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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 349]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 349]
Send date: 2013-01-11 10:05:42
Issue #: 166
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. Our Video Guest: Sergi Corbalán, FTAO
  2. Main Events for the Week 14/01/2013 – 20/01/2013
  3. The EU resumes development cooperation with Guinea
  4. Britain’s commitments on international development
  5. €30.5m humanitarian aid to Haiti
  6. Database on Caribbean R&TD
  7. New EU initiative to combat piracy in the Gulf of Guinea
  8. Over €661m humanitarian aid from the EC in 2013
  9. €15m against the drought effects in Southern Africa
  10. New Food Assistance Convention comes into force
  11. Schulz: EU Development aid is a success story
  12. CARICOM to launch EPA review amid concerns from ACP
  13. Georgieva vows to protect EU humanitarian aid funding
  14. Threatened aid cuts, a big blow to malaria fight
  15. Third year commemoration of the Haiti earthquake
  16. Newsletter SOS Faim - December 2012
  17. EAC calls for EPAs with EU, under Kenyan pressure
  18. 'No European Trojan Horse'
  19. Council on the outcome of the Doha Conference
  20. Improved rules to enforce EU rights under international TAs
  21. EU supports pioneering renewable energy and water plant in Djibouti
  22. New EU Platform for blending funds in external cooperation
  23. Cyprus stands out with the water policy and the implementation of Rio +20
  24. EU: New framework for Quality schemes in agriculture
  25. Delayed action raises costs of climate change
  26. UK urges EU to speed up GM crop approvals
  27. Irish minister : CAP talks should not be delayed
  28. Tougher rules for vegetable exporters to the EU
  29. ACP leaders send out strong message to partners


  1. Our Video Guest: Sergi Corbalán, FTAO
    2013-01-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    At the EU level discussion are undergoing to promote Public Procurement as a tool for the encouragement (and not restriction) of sustainable development considerations (as fair trade). However, no restrictions (e.g.: reciprocity criteria) should be placed on the access on the markets of Fair trade producers. Also, policy makers should develop Development and Cooperation Aid contracts that can provide support to the local industry, and not bind them to the obligation to procure only from European companies.

    These developments are explained in the video with Sergi Corbalán, the Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO).


    Link Watch the Video


  2. Main Events for the Week 14/01/2013 – 20/01/2013
    2013-01-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Gender and development, Migration and development, New Technologies, ACP-EU Fisheries, Food Security, Health and Development, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy, Humanitarian Aid

    Council of the EU:


    - 16  January: COREPER I
    - 17 January:  COREPER II
    - 18 January: COREPER I


    European Parliament:


    - 14-17 January: European Parliament Plenary Meeting 


    ACP Group:


    - 14 January: Committee of Ambassadors
    - 15 January: Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors
    - 16 January: W/G on Fisheries  
    - 17 January: 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.




  3. The EU resumes development cooperation with Guinea
    2013-01-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Humanitarian Aid

    The European Union and the Republic of Guinea today signed the Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme for cooperation with Guinea. The signature of these documents had been delayed until the recent adoption by the Guinean authorities of a detailed timetable for the organisation of parliamentary elections. This officially marks the resumption of development cooperation between the EU and Guinea.
    The full programme represents an overall programmed amount of EUR 174.3 million which will be financed by the European Development Fund (EDF); it aims to support government efforts in the areas of promoting good governance, providing basic social services and improving mobility and road infrastructure. Moreover, this programme will help consolidate democracy by promoting greater participation by civil society in public affairs.
    This amount is in addition to the EUR 61.5 million which has already been deployed since 2008 to help the Guinean population emerge from the crisis and to cover unexpected needs, such as nutritional security and sanitation and refuse collection in deprived urban areas.
    EU development cooperation was suspended by the Council following the military coup in December 2008. Appropriate measures (see Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement) were taken with the aim of gradually resuming cooperation in line with the progress made by Guinea towards constitutional rule and democracy: the first step is the signature of the CSP/NIP for the 10th EDF and the release of funds to directly support the population once the Guinean authorities have adopted a timetable for parliamentary elections; the next step is the deployment of the remaining funds once free and transparent elections have been held.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU programmes in Guinea
    Link Find out more about the EDF


  4. Britain’s commitments on international development
    2013-01-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid

    The UK government reaffirmed its commitment to spend 0.7% of the UK's national income on overseas aid by the end of 2013 – and to put this pledge into law. It also highlighted some of the key results UK aid is set to achieve by 2015, including: providing access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene for up to 60 million people, supporting 11 million children in school – more than we educate in the UK, but at 2.5% of the cost, vaccinating more children against preventable diseases than the whole population of England, and supporting 13 countries to hold free and fair elections.
    Over the past year, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron has set out a new direction for development - emphasising a focus on growth and jobs alongside social and political progress, such as equality for women and effective public institutions. This year, the UK promises to use its G8 Presidency to drive forward the agenda.
    UK is the second European  main donor to development aid, after Germany.


    Source: UK Department for International Development


    Link Read more
    Link Over €661m humanitarian aid from the EC in 2013
    Link Four countries exceed EU targets for international aid


  5. €30.5m humanitarian aid to Haiti
    2013-01-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid

    Humanitarian funding in value of €30.5 million will be granted to Haiti by the European Commission, to help those still homeless as a result of the earthquake, cholera victims and those badly affected by Hurricane Sandy
    A key area of humanitarian work in Haiti is the continuing response to the cholera epidemic and preventing its spread. The passage of tropical storm Isaac and hurricane Sandy across the region last year illustrated the continuing needs of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people. Many of them are still living in camps but are slowly returning to permanent homes. Access to clean water, primary health care, improving sanitation and promoting hygiene all remain as issues.
    Since the earthquake struck in 2010, €213 million in EU humanitarian aid has been mobilised for Haiti.
    Haiti is the largest beneficiary of the European Commission's humanitarian aid in Latin America and the Caribbean, with more than €260 million in humanitarian aid since 1995.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Third year commemoration of the Haiti earthquake
    Link EC humanitarian support to Haiti


  6. Database on Caribbean R&TD
    2013-01-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : New Technologies, ACP-EU Trade

    A Database offered by the EUCARINET project provides with up-to date information on Caribbean Research and Technological Development (R&TD) institutions, as well as a search engine helping Caribbean Science and Technology capacities build new research partnerships with European institutions.
    The EUCARINET database addresses mainly Caribbean researchers or a research institutes interested in participating to EU Research and Technological Development programmes, by facilitating the matching process between skills/ organization and other EU or non-EU institutions and research communities (in the context of the EU & Caribbean Research Programs), and helping  in identifying potential partners for collaborative projects funded by the current EU Seventh Framework Programme or the future Horizon2020 programme.
    EUCARINET is a four-year INCONET Coordination Action, supported by the European Commission whose main goal is to strengthen bi-regional sustainable dialogue on Science and Technology between Europe and the Caribbean. EUCARINET targets the whole of the Caribbean region: the ACP group of states, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the overseas Departments and Collectivities, the Overseas Countries and Territories.


    Source: EUCARINET


    Link Read more
    Link Other INCO Initiatives
    Link EU-Caribbean cooperation in S&T


  7. New EU initiative to combat piracy in the Gulf of Guinea
    2013-01-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, ACP-EU Fisheries, Humanitarian Aid

    A new project aiming to boost security and the safety of maritime routes across seven African countries in the Gulf of Guinea was announced today by the European Union. The EU will provide €4.5 million for the project under its Instrument for Stability- a strategic tool that aims at safeguarding or re-establishing the conditions under which the partner countries of the EU can pursue their long term development goals.
    The Critical Maritime Routes in the Gulf of Guinea Programme (CRIMGO) will help governments across West and Central Africa to improve safety of the main shipping routes by providing training for coastguards and establishing a network to share information between countries and agencies across the region.
    Announcing the project today, Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, said: "Without security, development can never properly reach the people it needs to. That's why our new project, which will help to boost transport security in Western Africa, is so crucial. By making the waters safe, we are helping to boost trade and growth and provide more opportunities to make a living, which these countries so desperately need."
    The project will be rolled out from January 2013 in 7 African coastal states: Benin, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Sâo Tomé and Principe and Togo.
    The Gulf of Guinea currently accounts for 13% of oil and 6% of gas imports to the EU. However, piracy and armed robbery, as well as drug, arms and human trafficking, pose a real threat to the security of the region.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the IfS
    Link Find out more about EuropeAid Development and Cooperation


  8. Over €661m humanitarian aid from the EC in 2013
    2013-01-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid

    Over €661 million humanitarian aid funding coming from the European Commission in 2013 will be allocated in nearly 80 countries or regions. In addition to the €661 million that the Commission has allocated to the most intractable humanitarian problems around the globe, reserve resources are available during the year for unpredictable crises and disasters.
    The five largest humanitarian operations will be in the Sahel region of West Africa, including further response to the conflict in Mali (€82 million), Sudan and South Sudan (€80 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo (€54 million), Pakistan (€42 million) and Somalia (€40 million).
    All of these are large-scale, protracted crises resulting from conflict, food shortages or both. Geographically, the largest portion of aid will go to sub-Saharan Africa to which €344.5 million, representing 52% of the Commission's pre-programmed humanitarian funding, is targeted.
    As in previous years part of the budget is dedicated to forgotten crises – populations that receive little media attention and for whom the Commission is often the only major donor. In 2013 the Commission has identified several populations in nine countries – Algeria, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Colombia, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Yemen - who meet these criteria. The only new crisis on this year's list is the one caused by conflict and internal displacement in Pakistan. Other long-enduring forgotten crises include the armed conflict caused by the Lord's Resistance Army in Central African Republic, the Sahrawi refugees in Algeria, and the victims of conflict in Colombia.
    In 2012 the entire reserve was used due to major disasters in the Sahel region of West Africa, the escalation of the conflict in Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan, all of which caused renewed violence against civilians and displacement. These additional emergency responses brought the total amount of humanitarian funding from the Commission to nearly €1.3 billion in 2012, the Commission’s highest ever annual spending on humanitarian aid.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link the Commission's humanitarian aid operational strategy for 2013
    Link REad the allocation decission (World-Wide Decision on Humanitarian Aid)


  9. €15m against the drought effects in Southern Africa
    2013-01-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid

    The European Commission is allocating €15 million from the European Development Fund (EDF) for tackling the effects of the persistent drought in the Southern African countries of Angola, Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The new funding brings the Commission's humanitarian aid in the region to €33 million for this year.
    "We need to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to prevent a critical situation from getting even worse. But we also need to ensure that the people at risk can recover and build up their resilience so that they could cope with future natural disasters," said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
    Five million people will benefit from this decision by getting food assistance, emergency nutrition and recovery aid.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about Aid in action
    Link EU: €500 million to help with the food crisis in Sahel


  10. New Food Assistance Convention comes into force
    2013-01-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid

    The new Food Assistance Convention came into force on 01 January 2013, bringing a fundamental shift in the approach, moving from food aid to food assistance. Food will be distributed only when strictly necessary to meet the immediate nutritional needs of the most vulnerable people. Otherwise, aid should come in the form of money so that affected people can buy food locally.
    The Convention is an international agreement negotiated by the European Union and 35 countries (all EU Member States plus Argentina, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the United States). Following the consent of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, the European Union ratified the new Food Assistance Convention on 28 November 2012.
    Food assistance is the largest sector in the Commission’s humanitarian aid budget. In 2011 the European Commission provided €509 million for humanitarian food assistance and nutrition projects with 57 partner organisations in 47 countries.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The Council of the EU agrees on the new Food Assistance Convention
    Link Statement by Commissioner Georgieva


  11. Schulz: EU Development aid is a success story
    2013-01-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid

    The EU budget heading ‘Global Europe’, which allows the EU to be a player on the global stage, may suffer more than other spending areas, because development aid and humanitarian action don't have the advocates among member states like agriculture and regional aid do, European Parliament President Martin Schulz tells EurActiv.
    “I am aware that we live in the time of crisis, so we need to be prudent on what we spend our funds. But let us remember, for example, that humanitarian aid represents just 0.62% of the EU budget. At the same time it is a highly responsive and visible instrument of the EU's external actions”, Schulz affirmed
    The European Parliament will decide on the EU budget for 2014-2020, only once the member states have come to an agreement. The parliament  is not involved in the internal negotiations but if the cuts are drastic, it will refuse to adopt the budget, Schulz claims.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about Martin Schulz
    Link Georgieva vows to protect EU humanitarian aid funding


  12. CARICOM to launch EPA review amid concerns from ACP
    2013-01-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping together with the Dominican Republic will launch a five year review of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) it signed with the European Union in 2008, as members of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group continue to express concerns over the proposal and timeline for implementation of the agreement.
    CARICOM has already signed on to the EPA agreement with Europe and concerns about the trade and development deal have echoed throughout the 7th summit of the ACP heads.
    “One of the things that we are looking forward to is the five year review…to see how it’s doing. What has been the impact not just on trade but the whole impact on development because this is supposed to be a trade and development agreement,” said La Rocque, a member of a small Caribbean delegation attending the summit.
    CARICOM is still struggling with how best to implement its own EPA.“We believe that deadlines set for the EPAs are unfortunate since they will adversely impact the economies and trade systems of our nations,” said Prime Minister of Ghana Mahama.“We also believe that the insistence on outright liberalization and discontinuation of customs revenue collection required by the EPAs, undermine a major source of revenue which is so critical to the development of many of our countries”, added Mahama.


    Source: antiguaobserver.com


    Link Read more
    Link 'No European Trojan Horse'
    Link EPAs: harmful for the ACP?


  13. Georgieva vows to protect EU humanitarian aid funding
    2013-01-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid

    Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union's humanitarian aid commissioner, told EurActiv she was reasonably confident that the EU’s aid funding would not fall victim to the push by some EU member states to slash the EU budget for 2014-2020. But she also vowed to fight to preserve humanitarian aid, with “no apologies” made to detractors.
    Georgieva said she had good reasons to consider that the “humanitarian line” of the EU’s long-term budget will remain “just about what is in the Commission’s proposal”. But, her expectation may appear over-optimistic. The latest draft budget proposal tabled by Council President Herman Van Rompuy slashes development aid and humanitarian assistance by almost €10 billion to €60.6 billion.
    Among her arguments, she mentioned the relatively small size of the humanitarian aid budget, as well as the fact that this was one of the few areas where EU funds allocated had been fully utilised.
    “If there would be cuts in the Commission’s proposal, the question would be: Will they be deeper in the area of humanitarian aid? I hope not, because we trust the facts, and the facts are that the humanitarian budget is tiny, it’s 0.62% [of the total EU budget], but with this money we help 150 million people. And for them, this is the most important thing the Commission does, Europe does,” Georgieva said in an interview.
    The Commissioner affirmed that the EU’s Emergency Aid Reserve (EAR), which allows it to respond to unforeseen disasters, has been used to the fullest in the past three years. And unfortunately, needs were expected to continue growing very rapidly, “because of mother nature, because of conflicts,” she said.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link The emergency aid reserve
    Link Find out more about Kristalina Georgieva


  14. Threatened aid cuts, a big blow to malaria fight
    2013-01-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Humanitarian Aid, Health and Development

    Threatened reductions in foreign aid from the European Union and its struggling governments could undermine efforts to combat malaria, international health experts say.
    The Geneva-based Global Fund, an international institution that finances treatment and prevention of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria estimates that money from its biggest contributors – which include the European Commission, EU member states, the United States and Japan – will decline with around 6% from $3.5 billion in 2012 to $3.3 billion in 2013.
    Moreover, the organisation’s data show that contributions from private foundations and companies are also shifting downwards, from $181.6 million to $164 million, for an overall 6% drop.
    Also, last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that funding for prevention and control has levelled off after rapid expansion between 2004 and 2009. In a statement accompanying the release of its annual World Malaria Report, the UN health body said “these developments are signs of a slowdown that could threaten to reverse the remarkable recent gains in the fight against one of the world’s leading infectious killers.”
    WHO Director-General Margaret Cha called for more than doubling annual donor commitments to malaria prevention from $2.3 billion to $5.1 billion (€1.7bn to €3.9bn).
    That seems unlikely given the challenges facing development aid overall. In Europe, billions of euros in spending to support poorer nations is at stake as national leaders weigh cuts to overseas development assistance.
    Health experts echo the WHO in saying that losses in aid could hamper progress measured since the United Nations set out its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 to reduce disease, hunger and poverty. Since then, the mortality rate from malaria has fallen 25% worldwide and 33% in Africa, where 90% of malaria-related deaths occur, WHO data show.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU nations to live up to aid promises
    Link EU and WHO malaria fight in Africa [VIDEO]


  15. Third year commemoration of the Haiti earthquake
    2013-01-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Humanitarian Aid

    On the occasion of the third anniversary of the earthquake that hit Haiti on the 12 January 2010 the EU reaffirmed its long-term commitment to the Haitian people in a joint statement by High-Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton, Commissioners Kristalina Georgieva and Andris Piebalgs.
    Altogether, 85% of the €522 million funds promised by the European Commission in 2010 have been committed until now, EU humanitarian aid benefiting  5 million people, meaning every second Haitian.
    Despite the progress made, implementation of development assistance to Haiti over the last three years has been particularly challenging as political instability has hampered coordination efforts and implementation of development programmes. Recent events like tropical storm Isaac and Hurricane Sandy make the recovery of Haiti even more difficult and highlight yet again the need to increase Haitians' resilience to natural disasters.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The EU response to the Haiti earthquake
    Link EU support to Haiti


  16. Newsletter SOS Faim - December 2012
    2013-01-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The newsletter from SOS Faim for the month of December 2012 is out. The newsletter includes among others articles on the different factors which are at the origin of food insecurity in Ethiopia, and the issue of land grabbing.
    SOS Faim is a development NGO striving against hunger and rural poverty, based in Belgium and Luxembourg. It was established in 1964 following an appeal from FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).
    Source: SOS Faim


    Link Read more [FR]
    Link Find out more about SOS Faim
    Link Newsletter SOS Faim - Novembre 2012


  17. EAC calls for EPAs with EU, under Kenyan pressure
    2013-01-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    The East Africa Community wants the signing of an economic partnership deal (EPA) with the European Union to be in step with regional integration in order to avoid upsetting the common market protocol and customs union.
    Kenya is particularly under pressure to sign EPAs because it is in a different trade band from its counterparts in the trade bloc- it is categorised as Developing Country while other East African Community member states are categorised as Least Developed States.
    Kenya’s current trade with EU is carried out under the Generalised System of Preferences agreements that has restricted a number of goods that have duty free status while the rest are under the Everything But Arms tier that enables them to export all that meets EU market standards.
    “It is only Kenya that has issues because of its developing country status. Others are in the Least Developed Countries and have duty and quota free access to the EU market. If Kenya goes ahead and signs the EPAs, this has implications on the common market protocol and customs union with the EAC states,” said Ms Aileen Kwa of South Centre, an inter-governmental policy think tank of developing countries.
    The new twist comes even as the EU makes fresh demands like governance in tax matters, environment and sustainable development that experts say could further delay the conclusion of negotiations.


    Source: bilarerals.org


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the EAC
    Link EU TAs pose ‘tricky balance’ for African countries


  18. 'No European Trojan Horse'
    2013-01-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    The European Union defends its Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Caribbean countries, rejecting recent criticism that the free trade agreement will lead to a fallout in regional economies.
    In fact, not signing the EPA would have significantly affected EU export earnings for the Caribbean community, valued at more than $30 billion annually in Jamaica alone, said Paola Amadei, head of delegation of the EU to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and Cayman Islands.
    Speaking at the launch of the EPA Capacity Building Project at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica's office in Kingston, Amadei called for the Caribbean to embrace the EPA as a new dynamic approach to globalisation that can set regional economies on the right track to seize opportunities in the international marketplace.
    "The EPA is not an EU Trojan Horse but was proposed to ACP countries as the best WTO compatible alternative, using all flexibility available to accomodate the ACP countries and assure a smooth implementation," she noted.
    With regards to the tariff cuts, she argued that the fiscal impact can only be minimal because over half of imports from the EU already entered Cariforum duty-free before the EPA. Furthermore, the terms of the agreement allows up to 20 years to cut the tariffs progressively to the zero rate, up to 20 per cent of tariff lines are excluded and there are safeguard measures to be applied where imports of an EU product cause or even threaten harm to an industry, the EU head of delegation said.
    Finally, addressing competition between the EU and Cariforum, Amadei said that the regions produce vastly different goods and therefore do not compete against each other.
    On January 1, 2008, the EPA succeeded the preferential Lomé Convention trade regime that governed Euro-Caribbean trade for over three decades, under which the EU allowed former colonies in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) preferential access to its markets and paid them higher than world market prices for their sugar and bananas. But, after complaints from non-ACP farmers, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled that this was unfair and ordered a regularisation of the trading arrangement.
    The Cariforum group of countries (Caricom and the Dominican Republic) concluded negotiations with the EU in December 2007 for the EPA, a reciprocal agreement under which the EU granted duty-free and quota-free access to their markets while Cariforum agreed to liberalise 80 per cent of imports over 15 years and the remaining 20 per cent over 20 and 25 years.

     

    Source: Jamaica Observer


    Link Read more
    Link Caribbean exports fall under European deal
    Link EPAs: harmful for the ACP?


  19. Council on the outcome of the Doha Conference
    2013-01-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The last  Council meeting on Environment held in Brussels on  17 December 2012 took note of oral information from the Presidency and the Commission on the outcome of the Doha Conference on Climate Change (COP18), which took place in Qatar from 26 November to 7 December 2012.
    The Council considers the conference made a step towards a global climate agreement with all countries by 2015, implemented as from 2020, and enabled the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to start on 1 January 2013.
    Furthermore, it was agreed to establish an international mechanism to address loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change in particularly vulnerable developing countries.

     

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Decisions of the Doha Conference
    Link ACP Group expectations from Doha [VIDEO]


  20. Improved rules to enforce EU rights under international TAs
    2013-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Commission proposed on December 18 a new framework to enhance the EU’s ability to enforce its rights in the international trading system. The proposal covers the EU’s trade responses in cases of illegal trade measures in other countries, and it will allow effective action to safeguard the interests of EU companies and workers. The proposal is for a framework to enable the Commission to take executive action when the trade interests of the EU are at stake, rather than reacting on a case by case basis when the EU rights are not respected.
    The proposal would allow the EU to implement trade responses in a more streamlined, efficient manner in order to encourage the offending country to remove the illegal measures.
    "The EU's membership in the World Trade Organisation and bilateral trade agreements help the EU economy. Those agreements must be respected for them to deliver results. When international trade disputes prove that other countries haven't played by the rules, the EU needs to be able to react efficiently and swiftly to defend its interests", said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht."Today's proposal gives us the tools to make sure the EU's international trade rights can be properly enforced in real time."
    The proposal is part of the Commission's broader objective to improve the exercise of EU rights for the enforcement of international trade rules


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the proposal
    Link Read the proposal


  21. EU supports pioneering renewable energy and water plant in Djibouti
    2013-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Humanitarian Aid

    The European Union will support a project to build a desalination plant which will use renewable energy to provide water to 200,000 inhabitants, one-fourth of the country's population, in some of Djibouti's poorest areas.
    The EU will provide €40.5 million out of the total estimated budget of €46 million for the new water desalination plant. The remaining €5.5 million will be financed from Djibouti. The project will consist of two phases of 22.500 m³ each. The facility will be powered by renewable energy and a wind farm is planned as part of the second stage of the PEPER project.
    The PEPER energy and water integrated project is one of the components of the EU's Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which President Barroso announced in April and will also support the Government of Djibouti's reform programme in the energy sector. The project is in line with commitments made at the Rio +20 summit and marks the first step towards Djibouti's goal of moving towards 100% renewable energy by 2020.
    Djibouti suffers from an acute water shortage and has recently endured a prolonged drought, which has led to a serious food crisis in the country. The lack of access to water has led to recent fighting and riots in the country. Seawater desalination is the only viable way for Djibouti to be able to tackle its water scarcity in the short run. However, such a strategy requires low cost energy to be readily available, which is where the wind farm can contribute.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about Djibouti
    Link Find out more about the PEPER project


  22. New EU Platform for blending funds in external cooperation
    2013-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    A new EU Platform which will provide recommendations and guidance on the use of blending in the external cooperation of the European Union, to unlock additional public and private resources and thereby increase the impact  of EU external cooperation and development policy.
    Blending is a tool which combines EU grants with other public and private sector resources such as loans and equity in order to leverage additional non-grant financing.
    The new EU Platform will act as a major forum to build on the experience so far in this area and look at how to improve the quality and efficiency of blending mechanisms, taking due account of the policy frameworks that govern the EU relations with the different partner countries, notably EU Development, Neighbourhood and Enlargement policies.
    Since 2007, the European Commission, together with Member States, has set up eight regional blending facilities
    The work plan agreed for 2013 includes a review of the existing blending mechanisms and the development of a common results based framework to measure impact.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about EU Blending facilities
    Link Find out more about EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG


  23. Cyprus stands out with the water policy and the implementation of Rio +20
    2013-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Food Policy

    December 31 ended the Cypriot Presidency of the EU.
    On the environmental chapter, it suffered of recurrent Council blockage on important issues such as climate and GMOs. On the other side,  the application of Rio +20 and water policy could be considered success of the Cypriot Presidency.
    "Good in the case of the water policy and sustainability debate, but disappointing on issues such as agriculture, fishing and mixed budget and on other despite good intentions," this was the assessment made by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) at the end of the Cyprus’s mandate.
    "The EU has continued to play a constructive role in the widely Cypriot Presidency," said EEB is satisfied that the Union's role in strengthening the United Nations Program for Environment (UNEP) and the adoption in October of measures for implementation of the agreement reached at the UN conference in the framework of the EU Strategy for 2020 sustainable development.
    Also, the water policy was one of Presidency’s priorities. EEB welcomes in particular the Council's support for the implementation of the Framework Directive (WFD) and particularly for the support of development of green infrastructure to reduce the burden on hydromorphological pressure tanks.
    However, the Council has not explicitly called for the consideration of the objectives of the WFD in the context of the revision of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), limiting to a call for a "better integration" of the two policies. Similarly, the revision of European standards for quality of water has made little progress.
    The implementation of Rio +20 was positively assessed, but the judgment of BEE is more mixed regarding the role in the preparation of climate talks in December in Doha (Qatar). Cypriot presidency could not stop the stalemate in the Council of the EU on raising the EU target of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG).
    Finally, as previous presidencies, Cyprus has failed to advance the GMO issue, particularly concerning the revision of the European risk assessment and the freedom given to Member States whether to allow GM crops on their territory . "The presidency would at least have to continue from the efforts of the Danish Presidency in discussing these issues in ad-hoc committee," said EEB.


    Source: news-environnement.com


    Link Read more [FR]
    Link Irish EU presidency: A breath of fresh Eire?
    Link Synopsis of the main results of the Cyprus Presidency


  24. EU: New framework for Quality schemes in agriculture
    2013-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy

    A new regulation on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs in the EU entered into force on January, 3 2013 and aims to achieve a simplified regime for several quality schemes by putting them under one single legal instrument. Among others, the new regulation brings a legal basis for inserting third country GI protected through bilateral agreements into the EU register.
    Other changes include: faster registration procedures- as the opposition period is halved from six to three months- for PDOs and PGIs (excluding wines, aromatised wines and spirits which remain covered by separate legislation); clarification the rules on controls; the use of the PDO and PGI logos will become compulsory for products of EU origin from 4 January 2014 onwards; a legal basis for financing the defense of the EU logos is established; and the recognition of the role of producer groups is recognised.
    Further, for TSG: The scheme is simplified and strengthened, notably as in the future only the registration with reservation of a name will be possible. In order to be "traditional" proven usage on the market during at least 30 years (instead of 25) is now required. Also, the optional quality term "mountain product" becomes reserved. The Commission is furthered empowered to reserve new terms (and amend the conditions of use of existing ones) by delegated acts.


    Source: European Commission, DG Agriculture


    Link Read more
    Link EU legislation on agricultural product quality
    Link Geographical indications and traditional specialities in the EU


  25. Delayed action raises costs of climate change
    2013-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    An agreement by almost 200 nations to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 will be far more costly than taking action now to tackle climate change, a new report says.
    Quick measures to cut emissions would give a far better chance of keeping global warming within an agreed UN limit of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times to avert more floods, heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels.
    "If you delay action by 10, 20 years you significantly reduce the chances of meeting the 2o target," said Keywan Riahi, one of the authors of the report at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria.
    "It was generally known that costs increase when you delay action. It was not clear how quickly they change," he told Reuters on Wednesday (2 January) of the findings in the science journal Nature Climate Change based on 500 computer-generated scenarios.
    The study indicated that an immediate global price of €15 a tonne on emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, would give a roughly 60% chance of limiting warming to below 2o.
    Wait until 2020 and the carbon price would have to be around €75 a tonne to retain that 60% chance, Riahi told.
    Governments agreed to the 2o limit in 2010, viewing it as a threshold to avert dangerous climate change. Temperatures have already risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius since wide use of fossil fuels began 200 years ago.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link  “+4°C world” by 2100
    Link EU to 'rethink' its climate policy


  26. UK urges EU to speed up GM crop approvals
    2013-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Food Policy

    Britain's farming and environment minister has called for a speeding up in the European Union's approval process for genetically modified (GM) crops which he said offered definite benefits including less pesticide use. "I think we need to work with like-minded partners to move the legislation along at a European level because it is going grindingly slowly and we are getting further and further behind," Owen Paterson told reporters on 3 January at the Oxford Farming Conference.
    There has been strong public opposition to GM crops across much of the European Union, linked partly to concerns about their safety, which has helped to slow the approval process.
    "There are definite gains but there is a big battle to be won with the public," Paterson said.
    Mairead McGuinness, a member of the European Parliament's agriculture committee, said that lobbying against GM crops had become less intense in the last couple of years but said opposition remained significant. "The view for some time of many in the European Parliament has been that the public don't want it and therefore we are not going to have it," she told reporters.
    The European Commission proposed allowing national cultivation bans for GMOs in July 2010, in a bid to break a deadlock in EU GM crop approvals which has seen few varieties approved for cultivation in more than 12 years.
    The proposal, however, has been subject to bitter divisions in the Council since then, with recent attempts by the Danish presidency to find a compromise agreement making little headway.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU Court of Justice confirms farmers’ right to cultivate GM crops
    Link European Commission: GMOs


  27. Irish minister : CAP talks should not be delayed
    2013-01-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Policy

    The future of Europe’s agriculture policy shouldn’t be held hostage by the EU’s budget impasse, Ireland’s agricultural minister said in calling for negotiations to move forward even if final figures on spending are unknown until spring.
    Simon Coveney, the Irish agriculture and food minister, said on 18 December that winning agreement on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013 was a priority for his country as it takes over the rotating presidency of the EU Council on 1 January. He said another priority would be concluding agreement on the Common Fisheries Policy, which like the CAP is under review in the European Parliament.
    The EU’s 27 national leaders failed at a summit in November to reach accord on how to carve up a long-term budget of just under €1 trillion, choosing to postpone action until after the first of the year. The Irish government has previously said it would not tolerate cuts to farm support, but may have to find a more centrist position in its presidency role.
    Agricultural officials are already anticipating that interim agricultural policies will be needed for 2014, with the approval process for the CAP now likely to stretch into next summer.

     

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Irish EU presidency: A breath of fresh Eire?
    Link CAP reform delay could affect agri-environment funding


  28. Tougher rules for vegetable exporters to the EU
    2013-01-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    All vegetable exporters to the European Union face tougher mandatory compliance procedures starting this month as new food safety rules take effect.
    The European Parliament has adopted tough measures on food safety in which all consignments entering the bloc must be subject to thorough scrutiny right from the point of origin. Under the new regulations, exporters to the EU will be required to fill a Common Entry Document (CED) which would be counterchecked by authorities to confirm compliance with all safety controls on harmful elements such as Aflatoxins, pesticide residues and metals such as lead.
    In a tough stance to ensure that maximum residue levels are as low as possible, applicants seeking to make shipments to the EU must get approval for a pesticide used by submitting scientific information about the minimum amounts of the pesticide necessary to protect a crop and the residue level remaining on the crop after such treatment. The European Food Safety Authority then verifies that the residue is safe for all its consumer groups.
    trict regulation on pesticide usage by the EU has been cited as a major barrier to growth in trade with several developing nations such as Kenya that are situated within the tropics and have to endure high levels of pest attacks every crop season.


    Source: BDAfrica.com


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about EFSA
    Link Fruit and vegetables: Marketing standards


  29. ACP leaders send out strong message to partners
    2013-01-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    On 14 December, at the end of the 2-day summit for Heads of States and Government in Equatorial Guinea, the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) Group of States committed to intensified South-South cooperation and called for more development-friendly relations with European partners.
    The outcome document of the summit highlighted members’ determination to “stay united as a Group” and retain relevance by “enhancing the ACP-EU relationship as a unique North-South development cooperation model, while developing South-South and other partnerships.”
    On trade, ACP leaders emphasized “development-friendly” Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between ACP countries and the EU, insisting on coherence between European development and trade policies. Taking a stand against proposed amendments to Market Access Regulation 1528/2007 as well as the Generalised System Preferences (GSP), leaders appealed for a “joint ACP-EU high level political engagement” to be convened to resolve pending issues.
    ACP Heads of State noted the need to shape a more dynamic and innovative ACP Group to engage with the EU in the third five-year review of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement in 2015. They welcomed plans to set up an Eminent Persons’ Group to revive the vision, mission and response of the ACP Group to global challenges.
    The 79-member intergovernmental body represents a population of 930 million people. As the new republic of South Sudan joins the organisation, membership will expand to 80 nations.


    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link ACP - FAO partnership deal
    Link ACP leaders ahead of critical summit



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Ms Isolina BOTO
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Editor: Cristina Dobos (dobos@cta.int)

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