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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 194]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 194]
Send date: 2009-10-02 16:26:05
Issue #: 8
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.


Date : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

Main events in the week
  1. Main ACP-EU events for next week (5 – 11 October)
  2. Our Video guest: V. Galastro, on the African Agricultural Fund
  3. ACP Rural Development: why Media matters?
  4. Global Land Acquisition: trends and challenges
  5. Pacific Islands: EC fast-track humanitarian funding for victims of tsunami
  6. EC to recover € 214.6 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States
  7. Oxfam: 'Rich countries must not raid aid to pay climate debt'
  8. What do NGO think about official European aid?
  9. New EU website goes live
  10. New issue of Partnership, CDE's electronic newsletter
  11. Strenghtening international governance
  12. EU-Africa: Lusaka Declaration
  13. Finland establishing closer ties with Caribbean states
  14. Rum money running out - EU programme to end despite rum-makers plea
  15. TCCIA (Tanzania): make use of trade pact
  16. Ethiopia: Potocnik briefed on African Union activities
  17. EU-Mauritius trade relations
  18. IMF reform – EU loathe to surrender voting rights
  19. The global crisis and the implications for developing countries
  20. The Interim EPAs between the EU and African States
  21. Mauritius sugar producers confirm merger
  22. ICSF launches website on EU fisheries reform
  23. EU to protect bluefin tuna, but Italy says no
  24. And now organic food is healthier: French study against UK's


  1. Main ACP-EU events for next week (5 – 11 October)
    2009-10-01

    European Parliament (Brussels):
    - 5-6-8 October: Committee meetings
    - 7 October: Groups meetings
    - 7-8 October: Plenary Session

    EU Presidency (Brussels):
    - 5 October: Africa Working Party (COAFR); Working Party on Development Cooperation
    - 6 October: ACP Working Party (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific)
    - 7 October: Coreper I and II
    - 8 October: Working Party on Development Cooperation (CODEV);
    - 9 October: Africa Working Party (COAFR); ACP Working Party

    ACP Secretariat (Brussels):
    - 7 October: S/C on Establishment and Finance; Joint S/C meetings on Political and Sustainable Development
    - 8 October: S/C on Establishment and Finance; Joint meetings of S/C on Trade and Investment and Private sector

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


    Link European Parliament
    Link ACP Secretariat
    Link EU Presidency


  2. Our Video guest: V. Galastro, on the African Agricultural Fund
    2009-10-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment, Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    Mr. Vincenzo Galastro of the African Agriculture Fund (AAF) is our special guest this week. Mr Galastro, was in Brussels for the 13th Development Briefing on the challenges and opportunities for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries, and he talked to us about the African Agriculture Fund, the organisations behind it and how it works. The Fund was set up by the AFD, the ADB, IFAD and AGRA as a response to the food crisis. It aims to support private enterprises and cooperatives pursuing strategies to increase and diversify African agricultural production by improving professionalism and organisation, modernising key sectors and mitigating exchange rate volatility risks. The Fund will support agro-industrial enterprises and agricultural cooperatives that respect the environment and support small-scale farmers.
    Link The interview


  3. ACP Rural Development: why Media matters?
    2009-10-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The next Brussels Development Briefing will be held on 12th October 2009 on the role of Media in Rural Development. We will discuss the need to mainstream media in development and increase donor's attention to media as well as the challenges the journalists and media specialists face when addressing agricultural and rural development issues in their work. We will try to find more on how media can better serve rural communities in ACP countries. This Briefing will be part of the 25th Anniversary events of CTA and we will have with us prominent policy-makers and media specialists sharing with us their experience and views on these issues. To know more and register contact: pruna@cta.int or boto@cta.int.
    Link More about the Briefings
    Link CTA Annual Seminar


  4. Global Land Acquisition: trends and challenges
    2009-10-01
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Archive, Environment

    In the context of the European Development Days to be held in Stockholm under the Swedish presidency on 22-24th October 2009, CTA in partnership with the EC, FAO, IFAD, IIED, AGRA, Regional African Farmers Organisations will organise on 22 October (17h00-19h00) a round table on trends and challenges of the Global Land Acquisition. Recent global trends are prompting a massive increase in global commercial interest in land and natural resources. In many countries this is creating unprecedented pressures on land resources and placing new tensions on land tenure systems. We will discuss the facts, scope and main affected countries as well as the drivers behind. We will also look at the minimum set of principles and measures to coordinate the large-scale transnational land acquisitions and leases at international level in order to ensure that such investments work for the benefit of the population including the most vulnerable groups. To know more and register: boto@cta.int.
    Link European Development Days 2009
    Link CTA Briefing on land access
    Link CTA Reader on land access


  5. Pacific Islands: EC fast-track humanitarian funding for victims of tsunami
    2009-09-30

    The European Commission's humanitarian department is providing 150,000 euros in fast-track emergency relief following the tsunami in the Pacific islands region. This initial funding will be disbursed to the International Red Cross Federation through their Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) to assist with primary emergency needs in Samoa depending upon the first 'on the ground' assessments by our humanitarian partner. In a first instance, there is expected to be a need for medical assistance, fresh water supplies and emergency shelter. The European Commission continues to monitor the situation very closely in case additional emergency humanitarian funding is urgently needed across the affected states and communities of the region. All funds are channelled through the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), under the responsibility of Commissioner Karel De Gucht. The Commission-funded projects are implemented by non-governmental relief organisations, specialised UN agencies and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EC delegation to Pacific
    Link BBC press release


  6. EC to recover € 214.6 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States
    2009-09-30

    A total of € 214.6 million of EU farm money unduly spent by Member States is claimed back as a result of a decision adopted by the European Commission. The money returns to the Community budget because of non-compliance with EU rules or inadequate control procedures on agricultural expenditure. Member States are responsible for paying out and checking expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the Commission is required to ensure that Member States have made correct use of the funds.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)
    Link Agriculture Budget


  7. Oxfam: 'Rich countries must not raid aid to pay climate debt'
    2009-09-30

    A new Oxfam report has warned that at least 4.5 million children could die unless world leaders deliver additional funds to help poor countries fight the growing impact of climate change, rather than diverting it from existing aid promises.

    Source: Oxfam


    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)
    Link Read the Report


  8. What do NGO think about official European aid?
    2009-09-30

    Europe may be making it easier for member states to fulfill their promises with regard to development aid. The European Commission has published a Communication that questions the traditional criteria used to define ODA (Offical Development Assistance). Those criteria are being closely watched by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In the document “Policy Coherence for Development - Establishing the policy framework for a whole–of–the-Union approach”, Europe stresses the importance of other financial flows to developing countries and at the same time tends to widen the definition of ODA, according to development NGOs. This would open the possibility for member states to take into account other financial efforts, which before weren’t recognised as ODA, and thus make it easier for them to comply with the 0,7 pct-norm for spending on development aid.

    Source: Mondiaal Nieuws


    Link Read more
    Link EC Communication
    Link DG Development


  9. New EU website goes live
    2009-09-30

    The European Commission has launched a revamped version of its Europa website. After two years of analysis and review, the EU executive hopes its new central web portal will make for a simpler, more organised experience for EU citizens.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EC internet strategy
    Link Visit Europa


  10. New issue of Partnership, CDE's electronic newsletter
    2009-09-30

    Contents of the new issue of Partnership, CDE's electronic newsletter (n. 102):
    - Victor G. Ndiaye: “commitment to a relationship based on partnership and technology transfer with African SMEs”
    - BIO and the CDE renew their cooperation framework agreement
    - Democratic Republic of the Congo: the private sector development programme
    - Caribbean: value-chains and clusters in agriculture
    - Dominican Republic: CDE technical assistance to SME flower production project
    - Seychelles: Fishing Boat Owners' Association launches its website
    - West Africa: strengthening and networking consultancy capacities in Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso
    - Professional training: taking stock of CAP Dakar’s quality process
    - Rwanda: technical assistance for a cooperative of flower producers
    Source: CDE

    Link Read the Newsletter
    Link More about CDE


  11. Strenghtening international governance
    2009-09-29

    The Informal meeting of EU Heads of Government held in Brussels on 17th September 2009 discussed:
    - The need to reform the governance systems of international financial institutions
    - Strengthening recovery in the world's poorest countries and the G-20 should commitment
    - The commitments taken in the framework of the Millennium Development Goals and donor countries ODA targets
    - Sharing the effort on climate finance: the road to Copenhagen.

    Source: EU Council


    Link Read more
    Link More about the Pittsburgh G20
    Link More about the MDGs


  12. EU-Africa: Lusaka Declaration
    2009-09-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    Ministers and National Authorising Officers of ACP member States of COMESA, EAC, IGAD and IOC, their chief executives, and high level Officials of the European Commission held a two-day high level meeting in Zambia’s capital Lusaka on 14th to 15th September, 2009. The joint high-level meeting was held under the theme “Enhancing delivery on the regional integration agenda in the ESA-IO region”. Key issues The meeting discussed latest developments on regional integration in the Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) region, and more specifically concerning the use of EC funding for regional integration. The meeting considered how to improve aid effectiveness in support of regionally owned strategies. It also addressed the important theme of ensuring coherence between regional and national policies. The meeting further discussed peace and democratic governance in the context of the Joint Africa-European Union Strategy, the global economic and financial crisis and food security.

    Source: Comesa


    Link Read more
    Link More about Comesa


  13. Finland establishing closer ties with Caribbean states
    2009-09-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, Aid effectiveness

    Dr. Len Ishmael, Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), is visiting Finland hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 14-15 September. Len Ishmael from St. Lucia leads the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), formed by nine island states in the Eastern Caribbean. Established in 1981, the organisation has developed the cooperation between the member states so that the countries currently have a common Currency Union and central bank, close cooperation between the respective judicial systems, and strivings for closer political collaboration. As a representative of small island states, Director General Ishmael hopes assistance particularly for making provisions for climate change and alleviation of its consequences.

    Source: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland


    Link Read more
    Link Finland’s Development Policy
    Link More about OECS


  14. Rum money running out - EU programme to end despite rum-makers plea
    2009-09-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    The European Union is sticking to its guns that the integrated rum programme, which funds the modernisation of the rum producing plants in Cariforum countries and prepares regional producers for full liberalisation of the EU rum market, will not be extended after the planned end date of June 2010. This is despite continuing lobby efforts by the West Indies Rum and Spirits Association (WIRSPA) for the seven-year-old programme to be rolled over. The programme is financed by the EU with €70 million, and matched by Cariforum rum producers with €65 million. An official extension request from the regional rum producers was submitted to the EU last month, but the EU office in Jamaica said the Europeans have already told the rum makers, no.

    Source: The Gleaner


    Link Read more
    Link Read more about the Caricom


  15. TCCIA (Tanzania): make use of trade pact
    2009-09-29

    Members of the business community here have been urged to exploit opportunities offered by the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to bolster their enterprises and invigorate the country's economy. The private sector development advisor with Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Mwanza chapter, Mr Tamim Amijee, said they are also entitled to support from the agreement. He said they could obtain funds from the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific trade regime if they devised reasonable business plans. A total of Euro555 million has been set aside by the EU for Tanzania, he said. Of the amount, 80 per cent was meant for the government budget, while the private sector could access the remaining 20 per cent, he noted.

    Source: The Citizen


    Link Read more
    Link More about TCCIA
    Link EC Delegation to Tanzania


  16. Ethiopia: Potocnik briefed on African Union activities
    2009-09-29
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Trade, Archive

    European Union Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnick, paid a visit to African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the framework of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership signed by the African Union (AU) and the EU at the Lisbon Summit in December 2007. Commissioner Potočnick had a meeting with the AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology to discuss the ongoing partnership on science and technology, Mr Jean Pierre Ezin. They reviewed the major fields of cooperation and focused on space research, earth science, environment monitoring as well as peace building partnership. To this regard, Commissioner Potočnick has been briefed on the Department of Peace and Security Continental Early Warning System (CEWS). The visit focused as well on the role played by High Tech in monitoring environment and climate change. The EU Delegation visited, in this regard, the African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD), a programme dedicated to sustainable management of natural resources in AU regions. Commissioner Potočnick said: “I’m really happy to be here today to promote the implementation of the AU-EU Partnership on Science and Technology. Science is key to address development issues. By partnering with Africa, the EU supports African science and research capacity building”.

    Source: African Press Organization/African Union Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)
    Link EU relations with Ehiopia


  17. EU-Mauritius trade relations
    2009-09-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    “Why should we allow our market to be flooded with highly-subsidised European products? How much capital drain are we likely to experience due to the ongoing privatisation of strategic services such as post and telecommunications, power and water for the benefit of European enterprises? These are the questions that “Rezistans ek Alternativ”, a Mauritian political movement, is asking its government to answer. Mauritius - like Madagascar, the Seychelles and Zimbabwe - signed an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union at the end of last month. Rezistans ek Alternativ is asking for Parliament to hold an extraordinary session to debate the agreement.

    Source: IPS International


    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)


  18. IMF reform – EU loathe to surrender voting rights
    2009-09-28

    The European Council has defended the EU member states’ position regarding the distribution of seats on the Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Heads of State and Government also upheld the decision to increase the European contribution to the IMF budget. The United States have been pressuring Europe to decrease its representation on the IMF Board - the American plan is to roll the current eight seats into one to make more room for developing countries. At the close of the European Council of 17 September the EU Heads of State and Government declared that “the current size of the Board is a reasonable compromise between openness and legitimacy and efficiency requirements.”

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link More about IFM


  19. The global crisis and the implications for developing countries
    2009-09-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive

    The term BRIC refers to the fast-growing developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China—a class of middle-income emerging market economies of relatively large size that are capable of self-sustained expansion. However, there are concerns about how the current financial crisis will affect the BRICs, and whether Brazil should remain within this group. Senior Scholar Jan Kregel reviews the implications of the global crisis for developing countries, based on the factors driving global trade. He concludes that the key for developing countries is to transform from export-led to domestic demand–led growth. From this viewpoint, Brazil seems much better placed than the other BRIC countries because it already has a transition policy in place, along with government-sponsored infrastructure investment projects. Kregel suggests that these programs should be implemented in conjunction with a national jobs guarantee scheme.

    Source: The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College


    Link Read more


  20. The Interim EPAs between the EU and African States
    2009-09-28

    The negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states to replace the trade provisions of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) has been controversial and given rise to many (sometimes wild) claims about the likely development effects. Until now such arguments have been speculative because the final details of the agreements were unknown. But now, following the conclusion of a full EPA with the CARIFORUM region and interim EPAs (IEPAs) with some African and Pacific states, it is possible for the first time to analyse what has actually been agreed and to assess the potential development effects. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the African IEPAs as they stand in early 2009. It also establishes the negotiations that remain to be completed and the challenges facing Africa in implementation, some of which require support from Europe. It provides both a summary of the principle features of very complex documents and also the foundations for the many follow-up studies that will be needed to look in more detail at specific country, sectoral and other specific features of the IEPAs.

    Source: ECDPM


    Link Read more
    Link The Cotonou Agreement
    Link DG Trade


  21. Mauritius sugar producers confirm merger
    2009-09-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Two leading Mauritian sugar producers listed on the nation's benchmark SEMDEX index DEX have confirmed plans to merge by the end of the year. The sugar sector is a centuries-old pillar of the Indian Ocean island's $9 billion-a-year economy. It is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in producing refined sugar as the European Union cuts its guaranteed price offered for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) bloc exports. In notices to shareholders late on Wednesday, Mon Desert-Alma Limited MDAO.MZ (MDA) and the Savannah Sugar Estates Company SVAO.MZ (SAV) unveiled the merger but said it remained subject to approval from regulators and shareholders. Following the planned merger, SAV will remain as the amalgamated company, both statements said. The two companies said the merger would be postponed until Dec. 31, 2009, in order to meet legal requirements. Sugar exports account for about three percent of Mauritius' GDP, according to the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture. The end of the EU's sugar protocol will see the price of raw sugar fall a cumulative 36 percent to 336 euros per tonne compared with an original guaranteed price of 523.70 euros. Two other sugar producers, Harel Freres Limited HARF.MZ and the Mount Sugar Estates Company Limited MOUN.MZ, are also considering a merger in January 2010.

    Source: Reuters


    Link Read more
    Link EC Delegations to Mauritius
    Link EU relations to Mauritius


  22. ICSF launches website on EU fisheries reform
    2009-09-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, Environment

    The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) has launched a website dedicated to informing and influencing fishing policy reform in the European Union (EU) in favour of small-scale fisheries. The reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is a once-in-ten-year event. The current review and reform process is the third such in the entire history of the CFP, created in 1983,and reviewed in 1992 and 2002.

    Source: International Collective in Support of Fishworkers


    Link Read more
    Link International Collective in Support of Fishworkers
    Link CTA Briefing on Fisheries


  23. EU to protect bluefin tuna, but Italy says no
    2009-09-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Regional Fisheries, Environment

    The European Commission is increasingly inclined to ban Atlantic bluefin tuna fishing, thus supporting Monaco's proposal to list the species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) next March. Highly appreciated by sushi lovers and overfished for years, in Asia, especially in Japan, bluefin tuna prices can fetch up to $100,000 for a single fish. But the EU will not fully commit until its 27 member countries have been consulted on September 21 or before new scientific data emerges in November. "The European Commission shares many of the concerns expressed by Monaco about the state of stocks of Atlantic bluefin tuna," said a Commission spokeswoman. The main problem is caused by industrial vessels that use a purse seine net, which floats the top of a long wall of netting on the surface while its bottom is weighted under the water. Opposition has come from big tuna fishing nations such as Malta and Italy, whose Minister for Agriculture Luca Zaia has stated that bluefin tuna can't be considered an endangered species.

    Source: Green Planet


    Link Read more
    Link More about CITES
    Link DG Fisheries


  24. And now organic food is healthier: French study against UK's
    2009-09-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Archive

    The French food agency AFSSA challenges UK's FSA, concluding in a new study that organic fruit and vegetable have higher nutritional benefits than conventional food. The review, published in the journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development on the basis of data compiled for the French food agency AFSSA, opposes to what stressed in a review of 160 studies commissioned by the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) - that there is no evidence of nutritional superiority of organic food - which caused some controversy in the sector. The new French review, based on a former one published in 2003 as well as on the findings of further studies published in recent years, carries out an "exhaustive and critical evaluation of the nutritional and sanitary quality of organic food", coordinated by Author Denis Lairon of the University of Aix-Marseille.

    Read more: GreenPlanet.net


    Link Read more
    Link EU and GMO
    Link DG Agriculture



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

Isolina BOTO
CTA
39 rue Montoyer
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Tel 02 513 74 36
Fax 02 511 38 68
http://www.cta.int/
http://bruxelles.cta.int/

NOTE
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For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
More information on CTA activities in Brussels at : http://brussels.cta.int/
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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