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CTA - Bulletin du Bureau de Bruxelles
Subject: CTA - Bulletin du Bureau de Bruxelles
Send date: 2013-05-17 14:58:47
Issue #: 178
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 : [17/05/2013]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week

  1. Main Events for the Week 20/05/2013 – 26/05/2013
  2. Video Guest: Gordon Conway
  3. Last Brussels Briefing: Linking food, geography and people
  4. Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture
  5. Fisheries: Negotiation of amendments to ICCAT convention
  6. EU to facilitate trade with organic products
  7. €3.25 billion mobilised for Mali
  8. EU: Talks on the reform of the Fisheries Policy
  9. EU: Council wants compromise on CAP until June
  10. Lithuania prepares for EU presidency
  11. Piebalgs : EU committed to fight against malaria
  12. EU debating biopiracy law to protect indigenous people
  13. Europe's Tobin tax plan challenged by Italy, UK
  14. €30m for access to water and basic sanitation in Malawi
  15. Somalia: EU support for justice and police
  16. AU and EU to Strengthen Trade and Economic Links
  17. EP: Fisheries blacklist approved
  18. EU Parliament commended for legislating transparency directives
  19. European Commission met its African ‘sister’
  20. UK to end direct aid to South Africa
  21. UN Special Rapporteur : EU must phase out biofuel incentives
  22. Solution needed for EU’s Fisheries Policy reform


  1. Main Events for the Week 20/05/2013 – 26/05/2013
    2013-05-17

    Council of the EU:

    May 21: General Affairs Council
    May 22: The European Council
    May 26: Informal Meeting of EU Ministers for Agriculture - Special Committee on Agriculture - EU Council
    Meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Council on Development

    European Commission:

    May 21-22: European Maritime Day 2013
    May 23: 14h edition of the European Forum on Eco-Innovation
    European Parliament:

    European Parliament:
    May 22: Committee on Foreign Affairs

    ACP:
    May 22: Meeting of the Commonwealth Partnership for Technical cooperation Movement - Brussels Hub
    May 23: ACP Sugar Committee

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




  2. Video Guest: Gordon Conway
    2013-05-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Food Policy, Agriculture

    On the occasion of the last Brussels Briefing on “Agricultural resilience”, CTA Brussels met with Sir Gordon Conway, Professor of International Development at the Imperial College of London to discuss on what we know and what we need to know in order to increase Agricultural resilience in developing countries.

    In the video interview, Sir Conway talks about:
    The Double Green Revolution, which involves two kinds of “green”, which brings both a plant growth, and an environmental concern and action.
    • In order to feed 1bn hungry by 2015, we need technologies that will increase yields, but in such a fashion that the yields are sustainable. Such a sustainable intensification can be achieved through: ecological intensification, genetic intensification, and socio - economic intensification
    • There are four main routes to achieving a food secure world, which are: innovation, markets, support for people, and political leadership.

    Gordon Conway is currently chairing the Montpellier Panel – a group of international experts from the fields of agriculture, sustainable development, trade, policy, and global development –, which produced the report 'Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture' to be launched by the CTA and the European Commission on the 28th May in Brussels. Find out more here.


    Link Watch the Video
    Link Find out more about the Briefing
    Link Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture


  3. Last Brussels Briefing: Linking food, geography and people
    2013-05-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : , Agriculture, ACP-EU Trade

    The Brussels Briefing ‘Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system’ was held on 15 May, at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels.
    More than 120 participants discussed traditional agricultural products (geographical indications or “GIs”) and other origin marketing tools in the context of ACP countries.

    The event had three panels, which featured several prominent industry experts and thought leaders including representatives of the academia, of European institutions (DG Agriculture and Rural Development - European Commission, but also of African and international organizations as the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), OAPI, WIPO, and Bioversity International,  the CARICOM Secretariat, and the ACP Secretariat.
    The discussion touched upon important topics such as: existing global and regional frameworks for protecting geographical indications and traditional products, the Carribean experience in protecting agrifood products, or the leverage of GI potentials in the use of underutilized species.

    On Brussels Briefings’ website you have access to several extra material, including all presentations given by the speakers, the video registration of the event, as well as an extensive research on the topic (Reader) and photos.


    Link Read more
    Link Programme of the event
    Link Consult the reader


  4. Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture
    2013-05-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Policy, Agriculture, Development Policy, Climate change

    The European Commission and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) will organize on 28th May 2013 an event for the launch of the report 'Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture', which aims to provide a new framework for understanding sustainable intensification and offers practical approaches to achieving it.
    The report was published in the framework of the Montpellier Panel – a group of international experts from the fields of agriculture, sustainable development, trade, policy, and global development chaired by Sir Gordon Conway of Imperial College London. The Panel is working to make recommendations to enable better European government support of national and regional agricultural development and food security priorities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Panel first met in Montpellier in March 2010.
    The report provides innovative thinking and examples into the way in which the techniques of Sustainable Intensification are being used by smallholder farmers in Africa to address the continent’s food and nutrition crisis. It begins by examining the process and elements of Intensification itself, before considering how we then ensure that the Intensification is Sustainable, and concludes with practical solutions in action today across the African continent, that underline the positive impacts the framework can produce if scaled up more effectively.
    The event will take place at the European Commission, Brussels, on 28th May 2013, between 14h30 and 16h30.
    It will feature several prominent experts including Michael Hailu, Director of CTA; Jean-Pierre Halkin, Head of Unit, Rural Development, Food Security and Nutrition, Directorate General for Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid, European Commission  and  Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director of FARA; Dr Peter Hazell, Montpellier Panel  member and Visiting Professor, Imperial College London; H.E. Ms Brave Ndisale, Ambassador of Malawi to the EU; David Radcliffe, Montpellier Panel member and Senior advisor: Agricultural Research for Development, EuropeAid, European Commission; and Tom Arnold, Montpellier Panel member, former CEO of Concern Worldwide and Chair of the Convention of the Irish Constitution.

    Kindly register to: brusselsbriefing@gmail.com, or boto@cta.int

     

    Source: CTA, European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More on the Montpellier Panel
    Link More on EuropeAid- European Commission
    Link Programme.docx

  5. Fisheries: Negotiation of amendments to ICCAT convention
    2013-05-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Negotiations on amendments to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (the ICCAT convention) will be started by the European Commission, it was decided at the Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 13 May 2013.
    The ICCAT convention is an intergovernmental organisation responsible for the management and
    conservation of tuna and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas.
    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link More on the ICCAT convention
    Link EU: Talks on the reform of the Fisheries Policy


  6. EU to facilitate trade with organic products
    2013-05-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Agriculture

    The European Commission is to facilitate international trade with organic products, and support access for developing countries’ organic products to EU markets, the Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 13 May 2013 concluded.
    The Council adopted some important conclusions on Organic farming, including the Application of the regulatory framework and development of the sector.
    The current legal framework for the organic farming sector is to be reviewed, with a view to improving its usability, and to reducing to the minimum the various exceptions outlined in the  regulations.
    In the same time, there are intentions to encourage the promotion of the organic sector and increased consumption of organic produce through a harmonization of the application of the EU logo, as well as on-line information campaigns.
    On 10th of April the public consultation on a new regulation on the organic production in Europe. 45 000 responses have been submitted to the online, out of which 96% were from citizens. These will feed the reflexion on a new framework regulation.

    Source: agri.eu


    Link Read more
    Link Agri.eu: Consultation on organic sector
    Link Public consultation on the future of organic production


  7. €3.25 billion mobilised for Mali
    2013-05-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Development Policy

    Financial commitments and pledges of €3.25 billion have been announced by 108 countries and international organizations at the international donor conference 'Together for a new Mali', organised by the European Union and France, together with Mali, took place on 15th May in Brussels.
    The commitments have been made on the basis of the Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Mali 2013-2014 (PRED) presented by the Malian government, which required a total of €4.343 billion budget needed for implementation.
    The European Commission and the 27 member states pledged to provide €1.35 billion for Mali through 2014, including €12 million in humanitarian aid to meet the most urgent needs. This bring total EU humanitarian aid for Mali since early 2012 to €127 million.
    European leaders made clear at the Brussels meeting that the aid comes as part of broader efforts to stabilise a West African region that has endured repeated food crises, political instability and armed conflicts.
    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius emphasised the regional dimension of the conflict, saying that “through Mali, it is the future of the subregion and beyond which is at play”. The war in Mali “is being won,” Fabius said but, “now we must win the peace”.
    The German development minister, said his country would provide at least €100 million in aid over the next two years. But it will be released in stages if Mali “continues to implement its roadmap … and if the transition process goes well", he said.
    Mali's interim President, Dioncounda Traore, and transitional government have set themselves two fundamental objectives, namely, the restoration of the country’s territorial integrity and the holding of free and transparent elections.

    Source: European Commission, Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Euractiv: Donors offer Mali over €3 billion in aid
    Link Mali: EU strengthens joint development strategy


  8. EU: Talks on the reform of the Fisheries Policy
    2013-05-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Crucial talks on the reform of the Common European Fisheries Policy (CFP) get under way in the second day (14th May) of the Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels.
    An agreement on the reform is currently blocked because of a division between the European Parliament and the Council on the topic of discards. The Parliaments requires discards ban to start immediately, and require for provisions that stipulate a return of all fish stocks to sustainable levels by 2020,  while the Council of ministers (especially the southern states) prefer a much weaker alternative of a phased-in ban, with a 9% level of exemption permitted, and a return to sustainable levels "whenever possible".
    On the first day of the talks (13 May), the discussion focused on the basic regulation of the policy and on the market regulation. At the last of the negations, held on 8 May 2013, an overall agreement between the European Parliament and the Council was reached on the last of the topics. A tentative agreement was reached to enlarge the scope of mandatory information towards the gear type used in wild capture fisheries, and to require a more detailed indication of the catch area.
    An agreement on the reform was one of the main objectives of the Irish presidency of the EU.

    Source: Council of the EU; European Voice


    Link Read more
    Link Lithuania prepares for EU presidency
    Link EuropeanVoice: CFP reform could be delayed by several years


  9. EU: Council wants compromise on CAP until June
    2013-05-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture

    European ministers of agriculture and fisheries are willing to find a compromise with the European Parliament and the Commission on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform before the end of June, was heard during the last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries which took place in Brussels on 13 May 2013.
    They  are open to discuss on contentious topics such as the voluntary or mandatory nature of a young and small farmers’ scheme, as well on Presidency’s  proposal for a common negative list of criteria excluding potential beneficiaries, as part of the direct payments chapter.
    On active farmer requirements, several delegations could consider the Presidency proposal for a short common negative list of criteria excluding potential beneficiaries, if member states would have the flexibility to complete this list according to national needs. However some member states repeated their opposition to a mandatory negative list.
    Although diverging views were expressed on the voluntary or mandatory nature of the young farmers’ scheme and the small farmers’ scheme, a number of member states pointed out their willingness to stay open for possible flexibility on these issues.
    In March, the Council reached agreement on a general approach on the reform of the CAP, which enabled negotiations to be launched between the Council, the Parliament and the Commission. Twelve trilogues took place since the beginning of the negotiations. The European Parliament voted on its position at first reading on the CAP reform package on 13 March 2013.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link EU farm policy voted in Parliament


  10. Lithuania prepares for EU presidency
    2013-05-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Lithuania, the small Baltic country that will take over the rotating EU presidency on 1 July, will have to deal with extremely heavy dossiers, such as the adoption of several items of legislation needed to implement the EU budget for the next seven years.
    The Lithuanian government held a joint meeting with the European Commission in Brussels on 24th April, to “synchronise the clocks” ahead of the country’s first EU stint.
    Lithuania, a nation of 3.2 million, will be succeeded in the presidency by Greece, a nation nearly four times larger which inherits the presidency during the election season when less policymaking will take place.
    It is still unclear whether the current Irish presidency will be able to close the EU budget for 2014-2020 by the end of its term. But even in this optimistic scenario, it would be up to Lithuania to steer the adoption by co-decision of some 70 pieces of legislation designed to implement it and allow the disbursement of EU funds.
    Moreover, there are doubts whether the incoming presidency of Lithuania will have the necessary resources and experience to be able to close a the controversial dossier of reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
    An agreement on the reform is currently blocked because of a division between the European parliament and the Council on the topic of discards. The Parliaments requires discards ban to start immediately, and to require for all fish stocks to return to sustainable levels by 2020,  while the Council of ministers (especially the southern states) prefer a much weaker alternative of a phased-in ban, with a 9% level of exemption permitted, and return to sustainable levels "whenever possible".


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EuropeanVoice: CFP reform could be delayed by several years
    Link Irish EU presidency: A breath of fresh Eire?


  11. Piebalgs : EU committed to fight against malaria
    2013-05-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    EU will continue the fight against malaria, European development commissioner Andris Piebalgs said on the occasion of the world malaria day, celebrated this year on April 25.
    Apart from individual instruments, the European Commission contributes to the Global fund- an international financing institution, which brings  together governments, civil society, and the private sector to attract and distribute resources for the prevention and treatment of HIV and Aids, TB and malaria.
    "Since its establishment in 2002, the global fund has supported more than 1000 programmes in 151 countries, providing 310 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) to put over people's beds to prevent infections, " Piebalgs said.  
    Deaths caused by malaria have fallen by 25 per cent since 2000. Currently, approximately 660,000 people die each year from malaria. Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes. Half of the world's population is at risk of being infected with malaria, most cases and deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Source: The Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Threatened aid cuts, a big blow to malaria fight
    Link  Link EU and WHO malaria fight in Africa [VIDEO]


  12. EU debating biopiracy law to protect indigenous people
    2013-05-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development, Food Security

    The European Parliament is debating a draft biopiracy law requiring industry to ask for the written consent of local or indigenous people before exploring their region’s genetic resources or making use of their traditional know-how and compensate them accordingly.
    The law was drafted after the MEPs voted in January a report which proposed several measures for the protection of the rights of people in developing countries who first identify the benefits of plants with medicinal properties, and that are later used in the pharmaceutical industry.  
    Under the law, relevant authorities would have the power to sanction companies which failed to comply.
    The initiative is inspired by the international convention on access to biodiversity, the Nagoya protocol, ratified by only 16 countries. The protocol specifies among others that: states have sovereign rights over their biological resources; access to genetic resources requires prior informed consent and shall be granted on mutually agreed terms; and that benefits arising from the use of genetic resources shall be shared in a fair and equitable way with the country providing the resources. The European Union and its 24 of its 27 member states have signed the convention, but are yet to ratify it. When they do, Nagoya should soon reach the 50 states needed for it to come into force.

    The EU council of ministers will debate the Parliament’s draft of law in the coming months.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EP protecting genetic resources in developing countries
    Link European Parliament: Development committee draft opinion


  13. Europe's Tobin tax plan challenged by Italy, UK
    2013-05-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    The proposal to introduce a tax on financial transactions (FTT) – or Tobin tax – across a number of EU countries by January 2014 is under pressure as Italy wants fundamental changes to the plan and the UK has launched a legal challenge in the European Court of Justice.
    “Transactions in state bonds should be excluded from the taxed instruments in the proposed Tobin tax,” A statement on 20 April from Italy’s permanent representative in Brussels, Ferdinando Nelli Feroci, said. He described this matter as a red-line, non-negotiable issue for Italy.
    Meanwhile, Britain has imposed another potential barrier through its challenge to the enhanced cooperation launched on 19 April. The FTT’s proposed "issuance principle" means a transaction will be taxed whenever and wherever it takes place, if it involves a financial instrument issued in one of the 11 countries. This is aimed at stopping trades moving out of the so-called FTT zone to London or elsewhere and reinforces an earlier "residence principle" that says if a party to the transaction is based in the FTT area, or acting on behalf of a party based there, then the transaction will be taxed regardless of where it takes place. UK Chancellor George Osborne said a formal complaint had been lodged at the European Court of Justice."We think that the financial transaction tax which the European Commission has put forward is not right for Britain," he told the BBC.
    The European Commission formally proposed a tax on financial trading in 11 countries on 14 February, saying the levy could raise up to €35 billion each year and make banks more accountable following the 2008 banking crisis. Development aid organisations called on the European Commission to allocate 10% of the revenue from the tax “to the benefit of the poorest in the world".

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link 10% of Financial Transaction tax for development?


  14. €30m for access to water and basic sanitation in Malawi
    2013-05-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    The European Union and UNICEF have announced a programme in value of €30 million that will support Malawi in its efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) related to water and sanitation.
    The new programme will focus on 15 districts and 7 cities, who have limited access to water and sanitation. It will help to build 500 new water points, water and sanitation facilities in health centres, promote hygiene in schools and train local committees to manage the water infrastructure themselves.
    The contribution from the European Union is €24 million (from the European Development Fund), while from UNICEF is €6 million.
    Malawi has registered an overall increase in access to safe water, from 41% (in 1990) to 83% (in 2010). With regards to basic sanitation, Malawi registered in 2010 a 70% access across the entire population, from 39% in 1990.
    The MDG for water and sanitation is to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU, FAO: support for nutrition and food security in Malawi
    Link More on the MDG goals on water and sanitation access


  15. Somalia: EU support for justice and police
    2013-05-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    Somalia will receive €44 million from the European Union to further support its justice system and police force, Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs announced on 7th May, during the Somalia conference in London.
    "In Somalia, like anywhere else, there can be no development without security. Over the last year, we have seen some encouraging advances. Larger territories are under the authority of the Federal Government, displaced people are able to go back home", said Commissioner Piebalgs said.
    The London conference aims to provide support for the Government of Somalia as they rebuild their country after two decades of conflict. The event will be only one of a sequence of events which will take place in 2013 to strengthen stability and security in the country, including an EU-hosted conference in September on the New Deal for fragile states and Somalia's "Transition Compact" – i.e. the country's reconstruction plan.
    The EU has provided Somalia with more than 1.2 billion euro since 2008, which were directed towards in the support of population’s basic needs, and the improvement of country’ security.
    The EU has been particularly active in supporting the AMISOM, an African Union-led mission, mandated by the UN Security Council.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Archive: EU: €33m to improve security in Somalia
    Link Archive: Rompuy: “EU will stand by Somalia”


  16. AU and EU to Strengthen Trade and Economic Links
    2013-05-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    At the 6th African Union (AU) – European Commission (EC) college-to-college meeting in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia on 26 April, the responsible Commissioners on both sides looked at issues relating to trade, infrastructure, raw materials, good governance in taxation and regional integration. The EU and Africa will combine their efforts to try and obtain on agreement on trade facilitation and possibly other measures such as food security at the next WTO meeting in Bali.
    Commissioners De Gucht (trade) stressed the important economic benefits, both for intra-African trade and for trade between Africa and the EU, that would stem from trade facilitation as well as the financial cost of the measures needed to implement it in Africa.
    Regarding negotiations for Regional Economic Partnership Agreements, the EU and African countries are to intensify their political dialogue with the aim of concluding negotiations as soon as possible. On the agenda in this respect are a visit to Brussels in the near future by the AUC Vice President and representatives of the African Regional Economic Communities as well as two trips to Africa by Commissioner De Gucht.
    In the field of infrastructure, Commissioner Ibrahim launched the discussion on the AU's Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa.
    The follow-up actions include an AU-EU workshop on 19 June in Lusaka on the governance of common markets for Eastern and Southern Africa and an AU-EU seminar on internal market issues.

    Source: All Africa


    Link Read more
    Link European Commission met its African ‘sister’


  17. EP: Fisheries blacklist approved
    2013-05-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The blacklist – as proposed by the Commission - of countries considered non-cooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing was voted on Wednesday 24 April by the European Parliament's fisheries committee. It includes eight countries: Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, the Togolese Republic and the Republic of Vanuatu.
    In the same time, the MEPs adopted a new procedure which will enable the European Commission to add other countries on the existed list, including the names of the vessels involved, and to publish it.

    The European Commission had adopted on 15 Novemeber a Decision indicating that the 8 countries that have a insufficient record in tackling illegal fishing and that they risk being identified as countries it considers non-cooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
    This decision was the first of its kind, but did not entail any trade-affecting measures.
    Should the situation not improve, the EU could take further steps, which could entail trade measures such as a ban on selling fisheries products to the EU.

    Source: European Voice


    Link Read more
    Link Archive: EU warns eight countries
    Link Archives: IUU fishing - draft joint statement EU-Canada


  18. EU Parliament commended for legislating transparency directives
    2013-05-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has commended the European Parliament for legislating the European Union Transparency Directives for the extractive industry.
    A statement signed by the Executive Director of ACEP, Mohammed Amin Adam,  stated the directive is ample demonstration of the growing desire by global leaders to expand the horizon of democratic management of natural resources particularly in Africa and the developing world. The EU directives would help facilitate a change in paradigm from resource mismanagement and corruption to sustainable transformation of natural resources to real development outcomes, the ACEP note claims.
    ACEP stated however that there are still resource rich African countries that have not come to terms with the growing transparency movement around the globe and are still introducing measures to create elite societies filled with rent-seeking behaviour and vested interests.

    On 9 April 2013, the European Union Member States, Parliament and Commission agreed to adopt the Accounting and Transparency Directives. The Directives require oil, gas, mining and logging companies to annually disclose the payments they make to governments for access to natural resources, in all countries they operate in. The EU Directives apply to: all companies listed on EU-regulated stock markets that are active in the extractive industry or logging of primary forests; Large, unlisted extractive and forestry companies registered in the EU; as well as EU-listed or large unlisted parent companies in any sector with subsidiaries active in the extractive or logging industries.

    Source: Ghana Business News (GNA), All Africa


    Link Read more
    Link AllAfrica: Summary of the New EU Accounting and Transparency Directives
    Link More on the ACEP


  19. European Commission met its African ‘sister’
    2013-05-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment, ACP-EU Policy, Archive, Agriculture, Development Policy, Climate change

    European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and six of his colleagues held a two-day meeting with the African Union Commission between 25 and 25 April  in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    Barroso was accompanied by Commissioner: Andris Piebalgs (for Development), Karel De Gucht (trade), Kristalina Georgieva (International cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response), Connie Hedegaard (climate action), Dacian Cioloş (agricultural and rural development), and Algirdas Šemeta (taxation and customs Union, audit and anti-fraud).
    The meeting is the 6th annual College-to-College session with the African Union, which an EU official described as the EU Commission “sister organisation” in Africa.

    The meeting took place during the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity, the predecessor to today's African Union, and was meant to help prepare the Fourth Africa-EU Summit, due to take place in Brussels in April 2014.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link More on the African Union


  20. UK to end direct aid to South Africa
    2013-05-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, ACP-EU Trade, Development Policy

    UK Direct aid to South Africa will be stopped as of 2015, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced at a conference of African ministers and business leaders in London on April 30th.
    The aid program is currently worth £19m a year, and is oriented towards reducing the mortality rate among women giving birth, as well as supporting businesses.
    Starting 2015, the UK intends to re-orient its relationship with South Africa on the basis of mutual beneficial trade.  
    "South Africa has made enormous progress over the past two decades, to the extent that it is now the region's economic powerhouse and Britain's biggest trading partner in Africa[…]I have agreed with my South African counterparts that South Africa is now in a position to fund its own development”, Greening is reported to have said.
    The South African government has criticized its development partner, saying that it had not been properly consulted.

    Source: BBC


    Link Read more
    Link EU-ACP APEs: Analytical Note on Current State of Play
    Link Trade deal between EU and Southern Africa expected


  21. UN Special Rapporteur : EU must phase out biofuel incentives
    2013-05-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Environment

    The EU biofuels policy may have a negative impact on developing countries, in terms of enjoyment of the right to food, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter,  wrote to the EU Member States and the European Commission on April 18th.
    De Schutter considers that the available arable land in the EU is insufficient to produce all the needed feedstocks for biofuels that compliance with the Renewable Energy Directive (from the European Commission, 2009) would require. Consequently, the EU Member States should outsource biofuels production to  developing countries in order to meet the targets set. However, he considers that the impacts on these countries are overwhelmingly negative and are alleged to infringe on the realization of the human right to adequate food.
    According to the Special Rapporteur, one of the main concerns is that the cultivation of feedstocks (i.e., agricultural raw materials such as maize, palm oil or sugar cane) to produce biofuels requires large areas of land, thereby creating incentives for the land leases or acquisitions in countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the rights of the current land users are often inadequately protected. He also argues that the increased pressure on land and water resources in developing countries extends beyond the areas dedicated to energy crops (when land previously used to grow food or animal feed is turned over to grow biofuels thereby displacing the original land use into new areas).
    The key recommendation is to reduce and eventually remove the EU incentives for the production of biofuels that threaten the right to food -  such as the binding EU targets for renewable energy in transport and national biofuel mandates.

    A 2009 EC Directive has set mandatory consumption targets of 20 percent renewable energy overall and 10 percent renewable energy in the transport sector. In 2012, the Commission proposed to cap the contribution of so-called “first-generation” ethanol and biodiesel at 5 percent of the transport sector’s target.

    This later move is seen as a step in the right direction according to the Special Rapporteur. Accordingly, he urged MEPs and member states to avoid diluting the proposals or adding fresh incentives for biofuel production in the current decision-making process.

    Source: United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the News feeds Renewable energy policy
    Link Read the main arguments of the Rapporteur


  22. Solution needed for EU’s Fisheries Policy reform
    2013-05-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    A quick solution is needed in order to move forward the reform of EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), EU's Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said to the EU governments in the EU Fisheries Council on 22 April 2013.
    The reform is currently stuck between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament over the issues of discards. MEPs stand for a full discard ban on all fish stocks by 2015, but the Council has voted a phased discard ban to be completed by 2017.
    Fisheries Commissioner is reported to broadly back the parliament's stance.
    The chair of the Fisheries Council, Ireland's minister Simon Coveney, said EU ministers were working in order to reach a deal by the May meeting of the EU Fisheries Council. Moreover, he claimed that there were signals that a compromise could be reached on certain areas.

    Source: BBC


    Link Read more
    Link More on the decisions of the Council
    Link Achive: Partial fish discard ban criticized



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