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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 193]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 193]
Send date: 2009-09-28 11:17:42
Issue #: 7
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 : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter
Main events in the week
  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week (28 September – 4th October)
  2. The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund in support to private sector
  3. The EU should lead the way in the climate negotiations
  4. EU: to Pittsburgh with one voice
  5. Stiglitz report contributes to resolve to change GDP indicator
  6. The Seychelles: hook and line fishermen’s Website launched
  7. Floods in West Africa: EC aid for emergency assistance
  8. E. S. African counties calls on EU to sign full trading agreement
  9. Potential shortage of animal feed protein supplies in the EU
  10. West African monsoon study improves weather and climate forecasts
  11. CARICOM and EU launch environmental project
  12. EU policies are more coherent for development
  13. The UK considers GMOs introduction in supermarkets
  14. US to sell beef at higher prices to EU
  15. EAC: Delayed EPA signing won't curb exports
  16. Market access implications for EPAs
  17. After the Sugar Protocol
  18. Innovative Medicines Initiative
  19. France, too many pesticides in foods
  20. Milk prices: more needs to be done, say MEPs


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week (28 September – 4th October)
    2009-09-28

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    - 21-25 September: Committee meetings

    EU Presidency (Brussels):
    - 28 September: Working Party CODEV; Working Party on the Environment
    - 30 September: Coreper I and II; Working Party on COHAFA; Africa Working Party (COAFR)
    - 1st October: Eurogroup; Working Party: Internal Fisheries Policy, CODEV, Environment
    - 2nd October: Coreper I; Working Party: Agricultural , Environment, ACP Working Party

    ACP Secretariat (Brussels):
    - 28 September: ACP Members of the Committee on Political Affairs, on Social Affairs and the Environment on Economic Development, Finance and Trade; Bureau
    - 29 September: 17th Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly; Bureau of the JPA
    - 30 September: Bureau ; Committee on Political Affairs, Economic Development, Finance and Trade, and Social Affairs and the Environment
    - 1st October: Committee on Political Affairs; on Economic Development, Finance and Trade, and Social Affairs and the Environment

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


    Link European Parliament
    Link EU Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  2. The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund in support to private sector
    2009-09-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    André Dellevoet, Executive Manager of the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), is our special guest this week. He explains the main objectives, funding and eligibility of the Fund which aim is to catalyse private sector entrepreneurs in Africa to innovate and find profitable ways of improving market access and functioning for the poor – especially in rural areas. The donors who have already agreed to contribute to the AECF are the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), the UK Department for International Development (DfID), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (NMFA). Until now, the Fund disposes of a start-up capital of 36 million USD. It is hoped that this will grow to 100 million USD in 3 years.
    Link Video Interview
    Link More about AECF


  3. The EU should lead the way in the climate negotiations
    2009-09-23

    "The EU is speaking with one voice in the international climate negotiations and it is important for the EU to clearly show that we are jointly prepared to take the step needed for the climate negotiations." This is what Minister for the Environment Andreas Carlgren says, who is in place in New York to take part in the climate summit being held at the UN General Assembly.

    Source: EU Presidency


    Link Read more
    Link CTA Briefing on climate change
    Link CTA Reader on climate change


  4. EU: to Pittsburgh with one voice
    2009-09-22

    At an informal meeting in Brussels on 17 September, 27 Heads of State and Government established the EU's position for the G–20 summit in Pittsburgh on 24 and 25 September. There is an urgent need to reach a successful outcome at the UN climate conference in December, but negotiations are progressing too slowly. "We need to stop the acting and start the action", Prime Minister Reinfeldt stated. Financial resources must be scaled up to reduce the effects of global warming, and all countries, except the least developed, are called upon to contribute.

    Source: EU Council


    Link Read more
    Link Text adopted


  5. Stiglitz report contributes to resolve to change GDP indicator
    2009-09-22

    On Monday 14 September President Nicolas Sarkozy took possession of the report of the panel chaired by economist and Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz. France created the group in 2008 to examine the perception gap between GDP and economic reality. GDP is criticised for - amongst other things - failing to reveal the approaching economic crisis. The report submitted to the President of the Republic advocates twelve measures to “enrich” the GDP indicator. It says that the GDP measure is not wrong in itself, but is being wrongly used. The authors suggest looking at income and consumption rather than output, and advocate the appraisal of other factors (quality of life, leisure, housework) using different indicators. “France will fight to induce the international organisations to modify their statistics systems in line with the recommendations of the Stiglitz panel,” said Nicolas Sarkozy in a speech at the Sorbonne on 14 September. “All over the world people believe they are being lied to - that the figures are wrong, or, what is worse, are being manipulated,” added the President of the Republic.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)


  6. The Seychelles: hook and line fishermen’s Website launched
    2009-09-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, Environment

    The Seychelles Fishing Boat Owners’ Association’s website is now online. The site was created by the SFA (Seychelles Fishing Authority) with technical support from the CDE. It is a means of promoting the products of Seychelles artisanal fisheries as part of a broader programme to promote all Seychelles fisheries products.

    Source: Seychelles Hook and line fishermen


    Link Read more
    Link CTA Briefing on Fisheries


  7. Floods in West Africa: EC aid for emergency assistance
    2009-09-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    The European Commission is to provide €3 million to relieve the most urgent needs of victims of the severe flooding that hit West Africa in early September. Particular attention will be paid to the inhabitants of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. Almost 150,000 people have been affected by the floods. The funding is to be managed by the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) under the direct responsibility of Commissioner Karel De Gucht. A fact-finding mission by a Commission humanitarian aid expert found that 150 000 people were affected to varying degrees. Most of them came from poor neighbourhoods. The funds are to be spent on the distribution of food, medical supplies and essential items such as mosquito nets and on setting up emergency shelters, repairing homes and re‑establishing market gardening. ECHO's partners – United Nations agencies, NGOs and the Red Cross – are in the field and distribution is already under way. Depending on further developments, more operations could be funded, particularly in Niger, which over the last few days has also been the scene of large-scale floods.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More about ECHO


  8. E. S. African counties calls on EU to sign full trading agreement
    2009-09-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Africa's largest trading bloc the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has urged the European Union to conclude an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) deal that will be accepted and covering all key areas that were important to the development of countries in east and southern Africa. Recently, the EU signed an interim EPA with some countries from The Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region. Those that signed were Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Madagascar while Zambia and Comoros indicated that they would sign at a later stage. COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said "there were still more outstanding issues before a full ESA-EU EPA agreement was signed.

    Source: China View


    Link Read more
    Link More about Comesa
    Link Trade negotiations


  9. Potential shortage of animal feed protein supplies in the EU
    2009-09-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Environment

    The Agriculture Commissioner for the EU, Mariann Fischer Boel, recently warned at an EU Commission meeting that a shortage of soybean meal for animal feed could add to financial problems for EU livestock producers. This summer small amounts of a biotech corn approved in the U.S., but not in the EU, were found in soybean meal imports from the U.S. Since the EU has a zero tolerance for non-approved biotech products, about 200000 metric tons of U.S. soybean meal has been withheld from the market and traders are indicating that imports from the U.S. may be stopped until the issue is resolved. This is not a new issue for EU countries.

    Source: Truth about Trade and Technology


    Link Read more
    Link DG Agriculture


  10. West African monsoon study improves weather and climate forecasts
    2009-09-22

    The African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses project (AMMA), co-funded by the European Commission, and improves the predictability of weather and climate in West Africa and Southern Europe. It provides climate information enabling the planning of adaptation measures to climate regional variations for agriculture and other sectors. The Commission provided 13 million € to the European Community component of the AMMA programme over the period 2005-2009 which corresponds to 32% of the total budget. A large number of African research institutions benefitted from the EC funding.

    Source: AMMA


    Link Read more
    Link More about AMMA
    Link African Monsoon


  11. CARICOM and EU launch environmental project
    2009-09-22
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    A Needs Prioritization workshop has opened at the International Convention Centre Lilendaal, Georgetown, to help African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states build capacity to address environmental issues by addressing critical issues relating to the implementation of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and to empower ACP countries with critical knowledge, skills and abilities to increase the implementation rate of MEAs. The workshop is being held as a joint effort between Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the European Commission under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It is also the launching pad of a multi-million dollar four-year project titled “Capacity Building Related to Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEAs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries, the Caribbean Hub”.

    Source: Caribbean Net News


    Link Read more
    Link More about Caricom
    Link More about UNEP


  12. EU policies are more coherent for development
    2009-09-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive, Food Security

    EU policies are more coherent and positive for development in poor countries. In the recently adopted EU Report on Policy Coherence for Development, the European Commission shows that development concerns have been integrated in all the 12 policy areas which have an impact on poor countries. In the areas of research, energy and environment, EU policies have been particularly positive for developing countries.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read the Document


  13. The UK considers GMOs introduction in supermarkets
    2009-09-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Food Security

    After the minimization of the value of organic and of ham sandwiches' cancer risk, the British Food Standards Agency (FSA) also opens to genetically modified products, by stressing in a report the higher costs faced by large supermarket chains in finding non-GM sources of supply, as producers worldwide increasingly adopt GM technology. Talks are underway among UK's major retailers following the FSA report, realized along with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), that highlighted how supermarkets are now paying 10 to 20 per cent more for supplying non-GM soya and maize since major producers such as the US and Brazil are turning to GM.

    Source: greenplanet.net


    Link Read more
    Link EU and GMO
    Link DG Agriculture


  14. US to sell beef at higher prices to EU
    2009-09-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    According to a report by Farm Futures, there is an increased amount of US beef which will go to the European Union as a result of a duty-free, high quality beef quota agreement. United States Meat Export Federation expert, Thad Lively has said that the lack of grain-fed beef in the market creates a big opportunity, according to the report. Mr Lively added that the quota will provide the opportunity to the highest value end of the market. A deal has been established which states that the EU’s 20% tariff is eliminated and because of this, according to Lively, there is an expectation that over the coming three to five years, the US will be providing approximately 70,000 metric tonnes of beef per year to the EU.
    Source: Farm Futures

    Link Read more


  15. EAC: Delayed EPA signing won't curb exports
    2009-09-21

    The delay in signing the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (Epa) between the East African Community (EAC) and the European Union has had no impact on Tanzania's exports to the EU, European Commission officials said. The Delegation's advisor for trade and regional integration in Tanzania, Mr Stefan Schleuning, said that the current developments in trade between the EU and EAC have emanated from other commercial aspects in the European and world market.

    Source: The Citizen


    Link Read more
    Link East African Community
    Link EC Delegation to Tanzania


  16. Market access implications for EPAs
    2009-09-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Economic Partnership Agreements between ACP countries and the European Commission must comply with Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which governs regional trade agreements concluded by WTO members. Article XXIV stipulates that ‘free trade areas’ must eliminate duties on “substantially all the trade” within a “reasonable length of time,” yet these terms remain loosely defined in the WTO. West Africa and the European Commission hold divergent views on the definition of these two terms. This article highlights the legal arguments in support of West Africa’s position. One of the most important and contentious issues in ACP-EU EPA negotiations relates to the interpretation of Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and determining the market access offers of the parties. The EU stands by its position of a minimal trade coverage rate of 80 percent in ACP regions, over a 15-year liberalisation schedule. Some regions, such as Western Africa, argue that a 60 percent coverage rate along with a 25-year implementation period would not be WTO-incompatible.

    Source: ICTSD


    Link Read more
    Link EC DG Trade issues


  17. After the Sugar Protocol
    2009-09-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    On 30 September 2009, the Sugar Protocol will officially expire. Following a six year transition period, the Protocol - which provides a group of ACP countries with guaranteed access to the EU market for fixed quantities of sugar at preferential prices - will be replaced by a non-reciprocal duty and quota-free preferential trade system on 1 October 2015. This article examines these changes to the EU-ACP sugar trade regime. Provisions have been made to allow for a gradual adaptation to the new reality from October 2009 to October 2015. During this period, three major changes will be introduced: guaranteed prices will decrease and finally disappear, quotas will be increased, and the number of ACP countries which can benefit from preferential relations with the EU for sugar will tripple. After 30 September 2009, the EU will offer preferential non-reciprocal treatment to sugar originating from any ACP country that has signed or initialled an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Community and, as a result of the ‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA) initiative, from any country of the world recognised as an LDC by the United Nations. Taking into account the number of ACP countries involved, the EPA regime will apply to almost half the ACP countries (36) and the EBA regime to 31.

    Source: ICTSD


    Link Read more
    Link ACP-EU Trade


  18. Innovative Medicines Initiative
    2009-09-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), the public-private partnership between the European Commission and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by EFPIA, made its first major announcement of the success of the collaboration. IMI announced the topics of research of its second call for proposals. With these topics, IMI aims to accelerate the discovery and development of new medicines in the field of cancer, inflammatory and infectious disease. The funding available for the 2nd call will be €156.3 million, with €76.8 million provided by the European Commission and €79.5 million expected to be provided in kind from EFPIA member companies. IMI also introduced also its newly-appointed Executive Director, Michel Goldman, who officially took up his post on 16 September.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)
    Link More about IMI


  19. France, too many pesticides in foods
    2009-09-21

    Further to the release of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) new annual report on pesticide residues in foods in the European Union, complaints have been expressed by the French association MDRGF (Mouvement pour le Droit et le Respect des Générations Futures) about France's bad results as well as a general criticism about the data's unclearness. MDRGF strongly criticize the choice to release the report, which analysed 2007 data, right on the eve of one of the biggest holiday departures in the whole year, Organic-market.info reported. Moreover, the report is quite unclear, as it is uncertain what percentage of the analyzed samples analyzed contain pesticide residues and how many do not.

    Source: greenplanet.net


    Link Read more
    Link More about MDRGF
    Link More about EFSA


  20. Milk prices: more needs to be done, say MEPs
    2009-09-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    Existing aid to dairy farmers will continue until at least next February, MEPs agreed today. But they also warned that measures taken by the European Commission so far were not enough. MEPs approved, by 447 votes in favour, 70 against and 16 abstentions, draft legislation to extend aid for buying up butter and skimmed milk powder, which was due to end in August, to at least February next year. The aid should also apply to cheese, say MEPs. But in an additional resolution on the problems facing dairy farmers, MEPs also called for more action to address medium and long term problems in the dairy sector. Parliament has urged the European Commission repeatedly to do more to tackle the crisis. The Commission should immediately introduce measures to stimulate demand for dairy products, along the lines of the funding for the school milk programme say MEPs. They also want an EU Dairy Fund of EUR 600 million to be set up to aid producer organisations and cooperatives and to support farm modernisation. "Measures adopted so far are not sufficient to help farmers" said Paolo De Castro (S&D, IT), the MEP responsible for the legislative report and chair of the Agriculture Committee. "With the resolution we approve today, we call for more initiatives and we hope that (...) our proposals are taken into due consideration", he added.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)



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Isolina BOTO
CTA
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Fax 02 511 38 68
http://www.cta.int/
http://bruxelles.cta.int/

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For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
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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 © 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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