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CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Subject: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Send date: 2013-02-18 16:14:25
Issue #: 171
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 : [18/02/2013]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week

  1. Video Guest: Godfrey Bahiigwa, IFPRI
  2. Next Brussels Development Briefing
  3. Main Events for the Week 18/02/2013 – 24/02/2013
  4. Zambia: Western tax avoidance
  5. €1.8 m: for victims of cyclone Evan in Fiji and Samoa
  6. UK: audit on EU activity, development cooperation
  7. EU Commissioner Ciolos: a good deal for a greener CAP
  8. EU : €20m stabilisation support package for Mali
  9. A less green CAP- ahead of Parliament’s final vote
  10. EU: no reaction in 'conflict minerals' in Congo
  11. ACP-EU parliamentary assembly to address EU’s differentiation policies
  12. European rights e-petition for universal water access
  13. UK: €5,8 m support package for Mali
  14. EU: Horse meat scandal of fraudulent labelling
  15. Conference on the development of Mali in spring
  16. EU countries to fill the gap on development aid
  17. EU aid ministers vow unity in global anti-poverty talks
  18. EU resumes development cooperation with Mali
  19. Fiji to ensure improved rules of origin
  20. Next EU aid budget: no cut, but neither a step ahead
  21. EU development ministers to discuss situation in Mali
  22. Mali appeals to ACP Group for aid
  23. EU budget, development aid : falling short of Commission's proposal


  1. Video Guest: Godfrey Bahiigwa, IFPRI
    2013-02-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    In an interview with CTA Brussels, Godfrey Bahiigwa, the head of IFPRI’s Eastern and Southern Africa regional office explains the functioning of the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS), and its role in the development of a self- relying research-based agricultural policy in Africa.

    ‘ReSAKSS’ objective is to provide knowledge, agricultural research, to inform policy making and strategy formulation. It is also intended to build the capacity at regional and national level, to strengthen analysis debate and policy making’ (Godfrey Bahiigwa, IFPRI Eastern & Southern Africa).


    Link Watch the Video
    Link Find out more about ReSAKSS
    Link Ousmane Badiane, IFPRI [VIDEO]


  2. Next Brussels Development Briefing
    2013-02-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    The 30th Brussels Development Briefing will take place on 4th March 2013 (8h30-13h00) on the important issue of Agricultural resilience in the face of crisis and shocks, highlighting proven approaches and successes in key areas of agriculture and rural development of ACP countries and other parts of the world.
    Confirmed speakers include: Sir Gordon Conway, Professor of International Development, Imperial College London, Luca Alinovi, Country Chief FAO Somalia, IFPRI DG, Chris Reij, SLM specialist, Senior Fellow World Resources Institute, as well as representatives from CIMMYT, Action Aid, Regional African Farmers Organisations, and World Food Program (WFP).

    For registrations: fill the form on http://brusselsbriefings.net/, or send an email to boto@cta.int


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the Brussels Briefings
    Link Find out more about past briefings


  3. Main Events for the Week 18/02/2013 – 24/02/2013
    2013-02-18

    European Parliament:

    18-21 February: European Parliament committee meetings:

    - 18-19 February: EP Committee on Development, Committee on Fisheries; Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
    - 20-21 February: Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development;  Committee on International Trade
    - 18-19, 21 February: Committee on Foreign Affairs

    European Council:

    18 February: Foreign Affairs Council
    20 February: COREPER I
    20-21 February: COREPER II

    European Commission:


    22 February: 2013 European Economic Forecast

    ACP Group:


    20 February: African Union
    22 February: Committee of Ambassadors

    You can also follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.




  4. Zambia: Western tax avoidance
    2013-02-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    A major multinational western company- Associated British Foods group (ABF)- was found to have used legal tax avoidance techniques to dodge its tax bill in Zambia.
    A new investigation released by ActionAid, which is the result of 12 months of research focusing on the multinational’s sugar operations in Zambia, has discovered that since 2007the Zambian branch of the company, has generated profits of $123 million, with paying “virtually no corporate tax” in Zambia.
    The company has done that mainly by whisking  away over US$83.7 million (US$13 million a year) – a third of pre-tax profits – out of Zambia into tax havens including Ireland, Mauritius and the Netherlands.
    Also, the company also won a court case against the Zambian government, which enabled it to exploit a tax break originally designed to support domestic farmers. Thus, the company’s tax rate tumble from 35% to just 10%, costing a further $9.3m of revenue.
    The report estimates that Zambia has lost $27m. The revenues lost to tax havens is 10 times bigger than the amount the UK gives Zambia in aid for education each year.
    “International corporate tax avoidance is like a cancer eating away at both rich and poor countries. […]Tax avoidance by Associated British Foods in Zambia is helping to keep people locked in hunger. We know that business can be a force for good in Africa, but this is massively undermined when a company doesn’t pay its fair share of tax”, Chris Jordan, a tax specialist at ActionAid and co-author of the ActionAid report, said.  
    ActionAid is part of the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign which aims to tackle global hunger by calling on governments to close tax loopholes which enable corporates to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

    Source: The Guardian, ActionAid


    Link Read more
    Link Western tax avoidance hinders African development
    Link Large-scale UK anti-hunger campaign 'If'


  5. €1.8 m: for victims of cyclone Evan in Fiji and Samoa
    2013-02-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The European Union is providing €1.8 million humanitarian assistance to communities in Fiji and Samoa affected by tropical cyclone Evan, in December 2012.
    The decision to provide funding for humanitarian assistance came after a team of the EC Humanitarian Office experts visited Fiji and Samoa shortly after the tropical cyclone.
    Assistance is required in the sectors of shelter, water and sanitation and particularly vulnerable families are in need of food and basic household items.
    Tropical cyclone Evan hit the island nations of Fiji and Samoa between 13 and 17 December 2012. More than a dozen people were reported killed or missing and over 7,600 houses damaged or destroyed. Samoa was particularly badly affected, with the island’s water supply system having been damaged and many food crops destroyed.
    Communities in western Fiji had already been hit by two waves of wide-spread flooding in January and March 2012. At the time the EU committed €200,000 to assist flood affected communities.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Aid in action in the Pacific Region
    Link Fiji/Samoa: Typhoon survivors


  6. UK: audit on EU activity, development cooperation
    2013-02-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The British Government is carrying out a review of the balance of competences between the European Union and the United Kingdom- an audit of what the EU does and how it affects the UK.
    The audit was launched in July 2012 by the Foreign Secretary, and aims to examine the way British national interests interact with the EU’s roles. Government departments will consult Parliament and its committees, business, the devolved administrations, and civil society to look in depth at how the EU’s competences (the power to act in particular areas conferred on it by the EU Treaties) work in practice.
    The review will be broken down into a number of individual reports covering specific areas of EU competence- namely 31. It is expected to be completed by the end of autumn 2014.
    For each area, the relevant Department from the British Government launch calls for evidence setting out the scope of their work and requesting input from a range of interested parties, including members of the public with relevant expertise or experience. At the end of each semester, the reports are published online. The review will be finished in autumn 2014.
    As part of this process, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) is leading on the report on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, and will contribute to the report on foreign policy. Both the Humanitarian Aid and foreign policy reports  are expected to be released in summer 2013.
    UK is the second largest European donor of humanitarian aid, ranked by total contribution in 2011.


    Source: DFID


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the review
    Link Auditors raise doubts about EU road aid to Africa


  7. EU Commissioner Ciolos: a good deal for a greener CAP
    2013-02-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Agriculture, Rural development

    Around €100 billion out of a global CAP budget of €363 billion for the period 2014-2020 will be dedicated to the protection of natural resources after last week's agreement on the EU's long term budget, says Dacian Cioloş, the European Commissioner in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development. The challenge now is to define concrete measures to make a real difference for the environment and to secure the long term competitiveness of EU farmers, he believes.
    As proposed by the European Commission, and voted by last week's agreement among EU leaders on the EU budget, 30% of direct payment to European farmers will be linked to environmentally-friendly agronomic methods. Thus, approximately €80 billion will be linked to the provision of environmental public goods through "green" direct payments. Moreover, at least €20 billion of Rural Development funds should be invested in schemes which benefit the environment and climate change.
    The commissioner tabled  there concrete greening measures to be negotiated with  the European Parliament and the Member States:  crop diversification – aimed at avoiding soil depletion and biodiversity loss;  maintaining permanent pastures – land which is important for carbon sequestration, fighting against soil erosion and keeping a wide range of fauna and flora; and 7% ecological focus areas on farms – as farms are not just fields, but include also hedges, agricultural paths, small walls, thickets, buffer strips.
    Even if the commissioner Ciolos is satisfied with the deal reached on the green CAP, environmental campaigners accuse that the EP agricultural committee in January and the EU Council budget deal on 8th of February both backed changes to weaken the Commission’s ‘greening’ proposals on environmental standards. The Agricultural EP committee voted in January 2013 to exempt small farms from the so-called greening rules, as well as growers who meet individual member states’ environmental certification programmes; Now, NGOs and social groups in Brussels are hoping that a change will occur in the last moment –at the final vote by the full Parliament on March 12.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link A less green CAP- ahead of Parliament’s final vote
    Link MEPs back a less green, more 'flexible' CAP


  8. EU : €20m stabilisation support package for Mali
    2013-02-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    A first 20 million Euro stabilisation support package was approved on Friday 15 February for immediate support to Mali's law enforcement and justice services, the Malian local authorities, dialogue and reconciliation initiatives at local level, and the first phases of the upcoming electoral process. This decision puts into practice commitments agreed by the extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council on the situation in Mali on 17 January.
    The package will be part of the Instrument for Stability (IfS), and is an early instalment of the EU's response to the crisis in Mali, and complements of other instruments, as the financial and logistical support to the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA), the EUTM and EUCAP Sahel CSDP missions, the current IfS long-term Counter-Terrorism project for the Sahel, the EU-INTERPOL Western Africa Police Information System, or the EU humanitarian aid, and development cooperation.
    The Instrument for Stability (IfS) was launched by the EU in 2007 to help build long-term international, regional and national capacity to address pervasive transregional and global threats. Every year, EU IfS support is deployed for around 40 crisis response actions worldwide.
    Earlier this month, the resumption of development aid to Mali for an amount of some €250 million was announced by EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the IfS
    Link Restoring the situation in Mali


  9. A less green CAP- ahead of Parliament’s final vote
    2013-02-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture, Environment

    With the full Parliament due to vote on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on 12 March, environmental campaigners hope for a change of course after the Parliament’s agriculture committee in January and the EU Council budget deal on 8th of February both backed changes to weaken some of the Commission’s ‘greening’ proposals on environmental standards.
    “EU leaders have created a CAP budget that is potentially worse than its current incarnation, with a smaller monetary commitment for Rural Development and a very weak greening of Direct Payments. When combined with the European Parliament’s AGRI Committee vote in January which killed off any meaningful greening and proposed illegal double subsidies for farmers, and the AGRI Council’s refusal to decide on the content of the CAP before knowing its final budget, we have a regime of continued blank cheques for harmful agriculture.” Sébastien Godinot, an economist in the WWF European Policy Office, said as part of a debate hosted on February 14 by the European Policy Centre and the WWF European Policy Office.
    The Agricultural EP committee voted in January 2013 to exempt small farms from the so-called greening rules, as well as growers who meet individual member states’ environmental certification programmes. Under amendments adopted by the committee, farmers with less than 10 hectares of cultivatable land will be exempt and those with 10 to 30 hectares can apply for exemptions. According to the Parliament, the exemptions will apply to 82% of the EU’s farmers. In comparison, the Commission had recommended that only organic farmers should be exempted from greening schemes.
    However, agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş has defended the proposals as fair to farmers and environmentally responsible.
    First proposed in October 2011, the 2014-2020 CAP sought to strengthen environmental protections through mandatory standards for nearly all EU farmers. The proposals included a controversial provision to link 30% of direct payments to compliance with ‘greening’ measures, and preserve at least 7% of their land for ‘ecological focus areas’.
    The European Commission plans for a 'greener' CAP (2014-2020 proposal), unveiled in October 2011, called for
    •    Improving biodiversity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
    •    Using direct payments to encourage farmers to rotate crops as a way to reduce fertiliser and pesticide use;
    •    Preserve at least 7% of land for focus areas such as buffer areas or permanent grassland to help reduce emissions.
    This will be the first time that the EP will vote on the CAP, respectively the EU multi  -annual budget.


    Source: Euractiv, WWF


    Link Read more
    Link WWF: Civil society makes its claim on reform
    Link MEPs back a less green, more 'flexible' CAP


  10. EU: no reaction in 'conflict minerals' in Congo
    2013-02-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Congolese rebels are plundering the country’s natural resources to finance guns and materiel, but the EU remains powerless to compel companies to disclose whether they are buying vital minerals supplied by armed groups in Congo and other conflict states. The EU has no law to compel corporations to disclose the sources of raw materials bought in Congo to ensure that armed groups were not part of the supply chain- “It’s absolutely essential that the European Union take steps to issue a regulation that requires companies, not just from Congo but from any high-risk and conflict-affected area, to do due diligence along their supply chains,” said Sophia Pickles, a campaigner at the Global Witness, a London anti-corruption and human rights organisation.
    Analysts say thefts and smuggling have grown since M23 guerrillas began an offensive 10 months ago in North Kivu and other eastern mining regions that hold abundant reserves of industrial raw materials. The well-armed M23 was formed by Congolese army defectors.
    Consequently, Global Witness has urged the EU to adopt into law the voluntary conflict minerals guidelines drafted by corporations for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
    The EU has promised more than €584 million in development assistance to the country over the past five years and plans another €54 million in humanitarian aid this year. In January, Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs signed a Peace and Security Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighbouring states aimed at stabilising the fragile country.
    Despite its entrenched poverty and conflict, eastern Congo has abundant reserves of industrial minerals, including niobium, tantalum, tin and gold. Tantalum is a relatively rare metal that is used in electronic and computer equipment, while niobium alloys are used in jet engine production, jewellery and pipelines. There are also important diamond deposits. “The future of the world is going to be played in that region,” Jean-Paul Matuk Munan, who heads a Congolese organisation that campaigns against the small arms trade, said, adding that Congo’s resource reserves make it an important counterbalance to China for supplies of raw materials used in mobile phones, computers, jet engines and other manufactured goods.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the cooperation with the Democratic Republic of Congo
    Link New € 15 million EU funding for DRC


  11. ACP-EU parliamentary assembly to address EU’s differentiation policies
    2013-02-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Caribbean parliamentarians must utilise the opportunity of the 9th Regional Meeting of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly to be held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from 14 to 16 February 2013, to take a strong stand against the EU’s approach to differentiation, CARICOM representative state.
    This comes after the EU has indicated that it will apply the principle of differentiation to the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programmes (NIPs), with the effect that the majority of NIPs in the Caribbean Region will be cut.
    The Director-General of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) Directorate in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, Mr Ivan Ogando Lora, believes that the EDF, as the core source for financing development cooperation within the framework of CARIFORUM-EU relations faces now the prospect of being scaled back. Further, he cautioned that the mechanics of the application of differentiation remain internal to the European Commission. For this reason, he is expected to call attention in the assembly to the negative effects of the EU’s New Development Policy.
    The upcoming JPA is expected to bring together 15 JPA parliamentarians from national parliaments of the Caribbean Region and an equal number of JPA Members from the European Parliament to exchange views several issues of interest to the Caribbean.The fifteen signatory Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific (CARIFORUM) States to the EPA are the independent CARICOM Member States and the Dominican Republic.
    While Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) are the main strategic tools for programming, national indicative programmes (NIPs) are a management tool to identify and define actions for attaining the objectives set down in the CSP. Each CSP is accompanied by an NIP.
    The European Development Fund (EDF) is the principal financial instrument through which the Cotonou Agreement is implemented. The EDF is outside of and operates separately and differently from the European Community budget. The resources for the EDF consist of contributions from all the member states.

    Source: CARICOM


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the EDF
    Link Find out more about CARICOM


  12. European rights e-petition for universal water access
    2013-02-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Archive

    Organisers of a European Citizens’ Initiative that seeks to halt sales of public water utilities say they have gathered one million signatures from across Europe, becoming the first such group to do so since the grass-roots efforts were launched last spring.
    The Water is a Human Right initiative calls for water supply and management to be exempt from European Commission liberalisation policies on the grounds that water is a public good.
    The initiative also wants EU states to enact laws ensuring that everyone has a right to safe water and sanitation, and that the EU increase it development aid efforts to achieve universal water access and sanitation.
    The initiative process was launched in 2012 under a provision of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty to encourage citizen action. ECI organisers are required to have one million signatures collected from at least seven EU states before they can submit the proposals to the European Commission for consideration as draft laws.
    More than one billion people don’t have safe drinking water and more than two billion lack toilets, according to the UN. In September 2010, the UN adopted water and sanitation as fundamental human rights under international law.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the campaign
    Link UN: Water an universal right


  13. UK: €5,8 m support package for Mali
    2013-02-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    A £5m (€5,8 m) package of support for the victims of the conflict in Mali will be allocated by the UK, UK development Secretary announced.
    The emergency package will include support for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who are operating in the conflict-affected north of the country as well as south and central regions, to help protect and care for women and children caught up in the violence, as well or the World Food Programme (WFP) to help feed over 100,000 Malians facing food shortages across Mali including in those areas recently affected by conflict.
    Several major aid agencies withdrew from the rebel-held north to southern Mali during January. However, following action by French and Malian forces, some agencies have now returned to central Mali, with the hope that full access to the north will gradually be restored over the coming weeks.
    This package takes the total UK support for conflict-affected Malians in 2013 to £13 million. Earlier this months, the EU announced the mobilisation of €20 million for Mali, as well as the releasing of the  €250 million aid which was frozen last year.
    UK is the second largest European donor, ranked by total contribution in 2011.


    Source: UK Department for international Development DFID


    Link Read more
    Link EU resumes development cooperation with Mali
    Link Restoring the situation in Mali


  14. EU: Horse meat scandal of fraudulent labelling
    2013-02-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Policy

    The European Commission has proposed increased DNA testing of meat products to assess the scale of a scandal involving horse meat sold as beef that has shocked the European public and raised concern over the continent's food supply chains. The control is to include imported goods as well.
    "The tests will be on DNA in meat products in all member states," Health Commissioner Tonio Borg told reporters after a ministerial meeting in Brussels to discuss the affair.
    The initial one-month testing plan would include premises handling horsemeat to check whether potentially harmful equine medicine residues have entered the food chain, Borg said, with the first results expected by mid-April. Member States should report the results back to the Commission. The Commission will also explore the possibility of co-financing of this recommended coordinated control plan.
    This is the second step of a coordinated EU- level control plan, aimed to restore the confidence of all European consumers, following the recommendation of the European Commission for the Member States to carry out appropriate controls at market level of products that are presented as containing beef, in order to identify the scale of any misleading labelling practices as to the presence of horsemeat.
    The scandal erupted when tests carried out in Ireland revealed that meat in products labelled as beef was in fact up to 100% horsemeat. Operators in at least eight EU countries have since been dragged into the affair, raising fears of a pan-European labelling fraud.
    Officials have said no risk to public health from the adulterated foods has been identified at this stage but testing for horse medicine in meat is being undertaken to be sure. However, it has been underlined that the issue is therefore overwhelmingly one of fraudulent labelling rather than one of safety, as the food business operator has the primary responsibility for ensuring that the requirements of European food law are met. Once a food product is put on the market in the EU, it is the responsibility of Member States to check whether or not the product presents a risk and whether it complies with applicable legislation.
    At the urging of ministers, Borg said the Commission would accelerate work on potential changes to EU labelling rules that would force companies to state the country of origin on processed meat products. Currently the requirement only applies to fresh beef, and is expected to be extended to fresh lamb, pork and poultry from December 2014.
    EU and national authorities are still trying to uncover the source of the suspected horsemeat fraud.


    Source: Euractiv, European commission


    Link Read more
    Link Borg proposes Member States a coordinated control plan
    Link EU ministers to meet over horsemeat concerns


  15. Conference on the development of Mali in spring
    2013-02-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    A conference on the development of Mali would take place in Brussels in the spring, according to the announcement made by European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and Pascal Canfin, french Minister Delegate for Development at the informal meeting of European ministers responsible for development held in Dublin from 11 to 12 February.
    The purpose of this conference, which will be organized by the EU and France in close coordination with the Malian authorities, is to mobilize the international community in support of the development of Mali. It will also aim, in collaboration with the Malian authorities and the regional African organizations, to ensure the smooth coordination of the international community’s response.


    Source: France Diplomatie


    Link Read more
    Link EU development ministers to discuss situation in Mali
    Link Restoring the situation in Mali


  16. EU countries to fill the gap on development aid
    2013-02-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    EU individual member states must increase their own national development budget in order for the EU to respect its global commitment to allocate at 0.7 per cent of the Gross National Income (GNI) for development purposes by 2015, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs declared at the Informal Development Ministers meeting in Dublin on 12 February.
    This comes as a consequence of the agreement reached at the European Council on the development budget under the EU Multiannual Financial Framework, which cuts almost by 11% the Commission's original budget proposal for development aid (a difference of at least 6.34%.), and thus does not add any extra money to the EU development and humanitarian aid funding. This falls to put the EU on track to meet the UN target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI), established by the UN for the achievement of Millennium Development Goals by 2015. At the current level (as of  2011), the EU's aid budget reached a rate of only 0.44% of GNI.
    European leaders committed to boost overseas aid to 0.7% of GNI at a meeting in June 2005. An exception was made for the 12 new member states that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007, which were handed a lower target of 0.33% of GNI.
    Joe Costello, Ireland's trade and development minister who chaired the Dublin meeting, told EurActiv that the Irish EU presidency would be looking for the older 15 member states to recommit to the 0.7% target.


    Source: European Commission, Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link http://www.euractiv.com/development-policy/eu-countries-asked-fill-gap-redu-news-517799
    Link Explanation on the next EU aid budget


  17. EU aid ministers vow unity in global anti-poverty talks
    2013-02-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The EU should take a central role in shaping a new framework for the United Nations’ poverty-fighting targets when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015, European development ministers have agreed at the informal meeting held in Dublin from 11 to 12 February.
    The ministers have also agreed that the EU will speak with one voice in future international negotiations on new targets for sustainable growth and eradicating extreme poverty.
    Joe Costello, the Irish trade and development minister, said on Tuesday (12 February) that “ensuring a unified EU position to the negotiations to agree a new global development framework” was a priority of his country’s presidency of the EU Council.
    The eight MDGs, agreed in 2000, include ending extreme poverty and hunger, expanding education, improving healthcare, and promoting sustainable growth.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU development ministers to discuss situation in Mali
    Link Find out more about the MDGs


  18. EU resumes development cooperation with Mali
    2013-02-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The fully-fledged resumption of development aid in Mali was announced by European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs at the Informal Development Ministers meeting in Dublin today, 12 February. Thus, the  €250 million which was frozen last year shall be quickly released.
    "The swift adoption by the Malian authorities of a transition roadmap to restore democracy and stability has opened the door for lifting the precautionary measures taken after the coup d'état of March 2012 and for restarting gradually development aid in order to respond to the urgent needs of the Malian people" Andris Piebalgs stated.
    The EU will assist the country in restoring democracy and peace by focusing primarily on reconciliation, conflict prevention and supporting the electoral process, as well as on food security, water and sanitation and make new proposals to help relaunching the economy.
    Following the coup d’état of last year's March, the European Commission had adopted precautionary measures limiting aid programmes to direct support to the local population, to assisting the transition to democracy and to humanitarian aid. The adoption of a "Roadmap for Transition" by the National Assembly of Mali on 29 January 2013 paved the way for resumption of development aid.


    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Restoring the situation in Mali
    Link EU development ministers to discuss situation in Mali


  19. Fiji to ensure improved rules of origin
    2013-02-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Fiji has commenced consultations with industry stakeholders to take advantage of the discussions on rules of origin held in between the 14 Pacific ACP States (PACPS) and the European Union (EU) in December 2012, as part of  the negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
    Fiji is already a signatory to the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement, which grants Fijian products a “duty free-quota free” entry into the European market, provided the product meets and satisfies the European Union (EU) rules of origin requirements.
    “The on-going negotiations on the CEPA is also an opportunity for Fiji to ensure that the final rules of origin provide sufficient flexibility to address the challenges faced by small island developing states like Fiji, in developing its manufacturing and agriculture-based sectors to export to the EU” said the Fijian Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali.
    The Rules of Origin criteria and other non-tariff barriers are considered key impediments to “duty free access” under the EPA”. During the technical negotiations last December, Fiji and the Pacific ACP countries achieved significant breakthrough in the negotiations with the EU.
    Fiji has already secured favourable Rules of Origin for canned fish and cooked loins, through the global sourcing provisions in the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) by providing industry-specific details on the problems that the fishing industry faced in complying with the EU Rules of Origin.


    Source: thejetnewspaper.com


    Link Read more
    Link Bilateral relations Pacific- the EU
    Link Interim EPAs: Pacific- EU


  20. Next EU aid budget: no cut, but neither a step ahead
    2013-02-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    Even if it makes no cuts to previous sums, the new EU multi-annual budget (2014-2020) agreed upon on February 8 does not add any extra money to the EU development and humanitarian aid funding, falling to put the EU on track to meet the UN target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI), established by the UN for the achievement of Millennium Development Goals by 2015. At the current level (as of  2011), the EU's aid budget reached a rate of only 0.44% of GNI.
    "EU leaders missed their opportunity today to take Europe a big step closer to its promise of spending 0.7% of income on smart aid”, an European aid campaigners- Eloise Todd, Brussels director of advocacy group ONE- said after the negotiation of the new EU budget  for the 2013-2020 period.

    However, the sum falls short of the initial proposals made by the European Commission. The European Development Fund (EDF), the main instrument for providing Community development aid in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the overseas countries and territories (OCTs), has received under the new budget  € 26, 9 bn,  €3 bn less than in the initial proposal of the European Commission.
    In the previous period (2008-2013), the EDF had a budget of €22,7 bn. The EU's assistance to the ACP countries has traditionally been financed outside the EU budget for historical and legal reasons, but its level has been traditionally agreed as part of the overall budget negotiations. However, it was announced that the Commission intends to propose the budgetisation of the EDF as of 2021.

    Besides the EDF, the other instruments of foreign aid that do come under the budget, and which represent the largest part of foreign aid - the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), and ten thematic programmes that provide regional and country-based approaches to development- received a total budget with €1.9bn lower than that proposed by the commission, but will still amount to a 3.4% rise based on previous spending levels of €58.7bn.
    The DCI covers three components: programmes supporting cooperation with 47 developing countries in Latin America, Asia and Central Asia, the Gulf region (Iran, Iraq and Yemen) and South Africa, as well as programmes of accompanying measures for the 18 African, Caribbean and Pacific(ACP) Sugar Protocol countries, in order to help them adjust following the reform of the EU sugar regime. For the period 2007-2013,  €16.9 billion were allocated to the DCI.
    The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) supports the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), and addresses mostly the Eastern European and Mediterranean countries. The ENPI had a financial envelope of €11.2 billion for the period 2007-2013.

    Even if no aid cuts took place compared to previous years, NGOs see the Union’s deal as disappointing, and lacking ambition prospects for the MDGs goals.  "It's unacceptable for them to wriggle out of their promise to give 0.7% of national income by 2015 to the poorest because there is an economic crisis,"Natalia Alonso, head of Oxfam's EU office said.
    Last year, developing countries of the ACP group have expressed their concerns that prospects aid cuts in EU foreign aid funding would lead to the impossibility of reaching the millennium development goal for halving the number of people living in absolute poverty by 2015.

    In the explanation of its budget, the Council of the EU explained that the role of External aid is to “ strengthen EU’s cooperation with partners, support the objectives of promoting EU values abroad, projecting EU policies in support of addressing major global challenges, increasing the impact of EU development cooperation, investing in the long-term prosperity and stability of the EU's Neighbourhood, supporting the process of EU enlargement, enhancing European solidarity following natural or man-made disasters, improving crisis prevention and resolution and combating climate change’.

    Source: The Guardian, European Commission, Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link See the budget headings' allocation
    Link EU budget, development aid : falling short of Commission's proposal


  21. EU development ministers to discuss situation in Mali
    2013-02-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    EU Development Ministers, informally meeting in Dublin from 11 to 12 February in Dublin Castle, as part of Ireland’s Presidency of the EU,  will discuss on the topic of aid to Mali, and resilience building in the Horn of Africa, according to an Irish EU Presidency statement.
    "There has been good progress in stabilising the security situation in Mali, but it is critical that the provision of humanitarian aid and the political process keep pace. We will discuss how best the EU can support Malian authorities and civilians on the road to recovery," said Joe Costello, Irish Minister for Trade and Development, in press statements.
    On Tuesday 12 February, EU Development Ministers will further discuss EU efforts to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities in the Horn of Africa to natural disasters and crises.
    "This work is increasingly important as the number and intensity of disasters increases. Major emergencies have occurred every year over the past decade, from the Darfur conflict which started in 2003 to the Horn of Africa food crisis in 2011. As the number of crises increases, the need to plan for them as part of our overall development assistance becomes more critical " said Costello.


    Source: kuna.net.kw


    Link Read more
    Link Mali appeals to ACP Group for aid
    Link EU in Mali : additional €20m humanitarian aid


  22. Mali appeals to ACP Group for aid
    2013-02-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    At the meeting of the ACP Group’s ambassadorial subcommittee in charge of political matter held on Friday 8th February, the Malian delegation issued an urgent appeal for aid.
    The Malian delegation stressed that the country was now urgently in need of supplies and that any humanitarian aid from the Group, whether in cash or kind. The ACP Committee of Ambassadors’ Subcommittee on Political, Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs pledged to give favourable consideration to the appeal from the Malian Authorities.
    The delegation also confirmed that the Chadian and French Forces were now in the small town of Agelhoc, which stands on the border between Mali and Algeria.


    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link Restoring the situation in Mali
    Link EU in Mali : additional €20m humanitarian aid


  23. EU budget, development aid : falling short of Commission's proposal
    2013-02-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Archive, Rural development

    After 24 hours of negotiations, EU leaders have struck on Friday 8 February a deal on the EU budget for 2014-20120, which includes among others 11% (by €3.3bn) cuts in development aid, and a decrease with 17.5% (by €58.8bn) in direct payments from the EU's agriculture spending, as compared to initial Commission proposals.
    For the first time in the European Union’s the multi-annual budget  is decreasing, going to 1% from 1.12% of EU Gross national income (GNI). A €960-billion spending plan was agreed for the Union's next budget cycle - €35bn down from the current budget for 2007-2013. The biggest cuts in the new budget were made to EU's agriculture direct payments, and  regional spending (cut by €29.7bn; 8.4%).

    Thus, the heading four of the multi-annual EU budget “Global Europe” suffers a cut, from the proposed €60.667 billion allocated for the period 2007-2013 to €58.767 billion for the next seven years. However, it will still amount to a 3.4% rise based on previous spending levels. European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso believes that EU did keep its commitment to support the poorest countries.
    Besides this, The European Development Fund (EDF), the main instrument for providing Community development aid in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the overseas countries and territories (OCTs), has received under the new budget  € 26, 9 bn,  €3 bn less than in the initial proposal of the European Commission. In the previous period (2008-2013), the EDF had a budget of €22,7 bn. The EU's assistance to the ACP countries has traditionally been financed outside the EU budget for historical and legal reasons, but its level has been traditionally agreed as part of the overall budget negotiations.

    In the same time, President of France- François Hollande- declared himself averagely satisfied with the results of the negotiations, arguing that he was successful in protecting the Common Agricultural Policy.

    However, European Parliament consent on the deal  is required for it to be adopted. Given that the leaders lowered the amount of the budget which can be actual spent as payments– to €908.4bn- the deal risks not to be voted by the MEPs. They believe that this sets the Union on the edge of fiscal deficits. In response, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the difference between commitments and payments was in the order of 5% and the EU executive had taken measures to narrow it down, not allowing for the deficit to mushroom.


    Source: European Voice, Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU budget hawks succeed in €960-billion cap
    Link Barroso against development aid cuts


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

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Copyright © 2011 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
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