  a new cooperation agreement, entitled "Joint Way Forward Angola - European Union". This agreement, which was signed by Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission, and Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola, George Chicoti, and the Minister of Planning, Ana Dias Lourenço,  deepens the political dialogue and bilateral cooperation in areas of common interest, recognizing Angola's growing regional and international role and the importance of strengthening the bilateral relationship.
    The intensified dialogue and cooperation between Angola and the European Union will cover several areas, notably sustainable development, energy, environment, science and technology.
    The European Union is the largest donor in Angola. Under the 10th European Development Fund (2008-2013), more that €250 million have been allocated to a multi-year cooperation program with Angola, with projects being developed in the areas of good governance, justice and institutional support, health and education, water and sanitation, rural development, demining, human rights and support for non-state actors.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Angola
    Link EU and Angola to deepen ties


  17. Environmental concerns in East Africa
    2012-07-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The World Bank has approved funding credit for a major transmission line that would link Kenya to the controversial Gilgel Gibe III dam site in southern Ethiopia, pushing back against months of calls by local and international rights and environmental groups to keep out of the project. The move has been criticized by some observer as the bank had already refused to fund the Gibe III dam itself, citing a lack of transparency. The African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank had similarly pulled out, although the project has been going forward due to backing by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
    Some have accused the World Bank of turning a blind eye to accusations of abuse and environmental concerns surrounding Gibe III in order to be able to fund the transmission line, for which the bank is offering 684 million dollars.

    Source: All africa


    Link Read more
    Link African Development Banks
    Link Gilgel Gibe III dam


  18. Africa to be the next growth frontier
    2012-07-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, ACP-EU Trade

    According to the South Africa’s Trade and  Industry Minister, Rob Davies, the world has started to recognise Africa as the  next growth frontier. Mr.  Davies says Africa still faces the  challenge of turning the growth  spirit experienced in recent  years — and which the continent  continues to experience — into a  sustained development effort.
    He recalls that “the average rate of  growth in the African continent  this year is predicted by the  International Monetary Fund to  reach 5,5%”. Speaking of China, he underlines that  the country  has been at the forefront of the shift in the locus of  dynamism in the world economy : “Even though  growth forecasts for the People’s  Republic of China have been tempered in recent times, China remains the main hope for avoiding  contagion from the European crisis becoming a global recession”.


    Source: Businesslive


    Link Read more
    Link Attentive to EU financial crisis
    Link EU-South Africa


  19. Britain: keen on easing Zimbabwe sanctions
    2012-07-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    According to the BBC, Britain has backed moves by the European Union (EU) to relax sanctions on Zimbabwe . As the Foreign Affairs Council  will make a decision early this week, the British Foreign Office Minister, Henry Bellingham told the BBC that the “conditional” suspension, which would aim to encourage fair elections, would be a “big step”.
    In his words, should an agreement be reached at EU level, “ it [would] be a conditional suspension, not of all the measures but a very large number of them”. He added that this would send a very strong signal.

    Source: BBC


    Link Read more
    Link SADC/Zimbabwe Roadmap
    Link Despite rumours, decisions yet to be made


  20. Plans for an EAC Renewable Energy Centre in the works
    2012-07-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Environment

    According to recent updates by All Africa, plans to establish a renewable energy efficiency and conservation centre for the East African Community (EAC)  are on track. The deputy Secretary General of  EAC in charge of Productive and Social Sector, Jessica Eriyo, said in a conference in Arusha, Tanzania,  that the centre would promote best practices in developing renewable energy technologies and act as a centre of excellence for energy conservation and energy efficiency in the region.
    Speaking of the potential of the region in renewable energy, she said that  the biomass available in the region could be “harnessed and utilised in a modern, clean and sustainable manner." Likewise, she noted that the EAC region was endowed with both renewable and non-renewable energy resources though many of these remain under-developed, untapped and therefore under-utilised.
    Meanwhile, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see Rusizi I and II hydro power projects rehabilitated to operate at full capacity.

    Source: All Africa


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund
    Link EAC Member States on the EPA


  21. EU leads development work in Tanzania
    2012-07-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Archive

    According to the European Commission, although Tanzania averaged 6-7% GDP growth in the last decade, it remains one of the world's poorest countries in the world, with many people still living below the poverty line of $1.25/day.
    From 2007 to 2013, Tanzania benefited from an initial allocation of €555 million (part of the 10th European Development Fund) as well as an additional €51.5 million on water under the MDG initiative. More than half of the funding is delivered through budget support to the government. The focus of the EU cooperation is on infrastructure and on trade and regional integration, particularly on agriculture. Furthermore, another €50 million are provided for projects in energy, environment and supporting civil society.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link UE-Tanzania
    Link Barroso and Piebalgs visit Tanzania to grow ties


  22. EC to lead new measures for better protection for deep-sea stocks
    2012-07-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    New measures to regulate fishing for deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic have been proposed by the European Commission, as deep sea ecosystems and the species that live in them are particularly vulnerable to human activities. The new regulation is intended to ensure that deep-sea species are fished sustainably, that unwanted by-catches decrease, that the impact on fragile deep-sea habitats decreases and that there is more data on the biology of these species.
    To this end the Commission proposes a reinforced licensing system and a gradual phase-out of those fishing gears that specifically target deep sea species in a less sustainable manner, namely bottom trawls and bottom-set gillnets. The Commission also envisages specific requirements for the collection of data from deep sea fishing activities. The necessary adjustments to implement these measures may benefit from financial support under EU Funds.
    Deep sea stocks can be taken as by-catch in many fisheries. However, there are also fishing vessels that specifically target these species. These are the vessels that are most dependent on these resources and they will have a future only if their activity is managed to be sustainable. This implies first the need to put in place a gradual switch to fishing techniques that are more selective, with less impact on the deep sea habitats.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about DG Mare
    Link Ministers re-discuss fishing opportunities for 2013



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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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