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CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Subject: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Send date: 2013-07-22 09:59:15
Issue #: 184
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 : 22/07/2013
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week

  1. Main Events for the Week 22/07/2013 – 28/07/2013
  2. Video Guest: Heike Reuttgers (EIB)
  3. EU: Surplus in international trade with South Africa of €6 bn
  4. Newsletter SOS Faim – July 2013
  5. Kenya: Delays in EU trade agreements hurt flower production
  6. EU ministers back higher foreign aid spending
  7. Croatia accession: EU brings financial envelopes for agriculture
  8. Support for infrastructure in South Africa
  9. EIB’s ACP Investment Facility: €3.4 bn in ten years
  10. EU seeks focus on environment in the post-MDG debate
  11. New Fisheries Partnership agreement between EU and The Cook Islands
  12. EU-Mauritania Fisheries Agreement: Controversies, amendment of fishing opportunities
  13. EU tackling food waste
  14. Fisheries: EU Presidency programme (July – December)
  15. EU Presidency programme on Agriculture
  16. Agreement on European maritime and fisheries fund
  17. EU fisheries reform: Council confirms political agreement
  18. The EU should pay for every day of fishing in Kiribati
  19. EU Trade Commissioner on visit to Kenya, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa
  20. The EU's free trade agreements – where are we?
  21. ACP: dismay at EU decision to end sugar quotas in 2017


  1. Main Events for the Week 22/07/2013 – 28/07/2013
    2013-07-22

    Council of the EU:
    22nd July: Foreign Affairs Council
    24th July: Meeting of the expert group on future steps under the EU Council working group on international environmental issues

    ACP group:
    24th July: ACP Sugar Committee
    25th July: Committee of Ambassadors

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




  2. Video Guest: Heike Reuttgers (EIB)
    2013-07-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Development Policy

    2013 marks 50 years of existence of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and ten years since the creation of the EIB’s ACP Investment Facility. Since 2003, the facility has allocated funds in total value of 3,4 bn for 205 projects, out of which 85% went to SMEs. The majority of beneficiaries are from the energy sector.

    Our video guest of the week - Heike Reuttgers from the EIB -  talks about the characteristics of the ACP Investment Facility and about EIB's plans for a more proactive approach towards agricultural investments, especially in the field of food security.


    Link Watch the Video
    Link EIB’s ACP Investment Facility: €3.4 bn in ten years


  3. EU: Surplus in international trade with South Africa of €6 bn
    2013-07-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    In 2012, the European Union (EU27) had a surplus in trade in goods with South Africa in value of 6.1 bn, compared with 1.3 bn in 2010, and 4.4 bn in 2011. The exports reached a peak of 26.6 bn, while imports were situated at a level of 20.5 bn. This data was released shortly before the sixth European Union - South Africa summit, which took place on 18 July 2013 in Kliptown, Soweto in South Africa.
    Among the EU27 Member States, Germany (8.8 bn euro or 33% of EU27 exports) was by far the largest exporter to South Africa in 2012, followed by the United Kingdom (4.1 bn or 16%), the Netherlands (2.5 bn or 9%) and France (2.0 bn or 7%). The United Kingdom (7.5 bn or 36% of EU27 imports) was the largest importer, followed by Germany (4.1 bn or 20%), the Netherlands2 (2.2 bn or 11%) and Belgium (1.9 bn or 9%).
    Also the Exports of services between the EU27 and South Africa have increased, but only slightly in 2011 compared with 2010, while imports fell. In 2011, the EU27 exported 7.1 bn euro of services to South Africa, while imports amounted to 4.5 bn. As a result, the EU27 recorded a surplus of 2.6 bn in trade in services with South Africa in 2011, compared with a surplus of 2.2 bn in 2010 and of 1.9 bn in 2009. South Africa accounted for just over 1% of extra-EU27 international trade in services in 2011.
    However, EU27 foreign direct investments in South Africa have plummeted in the last years,  standing at 1.5 bn euro in 2011, compared with 7.1 bn in 2010 and 10.8 bn in 2009.

    Source: Eurostat


    Link Read more
    Link South Africa-EU Summit
    Link Support for infrastructure in South Africa


  4. Newsletter SOS Faim – July 2013
    2013-07-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy, Rural development

    SOS Faim’ newsletter for the current month (July 2013) has been published.
    The newsletter includes among others, articles on the change that takes place at the level of the Presidency of SOS Faim Luxembourg, SOS Faim’s campaign against (financial) speculation with agricultural commodities, and the round table on sustainable agriculture, with the participation of farmers and agricultural producers from West African, organized in collaboration with the European Commission, and the Technical Centre for Agriculture (CTA).
    You can read the entire newsletter here.
    SOS Faim is a development NGO striving against hunger and rural poverty, based in Belgium and Luxembourg. It was established in 1964 following an appeal from FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).


    Source: SOS Faim


    Link Read more [FR]
    Link Newsletter SOS Faim – June 2013
    Link Roundtable on sustainable agriculture


  5. Kenya: Delays in EU trade agreements hurt flower production
    2013-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    Flower output has stagnated in the past four years as producers grow anxious over a weakened global economy and failure to conclude talks on trade pacts with Europe and East Africa started six years ago, the Kenya Flower Council is reported to have declared at the end of June.
    The group said that production of flowers had flattened since 2010 - it has registered less than two per cent growth compared with 10 per cent in the 1990s - , hurting the prospects of an industry that remains one of Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earners. The industry stands at a level of annual exports of around 120,000 tonnes.
    The growers said that the inconclusive trade talks – especially the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with Europe -  have affected planning with most of them cutting back on investments.
    The five East African Community (EAC) member states signed an interim regional EPA with Europe in 2007 to guarantee duty and quota-free access to EU market, and are currently negotiating for a comprehensive one. The interim agreement has not been signed or ratified. The preferential EU market access terms that Kenya currently enjoys could be lost if the full EPAs will not have been signed by January 2014.

    Should Kenya miss out on the EPAs, its trade with Europe would revert to the less generous terms under the General System of Preference where some of its products which it has been exporting to the market at zero duty attracting charges between 8.5 and 15.7 per cent. Kenya would not benefit of the “Everything But Arms initiative”, dedicated to Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

    Source: businessdailyafrica.com


    Link Read more
    Link EU Trade Commissioner on visit to Kenya
    Link State of Play in EPA negotiations


  6. EU ministers back higher foreign aid spending
    2013-07-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy, Aid effectiveness

    At the end of June (June 25) European ministers meeting in Luxembourg for the General Affairs Council urged their governments to live up to their commitments on development aid, saying it was essential to support Europe’s promises to reduce world poverty, even at times of austerity.
    The support for spending 0.7% of gross national income on development assistance came in a broad package of proposals to support EU and United Nations’ efforts to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development.
    The General Affairs Council said the 0.7% target is “a key priority for member states”, but indicated in a statement that national governments had other fiscal challenges: “The EU and its member states reaffirm all their individual and collective [aid] commitments, taking into account the exceptional budgetary circumstances,” it said.
    In 2005, the EU’s main donor nations committed to providing 0.7% of gross national income to development assistance by 2015. Four countries exceeded the target, figures from the Organisation for Econommic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show, but most others are lagging behind.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Four countries exceed EU targets for international aid
    Link European Council reaffirms its determination to fulfill ODA commitments


  7. Croatia accession: EU brings financial envelopes for agriculture
    2013-07-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture

    Following its accession to the European Union on 1st of July 2013, Croatia will be given a financial envelope for direct payments in agriculture in value of 373 million euros annually.
    Croatia will be given additional financial envelopes for areas affected by land mines left over from the 1991-1995 war (9.6 million euros), while the wine sector will have 10.8 million euros at its disposal. With entry into the EU, it will no longer be allowed to plant new vineyards, but only to cultivate the existing ones, until the end of 2015.
    More, Croatia has retained restrictions on the purchase of farmland, so that foreigners will not be able to buy agricultural land in Croatia for seven years after the country's entry into the EU, with a possibility of extending this time frame for another three years.

    Croatia is entering the EU market with a new product, "pekmez", which is similar to jam. Only 12 Croatian products have so far been awarded a protected designation of origin, including Krk prosciutto, "Drnis" prosciutto and "Varazdin" cabbage.

    Source: farmlandgrab.org


    Link Read more
    Link More on EU's geographical indications
    Link Croatia joins the European Union


  8. Support for infrastructure in South Africa
    2013-07-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    A €100 million programme to support infrastructure development in South Africa and the region was approved by the European Union ahead of the EU-South Africa Summit which took place on July 18 in Pretoria (South Africa).
    The money will be allocated through a grant-loan blending mechanism– the programme will involve a cooperation between the Development Bank of Southern Africa and European development finance institutions: the European Investment Bank (EIB), Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).
    EU grants will support a range of activities, including technical assistance for the preparation, management and implementation of projects, as well as direct grants to co-finance capital expenditure of infrastructure projects.
    The European Union's support programme for South Africa (2007-2013), with its overall objective of reducing poverty and inequality, amounts to €980 million.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link South Africa-EU Summit
    Link EU-South Africa relations


  9. EIB’s ACP Investment Facility: €3.4 bn in ten years
    2013-07-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    In 2013, European Investment Bank’s ACP Investment Facility celebrates ten years of existence. Since 2003, 3.4 billion EUR have been lent to 205 projects in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the EU’s Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) – mostly for the development of the private sector. This year (2013), the EU agreed to make available an additional 500 million for the Facility.
    The ACP Investment Facility (IF) was created under the Cotonou agreement, with the primary focus on private sector development. It is a 20 years revolving fund and risk barrier instrument (when the funds are repaid, they are re-used for new operations). Around 85% of the financing in the last ten years went to private sector projects, while the other 15% was allocated to development of infrastructure. The activities under the  Facility have as final purpose the reduction of poverty, and stimulation of sustainable growth, in line with the “Agenda for Change” of the European Commission. The idea behind it is that the private sector plays a crucial role in development and economic growth- given that 90% of the jobs in the ACP region are created in privately-owned business.
    The Facility usually offers long-term funding, with market-based terms (the interest rates are usually not subsidized) – which ensures than the EIB does not crowd out any other (local) financing institution. The projects elected have to fulfill the objectives under the Cotonou agreement, and also ensure high environmental and social standards (the contribution to the local community represents an important aspect).
    2013 also marks 50 years of existence of the European Investment Bank (EIB) - EU’s long-term lending bank. The Bank finances investment projects in the ACP and OCT regions, under the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement (Cotonou Accord) and the Overseas Association Decision. Lending to the ACP and OCTs makes up 10 per cent of its activities. Financing is provided from the European Development Fund, EU member states’ budgets and also from EIB own resources.


    However, on the occasion of EIB’s celebration, the Chair of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors Samuel Outlule (Botswana) stressed the high cost of accessing EIB funds and called for a stronger EIB presence - for example in the Pacific, where funds have been especially slow to be disbursed.
    Moreover, ACP Secretary General Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni echoed the need to review the amount of lending provided to the 79 members of the ACP Group. A recent study would have estimated the financing gap for infrastructure and trade finance in Sub Saharan Africa alone as more than EUR 250 billion each year: “Clearly, we have to identify and mobilise more resources if we are to realise the growth and development that we have targeted for the ACP Group,” stated the Secretary General.

    Source: EIB, ACP Group


    Link Read more
    Link More on the activity of the EIB
    Link Video Guest: Heike Reuttgers (EIB)


  10. EU seeks focus on environment in the post-MDG debate
    2013-07-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    Two EU Commissioners put strong emphasis on environmental issues at a Brussels round-table discussion on proposed measures to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), held in the European Commission on 9 July, EurActiv reports.
    The event was a follow up of the recently published 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.
    Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, who is one of the 27 “eminent personalities” who authored the report, said the high-level panel had took a more ambitious approach than just focusing on "the unfinished business” of present MDGs. But the main focus of his statement was on environmental issues. “If we don’t deal with environmental sustainability, if we don’t deal with climate change, it will be impossible to eliminate poverty, and it will be the poorest countries which will suffer the most,” Piebalgs said. States must put sustainable development at the core. Production and consumption must become sustainable, he argued.
    EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik added that the report fails to mention the economic transformation needed to reach a sustainable consumption, and any targets for the quality of oceans and the air.
    EU’s general position on the overarching post-2015 agenda, as reflected in Council Conclusions, is that drivers for transforming the economy into a green one need to be "explicitly reflected” in the new targets.
    Piebalgs said that the next steps following the report will include prepartions for the United Nations “Special Event” to follow up on efforts made towards achieving the MDGs (New York, September 2013) and agree steps for post-2015 MDGs.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Report on post-2015 development agenda:
    Link Read the report


  11. New Fisheries Partnership agreement between EU and The Cook Islands
    2013-07-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries, held in Brussels on 15 July 2013, adopted a decision authorising the European Commission to open negotiations on behalf of the EU for a fisheries partnership agreement (FPA) with the Cook Islands.
    The agreement would principally cover surpluses of tuna stocks and would stay in line with conservation measures adopted in Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) – which seeks to address problems in the management of high seas fisheries resulting from unregulated fishing, over-capitalization, excessive fleet capacity, vessel re-flagging to escape controls.
    The Cook Islands comprises 15 small islands scattered over some 2 million km² of the South Pacific Ocean. You can read more on the situation of the country and the relations it has with the EU here.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link More on the cooperation EU - the Cook Islands
    Link EU ratifies convention for fisheries organisation in the South Pacific


  12. EU-Mauritania Fisheries Agreement: Controversies, amendment of fishing opportunities
    2013-07-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Among controversies on the economical viability of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) between the EU and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 15 July 2013 amended the allocation of the fishing opportunities provided for the FPA.
    In practice, the Council adopted the review of fishing opportunities, as approved by a Joint Committee between the European Union and Mauritania in February 2013; it provides for the following changes:
    For Category 5 - Tuna seiners: Spain - 17 licences - , France - 8 licences.
    For Category 6 - Pole-and-line tuna vessels and surface longliners: Spain - 18 licences -, France 1 licence.

    The FPA between the EU and Mauritania was concluded in 2006, and a new protocol was initialled in July 2012. The protocol to this FPA defines the fishing opportunities offered to EU vessels as well as the financial contribution due. It provides for a financial contribution of €110 million a year, of which €70 million would come from the EU directly and the rest would be raised by the industry through license fees. This makes the current EU-Mauritania FPA EU's most important fisheries agreement, both in terms of volume and financial contribution (€70 million per year), the European Parliament Library writes.

    The protocol gives access to vessels from 12 EU member states, for eight catch categories including pelagic species, demersal species and hake, shellfish (shrimps and prawns, Norway lobster, lobster and crab) and tuna. There is also a cephalopod category, for which the fishing opportunities are zero.


    Controversy: FPA, unviable?


    On 29 May, the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament voted to reject the new European Union-Mauritania protocol to the fishing agreement. The grounds for rejection were that the new clauses regarding licensing for European fleets to fish in Mauritanian waters would be neither profitable nor to the benefit of either party, Jadaliyya informs.

    Measures banning any further exploitation of octopus in Mauritanian waters by European freezer trawlers––a large number of which are Spanish––have especially caused controversy. Oponents have levied accusations that the protocol discriminates against European fleets, as other foreign vessels have allegedly retained access to octopus by fishing under a Mauritanian flag.
    The new conditions of the agreement would be so unfavorable, that, as a result, according to Gabriel Mato - the president of the European fisheries committee to the European parliament -, no European vessel has yet applied for provisional licenses under the protocol — except for tuna fishing vessels (for which the technical conditions have not changed), and a few hake trawlers (which will only operate for brief spells).

    Jadaliyya
    explains that the waters off the coast of Mauritania are some of the richest and most biologically diverse in the world. As a result, they would be of great importance to European fishing fleets - which have increasingly been forced to fish beyond their own shores due to a depletion of fish in Europe.

    A vote on the conclusion of the protocol will be casted in the European Parliament in October this year (2013).

    Source: Council of the EU, undercurrentnews.com, libraryeuroparl.wordpress.com, jadaliyya.com


    Link Read more
    Link The New European Union and Mauritania Fisheries Agreement: Between Sustainability and Vested Interests
    Link  EU committee recommends rejecting ‘unviable’ Mauritania fishing deal


  13. EU tackling food waste
    2013-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy, Agriculture

    The European Commission is expected to accentuate the importance of the topic of food waste in 2014, as a follow-up of several high level events organised by the United Nations on the issue, and in the framework of the upcoming European Year against Food waste which will take place next year.
    The European Commission Communication on sustainable food scheduled for the end of 2013 will also emphasize this issue.
    At the moment, the issue is devoted to a special working committee inside of the institution - Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCOFCAH).

    This was discussed at the last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 15 July 2013, where EU ministers were briefed by the Hungarian delegation of the importance for the EU of tackling food waste.

    On June 26th, 2012, CTA organised a Briefing on “Addressing Food Waste in Times of Crisis” with the European Commission, the ACP Secretariat, and various media partners. On this page, you can find the video documentation of all the speeches that were given at the conference, as well as a extensive research on the topic.


    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Brussels Briefing on Food Waste
    Link Research on the topic from CTA [Reader - Food waste]


  14. Fisheries: EU Presidency programme (July – December)
    2013-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Reaching a final agreement on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to be allocated for the period 2014 to 2020 to the implementation of the new Common fisheries policy (CFP), and establishing long-term management plans under the CFP – these are some of the key priorities on the fisheries policy agenda for the new Lithuanian Presidency of the European Union (for the period July – December 2013).
    This was made public during the last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries, held in Brussels on 15 July 2013, where the new presidency (inaugurated on 1st July 2013) presented its work programme for agriculture and fisheries.


    The Presidency also wants to set the total allowable catches (TACs) and to finalize the allocation of fishing quotas. It specified that a very important criteria on the matter will be to contribute to reaching the goal for an economically and environmentally balanced political agreement on fishing opportunities for 2014 in the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, and other EU and non-EU waters.


    Not lastly, it proposes itself to lead the preparation for sustainable fisheries partnership agreements with third countries, but also for coastal states consultations and annual meetings of regional fisheries management organizations within the framework of the external dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy.

    Source: Council of the European Union  


    Link Read more
    Link EU fisheries reform: Council confirms political agreement
    Link Agreement on European maritime and fisheries fund


  15. EU Presidency programme on Agriculture
    2013-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture

    The completion of the work for the approval and entry into force of the Common agriculture policy (CAP) reform package, and negotiating with the European Parliament and the adoption of a proposal for the transitional CAP provisions in 2014 on aspects of CAP reform entering into force in January 2015 - in particular for direct payments and rural development – will be among the agricultural policy priorities of the new Lithuanian Presidency of the European Union (for the period July – December 2013).

    The new presidency (inaugurated on 1st July 2013) presented its work programme and priorities for agriculture and fisheries at the last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries, held in Brussels on 15 July 2013.
    Other priorities on the agricultural agenda for the next six months are the following:
    •    Initiating the work on a proposal on information and promotion for agricultural products within and outside the EU, focusing on a more flexible response to the specific needs of different markets and the simplification of programme administration;
    •    Initiating negotiations on a proposal for a Common organisation of the market organisation in the fruit and vegetable sector including better administration and implementation of measures in the fruit and vegetable sector, as related to the organisation of producers, their operating funds and programmes.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Final agreement on new EU agricultural policy


  16. Agreement on European maritime and fisheries fund
    2013-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    At the last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 15 July 2013, ministers reached an agreement for a full general approach on a proposal for the European maritime and fisheries fund (EMFF) within the framework of the common fisheries policy (CFP) reform package. The new fund would have a total allocation of EUR 6.396 billion.

    This agreement on budgetary issues achieves the work initiated by the Council in October last year when a partial general approach was reached on technical aspects. It will enable the Council to start negotiations on the EMFF with the European Parliament during the Autumn.
    The PECH Committee of the European Parliament had previously (on 11 July) endorsed the Commission's proposal that the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) becomes the main financial instrument to achieve the ambitious reforms of the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)

    The fund is supposed to help fishermen adapt to the key principles of the reform, such as preserving fish stocks by better aligning catches with scientific advice and implementing a discard ban, the Council informs.
    The EMFF is structured around four pillars:
    •    smart green fisheries, expected to enable a smooth transition to sustainable fishing;
    •    smart green aquaculture;
    •    sustainable and inclusive development of communities depending on fisheries;
    •    cross-sectoral maritime policies.
    In addition to these four pillars, it will finance  a series of measures including data collection, scientific advice, controls, governance and technical assistance.

    Despite a ban on EU public support for construction of new fishing vessels in 2002, the PECH Committee voted to re-introduce EMFF support for the replacement of small scale coastal fishing vessels older than 35 years. The PECH Committee also voted to reintroduce a number of fleet subsidies in particular for temporary cessation of fishing activities.

    Maria Damanaki, EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said that the Commission's proposal was more ambitious than the position of the majority in the Fisheries Committee, as it would put an end to the ineffective subsidies of the past, which would have contributed to overfishing and to the economic decline of the fishing sector. She specified that in the trialogues following the plenary, the Commission will stand for an EMFF which supports the reform – which she characterizes as ambitious - of the Common Fisheries Policy agreed a few weeks ago.


    The new fund is to replace the existing European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and a number of other instruments. The EMFF regulation (as well as the other regulations forming the CFP reform package –basic and marker regulation – agreed on also on 15 July) are expected to become operational in January 2014.

    Source: Council of the EU, European Commission



    Link Read more
    Link New fund for the European maritime and fisheries policies
    Link EU fisheries reform: Council confirms political agreement


  17. EU fisheries reform: Council confirms political agreement
    2013-07-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    On 15 July, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of the European Union confirmed the political agreement with the European Parliament (reached on 18 June 2013) on the Common fisheries policy (CFP) reform.
    These includes comprises for the two reformed texts of the basic and market regulations of the CFP. These two, together with the proposal on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), will be discussed later this year (2013) by the EU institutions.
    The main elements of the text on basic provisions of the CFP are as follows:
    •    Fishing quotas set will fully respects scientific advice. This is expected to lead to healthy fish stocks and higher quotas as fish stocks are managed at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels;
    •    The discard of fish stocks will no longer be allowed; this shall end the old policy which forced fishermen to waste food by discarding fish at sea. However, some limited exemptions have been included. A new regionalized approach will include fishermen and other interest groups, as well as national administrations in the development of technical and conservation measures to protect juvenile fish and vulnerable fish species.
    •    Biologically sensitive areas with spawning grounds and high populations of juvenile fish should be developed and strengthened.
    As regards the market regulation, it is specified:
    •    That the mandatory consumer information on product marking and labeling shall include from now on also the gear type used in wild capture fisheries, and a more detailed indication of the catch area.
    •    In addition, it is foreseen for the producer organisations to have less administrative market intervention mechanism at hand. Focus is now given to their own marketing strategies expressed in their production and marketing plans, and a close involvement in the general policy direction, e.g. concerning discard avoidance.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link EU: Landmark agreement on Common Fisheries Policy reform
    Link EU: Council agrees on fishing policy overhaul


  18. The EU should pay for every day of fishing in Kiribati
    2013-07-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The development committee in the European Parliament on 24 June voted with a large majority for an opinion which calls on the Parliament to decline to give its consent to the extension of the EU’s fisheries agreement with the Pacific Ocean island nation Kiribati, an article by the MEP Isabella Lövin – member in the fisheries committee - informs.
    It is feared that the renewal of the EU-Kiribati fisheries agreement fails to respect the provisions of international treaties such as the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) - an agreement between several nations in the Pacific Ocean to regulate access to a migrating tuna stock by selling licenses for single fishing days at sea through a Vessel Day Scheme (VDS).
    In breach with the PNA, the EU and Kiribati have negotiated a fisheries agreement whereby four EU vessels - for a relatively low amount of money - get unlimited access to Kiribati’s waters.
    This means that it is unclear to what extent regional limits on fishing effort apply to EU vessels and that Kiribati is likely to get less money for the fish resource from the EU compared to if they were to apply VDS. Kiribati is already applying VDS in bilateral agreements with Japan, Taiwan, China and New Zealand, so there is no good explanation to why VDS is not a part of the new agreement with the EU. For, Lövin, the fact that Kiribati does not apply VDS in the EU agreement jeopardises the regional cooperation which is critical to increasing the revenue all the nations in the region get from tuna resources they rely upon.
    The last Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement concluded between the EU and Kiribati covers the period 16.9.2012 – 15.9.2015 (details on the protocol here).

    Source: isabellalovin.com


    Link Read more
    Link Kiribati: Fisheries partnership agreement


  19. EU Trade Commissioner on visit to Kenya, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa
    2013-07-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    From 15 to 19 July 2013, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht will be traveling to four African countries: Kenya (part of the Eastern African Community, EAC) and Namibia, Botswana, South Africa (members of the Southern African Development Community, SADC).
    De Gucht will use this opportunity to discuss ways to strengthen trade and investment relations with the African regions, in particular through comprehensive trade and development partnerships.
    "Sub-Saharan Africa is now one of the fastest growing regions in the world, while the EU, with 500 million consumers, is the biggest market in the world. There are great opportunities to be seized on both sides”, said Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
    The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) that the EU has been negotiating with EAC and the SADC group since 2003 aim to consolidate countries’ free access to the EU market, foster trade-related cooperation and promote investment. Those agreements aim to ensure duty free, quota free access to EU market, along with other provisions (e.g. on health and hygiene standards, and other trade-related rules) tailored to the needs of the ACP countries.
    Trade between the EU and South Africa is currently governed by the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) signed in 1999.
    Kenya negotiates an EPA with the EU as a member of the East African Community, along with Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The EU is Kenya's biggest trading partner, accounting for around 25% of the country’s total exports - over €1 billion a year. EU-Kenya reciprocal trade in goods has continued to grow in recent years, reaching more than €2.5 billion in 2012. Kenya's main exports to the EU are fresh cut flowers, tea, coffee and vegetables, mainly peas and beans.
    Botswana, Namibia and South Africa are negotiating a regional Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group, which also includes Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland.
    By implementing an Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU, Botswana and Namibia can maintain duty-free, quota-free access to the EU market. The deadline for completion of negotiation was set to October 2014.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU relations with ACP countries:
    Link State of Play in EPA negotiations


  20. The EU's free trade agreements – where are we?
    2013-07-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    A key priority for the EU is to open up more market opportunities for European business by negotiating new Free Trade Agreements with key countries, a recent European Commission press release reads. The EU has eleven trade negotiations actively under way and several more trade and development negotiations (EPAs) ongoing. It is approximated that if it were to complete all its current free trade talks tomorrow, the EU would add 2.2% to its GDP (or €275 billion).
    For the ACP countries, the ones of most interest are the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). They are trade and development partnerships between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP), based on the Cotonou Agreement (2000). EPA negotiations started in 2002 and have now been concluded with three regions, which have initialled (and then signed and ratified) an agreement: the Caribbean (CARIFORUM), the Pacific (the only country currently involved is Papua New Guinea), and Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA - Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Madagascar, the Seychelles).
    Negotiations are in a decisive phase in the Eastern African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group. Progress is uneven in the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa.
    There are also five Economic Partnership Agreements with African, Caribbean and Pacific States that have been negotiated but they have not yet entered into force. These are: Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon, the Southern African Development Community, Ghana, and the Eastern African Community.
    Besides the EPAs with the ACP countries, the EU is currently involved in on-going negotiations for several other trade agreements, with: Japan, Canada, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), India, Southern Mediterranean, the Eastern Neighbourhood (Armenia and Georgia), Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela), and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
    The EU has just started or is expected to start negotiations with: the United States of America (17 June 2013), and China (May 2013). Some negotiation which are already finished but have not yet been applied are the ones with: Moldova; Ukraine; Singapore; Colombia; Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama).
    Moreover, the EU has 28 trade agreements already in place. These include the FTA with South Africa, which was completed in 2012.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More on the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)


  21. ACP: dismay at EU decision to end sugar quotas in 2017
    2013-07-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Policy, Development Policy

    The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) sugar supplying states are appalled by the final agreement on the new EU agricultural policy (dating 26th June 2013), which stipulates the abolishment of EU beet and isoglucose sugar quotas in 2017, earlier than the initial proposal of 2020, made by the European Parliament, a common press statement released at the end of June 2013 reads.

    The ACP group considers that this calls into question the coherence of EU policies, and undermines the basis of the trade and development cooperation partnership between the ACP and the EU. According to the ACP group, this shows that the interests of the ACP group have not been taken into account, in spite of their numerous submissions over the past years. Particularly, the decision was seen to contradict the objectives of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), which many of the ACP sugar exporters had entered into or are in the process of finalizing the negotiations with the EU.

    In fact, the group has repeatedly warned that an early abolition of quotas would cause the failure of many sugar industries. It cited a European Commission impact study which forecasts a decrease of prices by 45% (compared to 2012 market prices) when the quota would come into place. Furthermore, it drew attention to the December 2012 report by the European Commission Services entitled “Prospects for Agricultural Markets and Income in the EU 2012-2022” which shows that the abolition of quotas would make imports less attractive, and the promote the EU to a situation of self-sufficiency, or even that of a net exporter.
    Further studies non-cited by the ACP group would estimate a €850 million lost in revenue up to 2020 for ACP sugar producers – which include five of the world’s Least Developed Countries. What is more, the predicted alteration of the state of sugar industries would  negate the gains made from investments through the EU-funded Accompanying Measures Support Programme.
    Moreover, it is considered that the 2017 deadline is too short to allow for implementation of measures to improve the competitiveness of affected industries
    Thus, the group called on the EU to review the situation in 2018, in line with the objectives contained in the Cotonou Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreements, and to come up with appropriate corrective measures to further defend the economic interests of the sugar producing countries.
    They give as a positive example the sugar policy  of the United States, which includes domestic production limits, and a market share of 15% reserved for developing countries.}

    ACP sugar producing states include Barbados, Belize, Republic of Congo, Fiji, Guyana, Côte d’Ivoire, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

    Source: ACP Group


    Link Read more
    Link EU warned - Market flux, dented ACP economies if sugar quotas cut
    Link ACP reiterates concern over sugar quotas abolishment date


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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)

NOTE
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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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