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CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 378
Subject: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 378
Send date: 2013-12-03 20:04:16
Issue #: 195
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 : 02/12/2013
CTA Brussels Newsletter


Main events in the week

  1. Main Events for the Week 02/12/2013 - 10/12/2013
  2. 1st African Continental Briefing on the future of African agriculture and the renewed role of FOs
  3. EDD panel: Resilience-building for improved food security & nutrition
  4. South Africa expresses concern with EU ban on citrus import
  5. Dominica wants Europe to lift Schengen visa requirement to stimulate trade
  6. European Parliament voted in favour of the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)
  7. German Food Partnership brings private sector to the table
  8. Reciprocity in trade must not undermine the EU's trade policy
  9. Malawi Finance Minister in 'challenging' €560m assignment in Europe
  10. The October 2013 edition of ”Comodity price data”
  11. 7 out of 10 EU citizens say helping developing countries benefits them too
  12. Caribbean and EU reaffirm commitment to trade and development partnership
  13. Australian Citrus urges the EU to continue accepting South African citrus
  14. Fair Trade campaign urges EU to set up regulation protecting African and Indian workers
  15. EU finalises trade deal with western African states
  16. ACP-EU Joint Assembly: Mobilise the national resources of developing countries
  17. South Africa annuls bilateral investment treaty with Germany
  18. EU and Seychelles successfully initial Fisheries Access Agreement
  19. Fisheries Commissioner attends ICCAT meeting in Cape Town

  1. Main Events for the Week 02/12/2013 - 10/12/2013
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Trade

    Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation:

    - 3-5 December 2013: The 1st African Continental Briefing on “Envisioning the future of African agriculture and the renewed role of farmer’s organizations” (Yaoundé, Cameroun)

    European Parliament:

    - 05 December: European Parliament committee meetings
    - 09-12 December: European Parliament plenary session

    Council of the EU:

    -  02-03 December: Meeting of Competitiveness Council
    - 03 December: Meeting of Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) (Trade) on the margin of WTO Ministerial Conference (Bali, Indonesia)

    ACP Group:

    - 02 December: Special meeting of the Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors
    - 03 December: Committee of Ambassadors
    - 09 December: Ministerial Consultations on commodities (Cotton, Bananas and Sugar)
    - 09 December: Bureau of the ACP Council of Ministers
    - 09 December: Ministerial Committee on Development Finance Cooperation
    - 10 December: Official opening of the 98th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers
    - 10-11 December: Plenary Session of the ACP Council of Ministers

    World Trade Organization:

    - 3-6 December: 9th WTO Ministerial Conference (Bali, Indonesia)

    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. 1st African Continental Briefing on the future of African agriculture and the renewed role of FOs
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Agriculture

    The 1st African Continental Briefing on “Envisioning the future of African agriculture and the renewed role of farmer’s organizations” which will take place in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 3-5th December 2013, will look at the policy issues from a farmer centred perspective. You can download the detailed program of the event, as well as a brief research note on the topic here. Most of the resources and expertise are African-based as to create links between farmers, researchers and policy-makers. The Continental Briefing will be held annually.
    Join the conversation during and after the Briefing on Facebook and Twitter! Tweets from the conference will have hashtag #pafobrief.
    The conference will also have the opportunity to launch of the Panafrican Farmers’ Organisation (PAFO) knowledge platform supported by The Knowledge Management and Communication Programme (KMC), which is developed and run by the Knowledge Management (KM) experts for each regional Farmers Organisation (FO). It is therefore key that the KM group of FOs access and feature knowledge of importance for the FOs groups.
    A very active e-discussion is taking place among over 250 participants from the FOs to feature key areas of interest. In view of the great participation and success, this will continue as a way to promote exchange of knowledge and good practices on a regular basis.
    This continental briefing is supported by the CTA and the African Union Commission (AUC). Other sponsoring organisations include SACAU, PAEPARD and Action Aid.

    PAFO: www.pafo-africa.orgwww.facebook.com/pafoafrica.

    Link Read more
    Link More about PAFO
    Link Join the conversation on Facebook

  3. EDD panel: Resilience-building for improved food security & nutrition
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Agriculture

    To improve information sharing and promote networking, the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Pan-African Farmers’ Orgnaization (PAFO) organised a high-level panel in Brussels on Tuesday 26 November 2013, in the context of the European Development Days. The panelists discussed shared lessons and gave their perspectives on  the matter. More than 200 people attended the panel, and various participants have had the opportunity to raise their questions and share their experiences. The panel has been web-casted and the video can be downloaded here.
    Understanding the multi-faceted dimensions of food security, nutrition and resilience is crucial for combating hunger and poverty in the long term. Smallholders account for a large share of the world’s vulnerable and food-insecure populations. To reduce and manage risks, they need access to climate-smart agricultural technologies and practices, safety nets, educational opportunities, financial services and pro-poor policy environments.
    Investments in disease-resistant crop varieties reduce vulnerability to crop losses and improve food and nutrition security. Programmes such as cash and in-kind transfers, work-for-food and nutrition education campaigns can also help raise household income and consumption of healthy foods. The impacts of price volatility can be mitigated by safety nets, information systems, index insurance and risk management instruments.
    Building resilience implies anticipating the likelihood and location of shocks; promoting preventive measures; mitigating damage and encouraging recovery and restoration where damage is inevitable. The panelists, in this session co-organized by CTA and IFPRI, shared lessons and successes from past experiences in building resilience and explored policy options for the future.
    Speakers came from different parts of the world, highlighting unique experiences: Joe Costello, Minister for Trade and Development, Ireland; Florence Chenoweth, Minister of Agriculture, Liberia; Ernest Ruzindaza, Permanent Secretary of the Minister of Agriculture, Rwanda; Shenggen Fan, Director General of the International Food Policy Research Insitute; Michael Hailu, Director, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation; Kalilou Sylla, Executive Secretary, ROPPA; Stephan Tanda, Managing Board Member, DSM; and Zeinab Badawi, Journalist, BBC, will be the moderator.

    Link Read more
    Link Watch the video

  4. South Africa expresses concern with EU ban on citrus import

    The South African Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (PPCAFF) said on Friday 30 November that the ban of the European Union (EU) on imports of South African citrus products is a "major concern" and "poses a threat" to the country's socio-economic development and that of the region. The ban followed reports about citrus "black spot" that was found in citrus fruit cargos from South Africa to European this year.
    This led to a sudden decision by the EU to ban imports of citrus from South Africa. Citrus "black spot" is a fungal disease that could infect local crops. "This untimely decision has the potential to impact negatively on the industry in terms of both the income and job losses," committee Chairperson Lulu Johnson said in a statement.
    South Africa's future citrus exports to Europe will be determined by a report on black-spot disease to be released by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) at the end of next month. "As much as we believe that each party has the obligation to act in the best for its economy, as the committee we strongly believe that it is through the continuous negotiations that an amicable solution favourable to both countries, especially their producers and consumers, can be found before this causes more unexpected harm," said Johnson.
    Johnson said his committee is calling for "urgent closer" cooperation between the South African government and their European counterparts to further discuss the issue on scientific evidence and reconsider the decision while working in collaboration with the affected citrus producers in the industry to take proper control measures to ensure disease-free in the identified regions.
    The South Africa's citrus industry maintains that citrus black spot poses no risk either to consumers or to orchards in EU countries.

    Source: GlobalPost.com

    Link Read more
    Link Australian Citrus urges the EU to continue accepting South African citrus
    Link South Africa looks for New Markets for Citrus, as EU threats with Imports Ban

  5. Dominica wants Europe to lift Schengen visa requirement to stimulate trade

    Dominica is pursuing efforts to get the European Union (EU) to remove the visa requirements for Dominican nationals travelling to Europe, saying that it is important to stimulate trade under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed with Europe five years ago.
    Junior Foreign Affairs Minister Alvin Bernard said Dominica has joined several countries in making the request. “Apparently the consideration of the request from Dominica is still for consideration…but it has been delayed because of the countries from the Middle Eastern area included on the list”.
    “As you know we are signatories to the Economic Partnership Agreement between ACP (African Caribbean and Pacific) countries and the European Union and in order to fulfill the objectives of this agreement it is critical that we have free movement of our respective citizens because the EPA covers a number of areas including trade and in order to fulfill that it is important that we have free movement,” said Bernard.
    Last year, Cecilia Malmström, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs said the Commission was putting in place measures to allow citizens from six Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries travel to the Schengen area without a visa. She said the change is more than “just a symbolic gesture” and was intended to have a direct impact between the European Commission and Grenada. The countries named were St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
    Dominica and other countries of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) grouping signed the EPA in October 2008 that also provides substantial EU aid for trade. According to the European Union website, the purpose of the agreement is to make it easier for people and businesses from the two regions to invest in and trade with each other and thus to help Caribbean countries grow their economies and create jobs.
    The Schengen area includes 22 EU member states and four associated States. The visa waiver will also apply to Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus which are not yet full members of the Schengen area.

    Source: Caribbean360, European Commission

    Link Read more
    Link CARICOM : EPA implementation gets a boost

  6. European Parliament voted in favour of the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)

    Last week, the European Parliament voted in favour of the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the years 2014 to 2020. The consent of the EP clears the way for the final approval by the Council in the coming weeks. Two and a half years of intense negotiations, since the Commission had tabled its proposals on 29 June 2011, have come to an end.
    "It’s the culmination of a long negotiation process and good news to the citizens of Europe. Funding provided in the budget for innovation, research, education, cohesion or agriculture will definitely provide a major boost to our economies. The EU multiannual financial framework is thefoundation which will help to consolidate funds for growth and job creation", Vytautas Leškevičius, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania said.
    After discussions, the European Parliament gave its consent to the EU multiannual financial framework and paved the way for a smooth start of the new 7-year financial framework's programmes from 1 January 2014.
    "The negotiations of unprecedented intensity and difficulty with the EP were one of the biggest challenges of the Lithuanian and previous Presidencies. Today we can rejoice – the result properly reflects our efforts and the expectations of EU citizens and businesses", Mr Leškevičius said.
    The approval of the multiannual financial framework, according to the Vice-Minister, is a long-awaited decision which will provide new opportunities for the citizens of Europe.
    The goal was to reach final adoption during the Lithuanian Presidency to ensure that funds for the EU's main policies, for example, cohesion and agriculture, agreed upon in February 2013 at the European Council, reached members states on time.
    The EU confirms that he will continue its engagement with the rest of the world and the relations with the East and South, and with EU strategic partners will remain a top priority. As global interdependence grows our security and prosperity needs to be promoted beyond EU borders. That is why the overall objective for external action under the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) will be to ensure that the EU remains an influential and effective partner that promotes democracy, peace, solidarity, stability, poverty reduction and prosperity, both in our immediate EU Neighbourhood and across the wider world. It remains fully committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. EU funding will focus even more on helping the poorest in the world by concentrating support on fewer countries (like Sub-Saharan Africa) and fewer sectors (like sustainable and inclusive growth and good governance). The EU will furthermore maintain its efforts in crisis prevention in order to preserve peace and strengthen international security. EU external assistance instruments will also strengthen the EU's engagement with third countries on issues that are of global concern, such as climate change, environmental protection and regional instabilities, and allow the EU to respond rapidly and effectively to natural and man-made disasters around the world.

    Source: Council of the European Union, European Commission

    Link Read more
    Link the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)

  7. German Food Partnership brings private sector to the table
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Aid effectiveness

    The German government speaks of a paradigm shift in development policy, where the public and private sector partner with local farmers to fight hunger in the developing world. But NGOs have called the German Food Partnership (GFP) deceptive, saying it will support industrialisation without helping the poorest farmers. "We are treading on new territory," said Friedrich Kitschelt, head of department at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
    Kitschelt was speaking at a presentation of the first development projects adopted as part of the German Food Partnership (GFP), the federal government’s new plan to fight world hunger."We are putting the state-centred development hopes of previous decades behind us." Cooperation with the private sector is an essential part of the plan, which Kitschelt said provided an effective way to "promote people’s individual development chances" and to sustainably secure their access to food.
    The German Food Partnership (GFP) is a flagship initiative of Dirk Niebel, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.  Its principle is simple: German companies cooperate with experts from the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) to expand local agri-food value chains in developing and emerging markets, with the aim of enhancing food security in the developing world.
    The first four projects are expected to begin in the coming weeks and consist of €80 million to be spent over the next two years. Half of this amount will come from companies including Bayer CropScience and BASF as well as the seed producers Syngenta and Yara. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the BMZ will each contribute €20 million.
    The two biggest projects are the Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) and the Better Rice Initiative Asia (BRIA). Their goal is to boost the competitiveness of rice producers in developing countries in the process of industrialisation. The objective is that production, from farm to fork, should be more reliable so that farmers, millers and individual retailers all profit from additional business.
    The involvement of private companies does not mean the project is "a charity event", said Hans-Joachim Wegfahrt from Bayer CropScience. On the contrary, the objective is that GFP project pays off in the long run.
    The Philippines, for example, offers considerable market potential. Up till now, the Philippines has been dependent on imports. However, in light of the growing population and regular external shocks caused by natural disasters like typhoons, the Philippine government wants to cover its own demand for rice.
    Hybrid rice offers an innovative and sustainable opportunity to increase crop yield by 32%, according to the Philippines ministry of agriculture’s “Go Modern Agriculture” (GMA) programme. Developed by crossing two genetically distinct parent lines, the resulting hybrid rice varieties offer greater yields and are more resistant to plant diseases.
    If the agri-food value chains do function better as a result, then both Bayer and the farmers will benefit, Wegfahrt told EurActiv.de. "If a farmer has more in his pocket and produces more, then he will naturally buy more of our products," he argues. "We want to turn the farmers into businesses. A green revolution cannot function exclusively with small farmers, large scale farmers must also be a part of the process,” Wegfahrt said.
    Oxfam criticised the use of hybrid rice, saying it "creates more problems than it solves." According to nutrition expert Marita Wiggerthale, alternatives such as the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) are able to increase yields while accommodating traditional cultivation practices, without going through an industrialisation process. She says the process allows an increase in production of 50-100%, which is far higher than hybrid rice, while using 90% less seed and half as much water.
    In fact, Oxfam and numerous other NGOs oppose the GFP in its entirety. It "threatens to turn small farmers into mere appendages of the business and agriculture models of agro-business", according to the Environment and Development Forum, a broad alliance including Oxfam, the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World) and the human rights organisation FIAN.
    "The attempt to integrate small farmers in global agri-food value chains is neither new nor promising. Only a small portion of better positioned farmers can profit from this," said Roman Herre of FIAN. "The poorest farmers who should actually profit from development projects fall through the cracks and discrimination on them is only intensified."
    Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, the BMZ state secretary, hit back: "Flatly refusing participation of economic actors in development processes is Pavlovian conditioning. As a matter of fact, without economic development there cannot be any real development – no jobs, no income and therefore no chances. In agriculture we need a good mix of small farms and industrial agriculture, to achieve adequate global food security," Beerfeltz said.
    Friedrich Kitschelt, the BMZ official who presented the German Food Programme, is certain that private sector interests in the GFP supports development goals. According to him, the association of private and public interests has the added benefit of offering a new philosophy in development cooperation. Instead of forcing something upon families and small farmers in developing and newly industrialising countries, they should be allowed to develop themselves, Kitschelt concluded.

    Source: Blackseagrain.net

    Link Read more
    Link New EU Platform for blending funds in external cooperation

  8. Reciprocity in trade must not undermine the EU's trade policy

    A draft law that could bar non-european firms from bidding for public procurement contracts in the European Union unless their home countries allow EU firms reciprocal access to their public procurement markets was endorsed by the International Trade Committee on Thursday. The proposed “international public procurement instrument” should strengthen the EU’s hand in trade talks and help EU firms wishing to bid for third country contracts. It aims to create some leverage in bilateral trade negotiations on the opening up of public procurement markets.
    The EU is the most open market in the world, with 85% of its public procurement markets open to foreign competition, whereas major emerging economies such as China and Brazil are very restricted, insisting on protectionist requirements such as imposing technology transfers as a condition for the award of public contracts or local content requirements. This situation has led some Member States to take unilateral action to restrict access of firms from third countries which deny access to their own markets at the risk of undermining the principle of uniformity of the common trade policy. This regulation should help the Commission to convince 3rd countries to open up their procurement markets whilst easing tensions and allowing the possibility for targeted restrictive measures under the control of the Commission.
    "The new rules address a crucial imbalance in global trade whereby large multinationals from newly-industrialised nations profit from open access to EU markets, but are protected from global competition at home", said European Parliament rapporteur and International Trade Committee coordinator Daniel Caspary (EPP, DE). "The new rule is simple: 'same rights for both sides'. We are creating a level playing field", he added.
    The international public procurement instrument, approved by 19 votes to 10 with 1 abstention, should help to open up access to third countries’ public procurement markets in exchange for access to EU ones. EU Commission data suggest that 85% of EU public procurement markets are already open to international tenders, but some EU trade partners are reluctant to open up these markets to EU firms. For example, EU firms are permitted to bid for only 32% of the public tenders in the USA and 28% in Japan.
    The proposed instrument would apply to big public tenders (worth €5 million or more excluding VAT) and to tenders in which goods or services originating outside the EU exceed 50% of the total value of the goods or services involved.
    MEPs amended the proposed rules to prevent fragmentation of the single public procurement market, by clarifying that Member States or their contracting authorities can restrict the access of third country goods and services only by measures provided for in this Regulation or by relevant European Union law and only after a European Commission investigation has found a ”lack of substantial reciprocity” by the third country concerned.
    To reduce the risk that developing countries could become unintended victims of the new instrument, the committee backed the proposed exclusion of Least-Developed Countries from scope of legislation and also proposed excluding those developing countries which are ”considered to be vulnerable due to lack of diversification and insufficient integration within the international trading system”. Their bids for public contracts in the EU public tenders must be treated as intra-EU ones, said MEPs.
    MEPs amended the draft to ensure that “lack of substantial reciprocity” restrictions could also be imposed where international labour standards, as defined by the recently-approved EU Public Procurement Directive, are breached in a third country.
    The committee vote needs to be confirmed by the full House in a plenary vote (January tbc)

    Source: European Parliament, ALDE, EPP group

    Link Read more
    Link International Trade Committee ( INTA )
    Link Brussels seeks 'reciprocity' in trade deals

  9. Malawi Finance Minister in 'challenging' €560m assignment in Europe
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Aid effectiveness

    Malawi's new Finance Minister Maxwell Mkwezalamba travels to Brussels, Belgium, next week on an assignment that has been described as both a "challenge" and "an opportunity" as he will negotiate a €560 million funding for Malawi for the next seven years. "It is a challenging assignment but at the same time an opportunity," Malawi's Ambassador to the European Union (EU) Brave Ndisale told PANA in an exclusive interview in Brussels. Mkwezalamba will be in Brussels to negotiate the 11th European Development Fund (2014-2020).
    The negotiations come at a time when most of Malawi's development partners, including the EU, have suspended budgetary support following the unprecedented looting of public resources at the seat of government, Capital Hill. "The current government has discovered issues of corruption and it is addressing them, fraud has been discovered and government has accepted it and it is addressing the same," Ndisale said.
    The envoy nonetheless said after accepting that there is a problem, how government addresses it is very crucial to the future relations with development partners, including the EU. "How you address the problem is an opportunity," she said. "All eyes are on Malawi. We must not only send out the political message, but also we must demonstrate how we are addressing the issue both in the short and long term."
    Mkwezalamba and his entourage will meet the EU commissioners, led by Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, where he will present Malawi's case for the 11th European Development Fund, which will focus on sectors of Agriculture and Food Security, Governance and Education, including development of technical colleges between 2014 and 2020.

    Source: africanmanager.com

    Link Read more
    Link Malawi ‘cash-gate’ corruption scandal unfolds like a thriller
    Link EU Development Work in Malawi

  10. The October 2013 edition of ”Comodity price data”

    The European Commission (EC) has released the September 2013 edition of ”Comodity price data”, a price dashboard which provides a summary of commodity price data for the most representative agricultural products and consumer food prices, at European Union (EU) and world level for the month of August. Although not all the products are comparable at both EU and world level, this document is intended to give an indication on the most recent price developments. Databases with the EU market prices for the most representative products are also available.

    Source: European Commission

    Link Read more
    Link Consult the October edition of the Commodity price dashboard

  11. 7 out of 10 EU citizens say helping developing countries benefits them too
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    Tackling poverty in developing countries should be one of the main priorities of the European Union, according to 66% of EU citizens. Seven out of ten people (69%) believe that helping these countries is also good for the EU, benefiting its citizens. These are some key results from a Eurobarometer survey to be published today at the European Development Days in Brussels (26-27 November).
    Despite the economic crisis, more EU citizens are now willing to pay more for groceries and products that support developing countries (48% of respondents, which represents an increase of 4 percentage points since 2012). 83% of respondents, meanwhile, think that it is important to help people in developing countries and 61% are of the opinion that aid should be increased.
    European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, commented: "I am very encouraged to see that EU citizens support global solidarity and believe that together we can make a real difference in overcoming poverty. Big challenges lie ahead of us: ensuring that we achieve the Millennium Development Goals and make poverty a thing of the past. For the way forward we all need to work together - the global community should agree on an ambitious joint agenda for the eradication of poverty and sustainable development. Today’s survey has a clear message: Europeans stand ready to play their role in this.”
    Personal commitment to development is growing. 48% of Europeans are willing to pay more for groceries and products that support developing countries, an increase of 4 percentage points since 2012. Large increases can be found in some countries that were hit hard by the economic crisis: Ireland (47%, +12), Latvia (27%, +8) and Spain (+7).
    Support for development and aid remains high. 83% think that it is important to help people in developing countries, compared to 85% last year. In contrast, the number of people who are in favour of the EU increasing its aid remains stable, at 61%. EU citizens think that future development policy should focus on employment (44% of respondents), health (33%), economic growth (31%) and education (30%).
    Young people feel particularly concerned by development issues and committed to resolving them. Young people in particular think that they can play a role as an individual in tackling poverty in developing countries. While 61% of 15-24 year-olds believe this, only 45% of people aged 55 and over take the same view.
    53% of 15-24 year-olds are ready to pay more for products if this helps developing countries, compared with 45% of respondents aged 55 or above. Younger respondents are also more likely to think that tackling poverty in developing countries should be one of the main priorities both of the EU and of their national government.
    While most respondents (66%) think that tackling poverty in developing countries should be one of the main priorities of the European Union, only 48% think that it should be one of the main priorities of their own national government.
    Only a small number of respondents (6%) have heard of or read about the MDGs and know what they are. When given a list of MDGs, Europeans believe that the most difficult ones to achieve over the next decade are eradicating poverty, achieving gender equality and stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS.
    Around one respondent in ten (12%) correctly estimates the number of people in the world who live on less than $1 a day (between 500 million and 1 billion).
    The Special Eurobarometer "EU Development Aid and the Millennium Development Goals" has been presented by Commissioner Piebalgs at the European Development Days (EDDs).

    Source: European Commission

    Link Read more
    Link Download the Special Eurobarometer
    Link More about the European Development Days

  12. Caribbean and EU reaffirm commitment to trade and development partnership

    CARIFORUM and European Union (EU) trade officials held a one-day meeting in Grenada on Thursday 21 November, at which they reaffirmed the two regions' commitment to their close trade and development partnership. The two sides discussed progress made so far in putting the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) into practice. The EPA aims to promote trade and investment, underpin regional integration, and foster sustainable development. The EPA is now in its fifth year of implementation, and this was the third annual meeting of a body which it establishes, the CARIFORUM-EU Trade and Development Committee (TDC).
    Officials focussed on involving civil society in EPA implementation, trade in agriculture, and monitoring the EPA. They discussed the involvement of civil society, which will have its own Consultative Committee under the EPA. On agriculture, they launched talks on measures to promote and protect Geographical Indications (GIs) – such as Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica or Roquefort cheese from France. The regular monitoring and review of the EPA was also on the agenda, with discussion of the first five-yearly review, due for completion in 2014, and the creation of a long-term mechanism to monitor the EPA's results.
    The Head of the European Union's Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Ambassador Mikael Barfod highlighted the EU's ongoing development assistance to help Caribbean governments and businesses put the EPA into practice and exploit its opportunities.
    "Making the EPA work for people across the Caribbean is our shared responsibility.  And it's an important one, given the hopes and aspirations inherent in the agreement - promoting trade and investment, underpinning regional integration, and fostering sustainable development," EU trade official Remco Vahlsaid.
    Talks focussed on involving civil society in the EPA process, trade in agriculture, and monitoring the EPA. Officials discussed the involvement of civil society, which will have its own Consultative Committee under the EPA.  On agriculture, they launched talks on measures to promote and protect Geographical Indications (GIs) – such as Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica or Rocquefort cheese from France. The regular monitoring and review of the EPA was also on the agenda, with discussion of the first five-yearly review, due for completion in 2014, and the creation of a long-term mechanism to monitor the EPA's results.
    The EPA trade and development partnership was signed in 2008 by the 15 States that make up CARIFORUM and the EU. Its goals are simple - to make it easier for people and businesses from the two regions to invest in and trade with each other, and to boost growth across the Caribbean.
    The EPA has three main features. Firstly, it introduces asymmetric reciprocity in trade between the CARIFORUM States and Europe. But it also reflects the current level of development in the Caribbean, and the region's specific characteristics and challenges.
    The EPA also covers trade in a much wider sense than the rules that came before it. It covers not just goods but also services – the backbone of modern economies – and areas where rules and regulations can help promote trade: competition, innovation and intellectual property, public procurement, and environmental and labour standards.

    Source: Caricom, European Commission, EINnews.com, Anguillanews.com

    Link Read more
    Link Caricom EPA implementation unit
    Link EU-Caribbean trade relations

  13. Australian Citrus urges the EU to continue accepting South African citrus

    Citrus Australia is urging the European Union to heed the findings of an international expert panel and continue accepting South African citrus. The call comes amid fears the EU will block South African citrus due to concern over the disease, citrus black spot, and disrupt long-established incident-free trade.
    Citrus Australia CEO Judith Damiani says that EU concerns that South African fruit may spread the disease to Europe were unfounded. “Earlier this year, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) came out saying that citrus imports posed an unacceptable risk to Europe’s own industry due to concerns over citrus black spot. We knew that this was contrary to what others – including the United States Department of Agriculture - have found and we backed Australia’s involvement in an international expert panel set up to consider the scientific facts.”
    That panel drew together scientists from a range of citrus exporting nations, including Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and the United States, and found conclusively that citrus fruit is not a pathway for the transmission of citrus black spot.
    The risk assessment conducted by EFSA is also in contrast to the recent risk assessment conducted by the United States which concluded that fresh fruit is not a risk pathway. As a result, the first citrus exports from Uruguay to the United States recently arrived.  “This only adds to our disappointment with the EU stance - given that leading US experts conducted a very thorough examination of the risk and arrived at a very different conclusion,” says Judith.
    “While Europe is currently a minor market for Australia, the principle here is very important - any measures placed on the trade in fruit should be based on sound science and in this case it appears that the EU position on citrus black spot is not technically justified. “We therefore urge EFSA to base all its future decisions solely on internationally accepted science.”

    Source: Citrus Australia

    Link Read more
    Link Fewer boxes of South African oranges exported to EU
    Link South Africa looks for New Markets for Citrus, as EU threats with Imports Ban

  14. Fair Trade campaign urges EU to set up regulation protecting African and Indian workers

    Fair Trade activists are exhorting the EU to set up regulations which will prevent low pay and poor working conditions for African and Indian workers. Campaigners are objecting to an economic model in which a supermarket earns just over £1 from a bag of cashews sold for £2.50 while the factory worker in these developing countries makes 3p per day. Remarks made by EU Commissioner for internal markets, Michael Barnier, suggest that a case may be taken up against the industry.
    "Farmers and workers across the world are suffering every day because of unfair trading practices by supermarkets," said Liz May, head of policy at the fair trade organisation Traidcraft in an interview with the Guardian newspaper. "It's time the EU took action and set up a regulator with the power to stop abuses by retailers that result in extremely low pay and appalling working conditions, " she said.
    ESM magazine reports that with its premium price, the cashew nut industry could be a great opportunity for Africa and India economically. Globally, it is a $4 billion (£2.5 billion) industry that provides jobs for millions.

    Source: freshplaza.com

    Link Read more
    Link Decent Work and Africa-EU Trade Relations
    Link UK: Retailers targeted by cotton made in Africa

  15. EU finalises trade deal with western African states

    The European Union could finalise a trade agreement with West Africa's 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) within the next three months, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said on 14th November.
    Negotiations over an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to promote free market access broke down a year and a half ago amid disagreement over the speed at which West African nations were willing to open their markets and lift tariff barriers. However ECOWAS heads of state agreed last month to implement a single customs tariff regime from 2015, allowing talks with the EU to restart.
    "It was a breakthrough in Dakar in October. It's on the basis of that breakthrough that we are of the opinion that we can come to a close of these negotiations anytime soon," De Gucht told journalists at the end of a visit to Ivory Coast."I believe it is possible and realistic to close these negotiations within two to three months," he said.
    ECOWAS's Common External Tariff aims to harmonise customs duties charged on imported goods to the bloc of some 300 million people. The eight-nation Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA) - whose members form part of ECOWAS - already has a single-tariff scheme and a shared currency. "They have also come forward with new offer for market opening for European products that we will very closely look at," De Gucht said.
    ECOWAS groups Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the members of UEMOA - Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Niger and Togo. ECOWAS aims to introduce a single currency throughout the bloc by 2020. The talks also involve Mauritania, which is not a member of ECOWAS bloc.

    Source: EurActiv.com, Reuters

    Link Read more
    Link EPA: West Africa ministers meet to revive negotiations
    Link EU: progress towards finalizing EPAs with Ecowas

  16. ACP-EU Joint Assembly: Mobilise the national resources of developing countries
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive, Rural development

    "Development financing must be centred on the mobilisation of national resources so as to promote endogenous development," said Patrice Tirolien (S&D, FR), Vice-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), at the opening ceremony of its 26th session on 25 November in Addis Ababa. He stressed that this must respect the fiscal arrangements of the countries concerned.
    National fiscal capacities must be strengthened and measures taken to curb illicit flows of finance, which are a major obstacle to the development of many countries, said Mr Tirolien. He stressed that the transparency and efficiency of national fiscal systems was of decisive importance and appealed for new ways of financing development policy to be applied.
    "Development cooperation should no longer be considered only in terms of the flow of financial assistance from North to South," said Joyce Laboso (Kenya), Co-President of the JPA. "Rather, we now know that there is enormous social, political and indeed economic capital to be shared among less developing countries themselves," she added.
    The relationship between the EU and the ACP countries "should not be based on the rather obsolete assumption that one side is the ultimate provider and the other the perennial receiver of the resources", echoed Prime Minister Hailemariyam Desalegn of Ethiopia, noting that "the days of paternalistic political interference are gone."
    Abadula Gemeda, Speaker of the House of People’s Representative of Ethiopia, said EU-ACP cooperation must address climate change, agriculture, terrorism, human trafficking and the economic crisis.
    It is "more essential than ever to implement the framework agreement on peace, security and cooperation for the DRC and the Great Lakes Region, signed on 24 February 2013", said Mr Tirolien. "This agreement remains the best basis for relaunching our efforts (...) to achieve a lasting solution to the crisis in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo," he added.
    Co-President Joyce Laboso (Kenya) underlined the need to take "immediate action in the form of legal, political and social measures" to end the practice of female genital mutilation, which is "a serious violation of human rights" affecting almost 120 million girls in the world. Social indifference in many countries is one of the main challenges, she said, stressing that "we cannot simply wait for this practice to evolve away naturally with time".
    The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) brings together elected representatives of the European Union (EU) and the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP), with MEPs and MPs from the 78 signatory states to the Cotonou Agreement, which is the basis for ACP-EU development cooperation.

    Source: European Parliament

    Link Read more
    Link Role of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly
    Link ACP-EU parliamentary assembly to address EU’s differentiation policies

  17. South Africa annuls bilateral investment treaty with Germany

    South Africa last week cancelled its bilateral investment treaty with Germany, one of its most important trading partners, amid protests by German businesses here. The move comes as part of South Africa’s stated intention to reshape its investment policy framework, ending bilateral treaties with individual countries. The German treaty is the fourth one with a member of the European Union (EU) to be cancelled, but it is by far the biggest and most significant.
    Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies signalled more than a year ago that the investment treaties would be replaced by general legislation. The Cabinet last week approved the Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill but it has not yet been published.
    While the cancellation of the German treaty was not a surprise, there was disappointment in EU trade circles. This was because there had been a tacit understanding that no further treaties would be cancelled until the law to replace them had been aired.
    The cancellation of the bilateral investment treaties — including those with Luxembourg, Spain and Belgium — has caused jitters among investors and rating agencies. This is on fears that investor rights might not be as strongly protected in the future.

    Source: Business Day Live

    Link Read more
    Link South Africa moves to reassure EU after trade deal fallout
    Link EU warns South Africa over

  18. EU and Seychelles successfully initial Fisheries Access Agreement
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Delegations from the European Union (EU) and the Seychelles have today successfully initialled a Fishery Access Agreement at a meeting in Victoria, Seychelles, which will allow Seychelles flagged vessels to continue fishing operations in the waters of Mayotte. These waters will become EU waters when Mayotte becomes an outermost region of the EU on 1 January 2014.
    The Agreement will allow eight tuna purse seine vessels to operate in the waters of Mayotte under the jurisdiction of the EU for the next six years with the payment of licence and catch fees coming directly from the ship-owners.
    Both sides welcome the agreement which further strengthens the strategic relationship shared by the EU and the Seychelles in the region. This Agreement will further bolster the cooperation and joint efforts to maintain and expand general fishery governance based on the highest standards of sustainability, transparency, control and monitoring of the respective fleets – principles consistent with those of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy.
    This common approach will serve as a benchmark for similar types of agreements for access to fisheries resources between sovereign states in the region and for the entire Indian Ocean tuna fisheries management approach.
    For the EU this is the first inter-governmental agreement which has provided the right to fish to vessels of a third country in its waters on the payment of fees. These vessels will be subject to the rules and regulations of the Common Fisheries Policy and the conservation and management measures established by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), the body responsible for the management of the tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean.
    This also represents a major step forward for the Seychelles as it ensures the continuity of the operations of its fleet, thus contributing to Seychelles’ blue economy. With the Agreement, Seychelles fulfils its obligations as a responsible flag State by enforcing the actions agreed under IOTC to safeguard the sustainability of the resource. These shared principles of good governance, also embedded in the new CFP, are central to the Agreement.
    This new Agreement builds on the recently agreed new Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Seychelles.

    Source: European Commission

    Link Read more
    Link Accession to the WTO: Seychelles concludes negotiations with EU

  19. Fisheries Commissioner attends ICCAT meeting in Cape Town
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Ahead of the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to be held in Cape Town on 18-25th November 2013, the European Commission has reemphasised the importance of ICCAT continuing to manage fish stocks in a way that allows for sustainable yield for fishermen and ensures a stable flow of products to the markets.
    At the meeting, the EU will highlight the need for ICCAT to continue its path towards the best science, to keep better compliance and enforcement high on the agenda and to ensure that this year's management decisions are fully in line with scientific advice. In particular this relates to those stocks for which new assessments have been undertaken, namely Atlantic albacore and Atlantic swordfish. The EU also believes that the precautionary approach should guide ICCAT in discussions on stocks, such as Eastern and Mediterranean Bluefin tuna, until new advice is available.
    Although the EU welcomes the recovery trend started last year, now confirmed by new data, it notes that significant uncertainties identified still cannot be accounted for and do not provide a full picture of the speed and magnitude of the recovery. The EU therefore supports the Scientific Committee's calls for stability in the management of the stock, including for the TAC, to allow for better assessments, with fewer uncertainties, in the future.
    Next to its efforts for the recovery of bluefin tuna, the EU will continue to push for the protection of vulnerable shark species and will work with the other Contracting Parties to support ICCAT measures that ban shark finning, in line with the EU rules adopted recently.
    ICCAT is an inter-governmental fishery organisation responsible for the conservation of tunas and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean composed of 47 members. The EU is a member and the European Commission negotiates on behalf of the EU at ICCAT.

    Source: European Commission

    Link Read more
    Link More on the conference

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

Ms Isolina BOTO
CTA Brussels Office
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Editor: Etienne GOFFIN (goffin@cta.int)

If you have questions or suggestions, please write to us at : boto@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.
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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