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CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Subject: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Send date: 2013-06-11 16:07:57
Issue #: 181
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 : [11/06/2013]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week

  1. Main Events for the Week 10/06/2013 –16/06/2013
  2. Video Guest: Dominique Burgeon (FAO)
  3. Roundtable on sustainable agriculture
  4. ACP-EU Council: Issues for further discussion
  5. Somalia, now part of the Cotonou Agreement
  6. EPA: 2014 deadline concerns interim agreement
  7. ACP, EU agree on development fund
  8. ACP-EU trade talks to get fresh political edge
  9. ACP calling for measures to soften EPA blow
  10. UK, amongst top donors for reducing undernutrition
  11. Promoting People-Centered Businesses
  12. Delayed EU trade accord hurts SA fishing
  13. EPA: Key to The Bahamas' Value Added Trade Strategy
  14. Lowering the cost of remittances for Africa
  15. EU seeks pathway to strong UN climate deal in 2015
  16. UK should spend millions to combat malnutrition, charity says
  17. Development goes hand-in-hand with peacemaking, EU official say
  18. EU: Top importer of agricultural products from developing countries
  19. The Bahamas partners with EU for new Fisheries Act
  20. Finland: €4m to back EAC Economic integration
  21. French fair-trade sector seeks revival
  22. European banks accused of fuelling land grabs in Uganda
  23. EPA: The Bahamas to finish the national implementation plan
  24. SADC scrambles to meet EU trade deadline
  25. Oxfam: tax leaks, enough to end poverty twice over


  1. Main Events for the Week 10/06/2013 –16/06/2013
    2013-06-11

    European Parliament:

    June 10- 13: European Parliament Plenary: Strasbourg

    Council of the EU:

    June 14: Meeting of Foreign Affairs Council (FAC)(Trade)

    ACP:

    June 10-11: ACP: PAHD Department

    June 10: ACP SEDT Department
    June 11: ACP: Partners meeting and Project Steering Committee (PSC)
    ACP: AFHR Department
    ACP: Eastern Africa Region

    June 12: ACP Members of the Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade
    ACP Members of the Committee on Political Affairs

    June 13: ACP Members of the Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment  
    Seminar: Economic Partnership Agreement and the Future of the ACP Group 
    June 14: SADC EPA Senior Officials
    32nd Session of the ACP Parliamentary

    June 15:  Women’s Forum  
    Committee on Political Affairs  
    ACP: Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade
    ACP: Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment  
    June 16: Possibly, meetings of an EP Political Group with its ACP counterparts

    Others:

    June 13: AGIR Roundtable on sustainable agriculture as a means of increasing resilience: the vision of West-African farmers
    (Organisers: SOS Faim/CTA Brussels/European Commission)


    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: Dominique Burgeon (FAO)
    2013-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy, Agriculture

    On the occasion of the Brussels Briefing on “Agricultural resilience”, CTA Brussels disused Dominique Burgeon, Director of Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation Division at the Food and Agriculture Organization of UN (FAO) on the organization's approach on building resilience in developing countries.


    Link Watch the Video
    Link Brussels Briefing: Agricultural resilience


  3. Roundtable on sustainable agriculture
    2013-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Archive, Agriculture, Food Policy,

    A Roundtable discussion on Sustainable Agriculture as a means of increasing resilience emanating the vision of West-African farmers will be held on 13th of June in Brussels.
    The event is being organized by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), SOS-FAIM and the European Commission as a follow-up to the Brussels Briefing on Agricultural Resilience in the Face of Crises and Shocks held on 4th March 2013
    Such an initiative will further advance the process initiated in December 2012, which should lead before the end of 2013 the definition of specific actions in favor of resilience in the countries involved in the AGIR initiative of actions in a concerted manner by States, civil society and technical and financial partners.
    The debate will specifically revolve around sustaining increases in food production, gathering the positions of the main farmers' organizations in the region promoting multi-stakeholder engagement towards sustainable structural solutions to prevent food and nutrition crises. The reflections are based on existing initiatives coordinated by ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS.
    The main objectives includes exploring ways to promote sustainable intensification for agricultural production in West Africa, as well as contribute to the implementation of policies promoting greater resilience for vulnerable 
populations. Similarly such meetings provide an ideal communication platform, acting as voice for West African farmer organizations to present their vision for agricultural 
development in the region.

    Source: CTA Brussels


    Link Brussels Briefing: Agricultural Resilience
    Link More on SOS Faim
    Link More on the AGIR initiative
    Link Context_and_programme.pdf

  4. ACP-EU Council: Issues for further discussion
    2013-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    EU will continue dialogue with ACP partners for developing a common EU approach to the new global development framework which will replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015 and commented, the Irish Minister of State for Trade and Development, and co-chair of the joint Council, Mr. Joe Costello (representing the European Union) said during the joint ACP- EU Council of Ministers held in Brussels on 6-7 June. “Having developed our common position, the EU now looks forward to working with ACP partners on progressing towards an agreed approach on the  post 2015 global development framework, he said.
    Other issues discussed included political dialogue on migration, the repatriation of illegal immigrants and EU’s taxation policies on remittances sent by ACP citizen to their home countries. The two parties had relatively diverging positions and agreed to pursue the dialogue on this matters with the support of experts groups in view of reaching an agreement.

    Source: Irish Presidency of the EU, ACP group


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU Council of Ministers: Satisfactory outcome


  5. Somalia, now part of the Cotonou Agreement
    2013-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The Federal Republic of Somalia officially entered the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement ("Cotonou Agreement"), was announced at the joint ACP- EU Council of Ministers held in Brussels on 6-7 June.
    Somalia comes after 20 years of disaster and war. On February 2013, the Federal Republic of Somalia presented a request for observership and subsequent accession to the ACP-EU partnership.
    The Irish Minister of State for Trade and Development, and co-chair of the joint Council, Mr. Joe Costello TD (representing the European Union) commented that the decision “opens a new chapter in relations between the EU and Somalia and constitutes a visible sign that Somalia has regained its status as a fully-fledged member of the international community.”

    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: ACP group


    Link Read more
    Link Somalia to sign the Cotonou Agreement
    Link More on the Cotonou Agreement


  6. EPA: 2014 deadline concerns interim agreement
    2013-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    The 1 October 2014 deadline concerns only the signature of interim Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and not of full (comprehensive) EPAs, Andris Pielbags, European Commissioner for Development said at the Joint ACP- EU Council of Ministers held in Brussels on 6-7 June.
    This has been received as a sign of appeasement by the ACP group.
    The 1 October 2014 deadline was announced earlier this year by the EU for negotiating ACP countries that signed interim EPAs to ratify and implement the deal or lose their preferential access to the EU market.
    The discussion on the EPAs heard also the argument of the ACP – co-president of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, the Botswana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Phandu Skelemani, who had underlined the concerns of the countries of Cariforum - the only one to have signed an EPA - and other ACP States about the EU policy of differentiation. He believes that this might result in reduction of funds for countries with better achievement and thereby affect their capacity of implementation of the EPA. “The region is urging the EC to step up engagement on the remaining aspects of the negotiations which include a development cooperation chapter,” he said.

    The ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers is the highest decision-making body of the ACP-EU partnership framework.


    Source: ACP group


    Link Read more
    Link ACP calls on EP to not vote regulation which pressures ACP countries
    Link ACP calling for measures to soften EPA blow


  7. ACP, EU agree on development fund
    2013-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The Joint ACP-EU Council of Ministers held in Brussels on 6-7 June compromised on a total financial allocation of 31.589 billion Euro for the next (11th) European Development Fund (EDF), covering the 2014-2020 period.
    These funds will be available in more than one year after adoption of the revised Cotonou Agreement by EU and ACP countries. This is why a “bridging facility” is needed: until the entry into force of the 11th EDF, the balances of the 10th EDF and previous EDFs and from funds not used will be employed. However, some disagreement appeared, as the Commission considered that funds should be accounted as an advance to the 11th EDF, and the ACP side requested that it is accounted  in. For the moment, decision on the matter was delayed.
    Of the total funding, some €24.37 billion will go to grants national and regional indicative programs, €3.96 billion to grants for intra-ACP and intra-regional programs, while €3.63 billion will go to the Investment Facilities and loans managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
    The EDF is the main instrument for providing EU assistance to the ACP countries. In the previous period (2008-2013), the EDF had a budget of €22,7 billion.

    The ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers is the highest decision-making body of the ACP-EU partnership framework.


    Source: ACP



    Link Read more
    Link A larger than expected European Development Fund
    Link ACP-EU trade talks to get fresh political edge


  8. ACP-EU trade talks to get fresh political edge
    2013-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    Trade negotiations between the European bloc and the ACP Group may soon move closer to a resolution, with plans for a political high panel to tackle the longstanding deadlock in talks over the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations, as  confirmed at the last ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers meeting held in Brussels between 6-7 June.
    The move follows proposals made by the ACP Heads of State and Government Summit in December 2012.
    “The [ACP Summit] decided to recommend the high level political panel, comprising of Heads of States with experts from the regions, to meet with the highest leadership of the EU to try and break the stalemate and advance the process by taking appropriate political responsibility,” ACP Secretary General Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni said at the conclusion of the joint council on 7 June.
    The European and African Union Commission Presidents had agreed that a date will be set in July for talks on the issue, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht revealed. It is hoped that the Pacific and Caribbean will join in order to involve all parties.

    The ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers is the highest decision-making body of the ACP-EU partnership framework.


    Source: ACP group


    Link Read more
    Link ACP calling for measures to soften EPA blow


  9. ACP calling for measures to soften EPA blow
    2013-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    The ACP Council of Ministers , held in Brussels between 4-5 June, passed a hard hitting resolution on the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), calling for measures to soften the blow of opening free trade to the much more dominant EU. These include mitigation provisions, additional resources for EPA-related costs, maximum flexibility on all outstanding contentious issues, and safeguarding the benefits of EPAs when negotiating with other third parties.
    Ministers also urged the EU to jointly defend suitable liberalisation levels and timeframes at the World Trade Organisation.
    The resolution also stated the ACP Council’s “utter dismay” at the decision to ignore ACP pleas on the 1 October 2014 deadline for negotiating ACP countries that signed interim EPAs to ratify and implement the deal or lose their preferential access to the EU market.
    “If you look at the EPAs under the Cotonou Accord, the initial intention of that instrument is to assist the ACP countries to fight and eradicate poverty, have sustainable development and integrate those countries into the world trade system. But it looks like over time people have lost sight of that objective,” said the ACP Secretary General Mumuni.
    Contentious issues for example, include those such as Rules of Origin, which determines whether an ACP product can be labelled as “local” and thus benefit from preferential market access to EU, or the Most Favoured Nation clause, which would allow the EU the same benefits ACP countries may give to another negotiating party, such as other Southern partners.
    The Secretary General said it was time the ACP and EU take “political responsibility” at this point in order to progress trade talks.

    Source: ACP Group


    Link Read more
    Link ACP calls on EP to not vote regulation which pressures ACP countries


  10. UK, amongst top donors for reducing undernutrition
    2013-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy, Food Security

    UK is performing better than most other developed nations over the past decade at meeting its overseas aid spending commitments on ending undernutrition, new research by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) shows.
    However, the UK scores poorly compared to some countries on funding for food security and nutrition programmes relative to its wealth. Other countries that ranked highly overall were Canada, Denmark, Germany and Ireland.
    The Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI) – developed by the IDS - has ranked the UK with the highest overall score out of 23 OECD members despite its overseas aid spending on nutrition programmes accounting for a lower proportion of its wealth than countries like Denmark and Canada.
    Launched on 5th June, HANCI's Donor Index measures a wide range of factors to determine overall political commitment of donor countries to tackling hunger and undernutrition. These include the amount of aid given for agriculture, food security and nutrition and policies and treaties that could impact on hunger and nutrition levels in poor countries.
    HANCI has been produced by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) with funding from Irish Aid and the UK's Department for International Development (DFID).
    The IDC is a global charity for international development research, teaching and communications.

    Source: IDC


    Link Read more
    Link Consult the report on the Index
    Link More on the Index


  11. Promoting People-Centered Businesses
    2013-06-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    An enterprise model which puts people and not profit at the heart of business should be enhanced, the conference ‘People-centred businesses: making supply chains work for small producers’ heard.
    The event, hosted by MEP Gay Mitchell (EPP - European People's Party), was organized by  Cooperatives Europe and Fair Trade Advocacy Office, and took place in Brussels on 5th June.
    “Businesses alone are not enough to tackle poverty; the EU should foster people-centred businesses”, Harriet Lamb, CEO of Fair Trade International, said.
    The organizers announced that they support the Commission initiative to work with local private actors (as announced in the Agenda for Change), to which member-owned businesses, which benefit local communities, should be key partners.
    Cooperatives Europe is the European cross-sectoral organization representing cooperative enterprises, and The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) speaks out on behalf of the Fair Trade movement for Fair Trade and Trade Justice with the aim to improve the livelihoods of marginalised producers and workers in the South.

    Source: FTAO


    Link Read more
    Link  Promotion of Fair Trade through Public Procurements [VIDEO]


  12. Delayed EU trade accord hurts SA fishing
    2013-06-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    With a trade agreement (EPA) between South Africa and the European Union (EU) still being negotiated, the country could miss the boat on taking advantage of the EU’s move to reduce fishing in its waters to save dwindling fish stocks.
    A gap has emerged in the EU fish market because the bloc has agreed to end overfishing in its waters by 2015 — 2020 for some exceptional species — after fish stocks had dwindled precariously.
    South Africa has an already established European market for its sustainably managed deep-water trawler-caught hake (this species is South Africa’s only fish stock with the sought-after Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditation indicating its operations ensured sustainable fish stocks), but high export tariffs are a hurdle to the country’s other fish.
    Department of Trade and Industry trade division chief Xavier Carrim said at the weekend there was "a deal in the making" for South Africa’s fish, but that it formed part of the long-negotiated economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the EU. Without that agreement, EU import tariffs for other species of fish caught in South African waters were high. "Steady progress" on securing the EPA  are going on, with the next talks in two weeks’ time, officials assured.
    South Africa is currently negotiating as part of the SADC EPA Group (composed also of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland). Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique agreed an Interim region-to-region EPA with the EU in 2007, but the South Africa did not join the agreement because of a series of disagreements on some of the provisions of the text. In the meantime EU - South Africa trade is covered by the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) signed in 1999, and not by the Cotonou Agreement, as is the case for the other ACP countries.

    Source: BD Live


    Link Read more
    Link State of play EPAs: SADC EPA -EU
    Link EU: Landmark agreement on Common Fisheries Policy reform


  13. EPA: Key to The Bahamas' Value Added Trade Strategy
    2013-06-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Bahamas authorities want to more intensively position the country as a hub in global value chains, and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU figures prominently in this regard, Minister of Financial Services of The Bahamas, Ryan Pinder, said during the opening on May 29 of a Validation Meeting in Nassau, at which the non-state stakeholders met with national authorities to discuss the last details for national implementation plan for the Agreement.
    In his address, Minister Pinder underscored the “tremendous potential” for The Bahamas in leveraging global value chains and the opportunities the EPA presents for the country to realize that potential.
    In this context, minister Pinder pointed to several strengths The Bahamas has, such as the fact that the country has long been one of the world's principal international financial centers, or the country's free trade zone potential – the free, Grand Bahama,  a 230-square-mile free trade zone that serves as an important hub for international business.  
    “The Bahamas is planning for opportunities associated with global value chains, and in this regard is actively positioning itself to capitalize on the strengths I have identified,” Minister Pinder concluded.
    Global value chains have risen to prominence over the last ten-plus years, and refer to the international organization of production (including post-production marketing and distribution) that is increasingly dispersed across countries. One important effect of the segmentation of the production process across countries has been specialization, within given countries, in process-related upstream and/or downstream activities.

    Source: CARIFORUM


    Link Read more
    Link EPA: The Bahamas to finish the national implementation plan


  14. Lowering the cost of remittances for Africa
    2013-06-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    About 120 million people in Africa benefit every year from remittances sent by their relatives and friends who left their home countries, for a total of USD 60 billion (€45,3 billion) in 2012.
    The real figures are likely to be much higher as remittances to and from Africa are significantly uncounted and official channels remain the most expensive in the world. Especially the south-south transfers which are estimated at 67% of the incoming flows to Africa, being mainly informal and often overlooked.

    As part of the effort of approaching these inaccuracies, the World Bank hosted on 16th May in Brussels a meeting to discuss how to better understand the magnitudes of remittances to/within Africa, which gathered diaspora organisations, country representatives, the European Commission and international organisations.
    The conference looked at possible solutions to lower the cost of transfers -including by improving access in rural areas through postal network or mobile technologies. They also discussed at ways to leverage the development impact of remittances including by improving financial literacy and emitting bonds for diaspora. It also developed a database ("Send Money Africa") on the cost of sending and receiving money to 28 African countries with the aim of increasing the transparency of the financial transactions to Africa.
    The African Institute for Remittances (AIR), whose constituency was approved by the AU Heads of State and Government Assembly in July 2012, will provide research, technical assistance, private sector engagement and advocacy in order to lower the cost of remittances to and from Africa.
    The 16th May meeting was organised by the World Bank as part of the project supporting the establishment of the AIR. The project originates from the Africa-EU Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment.

    Source: Africa-EU Partnership


    Link Read more
    Link The Africa-EU Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment
    Link Brussels Briefings: Migration and development


  15. EU seeks pathway to strong UN climate deal in 2015
    2013-06-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    All countries should outline their long-term plans for curbing greenhouse gases next year -  earlier than favoured by Washington – in order to revive the stalled fight against climate change, the European Union proposed on 28 May, in an official submission to the United Nations. Deciding on commitments next year should allow time for a review of each national plan before the 2015 agreement, it said.
    The EU approach is more demanding than a U.S. proposal last month that said each nation should merely offer a "contribution" to the 2015 deal, perhaps by mid-2015, to allow a non-binding review lasting a few months.
    Washington says that governments are more likely to act if they can define greenhouse gas programmes themselves, rather than be told what to do by outside reviewers. EU officials fear that such national policies will undermine ambition.

    In 2011, almost 200 countries agreed to work out by the end of 2015 a UN pact to slow global warming with curbs taking effect from 2020. In 2015 will take place the 21st COP, at which parties are expected to agree on a new universal agreement that will come into force in 2020. 

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Europe must adapt to stay ahead of a changing climate


  16. UK should spend millions to combat malnutrition, charity says
    2013-06-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    £132 million (€154.3 million) – this is the amount Britain should spend a year until 2020 in order to commit to combat malnutrition in poor countries, a charity group Save the Children report says.
    Moreover, the charity suggest that the rich countries should spend an additional €773 million a year between now and 2020 on basic nutrition.
    Aid for basic nutrition remains at only 0.4% of total British official development assistance, which came to €96 billion last year.
    The Save the Children report, “Food for Thought”, published on Monday (27 May), says the global economic impact of malnutrition may be up to €97 billion. Children who are malnourished go on to earn 20% less as adults, compared with those who are well nourished. This, they say, means malnutrition acts as a barrier to economic growth. Estimates suggest that in low- and middle-income countries, the impact of malnutrition could decrease GDP by 2-11%, said the charity.
    Despite enormous progress in other areas, such as a halving in the number of child deaths over the past two decades, the charity said malnutrition was an "Achilles heel to development”.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report


  17. Development goes hand-in-hand with peacemaking, EU official say
    2013-06-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    Poverty is aggravated by the absence of peace and security, so the EU should not only provide development aid to but also get actively involved in negotiating solutions to conflict, the EU special representative to the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos, said at a high-level conference on peacemaking and mediation.
    Rondos stressed the EU should be more decisive in participating as a full-fledged actor in peacemaking processes and enhance its mediation capacity: “Since we are financing [development], we are shareholders and shareholders have a vote.”
    Drawing on his experience in the Horn of Africa, Rondos said it is the only leverage that can be used in countries where the EU cannot use the prospect of an association agreement. Finding a solution in the Horn of Africa is even more complex as “we are beyond the day when it was fashionable to have a victory of one against the other, ” the special representative said.
    The Horn of Africa - Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan - is grappling with an overlay of conflicts and humanitarian challenges. The region is prone to droughts and food insecurity as well as territorial and interethnic disputes, making it one of the biggest recipients of development and relief aid.
    In 2012, the EU launched, together with partners from over 30 countries, several humanitarian agencies and UN agencies, the Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative (AGIR) as a major long-term EU-led strategy for Africa's fragile Sahel region. AGIR is aimed to set out a roadmap to create seasonal social safety nets to strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable who have too long been the victims of chronic malnutrition.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link A long-term effort to build resilience in Sahel
    Link More on AGIR


  18. EU: Top importer of agricultural products from developing countries
    2013-06-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    In 2012, the EU was the global top importer of products from developing countries, the latest European Commission report monitoring the agri-trade policy, entitled "Agricultural trade in 2012: A good story to tell in a difficult year?" shows. On average between 2009 and 2011, 72% of EU imports came from developing countries (€67 billion), significantly above the 43% share in total agricultural imports of the "Big 5" taken together (Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan).

    The EU remains by far the world's biggest importer of agricultural goods, with imports reaching an all-time high of €102 billion, just 3% higher than in 2011. Russia remains the EU's second export market, with an export share of 10%, unchanged since 2009. It is followed by Switzerland (6% share), China, and Japan.

    EU: New record in agricultural trade surplus:

    After a switch from a net agricultural importer in 2009 to a net exporter in 2010, the EU has reached in 2012 a new record: its agricultural trade surplus reached €12.6 billion. This means an addition of almost €8.9 billion to the 2011 surplus.

    EU: second largest global agricultural exporter:

    The EU was just inches behind the US, with exports reaching an all-time high of over €114 billion, from €102 billion in 20122 . However, the 2012 growth rate was lower than in 2011 (12%; 17% in 2011).
    The EU continues to specialize in the export of final products, these accounting for two thirds of total agricultural exports. Spirits and liqueurs weigh the most heavily in the basket of exported products: their total value in 2012 was €10.2 billion. They were followed by cereal preparations valued at €7.8 billion. Other top exported product categories included wheat, other non-specific (yeast), ice-cream, chocolate and confectionery, pork, cheese, fruit and vegetable preparations and cigars and cigarettes.
    The increase in exports indicate that the growth in demand for EU products is essentially driven especially by developing economies. In addition, depreciation of the Euro against major currencies has also helped the EU to boost its sales.

    You can consult the latest report on the EU agri-trade policy - "Agricultural trade in 2012: A good story to tell in a difficult year?" - by following this link.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Consult the report


  19. The Bahamas partners with EU for new Fisheries Act
    2013-06-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    In the framework of the ACP Fish Program II, funded by the European Union , the Department of Marine Resources of The Bahamas will work on the development of a New Fisheries Act.
    A first step in this process is to organize a series of town meeting throughout The Bahamas to get the public's input on the matter. The series of community meetings began in the capital on May 22 and will continue until the end of the current month.
    The current Fisheries Act has not been changed since 1977. “We have been getting a lot of complaints from the public not knowing certain rules such as bone-fishing, turtle and lobster season or the size or season of conch—the whole public sector has a lot of concerns and we just want to address them", a government representative said.
    The purpose behind drafting a new Fisheries Act is to strengthen and improve fisheries management in The Bahamas and to create a new, modern and effective legal framework.
    The ACP Fish II Programme has at disposal €30m until the end of 2013 to improve fisheries management in ACP countries and to reinforce regional cooperation for the management of shared stocks.

    Source: The Freeport News (Grand Bahamas Island)


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Fish II Programme [VIDEO]
    Link EPA: The Bahamas to finish the national implementation plan


  20. Finland: €4m to back EAC Economic integration
    2013-06-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Finland on Friday May 24th gave 4 million Euros to TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to support its work in enhancing regional economic integration and trade in the East African Community (EAC) over the period 2013 to 2015.
    TMEA  is a multi-donor funded development agency working with  national governments, the private sector, civil society and the EAC to reduce barriers to smooth and efficient commerce across the EAC bloc to bring prosperity and opportunity to its 160 million citizens. TMEA supports multiple partners across the region to achieve growth in trade.
    Finland’s strategy for development cooperation and action plan for aid for trade put more emphasis on the development of trade and regional economic integration. The Finnish government believes that supporting increased trade in the region in combination with assistance to the private sector will accelerate economic growth and jobs, with the ultimate goal of poverty reduction.
    With the help of this grant, TMEA and its partners are trying to reduce the costs of transport to and within East Africa – some of the highest in the world – to reduce the costs of imports and grow private sector commerce and government revenues.
    The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organisation comprising five countries: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Since 2010, the EAC is a common market.

    Source: TradeMark East Africa


    Link Read more
    Link More about TMEA
    Link Denmark asks EAC to conclude pact with EU


  21. French fair-trade sector seeks revival
    2013-06-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Fearing a slip of the local fair-trade sector, the French government announced on 29 April a plan to inject some €7 million into the flagging sector. The money will both beef up the distribution capacity of small producers in the developing world and retailers already present on the French market.
    France’s appetite for fair-trade products lags behind European counterparts, with the sector turning increasingly to producers in the developing world for a recovery solution, EurActiv France and Germany report.
    While widely available in specialist stores and French supermarkets, products bearing the ‘fair-trade’ label have suffered during the economic crisis. Sales have slumped since 2007, with France’s per capita consumption of €6.4 well behind other European countries such as Switzerland or the United Kingdom, where the consumer spends on average more than €34 over the year on fair trade products. In Belgium, the sale of fair-trade goods grew by 12% in 2012 compared to the previous year.
    Fair-trade networks have started to take off in developing countries. Growers of coffee, sugar, cocoa and cotton especially seek this way a modality to get on the circuit, as their products are priced low in conventional markets. “It is no longer a niche,” said the representative of the producers association for the developing world, Agricord.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Promotion of Fair Trade through Public Procurements [VIDEO]
    Link EP Fair Trade Group raises awareness of cocoa child labour


  22. European banks accused of fuelling land grabs in Uganda
    2013-06-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Several well-known European banks and pension funds have financed a palm oil project in Uganda that has caused land grabs and deforestation, a new research paper commissioned by Friends of the Earth (FoE) has found.
    Household banking names such as HSBC, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and Rabobank have offered over €1 billion of financial assistance worth to Wilmar International, a Singapore-based agribusiness company, according to the quoted research.
    The report says that a palm oil project on Uganda’s Kalangala Island led by Wilmar has displaced local communities, increased food insecurity, rendered local water sources unusable, and caused 3,600 hectares of deforestation.

    The majority of Wilmar’s Western backers have sustainability principles that are supposed to guide their investments, but FoE complains that they are slow to act on them.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Ministers block EU proposal to limit some biofuels
    Link European banks: Increasing global hunger and poverty
    Link Read_the_report.pdf

  23. EPA: The Bahamas to finish the national implementation plan
    2013-06-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    On 29 May, a validation meeting was convened in Nassau, The Bahamas, at which the non-state stakeholders met with national authorities to discuss the last details for national implementation plan for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European union (EU).
    The meeting was considered as a crucial step in the finalization of that plan, which is expected to position The Bahamas to better coordinate its approach to implementing the provisions of the EPA, in terms of obligations and benefits.
    The final Bahamas National EPA Implementation Plan is slated to be submitted to the Government of the Bahamas  next month, and the expectation is that it will be given effect thereafter.
    The Bahamas national implementation plan draws from the draft EPA Regional Implementation Road Map document for the CARIFORUM States, which indentifies the broad actions (chronologically) to be taken regarding EPA implementation at the national and regional levels.
    The EPA is a comprehensive trade and development accord between the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM), and the European Union (EU) and its Member States, signed in 2008.

    Source: CARIFORUM


    Link Read more
    Link Harnessing Standby Facility for EPA Implementation
    Link SADC scrambles to meet EU trade deadline


  24. SADC scrambles to meet EU trade deadline
    2013-06-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Trade ministers from Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states met in Gaborone (Botswana) at the end of May, as part of the effort to thrash out the comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union ahead of next year’s 1st October deadline.
    The southern African states want to fast-track discussions, with the intention of reaching a common point on the EPA by June this year.
    Ministers mentioned the possibility of reaching for a compromise within the group, in order to ensure that the interests of all member states are taken care of.
    Officials have said that various issues remain unsolved and still have to be negotiated. These concern especially the rules of origin, infant industry protection and the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) clause. SADC states are believed to be particularly eager to ensure that the benefits of the MFN, which the EU currently applies to South Africa, are spread across all members under the inclusive EPA to be signed.
    The SADC member states have been negotiating reciprocal EPAs with the EU since 2007, a process delayed by numerous political and technical glitches over the years.
    Source: bilaterals.org


    Link Read more
    Link More on SADC


  25. Oxfam: tax leaks, enough to end poverty twice over
    2013-06-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    Up to $156 billion in tax revenue – twice the amount of money that would be needed to eliminate world poverty – is lost due to the $14.3 trillion hidden in tax heavens, the latest report published by the international aid agency Oxfam shows.
    According to the research, the global loss in revenue would be enough to elevate the whole world’s population above the $1.25-a-day "extreme poverty" threshold.
    Oxfam also notes that over two thirds, or $12 trillion, of that global offshore wealth could be found in EU tax havens, including Luxembourg, Andorra and Malta.
    "Most governments claim to have no alternative but to cut public spending and development aid, but we've found there's enough potential tax to be had on hidden 'private' money to end extreme world poverty twice over," Natalia Alonso, head of Oxfam's EU office said.
    Source: DW.DE


    Link Read more
    Link Consult the report
    Link More on OXFAM



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Ms Isolina BOTO
Head
CTA Brussels Office
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Tel: +32 (0) 2 513 74 36 (direct); Fax +32 (0) 2 511 38 68
E-mail: boto@cta.int
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Editor: Cristina Dobos (dobos@cta.int)

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For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
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Copyright © 2011 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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