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CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Subject: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Send date: 2013-06-03 17:17:05
Issue #: 180
Bulletin CTA


This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.

Date : [03/06/2013]
CTA Brussels Newsletter


Main events in the week

  1. Main Events for the Week 03/06/2013 – 09/06/2013
  2. Video Guest: Tom Arnold, Montpellier Panel member
  3. Report on post-2015 development agenda: "ambitious and inspiring"
  4. EU: Landmark agreement on Common Fisheries Policy reform
  5. ECOWAS-EU political dialogue: food security and political stability
  6. Former president of Tanzania praising falling aid
  7. Calls against the ratification of EPA with Cameroon
  8. ACP reiterates concern over sugar quotas abolishment date
  9. Gambia: EU a True Partner in Development
  10. EU and Eastern and Southern Africa discuss EPA implementation
  11. Plans for a Global Internet Policy Platform
  12. New EU “green infrastructure” strategy
  13. Launch of the Montpellier Report on Sustainable Intensification
  14. Somalia to sign the Cotonou Agreement
  15. EU approach to resilience
  16. Plan to Coordinate EU food and Nutrition Security Activities
  17. Implementation of Agenda for Change debated
  18. EU still committed to achieve development aid target
  19. A larger than expected European Development Fund

  1. Main Events for the Week 03/06/2013 – 09/06/2013

    European Parliament:
    4th June: Seminar on Food Security

    6th June: Committee on Foreign Affairs

    European Commission:
    4th- 7th June: Green Week 2013


    3rd June : Ministerial Consultations on Commodities: Cotton, Bananas, Sugar
    Bureau of the ACP Council of Ministers
    ACP Ministerial Committee on Development Finance Cooperation

    4th June: Official opening of the 97th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers followed by
    Plenary Session of the ACP Council of Ministers
    Affordable Technologies for ACP - exhibiton

    5th June: Plenary Session of the ACP Council of Ministers on the Future Perspectives of the ACP Group
    Plenary Session of the ACP Council of Ministers

    6th June: ACP-EU Ministerial Committee on Development Finance Cooperation
    Official opening of the 38th Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers followed by
    Plenary Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers

    7th June: Plenary session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers

    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: Tom Arnold, Montpellier Panel member
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment, Agriculture, Climate change

    "Sustainable Intensification":“It is about producing more from less, and in a way that it can be sustained“ (Tom Arnold).

    On the occasion of the launch of the Montpellier report entitled 'Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture' - which took place on 28th May in Brussels - CTA Brussels discussed with Tom Arnold, former Chief executive of Concern Worldwide and member of the Montpellier Panel, on the meaning of the "Sustainable Intensification" concept and the challenges in achieving it.

    In the last years, the term “Sustainable Intensification” (which means producing more outputs with more efficient use of all inputs on a durable basis, while reducing environmental damage and building resilience, natural capital and the flow of environmental services) – has come to take on a highly charged and politicised meaning. As we strive to feed a population expected to reach nine billion by 2050 sustainably, the risk is that we may lose sight of the term’s scientific value and its potential relevance to all types of agricultural systems, including for smallholder farmers in Africa.
    This new report Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture', as well as this discussion with Tom Arnold, and member of the Montpellier Panel strive to clarify its meaning and give further indications into the way it can be achieved.

    Link Watch the Video
    Link Launch of the Montpellier Report on Sustainable Intensification
    Link Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture

  3. Report on post-2015 development agenda: "ambitious and inspiring"
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    The final report of the high-level panel appointed by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon to develop a global vision after the expiry of the millennium development goals (MDGs) in 2015 was evaluated as being “intellectually coherent”, offering a “clear storyline”, and moving on the “debate about poverty and development without losing what's good in the existing agenda”, as reported by The Guardian. It fails however to make clear the actions needed to fulfill the proposed goals, according to the same sources.
    For the EU development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, the report published on 30th May embodies two crucial strands - setting out a universal agenda to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, and ensuring in the same time a sustainable development of the planet.
    Building on the lessons learned from the current MDGs and taking into account the follow up of the Rio+20 outcome, the Panel makes it clear that the post-2015 framework should address the whole range of root causes of poverty and unsustainable development, including equality, equity, human rights, peace and stability, Piebalgs argues.
    The new report suggests moving to a zero target for poverty – no people living in poverty. It also introduces the idea of measuring the poverty rates per nationality, rather than on the global level. Another point where it proves innovative is the exploration of the way discrimination and inequality – including and going beyond gender – may limit opportunities and create poverty. However, it included is no proposal for an inequality goal.  
    Similarly, there is no target on global partnerships, even if the goal of keeping global warming within 2C is maintained. Here is whereThe Guardian suggests that an important opportunity was missed - to link the most difficult issues to specific outcomes – which could have pushed for some political traction.
    The next UN Special Event on MDGs will take place in September 2013.

    Source: European Commission; The Guardian

    Link Read more
    Link Euractiv: The good, the bad and the ugly in the long-awaited report
    Link Consult the report

  4. EU: Landmark agreement on Common Fisheries Policy reform
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    A landmark agreement between the Council of Ministers and European Parliament on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was reached on 30th May, the European Commission informs.
    The main achievements under this agreement are as follows:
    •      Fishing quotas set will fully respects scientific advice. Officials said a deal to follow scientific advice more closely when setting quotas in the future could increase EU fish stocks by up to 15 million tonnes by the end of the decade.
    •     The discard of fish stocks will no longer be allowed. Some limited exemptions have been included. The plan is to restore dwindling stocks by 2020.
    •      Completely new regionalized decision making approach.
    •    Biologically sensitive areas with spawning grounds and high populations of juvenile fish should be developed and strengthened.
    As part of the deal, EU fishing nations will have to reduce the size of their fleets to reflect their overall quotas or face the loss of some subsidies.
    The agreement follows a long series of talks between the Irish Presidency, and the European Parliament, with the Commission acting as facilitator throughout the discussions. Finalisation and formal adoption will follow in the next months. This will involve validation by the Council followed by a 2nd reading in the European Parliament. The last remaining issues to be solved are details related to the issues of the Maximum Sustainable Yield objective, the discard ban, regionalization, and fleet capacity management.
    Once this process is complete, the new policy will enter into force by 1 January 2014 with a progressive implementation of the new rules.|

    Source: European Commission, Council of the EU, Euractiv

    Link Read more
    Link Council: The EU institutions provisionally agree on EU fisheries reform
    Link Euractiv: EU ministers approve crackdown on over-fishing

  5. ECOWAS-EU political dialogue: food security and political stability
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Archive, Development Policy

    West African and European ministers reiterated their commitment to completing negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between ECOWAS and the EU, on the occasion of the last EU-ECOWAS political dialogue meeting, which was held on 16 May in Brussels. They pledged to redouble efforts to resolve their differences and reach an EPA that supports development and economic integration in West Africa.
    Another topic was also the progress in the development of a West African strategy for the Sahel in line with the integrated UN strategy for the region to support this approach in order to combat terrorism and organised crime and promote good governance and community dialogue. The ECOWAS asked for a greater involvement form the part of the international community, especially from the part of the EU.
    The development of the Global Alliance for Resilience (AGIR) - Sahel and West Africa was as well on the agenda, with participants pledging   to keep the Alliance high on the list of political and financial priorities, renewing their commitment to its rapid implementation.
    The EU delegations talked in positive terms about relations between ECOWAS and the EU, saying that the partnership had become a landmark for co-operation between the EU and Africa, according to the final communiqué.

    Source: West Africa Gateway

    Link Read more
    Link  Final Communiqué
    Link More on the ECOWAS

  6. Former president of Tanzania praising falling aid

    Former president of Tanzania - Benjamin Mkapa - surprised attendees to a roundtable discussion on Development on 28 May when he praised falling aid from the developed world to Africa.
    "I personally think that […] aid decline is health because it will compel African nations to look for own ways of running their economies," said Mr Mkapa whose ten-year reign between 1995 and 2005 attracted considerable  foreign investments and development assistance.
    The former president emphasised that the future of the African continent lies on engaging with the developed world as equal partners with resources to trade.
    Further on, he categorized the effect of EPAs on ACP countries’ economies as “disastrous”. Mosha said it will be a major blow to Africa's infant industries to compete with heavily subsidised European industries, which are backed up by inefficient farmers who survive on government subsidies.
    "They also don't want the issue of development assistance to feature in ongoing EPA talks," Mosha charged after former Mkapa criticised the 27 member bloc for treating Africa as aid recipient and not equal partner.
    Tanzania is part of the East African Community (EAC), an intergovernmental organisation which includes also Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda which has established a customs union and a common market for its member countries. Tanzania is negotiating its EPA with the EC under the EAC.

    Source: AllAfrica

    Link Read more
    Link EU relations with Tanzania
    Link EPAs high on agenda during EU President's Tanzania visit

  7. Calls against the ratification of EPA with Cameroon

    Citing concerns over development and integration in Central Africa, the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) – a small political group in the European Parliament (EP) voted on 28 May against the ratification of an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Cameroon, due to take place during the next EP June plenary (10-13 June) in Strasbourg.
    Cameron is the only country of the seven from the Central African region, which has signed an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU. The interim EPA - signed in 2009 - encompasses duty and quota-free EU access for all goods from Cameron and a gradual removal of duties and quotas during the period 2010-2025 on up to 80% of EU exports to Cameroon. Besides trade in goods, the interim agreement also covers aid for trade, institutional issues, and dispute settlement. The beginning of the liberalization process started on 1 January 2010.
    The political group claims that by signing the EPA with only one country of the region, the EU is “exerting pressure to get the other joining” and “is threatening regional integration efforts”. The 34 MEPs see this as a proof of lack of respect towards the spirit of “partnership that should exist between the EU and ACP countries".
    The EU is currently in negotiations for an EPA with the other six Central African countries:  Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe.
    The ACP countries that will not have not yet signed an EPA with the EU by 1 October 2014 will lose it preferential access to EU markets (provided that they do not fall within the “least developed countries” category, which are covered by the "Everything But Arms" regulation, under they can continue to export all products except arms duty-free into the EU).

    Source: GUE/NGL; European Commission

    Link Read more
    Link ACP: Deadline for signing EPAs
    Link EPA between EU and Cameroon

  8. ACP reiterates concern over sugar quotas abolishment date

    The ACP sugar supplying states have reiterated their concerns about the upcoming EU Common Agricultural Policy reform, which, according to the current (not final) version, stipulates that the sugar quotas are to be abolished in 2017, three years before the 2020 date, as voted by the European Parliament.
    In a letter sent to the current Chair of the EU Council of Agriculture (the Irish Agriculture Minister, S. Coveney) on May, 27, the Chairman of the ACP Subcommittee on Sugar,  Ambassador P.I Gomes of Guyana, argues that abolishing sugar quotas before 2020 could cripple the small and vulnerable sugar exporting ACP countries. Ambassador Gomes believes that an earlier abolishment of the quotas would break the commitments made in the Cotonou Partnership Agreement and EPAs in terms of maintenance of preferential market access for the ACP.  
    The letter mentions a December 2012 report by the European Commission (“Prospects for Agricultural Markets and Income in the EU 2012-2022”), which shows that the earlier expiry of sugar quotas in 2015 would lead to a reduction of the domestic sugar price in the EU, which would make imports, including preferential access, less attractive.
    The EU Agriculture Council agreed at the beginning of this year to extend the quotas for sugar - expiring in 2015- by only two years to 2017. ACP sugar exports to the EU amount to 2.3 million tones yearly.

    The ACP Sugar group has made a similar statement in March.

    Source: ACP Group

    Link Read more
    Link ACP deplores the vote of the Council of the EU on sugar quotas

  9. Gambia: EU a True Partner in Development
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Development Policy

    The government of The Gambia considers the European Union a true partner in development, as over the years, the financial support provided by the Union has enabled the country to implement its development programmes, said the Gambian Foreign Affairs minister, Susan Waffa-Ogoo, speaking recently at a reception to commemorate Europe Day.
    Further acknowledging EU as a development partner, the Foreign minister said The Gambia government is appreciative of the various interventions of the EU in forms of budgetary support. "Also through the drainage, sanitation and waste management, EU MDG Initiative, The Gambia's Emergency Agricultural Project and assistance to mitigate the challenges of crop failure of 2011, the EU has enormously contributed to the efforts of the government of The Gambia towards improving the living standards of Gambians," she remarked.
    The European Union, she went on, is by far the largest donor to The Gambia, either through the European Development Fund or via bilateral assistance provided by member states.
    Currently the next allocation of EU cooperation funding in Gambia under the next European Development Fund, which will run from 2014-2020 is being discussed, but it is expected to focus on agricultural development, food security, infrastructure, good governance and environment.

    The Gambia’s relations with the EU are based on political dialogue under the Cotonou Agreement, trade and development assistance.

    Source: allAfrica

    Link Read more
    Link EU Funds to help the most vulnerable districts of Gambia
    Link  EU Relations with the Gambia

  10. EU and Eastern and Southern Africa discuss EPA implementation

    The second high-level meeting under the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) was held in Mauritius on 14 and 15 May 2013, marking a year of implementation. On the occasion, it was decided to constitute an EPA fund to support the countries’ needs and reforms linked to the implementation of the IEPA. However, until the fund will be available, ESA countries’ immediate short term needs will be accordingly addressed, the meeting heard.
    Two sub-Committees - the Customs Cooperation Committee and the Joint Development Committee - took place back- to-back with the EPA Committee. It was also discussed that certain changes to the IEPA may be required following accession of Croatia to the EU.

    The EPA Committee met exactly one year after Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zimbabwe started implementing this agreement with the European Union.
    The European Union started applying duty and quota free access for all ESA products in 2008.
    The committee meetings are annual and the next meetings are due to take place in 2014.

    In 2012, the agreement concluded by the EU and four Eastern and Southern African states Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe was the first interim Economic Partnership Agreement with an African region to be applied. Negotiations for a comprehensive EPA with ESA are ongoing.

    Source: European Commission

    Link Read more
    Link EU's first EPA with an African region goes live
    Link Joint Communique of the parties

  11. Plans for a Global Internet Policy Platform

    A Global Internet Policy Observatory (GIPO) - an online platform to improve knowledge and participation in debates and decisions on Internet policies – is being planned by the European Commission, the institution announced on May, 5.    
    The online platform is expected to act as a clearinghouse for monitoring Internet policy, regulatory and technological developments across the world.
    The African Union has agreed to cooperate or presented their interest to be involved in the project, together with Brazil, Switzerland, the Association for Progressive Communication, Diplo Foundation and the Internet Society.
    Among others, it is planned that the GIPIO will:  
    •    monitor Internet-related policy developments at the global level       
    •   contextualise information, for example by collecting existing academic information on a specific topic   
    •    identify policy trends, via quantitative and qualitative methods such as semantic and sentiment analysis;
    The end objective of GIPO is to increase expertise and understanding among all actors, including countries, NGOs and interest groups which may have so far been marginalised in Internet debates and decisions.
    Source: European Commission

    Link Read more

  12. New EU “green infrastructure” strategy

    The European Commission adopted on May, 6  a strategy for encouraging the use of green infrastructure, and for ensuring that the enhancement of natural processes becomes a systematic part of spatial planning.
    It is supposed to focus on
    •    Promoting green infrastructure in the main policy (agriculture, forestry, nature, water, marine and fisheries, regional and cohesion policy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, transport, energy, disaster prevention and land use policies).
    •    Improving research and data, strengthening the knowledge base and promoting innovative technologies that support green infrastructure.
    •     Improving access to finance for green infrastructure projects – the Commission will set up an EU financing facility by 2014 together with the European Investment Bank to support green infrastructure projects
    Green Infrastructure is a tried and tested tool that uses nature to provide ecological, economic and social benefits. Instead of building flood protection infrastructure, for example, a green infrastructure solution would be to allow a natural wetland to absorb the excess water from heavy rain.

    Green infrastructure is reported to be often cheaper and more durable than alternatives provided through conventional civil engineering. Biodiversity-rich parks, green spaces and fresh air corridors can for example mitigate the negative effects of summer heat waves. In addition to the health and environmental benefits, green infrastructure also brings multiple social benefits: it creates jobs and makes cities more appealing places to live and work.

    Source: European Commission

    Link Read more
    Link Green infrastructure - Building blocks of modern life [VIDEO]
    Link What is Green Infrastructure?

  13. Launch of the Montpellier Report on Sustainable Intensification
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Agriculture

    As we strive to feed a population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, there is a need of a new paradigm for the agricultural system, defined by a “Sustainable Intensification” of production.
    On present trends, African food production systems will only be able to meet 13% of the continent’s food needs by 2050, in the conditions in which the population in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will almost double by 2050, to close to two billion people. There is definitely a lack on the production efficiency side, as yields have increased by over 200% in Asia and Latin America but only by 90% in Africa on average in the last 40 years. At the same time, Africa is one of the continent at most affected by climate changes and land erosions. More than 95 million ha of arable land, or 75% of the total in SSA, has degraded or highly degraded soil. Given than increase in production cannot originate anymore in augmentation of land in use - between 1991 and 2009 per capita arable land fell by about 76m2 per year – a new system has to be proposed to answer these challenges. It will need to offer more outputs, but with a much more efficient use of all inputs on a durable basis, for a reduction of environmental damages, and resilience building.

    In order to offer a framework for understanding this concept, and practical approaches to achieving it, the Montpellier Panel has drafted a report entitled 'Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture'. The launch of the report was marked by a roundtable organized by CTA and the European Commission on 28 May in Brussels. The discussion engaged more than 70 participants.  
    The event heard that there is no one single approach which can lead to the success of sustainable Intensification in agriculture. What it is needed is a strong complementarily between  different aspects. From this the need of integrating three key approaches: socio-economic aspects, ecological practices, and genetic intensification.
    Peter Hazell, Montpellier Panel member and Visiting Professor at the Imperial College of London underlined that, for a change to take place, it is essential to mobilize different agents of change such as NGOs, international organizations and donors. A practical tool to achieve this would be through the Value Chain Analysis (VCA), which would allow to follow one commodity from production to commercialization and detect where are weak points and work on them with the appropriate actor.
    According to Tom Arnold, Montpellier Panel member, and former CEO of Concern Worldwide, (currently Chair of the Convention of the Irish Constitution), the biggest value of the report lays in its implication for African governments, highlighting the need to create an adequate policy environment that would favor sustainable intensification and the need for a strong commitment over agriculture

    The Montpellier Panel is 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.

    You can download the Montpellier report “Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture” here.

    Source: Montpellier report “Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture”

    Link Open the report
    Link More on the Montpellier Panel
    Link Gordon Conway on Sustainable intensification [VIDEO]

  14. Somalia to sign the Cotonou Agreement

    The EU will accept the request of the Federal Republic of Somalia to accede to the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement ("Cotonou Agreement"), was decided at the last foreign affairs Council of the European Union the Union, held on 27-28 May in Brussels.
    This will be the position to be presented by the EU at the the upcoming ACP-EU Council of Ministers to be held in Brussels on 6/7 June.

    Until now, Somalia was not a signatory of the Cotonou Agreement, as it did not have the necessary functioning institutions to sign and ratify it. In this conditions, access to resources for development finance cooperation under the 10th European Development Fund (period 2008-2013) has been granted to Somalia by the ACP-EU Council of Ministers1 under article 93.6 of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, which provides with support that concerned especially institution-building and economic and social development activities.
    The Cotonou Agreement was signed in Cotonou on 23 June and revised in Luxembourg on 25 June 2005. It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU.

    Source: Council of the EU

    Link Read more
    Link Somalia - EU Joint Strategy Paper
    Link More on the Cotonou Agreement

  15. EU approach to resilience
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    The last foreign affairs Council of the European Union adopted the Union's approach to resilience, by recognizing the need to take a long-term perspective  embedded in local and national policies and linked to complementary action at regional level.
    This approach is to incorporate a number of key components including: the need to anticipate crises by assessing risks; a greater focus on risk
    reduction, prevention, mitigation and preparedness; and further efforts to enhance swift response to and recovery from crises

    Source: Council of the EU

    Link Read more
    Link Brussels Briefing: Agricultural resilience

  16. Plan to Coordinate EU food and Nutrition Security Activities
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    The last foreign affairs Council of the European Union, held on 27-28 May in Brussels, endorsed a new EU Policy Framework to enhance maternal and child nutrition in external assistance as well as a new EU Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan. The Implementation Plan (IP) - “Boosting food and nutrition security through EU action: implementing our commitments”- is supposed to offer a framework for a better coordination between EU and Member States’ in terms of policies and programmes in the area of food and nutrition security.
    As such, the Plan is perceived as the operational closing piece of the EU’s long-term policy response to the international food crisis in 2007/08, and as a complement to direct humanitarian-development approaches such as the EU Food Facility, or other EU-led multi-stakeholder instruments like the AGIR and SHARE initiative, the international development think- tank ECDPM notes.
    The IP was drafted by the Commission at the request of the Council. It had been requested by the foreign affairs Council (FAC) back in 2010. The delay on its might be due to  administrative reorganisations at the Commission, or a overall lack of political drive from the Member States. Either way, “the adoption of the IP is considered a milestone on the long road to a more concerted EU-wide approach to addressing global food insecurity and malnutrition”, an ECDPM blog entry states.

    The plan has as objective to define an EU operational response, over the period from 2014 to 2020, and to deliver on the commitments set out in the 2010 EU Food Security Policy, the Nutrition Communication, and other relevant EU policy documents.
    In order to achieve this, it proposes a “three-pronged” approach centred on:
    • enhancing political and policy dialogue on food and nutrition security with partner countries, regional and global organisations and initiatives, civil society and the private sector;
    • enhancing synergies between their programmes, including through joint programmes and joint programming where feasible;
    • identifying interventions to engage in jointly or in accordance with division of labour.

    These are consecutively translated into six policy priorities, namely:
    1. Improve smallholder resilience and rural livelihoods    
    2. Support effective governance
    3. Support regional agriculture and food and nutrition security policies
    4. Strengthen social protection mechanisms, particularly for vulnerable populations
    5. Enhance nutrition, in particular for mothers, infants and children
    6. Enhance coordination between development and humanitarian actors to build resilience and promote sustainable food and nutrition security.

    The recorded improvements in these areas will be presented in a joint report to the Council on a biennial basis from 2014 onwards, ending in 2020

    Even if it might prove useful as a guide line for EU member states’ external activities, it is believed that the plan does not provide for any specific instructions or targets that could allow a clear evaluation or follow up of the results.

    Source: ECDPM, Council of the EU

    Link Read more
    Link Consult the Plan
    Link The conclusions of the Council

  17. Implementation of Agenda for Change debated
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    The last foreign affairs Council of the European Union, held between 27-28 May in Brussels, debated the implementation of the Agenda for Change, which sets a more targeted approach to reducing poverty. Ministers discussed how EU institutions are planning to implement it in the next seven years.
    Reportedly, a list of partner countries where member states and the Union will pool money and do joint programming has been agreed. In the recent period, the EU has focused its attention on the countries in the greatest need and on the fragile states.
    Source: Euractiv  

    Link Read more
    Link Conclusions of the Council
    Link More on the "Agenda for change"

  18. EU still committed to achieve development aid target
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    The foreign affairs Council of the European Union, which met between 27-28 May in Brussels,  while concerned about dropping European member states’ official development assistance (ODA) levels, reaffirmed its commitment to achieve 0,7 % EU development aid target.
    According to the European Commission, in 2012, the EU collective ODA decreased to €55.2 billion from €56.2 billion in 2011, or from 0.45% to 0.43% of EU gross national income (GNI). The total ODA of the EU Member States alone decreased from €52.8bn to €50.6 billion, or from 0.42% to 0.39% of GNI.
    According to data from the OECD, all but two EU countries - Austria (+6.1%) and Luxembourg (+9.8%) - made cuts to their aid budget.
    According to the same sources, out of the 27 EU countries, only Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, and the Netherlands have already met the 0.7% GNI target.

    In 2005, EU member states pledged to increase Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015 and included an interim target of 0.56% ODA/GNI by 2010. For the 12 Member States which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 the target is only 0.33% GNI.
    At the time it was also decided that the EU shall provide collectively at least 50% of the agreed increase of ODA resources to Africa, and at least 0.15 to 0.20% of GNP to the LDCs,  while fully respecting individual Member States priorities’ in development assistance.

    Source: Council of the EU; European Commission

    Link Read more
    Link Euractiv: EU ministers set the tone for development action
    Link European development aid drops 4.3% in 2012

  19. A larger than expected European Development Fund
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    A larger-than-expected budget of € 29 billion for the European Development Fund (EDF) for the period 2014-2020 was provisionally approved by the members of the foreign affairs Council of the European Union, which met between 27-28 May in Brussels.
    Additionally, € 2.5 billion will be made available by the European Investment Bank. This brings the total available EU funding to the ACP states between 2014 and 2020 to € 31.5 billion.
    The € 29 billion amount appears higher than the one announced on February 8, in the framework of the agreement on the new EU multi-annual budget (2014-2020), which had been set at € 26, 9 bn.
    It is closer to the one initially proposed by the Commission, which earmarked €29.9 billion. In the previous period (2008-2013), the EDF had a budget of €22,7 bn. This implies that the yearly amounts paid out in the next period will be similar to the ones in the previous one, given that its total budget accounts for one extra year.

    The ACP-EU Council of Ministers on 6/7 June in Brussels is expected to finalize and adopt this budget.

    This is the 11th European Development Fund granted to the ACP countries. The EDF 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.

    Source: Council of the EU; Euractiv

    Link Read more
    Link Euractiv: U ministers set the tone for development action
    Link Next EU aid budget: no cut, but neither a step ahead

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to other interested colleagues.

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

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CTA is an institution of the ACP Group of States (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) and the EU (European Union), in the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is financed by the EU.
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The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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