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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 191]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 191]
Send date: 2009-09-11 17:55:57
Issue #: 5
Content:
Bulletin CTA
 
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* This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events *
* from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP *
* countries. *
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Date : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

Main events in the week
  1. CTA Weblog and weekly Newsletter
  2. Main ACP-EU events for next week (14-20 September)
  3. 23rd September: “Opportunities and challenges for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries”
  4. Measures to stabilise the cereals market
  5. High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry
  6. Situation on the dairy market
  7. Preparations ahead of the EU-South Africa summit
  8. Africa's chief development banker urges regional cooperation
  9. Joint Statement of EU Commissioners on the occasion of Google Books meetings
  10. Make or break week for Barroso as he meets MEPs
  11. No health benefits from organic food, claims study
  12. IOC: Regional Coastal Management Programme (RECOMAP)
  13. Namibian exports threaten SA’s fishing industry
  14. EU Member States must deliver on aid pledges, say MEPs
  15. EC humanitarian aid for drought response in Africa
  16. Spain backs Ethiopia’s climate change mitigation measures
  17. EFSA experts aim to harmonise GMO data analysis
  18. EU FP7 Calls for Proposals 2009
  19. Can Bahamian craw-fishermen learn from OPEC?
  20. Malawi to benefit from sugar prices
  21. European Commission micro projects in Niger Delta
  22. UK DEFRA Releases Analytical Paper on Food Security
  23. Potočnik in Africa to boost the Science Partnership between the African Union and the EU


  1. CTA Weblog and weekly Newsletter
    2009-09-11

    Dear Reader,
     
    We are launching the newly designed http://brussels.cta.int this week. 
    The first Weblog Newsletter was launched in November 2004 featuring daily news service online and a weekly Newsletter on the main issues and events of importance for the ACP-EU development.
    This service has today more than 5000 readers in French and English and 380 Newsletters sent so far. The daily online news service is followed by more than 14000 unique visitors per month.

    On the basis of the feedbacks that we have been receiving over the past 4 years from you, our visitors, the site has been re-designed and we have tried to make it more user-friendly for you.
     
    The new features include:
    - a section where an invitee per week will comment some of the most burning development issues discussed in Brussels.
    - a signpost for sharing, e-mailing and printing an article, links to the source for each news item.
    - news categorised by thematic groups:  you can now find information by themes much more easily than before.
    - an advanced search option that will allow user to do specific thematic search.
    - an archive, where news are stored by months of the year.
    - links to the Brussels Development Briefings and to the EC, ACP and other Brussels-based websites.
    - subscription to RSS feeds.
    Other features, such as the daily updated calendar of events, remain.
     
    We thank you for your interest on this information tool and appreciate your feedback.
     
    The Weblog team

    Link Dr. Hansjörg Neun, CTA Director, introduces the new version of the Brussels blog.


  2. Main ACP-EU events for next week (14-20 September)
    2009-09-11

     

    European Parliament (Strasbourg):
    - 14-17 September: plenary session

    EU Presidency (Brussels):
    - 13-15 September: Informal Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers -
    - 14-15 September: General Affairs and External Relations Council
    - 15 September: ACP Working Party (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific)
    - 16 September: Coreper I-II; Working Party Humanitarian and Food Aid; Africa Working Party
    - 17 September: Informal European Council; Working Party on Development Cooperation

    ACP Secretariat:
    - 15 September: World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)
    - 16 September: Information Day-European Joint Research Centre
    - 18 September: ACP-EC negotiating meeting of Group II – Revision Cotonou Agreement

    For more information please consult the calendar on our webpage http://brussels.cta.int/


    Link European Parliament
    Link EU Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  3. 23rd September: “Opportunities and challenges for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries”
    2009-09-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness

    The next Brussels Development Briefing will be held in Brussels on 23rd September 2009 from 8h30 to 13h00 on “Upgrading to compete in a globalised world: What opportunities and challenges for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries?” (Venue: European Commission, Centre Borschette, Rue Froissart 36, Room 1D). This Briefing will discuss the effects of the financial and food crisis on enterprises in developing countries and also the opportunities this can provide to link local SMEs to global economies. Experts will also discuss investment programmes needed to support SMEs in order to promote growth and investments, upgrade and upscale SMEs to reach regional and exports markets. This session will also share concrete examples of SMEs being successful by boosting innovation and technology, processing, value-addition, infrastructure upgrading.

    Link Read more
    Link Programme
    Link Registration Form


  4. Measures to stabilise the cereals market
    2009-09-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Trade

    The 2959th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 7 September 2009 took note of the request made by Poland, supported by Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Austria, Slovakia and Finland, inviting the Commission to take concrete measures aimed at stabilising the cereals market. Poland suggested a number of new possible intervention instruments and the rapid use of existing ones under EC legislation. The Commission representative replied that there were no possibilities of targeted support for certain members of the European Union. She mentioned that low prices could alleviate the difficulties encountered by certain livestock producers in feed supply. She recalled that the direct payment have been moved forward to 16 October to help farmers facing difficulties.

    Source: EU Council


    Link Read more
    Link DG Agriculture


  5. High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry
    2009-09-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The 2959th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 7 September 2009 took note of the report from the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry presented by the Commission. The report issued in March contained thirty recommendations and a 'roadmap of key initiatives' was endorsed in July to implement them. Most Member states welcomed the recommendations to:
    - create valuable instruments to support the competitiveness of SMEs;
    - facilitate the development of new food processing technologies;
    - establish a European forum that will address the relationships among the players in the food chain, and in particular between producers/processors/distributors;
    - adopt an EU wide code of conduct;
    - rebalance the asymmetry of the bargaining power in the food supply chain.
    The High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry was set up by the Commission in 2008 to bring together representatives from the Commission, Member States, the European Parliament, the food industry, the agricultural sector, retailers and consumers, with the task of making recommendations for promoting the sustainable development and competitiveness of the European agro-food sector.

    Source: EU Council


    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)
    Link Roadmap


  6. Situation on the dairy market
    2009-09-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The 2959th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 7 September 2009 took note of the Commission communication on the situation on the dairy market in 2009 and had an exchange of views on the matter framed by a Presidency questionnaire. Most delegations welcomed the in-depth analysis carried out by the EC but had difficulties to agree on which measures would be best suited to solve the current difficulties. Several delegations indicated that the measures proposed were insufficient to solve the crisis. However, the outcome of the health check was not put into question. The Council gave mandate to the Special Committee on Agriculture to further examine the various actions proposed with a view to discuss them in October. The Commission representative ruled out those suggestions which she estimated could contradict the “Health Check” commitments, such as the increasing of intervention prices or the freezing of dairy quotas. However, she declared that she was ready to closely look at another set of suggestions addressing labelling, quality or promotion issues.

    Source: EU Council

    Link Read more
    Link DG Agriculture


  7. Preparations ahead of the EU-South Africa summit
    2009-09-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    The climate, the economic crisis and trade are some of the issues South African President Jacob Zuma and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt will be discussing on Friday when the EU and South Africa meet at summit level. Regional issues such as Zimbabwe can also be found on the agenda. ”I am looking forward to meeting President Zuma and his government, not least so that we can discuss how we together can contribute to a successful climate conference in Copenhagen", says Fredrik Reinfeldt. The agenda also includes the economic crisis and preparations ahead of the G20 summit.

    Source: EU Presidency


    Link Read more
    Link EC delegation to South Africa
    Link EU relations with South Africa


  8. Africa's chief development banker urges regional cooperation
    2009-09-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Archive

    "We are 53 diverse countries differently affected by the crisis, 1 billion people that cannot be ignored". That was the stark message to Members of Parliament's Development Committee from Donald Kaberuka, the head of Africa's Development Bank at a hearing on 3 September in Brussels. The economic crisis has hit the continent hard with falling commodity prices leading to reduced incomes.

     Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link World Bank Global Monitoring Report 2009


  9. Joint Statement of EU Commissioners on the occasion of Google Books meetings
    2009-09-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, and Charlie McCreevy, Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, today made a joint statement setting out the important cultural and economic stakes of book digitisation in Europe. To face the daunting task of digitising Europe's books, of which there are tens of millions in Europe's national libraries alone, the two Commissioners stressed the need for fully respecting copyright rules to ensure fair remuneration for authors, but also welcomed public-private partnerships as a means to boost digitisation of books. They highlighted the need to adapt Europe's still very fragmented copyright legislation to the digital age, in particular with regard to orphan and out-of-print works. The statement of the two Commissioners comes ahead of a series of workshops and meetings between the Commission, cultural institutions, right holders, IT companies and consumer organisations, which start today with an information hearing on the US class action settlement on Google Book Search. Under this settlement, agreed between Google, authors and publishers in the United States (which still requires validation by a US court), authors could receive 63% of the online revenue generated by Google with digitised books.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Public consultation


  10. Make or break week for Barroso as he meets MEPs
    2009-09-09

    This week European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will meet with MEPs as he tries to persuade Parliament's main political groups to back him for a second term. He needs the backing of a simple majority of MEPs if he is to retain the post. The European People's Party is backing him, but he is likely to encounter strong opposition from the Greens and the leftist GUE/NGL whilst the Socialists and Liberals remain undecided on whether to back him.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EP groups


  11. No health benefits from organic food, claims study
    2009-09-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    There are no important advantages in terms of health and nutritional benefits gained from eating organic food when compared to food produced using conventional techniques, says the UK’s Food Standards Authority (FSA), with the recent publication of a scientific study. Dr. Alan Dangour, the leader of the research team and principle author of the paper, said that “a small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced crops and livestock, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance.”  The report further concludes that “because of the limited and highly variable data available…there is currently no evidence of a health benefit from consuming organic compared to conventionally produced foodstuffs.”

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Read the Report
    Link EU action plan


  12. IOC: Regional Coastal Management Programme (RECOMAP)
    2009-09-09

    The five-year Progeco/Recomap Programme is worth a total of 18 million and is the largest EC-IOC regional development programme. It targets the coastal areas of the Indian Ocean Islands as well as East Africa, particularly Tanzania, Kenya and Somalia. The specific objective of the programme, which  has now reached the half-way stage, is to strengthen the capacities of local communities and public and private entities as a means of achieving sustainable, integrated management  of coastal areas. RECOMAP has been developed to include a broad spectrum of activities ranging from the collection of data on coastal regions and the development of monitoring tools through support for civil society organisations and training programmes to the pooling of information and examples of good practice relating to the management of coastal areas.

     

    Source: ProGeCo

    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)


  13. Namibian exports threaten SA’s fishing industry
    2009-09-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries

    South Africa’s fishing industry may face increased competition from Namibian fish exports, which could spell disaster for the local industry. Because Namibia has still to sign an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, which is expected to result in it losing its trade preferences later this year, industry role players have warned that the country is likely to divert most of its exports, currently destined for the European market, to South Africa. Namibia’s top exports to Europe are beef, fish, and grapes. South African Deep Sea Trawling Industry Association’s Secretary Roy Bross said increased fish exports to the country could have grave implications for the industry, which employs some 10 000 people. Namibian fish entered the EU duty-free under the previous Cotonou agreement, but will now likely attract duties of up to 20%.

    Source: Tralac


    Link Read more
    Link CTA Briefing on IUU Fishing
    Link CTA Reader on IUU Fishing


  14. EU Member States must deliver on aid pledges, say MEPs
    2009-09-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Archive

    EU Member States must meet their international aid commitments to developing countries, and particularly those disproportionately affected by the economic downturn, said Development Committee MEPs in a debate with two international experts on Thursday. The committee also approved a resolution on the effects of the crisis on developing countries and development co-operation. EU Member States must meet their international aid commitments to developing countries, and particularly those disproportionately affected by the economic downturn, said Development Committee MEPs in a debate with two international experts on Thursday. The committee also approved a resolution on the effects of the crisis on developing countries and development co-operation. The economic crisis is having devastating economic and social effects on African countries, including declining export earnings, sharp reductions in capital inflows and large fiscal deficits which make it impossible to use fiscal stimulus measures, stressed African Development Bank Group President Donald Kaberuka. The forthcoming G20 summit in Pittsburgh "must go beyond statements of principle", deliver on global Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments and meet the needs of low-income countries by allocating resources flexibly and case by case, he added.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Read more


  15. EC humanitarian aid for drought response in Africa
    2009-09-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Food Security

    The European Commission has earmarked a further €53.475 million, through a series of financing decisions, for expanded humanitarian aid to vulnerable people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and Mauritania. The funds are channelled through the Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) under the responsibility of Karel De Gucht, Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid. Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid said: "The humanitarian consequences of climate change are felt very hard in many countries of sub-Saharan-Africa. An enormous area stretching from the Sahel to the Horn of Africa has been affected by extreme weather hazards in recent months and indeed years. Lasting severe drought with in some cases brutal flooding have had devastating effect on harvests and livestock, and increased the vulnerability of millions of people. In those regions climatic hazards exacerbate further dramatic situations caused by conflicts, poor governance and widespread poverty”. He added: “ Such humanitarian crises which require immediate relief are a stark reminder of the crucial importance of getting an agreement in Copenhagen in order to address the root causes of climate change. Lives are at stake. “

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More about ECHO


  16. Spain backs Ethiopia’s climate change mitigation measures
    2009-09-08

    Ethiopia has signed a grant agreement amounting to four million US dollars with the United Nations and the government of Spain. The grant secured from the government of Spain would be channelled to the UN agencies in support of Ethiopia’s effort in challenging the effects of climate change. According to the agreement, the money would be spent on various programs aimed at enhancing capacity of pastoralists to plan and execute climate change adaptation and mitigation measures across the nation. The programs would be implemented at the national, regional and woreda levels. The joint program agreement was designed to benefit pastoralists living in six woredas of Oromia, Somali, Afar and South Ethiopia People’s States.

    Source: nazret.com

    Link Read more
    Link EC delegation to Ethiopia
    Link CTA Briefing on climate change


  17. EFSA experts aim to harmonise GMO data analysis
    2009-09-08

    The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a new opinion aimed at harmonising how data from field trials carried out for the risk assessment of GM plants and derived food and feed are produced and analysed. The objective of the document is to contribute to greater transparency in the risk assessment of GMOs and also to allow for a more rapid evaluation of applications. The experts on EFSA’s GMO Panel put forward some general rules on minimum requirements for the design of field trials aimed at ensuring more accurate statistical evaluation of the safety of GM plants. As with all guidance, the document may well be updated in the future in the light of experience and development of scientific knowledge.

     

    Source: EFSA

    Link Read more
    Link More about EFSA


  18. EU FP7 Calls for Proposals 2009
    2009-09-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe over the period 2007-2013, with a total budget of over € 50 billion in grants to research actors all over Europe and beyond, in order to co-finance research, technological development and demonstration projects. More than 50 calls for proposals have been launched in various areas of research, including Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology, Information and communication technologies, environment...

    Source: Cordis


    Link Read more


  19. Can Bahamian craw-fishermen learn from OPEC?
    2009-09-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Agriculture in the Bahamas, as a percentage, is roughly 2 percent of GDP. Within the agricultural sector, the fisheries sub-sector has been playing a particularly dynamic role, consistently accounting for more than 75 percent of total agricultural output and with the crawfish industry, yielding anywhere from $60 to $100 million dollars (USD) per year - or on average representing about 85 percent of the value of all fisheries output. For a country with less than 400,000 people and for a sector that employs less than 10,000, country-wide, that is a considerable amount of wealth for persons in the fisheries sector. The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the European Union reflects the importance of this industry, as it focused, among other issues, on protecting the crawfish industry. Fish-houses and major exporters wanted an EPA for the express purpose of greater market access into the EU. Hence, they lobbied vigorously for the provisions that the EPA provided with regard to market access.

     

    Source: Caribbean Net News

    Link Read more
    Link EC delegation to Bahamas


  20. Malawi to benefit from sugar prices
    2009-09-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    Illovo Sugar Malawi Limited says although the country does not export its sugar to the open overseas markets, the company would benefit from the current soaring of sugar prices on the international market through its exports to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).Illovo Sugar Malawi’s spokesperson, Ireen Phalula, said the company’s sugar exports to Europe are based on fixed prices and as such may not directly benefit from the price rise. She, however, said she was optimistic Malawi would reap from regional exports under Comesa where market prices are driven by supply and demand. Malawi exports an average of 50,000 tons of sugar to Europe and another 50,000 tons to the regional markets out of a total of 300,000 of sugar it produces in the country annually. Illovo produces 300,000 tons of sugar every year of which 200,000 tons is sold to local industrial and consumer markets while the rest is for export to EU , USA , Southern and Eastern parts of Africa and other world markets.

    Source: Dailytimes


    Link Read more
    Link EC delegation to Malawi
    Link DG Trade


  21. European Commission micro projects in Niger Delta
    2009-09-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    European Commission has concluded arrangements to spend a total of € 45.5 million on new micro projects programme in nine states of the Niger Delta region, just as the team and that of the Federal government will visit Rivers State to discuss the implementation of the programme. A statement from the Commission noted that the micro projects programme which is funded by the European Union has its head office in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, adding that the objective of the programme is to accelerate social and economic development as well as assist in resolving the Niger Delta conflicts.

    Source: Vanguard


    Link Read more
    Link EC delegation to Niger


  22. UK DEFRA Releases Analytical Paper on Food Security
    2009-09-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Archive

    The United Kingdom's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK DEFRA) has released UK Food Security Assessment: Detailed Analysis. This paper details a framework of indicators for assessing UK food security developed through stakeholder engagement and expert input from various Government departments. The scorecard-style assessment forms contain the common elements of definitions of food security: availability, access, affordability, safety and resilience. It enables the department to provide signposts for areas needing more in-depth investigation or further research.

    Source: DEFRA

    Link Read the document
    Link More about DEFRA


  23. Potočnik in Africa to boost the Science Partnership between the African Union and the EU
    2009-09-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Trade

    For the first time, EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potočnik will pay an official visit to the African Union and Kenya. From 7 to 9 September, he will hold high-level political meetings and will visit EU-supported research centres in Nairobi (Kenya) and in Addis-Ababa (Ethiopia). This visit takes place in the framework of the Science & Technology Partnership established between the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) in December 2007. This unique partnership between two continents aims to strengthen African research capacity in the area of science and technology, enabling Africa to produce and to use its own scientific knowledge to address its development challenges and emerge on the global scientific scene.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The EU-Africa Partnership



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CTA
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Copyright © 2009 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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