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CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 381
Subject: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 381
Send date: 2014-01-20 15:01:57
Issue #: 198
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 : 20/01/2013
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week
  1. Main Events for the Week 20/01/2014 – 26/01/2014
  2. Video Guest: Ousmane Badiane (Director for Africa, International Food Policy Research Institute)
  3. How loans can be reported as development aid?
  4. The EU response to the Central African Republic crisis
  5. The EU farming sector in line with society's expectations
  6. European Parliament says no to GMO
  7. New global food table: Europe feasts while Africa fasts
  8. EU chief scientist: 'It is unethical not to use GM technology
  9. South Sudan on the brink of civil war
  10. Four years on from the Haiti earthquake: The EU’s response
  11. Banana and Plantain Farmers in Jamaica to Benefit from EU Assistance
  12. EP clarifies labelling rules for honey if contaminated by GM pollen
  13. Lithuanian Presidency of the EU two-and-a-half times more productive than the average
  14. Cabo Verde gains access to EU’s GSP
  15. EU Contribution to the Millennium Development Goals
  16. Potential label for product of island farming
  17. EC plead for concerted international action in Central African Republic
  18. Council reaches political agreement on fishing opportunities
  19. EU leads international counter piracy efforts
  20. Negotiations on European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) suspended


  1. Main Events for the Week 20/01/2014 – 26/01/2014
    2014-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Agriculture

    European Commission

    - 22 January: The Commission presents the 2030 framework for climate and energy

    European Parliament:

    - 20-23 January: European Parliament Committee Meetings

    Council of the EU:

    - 20 January: Foreign Affairs Council

    ACP Group:

    - 21 January: Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors
    - 21 January: S/C on Sustainable Development
    - 23 January: Committee of Ambassadors
    - 24 January: S/C on Political, Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs

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




  2. Video Guest: Ousmane Badiane (Director for Africa, International Food Policy Research Institute)
    2014-01-20

    In this week’s CTA Brussels video interview, Ousmane Badiane, Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) tells us more about the agricultural growth recovery and economic transformation in Africa. Badiane said that IFPRI is helping to create a critical mass of world class experts in economic modelling and a strong community of practice with the best tools, state of the art models, high quality data and all the necessary resources for training. He highlighted the key findings of the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAAKS) which pulls together a network of experts from the countries in the region as well as from global centres of expertise to answer the needs in terms of technical analyses, data and tools that allows CAADEP  to have a vibrant and well informed review process for  benchmarking and mutual learning. Finally, he reminded that good policies may not be the solution for everything but bad policies are a problem for everything.
    On the 2nd October 2013,  Ousmane Badiane held a presentation on “the successes in agriculture and structural transformation in Africa” as part of the Brussels Briefing on the ‘Drivers of success for agricultural transformation in Africa’ organized by CTA Brussels at the Borschette Congress Center in Brussels.
    To find out more and watch his presentation: http://brusselsbriefings.net/past-briefings/agricultural-transformation-in-africa/


    Link Watch the video


  3. How loans can be reported as development aid?
    2014-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    European donors have been accused of profiting from their aid budgets, as an increasing amount of their money for the developing countries is being given as loans – which have to be paid back with interest. In a report published last Thursday (16 January), Eurodad informs that loans offered at preferential terms can be reported as official development assistance (ODA), provided they meet certain concessionality conditions. The paper discusses the main developments in this debate over the past ten years and presents recommendations on how to optimise the developmental benefits of this reform.
    The issue of concessional loans has attracted much discussion in recent years. The context of tighter budgets in Europe is incentivising governments to find methods to increase ODA levels without budgetary implications. One possible way of doing this is by reporting a larger share of their loans to developing countries as ODA. The discussion is also gaining prominence in relation to several issues on donors’ agendas, including how to leverage development resources by blending public with private funds, and how to capture budget neutral financial instruments and lending to middle-income countries as development finance contributions.
    The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) compiles aid statistics that allow comparisons and monitoring of aid volumes provided by bilateral governments and multilateral institutions for the purpose of reducing poverty in developing countries. Lending to sub-Saharan African governments has more than doubled over five years, from $8 billion in 2006 to $20 billion in 2011. Concessional lending to developing countries has followed a similar rising trend. DAC multilateral institutions have disbursed twice as many concessional loans to developing countries in 2011 ($42 billion) than in 1995 ($19 billion). Similarly, concessional loans from DAC bilateral donors have doubled over the past decade, from $8 billion in 2001 to $16 billion in 2011.
    ‘Concessionality requirements’ are currently being discussed within the DAC, to see whether they are relevant and how they can be improved. While concessionality addresses key issues for the future of aid quantity and quality, the debate has so far been taking place among government officials with no broad involvement of civil society and has been framed in rather technical terms.

    Source: Eurodad and EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Download the report
    Link EU donors 'profiting from aid budgets' with high-interest loans


  4. The EU response to the Central African Republic crisis
    2014-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    Since the outbreak of new violence late 2012, the EU has intensified its outreach to partners. It is actively engaged in international and regional efforts to stabilize the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and to restore a more stable government in the country. On 19-20 December 2013, the European Council confirmed the EU’s willingness to use relevant instruments to contribute towards the efforts under way to stabilise the country, including under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), based on a proposal by High Representative Catherine Ashton.
    In this respect, the Political and Security Committee confirmed on 15 January the appropriateness of the preparation for a possible EU military operation, and invited the EEAS to develop a Crisis Management Concept in view of a decision on 20 January at the Foreign Affairs Council. European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva has called, jointly with the UN Under-Secretary General and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, a ministerial meeting on CAR’s humanitarian situation in Brussels on 20 January. She has visited the country twice in 2013 and co-chaired a ministerial meeting on the humanitarian crisis in CAR at the 2013 UN General Assembly with France and the UN.
    Despite the signature on 11 January 2013 in Libreville of a political agreement initiating a transition period, tensions culminated in the violent seizure of power and the unconstitutional change of government by SELEKA rebel groups in March 2013. On 5 December 2013, the worst spate of violence since the outbreak of the crisis erupted in the capital and other parts of the country, triggered by an attack by anti-Balaka and other armed groups against Muslims in Bangui. This, and the acts of retaliation that followed, left more than 1,000 people dead and led to a sudden and considerable increase of internal displacement.
    The current crisis is affecting the majority of the population (4.6 million, half of them children). Almost 60% of the Central Africans are in dire need of aid. As of 15 January, there were about 886,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in CAR. More than 86,000 Central Africans have sought refuge in neighbouring countries in the last year. Humanitarian access has been restricted by insecurity. Lack of access makes it difficult to monitor the overall humanitarian situation and deliver the urgently required assistance to those suffering the consequences of violence. The EU has taken the lead in advocacy and funding on CAR among relief donors, and has had a permanent humanitarian presence in Bangui since long before the latest events.
    The restoration of security and public order remain the immediate priorities to stabilize the country in support of the political process. Improving humanitarian coverage and re-launching development assistance are directly linked to positive developments in the security situation. An essential medium- to long-term objective is the rebuilding of state institutions.
    The European Union (EU) is a key partner of the Central African Republic (CAR) and the country's main donor. Relations are bound by the Cotonou Agreement. Even before the current crisis, CAR faced a daunting mix of governance, economic, social, and humanitarian as well as security challenges. In response, the EU has been committed in many critical areas to support longer-term socio-economic recovery, in the framework of a comprehensive state- and peacebuilding agenda, and to help build a more stable country.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EC plead for concerted international action in Central African Republic
    Link EU and Central African Republic


  5. The EU farming sector in line with society's expectations
    2014-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Agriculture

    “Together with the 28 Member States and the European Parliament, we have reformed the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). This reform reflects choices already made – to encourage farmers to produce what consumers want and not what public authorities decide” said Dacian Cioloş European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development during the opening Ceremony of the International Green Week held in Berlin on the 16 January 2014. “At the same time, we wanted to encourage farmers to take into account not only our choices as consumers – healthy, safe, quality and affordable products – but also our choices as citizens, with concerns for the environment and our future” he added.
    Following the turn of the century, the EU set itself far-reaching objectives: traceability of food products, animal welfare, restrictions on certain substances such as hormones in livestock production. These two elements – taking account of consumer expectations and our capacity to regenerate natural productive resources in a sustainable way - are two interlinked features of the competitiveness of modern farming: not only to produce, but also to be in line with society's expectations. They are two essential components of the ‘Made in Europe’ label – which give an identity to our agri-food sector throughout the world.
    The European Commission (EC) has recently proposed to redefine and strengthen the promotion of EU agri-food products, both within the EU and on international markets. The EC proposed to triple the budget allocated to promotion actions by 2020. At international level, equally, the stakes are high for our agri-food sector, centred in particular exports of high added-value, quality, processed products. The trade policy must be based on the obvious assets of the agri-food products and should not rely on public policy tools to support exports, which risk affecting the capacity of others to develop their own agriculture, especially in less developed countries.
    Since 1 January, EU legislation is also very clear: export refunds have ceased to exist as a means of systematically supporting a sector. Moreover, Dacian Cioloş said he is prepared to go one step further in the framework of preferential partnership agreements with African countries: “I am ready to propose to stop, once and for all, the use of export refunds to those developing country destinations – even in times of crisis when this instrument can still be used. This commitment will bring our agricultural policy fully into line with EU development policy.”

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link CAP reform package and transitional measures 2014
    Link 23 Member States contest CAP reform implementation


  6. European Parliament says no to GMO
    2014-01-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Agriculture

    The Members of European Parliament (MEPs) called on the European Commission (EC) not to allow the genetically modified maize crop Pioneer 1507 on the EU market. This insect-resistant crop could be dangerous to harmless butterflies and moths, said a resolution approved on Thursday 16 January 2014. “Based on this proposal, we are clearly lacking evidence on the safety of this new GMO strain to have it on the EU markets" said Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, a German member of the S&D group, who opposed approval along with other members of the environment committee.
    Since the non-renewal of a couple of other authorisations in the mid-1990s, there is only one variety of maize - the MON 810 from Monsanto - which is currently authorised to be cultivated for commercial use in the EU. This one would be the second one.
    In the case of maize 1507 from Pioneer, MEPs have decided to object to this proposal for an authorisation because they were very surprised by the Commission attitude to take a positive decision which had been opposed by 12 member states (with only six Member States voting in favour of the authorisation).
    The risk assessments from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) show that highly sensitive butterflies and moths may be at risk when exposed to maize 1507 pollen. Yet, Pioneer refused to present additional documents regarding monitoring and risk mitigating measures for these non-target species.
    Lastly, the Commission took this decision of authorisation arguing that it had been condemned by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last September. However, the ECJ has only ruled that the Commission had failed to act. It has not prevented the Commission from presenting a new proposal recommending not to authorise maize 1507.
    MEPs cannot know when the decision of the Council will come. Yet, what I can say is that any new authorisation for GMO cultivation is an issue, as it is always a challenge for the Council to find a majority either in favour or against such a decision. This is the reason why requests for authorisation can remain a very long time without a final decision.
    Last July, Monsanto announced it will withdraw pending approval requests to grow new types of genetically modified crops in the EU, explaining that there was a lack of commercial prospects for cultivation. It is true that the regulatory environment is made difficult due to the fact that several member states are not in favour of new authorisation for cultivation. It must also been said that the lack of evidence provided by the industry on the safety of new GM crops does not help to dispel EU citizens’ recurring doubts on GMOs. This is why for the time being the majority (61%), of Europeans are opposed to the development of GM food in Europe (Eurobarometer of November 2010). They consider GMOs as not offering benefits, as unsafe, as inequitable and as worrying.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link GMOs – implications for trade and developing countries
    Link EC legally obliged to pass on a 12-year old GMO cultivation request


  7. New global food table: Europe feasts while Africa fasts
    2014-01-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Oxfam has published the 'Good Enough to Eat'index, a global snapshot of 125 countries indicating the best and worst places to eat. It reveals the different challenges that people face depending on where they live. According to the index, three northern European countries enjoy the planet's cheapest and healthiest diest, while three African countries have the worst.
    The Netherlands is the best food performer in the global food table – followed closely by France and Switzerland – while at the other end, Chad is 125th in the rankings, below Ethiopia and Angola.
    In fact, European countries occupy all but one of the top 20 places in the index – the 8th place being jointly occupied by Australia – while African countries make up 26 of the bottom 30 countries in a food-based snapshot of global inequality.
    The other four countries at the foot of the table are Laos, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.
    “With European countries occupying the majority of the top 30 spots, they run the risk of turning away from the suffering of the world’s one in eight going hungry each night,” said Natalia Alonso, the head of Oxfam’s EU Office.
    “There is more than enough food to feed those people,” she added, “yet European leaders are failing to fix the policies that take it off their plates.”
    The index measured the quality of people’s food by its diversity, their access to safe drinking water, and the extent of unhealthy outcomes such as diabetes and obesity levels.
    Access to food were assessed by checking levels of malnutrition, while affordability was measured by food price volatility and price levels relative to other goods and services.
    Interestingly, the study found that inequalities within European nations were beginning to be reflected in the statistics.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Oxfam Briefing Summary
    Link Oxfam Briefing Paper


  8. EU chief scientist: 'It is unethical not to use GM technology
    2014-01-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture, Food Policy, Archive

    A written interview with EU Chief scientist, Anne Glover, who has expressed that it would be unethical not to use GM technology when other approaches have failed as genetically modified crops can provide solutions to famine and malnutrition in developing countries.
    In this interview, Anne Glover clarifies that the EASAC’s report on ‘Planting the future’ is an authoritative, joint statement of the national science academies from EU Member States and that its conclusions are made based on the best possible evidence.
    She continues that there are still concerns about GM, but different than previously when the technology was in its infancy. Nowadays, people are concerned with the business practice in the agrifood sector due to the involvement of multinational companies and the regulatory burden by the EU, which creates difficulties for SMEs to enter the GM business. She explains the value of GM technology and dispels claims of critics, in particular the recent study lead by Gilles-Eric Séralini.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Commission approves new GM products for food and feed uses


  9. South Sudan on the brink of civil war
    2014-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Special EU envoy Alexander Rondos visited South Sudan in December as a violent power struggle has been raging in South Sudan for several week. Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy insisted that an immediate ceasefire with effective monitoring established as quickly as possible is essential to spare the people of South Sudan any further suffering.  She appealed to the parties to give full access to all people in the areas under their control to humanitarian workers and observers. She warned all parties that any perpetrators of systematic or targeted abuses of human rights would be held accountable for their actions. The conflict in South Sudan that runs along ethnic lines is at the edge of turning into civil war. It could threaten the entire region.
    The United Nations estimates that thousands have already been killed, and has reports of rapes and arbitrary arrests. More than 80,000 people have had to flee the violence. There are some 20,000 people seeking refuge in a UN camp in the capital city of Juba. The camp, where people are living in makeshift tents, is experiencing serious shortages. The only thing in generous supply is fear for the future. "If the situation remains as it is, I won't be able to return to my home," said one of the refugees.

    Source: Deutsche Welle and European External Action Service


    Link Read more
    Link Statement by Catherine Ashton on South Sudan
    Link MEPs assess humanitarian situation in South Sudan


  10. Four years on from the Haiti earthquake: The EU’s response
    2014-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    On 12 January 2010, Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake that took 222,750 people's lives, injured many thousands and made 1.7 million homeless. Since day one, the European Union has responded to the needs of the Haitian population; providing both immediate humanitarian relief on a massive scale, while boosting its development aid.
    The EU recently announced that it will provide €420m to Haiti, between 2014 and 2020 under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). This support will focus on a few key areas; education, reform of the state, modernisation of public administration, urban development and infrastructure, and food security and nutrition.
    The EU action has helped to save lives, provide shelter, food and health services, rebuild roads, schools and hospitals and support the Haitian authorities in the reconstruction process. Besides responding to the post-earthquake humanitarian crisis, the European Union has continued to provide cooperation aid to Haiti, aiming to eradicate poverty, improve living standards and encourage long-term socio-economic development.
    The EU has provided €883 m for Haiti between 2008 and 2013. Since 2010, the EU has committed €570 million for financing projects in a number of priority areas, such as supporting the State's budget, rehabilitation of roads, agriculture, education, human rights, food security, electoral assistance and support to trade.
    As well as providing humanitarian and development aid, the EU and Haiti are engaged in a regular political dialogue aimed at advancing democracy, human rights, the rule of law, security and regional cooperation.
    The EU has been a partner of Haiti since 1989, when the country joined the African, Caribbean and Pacific (or ACP) group of countries. This partnership was renewed as part of the Cotonou Agreement, which was concluded in 2000.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU pledges €532m for Haiti reconstruction
    Link EC humanitarian support to Haiti


  11. Banana and Plantain Farmers in Jamaica to Benefit from EU Assistance
    2014-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Agriculture

    Over the next four years, the European Union will be funding the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) special assistance programme, which aims to assist banana and plantain farmers, and other sector interests, with enhancing crop production and productivity.
    This programme will be implemented over a period of 48 months in the banana growing parishes of St Thomas, St Catherine, Clarendon, St James, Portland and St Mary and forms part of Government’s Poverty Eradication Strategy by increasing the ability of small farmers to increase their production and productivity.
    This funding is intended to ensure effective project management of the Banana Accompanying Measures and will impact some 1400 plantain and banana growers who are members of the All Island BananaGrowers Association.

    Source: Jamaican Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries


    Link Read more
    Link EU supports banana sector Cameroon with €41 million
    Link Banana export to EU still a slippery issue


  12. EP clarifies labelling rules for honey if contaminated by GM pollen
    2014-01-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture, Food Security

    Parliament endorsed draft rules defining pollen as a natural constituent of honey, rather than an ingredient, in a vote on Wednesday. This means that GM pollen has to be labelled if it makes up more than 0.9% of the honey.
    “The ingredient/constituent argument has arisen due to the labelling implications of each option. If pollen continues to be considered a ‘constituent’, any GM pollen present would not need to be labelled. This is because, according to the GM regulation, only GM content above 0.9 % needs to be labelled. Since pollen only forms around 0.5 % of any batch of honey, it would never exceed the labelling threshold," said the rapporteur, Julie Girling (ECR, UK). Her report was adopted by 430 votes to 224, with 19 abstentions.
    The full Parliament rejected a proposal by the environment committee to consider GM pollen as an ingredient rather than a natural constituent of honey, in line with a Court of Justice ruling in 2011.
    With pollen defined as a constituent of honey, current EU legislation on labelling applies, which states that GMOs must be indicated if they are present as a quantity of more than 0.9% of the honey (and not of the pollen).
    Current legislation does not state explicitly whether pollen in honey is, or is not, an ingredient. The Court of Justice sought to clarify this in a ruling in September 2011 which defined pollen as an "ingredient" of honey, thereby requiring producers to indicate “pollen” in a list of ingredients on the label of the product. However, in the rules proposed by the Commission and backed on Wednesday by Parliament, pollen is defined as a constituent of honey, not an ingredient.
    The rapporteur received a mandate from the plenary to start negotiations with the Greek presidency of the Council with a view to reaching agreement at first reading.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EU Consumers want clearer food origin labelling
    Link EC adopts proposal to amend honey rules


  13. Lithuanian Presidency of the EU two-and-a-half times more productive than the average
    2014-01-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    In an exclusive interview with EurActiv.com, the Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė has appraised the results of her six-month presidency of the Council of the EU. She is satisfied to have passed two-and-a-half times more laws than the average. Lithuania started with a huge number of dossiers and solved many difficult legislative files. The country of 3.2 million people, which joined the EU in 2004, assumed its first presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July 2013
    “A huge workload was pushed to our presidency, because the next one will have to already prepare for the EU elections,” told Grybauskaitė, who reckoned the workload was two-and-a-half times more than that usually dealt with by previous EU presidencies.  “We made it. We passed 61 of the 74 legislative acts so that the EU budget can be operational as of next year,” she added.
    Many dossiers, on top of the EU budget, were left over from previous presidencies: posted workers, the tobacco directive, agriculture, rules for Frontex, CO2 on cars. These and others were all fruitfully brought to agreement. According to the Lithuanian president, the greatest achievement is however the banking union.
    “In the recent two years we have been creating a number of instruments to fight the crisis (two-pack, six- pack),  but the banking union is the additional tassel in the architecture,” she said. “It is important for economic recovery and financial stability in Europe.”
    Even though critics argue the compromise is imperfect and too complex to work effeciently, she points at the positive of having managed to agree on a very sovereign issue such as banking resolution. “The Single Resolution Mechanism was proposed in September and in three months we have an agreement. We have never worked at such speed,” she said.
    “It is a compromise – she stressed – we can later improve it, if necessary ste ps are needed. But the fact that we were able to reach a compromise should be saluted as an important step. Optimal or not, time will say,” she clarified. She insisted that the new instruments must now be properly implemented.
    Perfection from the start is only for utopians, hinted the president. “The job is better done by those who stop talking about doing something, but that actually get the job done,” she said. “Europe is not a gift, it is responsibility. It takes responsibility to be European. Responsibility to do the reforms which are good for your country. It is fiscal, social responsibility,” she added, insisting that it was time to stop taking European peace, prosperity and security for granted.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Council adopts the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020
    Link The Lithuanian EU Presidency - ‘A fresh Baltic breeze’


  14. Cabo Verde gains access to EU’s GSP
    2014-01-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The government of Cabo Verde declared on Wednesday 8 January 2014 that the recent enforcement of the country’s access to the European Union’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP+) was an “important step” in the relationship with the European block. The Cape Verdean Ministry for Foreign Relations informed in a statement that on 28 December 2013 the European Parliament officially approved the European Commission’s proposal to improve Cabo Verde’s access to the European Union (EU) market and that the measure was put in place on 1 January 2014. The access to the SGP+ may also support the country’s integration in the international economic system.
    The GSP is a system designed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for goods from developing nations to have privileged access to developed markets. The GSP+ is made up of a set of EU rules that allows exporters from developing nations to pay lower customs taxes on all or some of the products they sell to the EU. It provides tax-free access by several products. In 2012 the EU imported goods worth 4.9 billion euros from beneficiary countries.

    Source: macauhub


    Link Read more
    Link Comprehensive review of the EU GSP for developing countries
    Link 'GSP+' status to Cape Verde


  15. EU Contribution to the Millennium Development Goals
    2014-01-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    The international community is on the verge of a unique opportunity to reset the global development agenda after 2015, the expiry date of the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs). The new framework that will replace the MDGs needs to build on the past achievements. The last publication on EU Contribution to the Millennium Development Goals illustrates how European Commission financed programmes have contributed to the Millennium Development Goals. Results cited  in the publication cover the period 2004-2012.
    The European Union has been committed to helping achieve the MDGs since their very inception and led the way in integrating them into its development policy and practice. The MDGs have served as a powerful incentive to mobilise the international community and drive action by developed and developing countries alike. Together with its Member States, the EU provided more than half of global aid in 2012. In addition to aid, the EU is strongly committed to ensuring that all its policies are coherent with the objective of eradicating global poverty.
    To accelerate progress towards the MDGs, in 2010 the European Commission established a 12-point action plan. Two years later, in 2012, the EU and its Member States undertook an ambitious programme of change designed to heighten development impact still further and improve results against the MDGs, by focusing on countries most in need (including fragile countries) and on priority sectors that promote good governance and inclusive, sustainable growth. These priorities, laid down in the Agenda for Change, are now being implemented.
    The EU is involved in global discussions on the development agenda after 2015. The new framework has to go further by looking beyond MDGs and beyond aid. Effective multilateral action in areas as migration, trade, and finance – not covered by the MDGs – will be key to efforts of developing countries to achieve progress.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Download the publication
    Link EU: New report on Post-2015 Development priorities


  16. Potential label for product of island farming
    2014-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    The European Commission has recently published a report exploring the possibility of introducing "product of island farming" as a new optional quality term, as requested by the current legislation on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs.
    Reviewing the specificities of agriculture in islands, the report presents the advantages and drawbacks of creating a new such label at EU level and opens the debate on whether this is the right solution to help island producers to communicate better the added value of their products.
    It seems unrealistic to establish specific characteristics common to all island products, the report concludes.
    A new quality term could help to protect island farming products against misuse.
    It could also be helpful for some small scale producers, in particular on small islands without a sufficient scale to use other quality schemes, but it could also penalise producers already engaged in quality schemes.
    As the majority of island products are sold locally or within specific Member States, the regulation of such labelling may be better addressed at Member State level, the report adds, adding that islands' structural problems might be better addressed by existing structural instruments.
    The report will now be forwarded for discussion in Council and in the European Parliament.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Download the report
    Link Major fish farming potential in ACP largely untapped


  17. EC plead for concerted international action in Central African Republic
    2014-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Reacting to the escalating humanitarian catastrophe in the Central African Republic (CAR), Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, declared that: "the humanitarian tragedy in the Central African Republic continues to unravel in front of our eyes.” Together with UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, Georgieva has called a high-level meeting in Brussels on 20 January 2014 to take stock of the humanitarian challenges in CAR and identify priorities for a sustained and effective humanitarian engagement.
    Crucially, on the ground, the imperative remains to provide security for civilians and create a safe environment for the delivery of much-needed assistance by humanitarian agencies. The number of people in need of life-saving assistance is increasing by the hour. Yet, humanitarian organisations face enormous difficulties to operate unhindered throughout the country. To avoid this tragedy spiralling further out of control, now is the time for concerted action. Those who fight must hear the plea of their people and of the humanitarian organisations to allow help to get to all in need. If necessary, there should be an increase in the international security presence.
    Ever since the beginning of the current crisis, in March 2013, security and protection of civilians have been the primary concern, both for the population of CAR and to prevent the crisis spreading to other parts of the region. This remains the case. The ongoing intervention by France in support of African forces, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2127, is of crucial importance for the protection of civilians and to contribute to an environment in which humanitarian assistance can be delivered safely to all in need.
    The European Commission's Department for Humanitarian Assistance and Civil Protection (ECHO) has experts in CAR, liaising with partner organisations. In 2013, the Commission has provided almost EUR 40 million in emergency relief, in addition to the important contributions from EU Member States. The Commission has also put in place a humanitarian air bridge into CAR from neighbouring Cameroon through its humanitarian air service, ECHO Flight.
    The entire population of 4.6 million people is affected. 800,000 people are internally displaced. Since early December in the capital Bangui alone, the number of internally displace people (IDPs) has grown from 30,000 to now over 370,000. 230,000 people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, underlining the regional dimension of the disaster.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Central African Republic: EU scales up humanitarian aid
    Link Central African Republic, the ‘country that the world forgot'


  18. Council reaches political agreement on fishing opportunities
    2014-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    During the last Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 17 December 2013, Ministers unanimously reached political agreement on the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks available next year in EU waters and for EU vessels in certain non–EU waters on a basis of a Presidency compromise, drawn up in agreement with the European Commission and taking into consideration some main remarks/concerns from EU Member States. Lithuanian Presidency broke with the traditional overnight councils and the above mentioned agreement reached in record time.
    The agreement fixed fishing effort, total allowable catches (TAC’s) and quotasallocation among fishing States in the EU waters and international waters for 2014.
    “After intensive two days discussions we have reached a balanced compromise that allows for a number of stocks to reach maximum sustainable yield in 2015 ensuring the sustainable use of fishery resources and vitality of fisheries”, noted Minister of Agriculture of Lithuania prof. Vigilijus Jukna.
    As opposed to 2012 and 2013, this year one single document was presented for the fishing opportunities on which the EU decides alone and fishing opportunities that are fixed on the basis of decisions taken in the framework of bilateral or multilateral negotiations. The new Common Fisheries Policy will come into effect on 1 January 2014 and it will be an important year for Member States as they prepare for the forthcoming Landing Obligation which once implemented will mean the end of discards in EU waters.
    During the Council session there was also adopted the Proposal for a Council Regulation fixing the fishing opportunities for the certain commercially the most important fish stocks – turbot and sprat – in the Black Sea for 2014. Two Member states, namely Bulgaria and Romania, are concerned by it. European Commission proposed to cut the EU quota for turbot by 15%, to 74 tonnes and to keep the EU quota for sprat unchanged at 11,475 tonnes. Finally in the Council Fisheries Ministers agreed to keep quota for both fish stocks unchanged as in 2013 subsequent to the Presidency proposing the draft statements of Council, Commission and Bulgaria, Romania.

    Source: Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Negotiations on European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) suspended
    Link EU Fisheries Council partially agrees on EMFF


  19. EU leads international counter piracy efforts
    2014-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, ACP-EU Trade

    From January to December 2014, the European Union will assume the chairmanship of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) with Maciej Popowski, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) as EU chairperson. The chairmanship of the Contact Group is a joint endeavour of the EEAS and the European Commission and will continue the work carried out in 2013 under the chairmanship of the United States.
    While the number of hostages has gone down from more than 700 in 2011 to around 50 today, the European Union is strongly committed to bringing this number down to zero: zero ships and zero seafarers in the hands of Somali pirates.
    High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President Catherine Ashton said: "Pirate attacks over the past year have dropped by 95%, but the fight against piracy is not yet won. It is vital that the international community continues to work together to stamp out piracy and consolidate the gains we have already made".
    The EU looks forward to working with all stakeholders in the region and with the international community to bring the fight against Somali piracy to an end. This aim reflects the strategic framework and broader objectives set out during the Conference on a New Deal for Somalia in Brussels on 16 September 2013. The eradication of piracy will only be achieved on Somali soil and by the Somali people but the international community needs to keep focus and maintain momentum. As chair of the CGPCS the EU will not lose sight of the humanitarian cost of piracy. Hijacked crews and seafarers that have been taken hostage have suffered the most.
    The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) was established on 14 January 2009 pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1851 (2008) to facilitate the coordination of actions among more than 60 states and organisations to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia. Since its creation, the CGPCS through increased coordination and information sharing among states, private sector (e.g. shipping industry, insurance companies) and non-governmental organisations has contributed to a marked reduction in the number of pirate attacks and hijackings.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Intensification of anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Guinea
    Link EU : strategy against maritime piracy


  20. Negotiations on European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) suspended
    2014-01-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is supposed to help fishermen adapt to the key principles of the common fisheries policy (CFP) reform, such as preserving fish stocks by better aligning catches with scientific advice and implementing a discard ban, the Council informs. Despite all the efforts and intense talks during the last months, the negotiations on the EMFF were suspended on Thursday 19 December. The negotiators could not find a satisfactory solution on the budgetary allocations for the measures under shared and direct management, on engine replacement and several other issues.
    The European Commission regrets that, despite substantial progress, Parliament and Council could not agree on the few outstanding issues during the December's trialogue on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The Commission remains committed to facilitate an agreement between the co-legislators that is in line with the key objectives of the Commission's proposal to support the implementation of a reformed Common Fisheries Policy and the further development and implementation of the Integrated Maritime Policy.
    The new fund is to replace the existing European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and a number of other instruments. The EMFF regulation was expected to become operational in January 2014. "Given the maturity of the file we believe that the agreement still can be reached in the first weeks of the next year", said the Deputy Permanent Representative of Lithuania in the EU ambassador Arunas Vinciunas.

    Source: European Commission, Council of the EU, European Parliament, Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Agreement on European maritime and fisheries fund
    Link EU Fisheries Council partially agrees on EMFF



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

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