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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 201]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 201]
Send date: 2009-11-23 15:21:52
Issue #: 16
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 (23-29 November)
  2. Our Video guest: Mr Pierre Berthelot, Director Coordination Unit, All ACP Agricultural Commodities Programme
  3. 9th December 2009 - 'From Global Food Crisis to Local Food Insecurity'
  4. New ACP Secretary-General
  5. Top posts filled
  6. IST-Africa 2010 Conference - Call for Papers Deadline 20 November
  7. Council conclusions on integration of maritime surveillance
  8. Council conclusions: Policy coherence for development
  9. Council conclusions: Aid effectiveness
  10. Council conclusions on Climate change and development
  11. Can football fever beat malaria in Africa?
  12. Development aid: Need to ensure billions of euros in aid doesn't get wasted
  13. Banana wars’ deal may be signed this week
  14. New standard for 3rd Countries' export companies to EU
  15. European Programme to confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis
  16. Marine bio-diversity, EU ready to sign protocol update
  17. MEPs back big budget for EU farm policy
  18. Cariforum-EU Council
  19. Commission welcomes landmark step towards a truly global internet
  20. Council conclusions on European Community's Development
  21. Gambia and EC Hold 10th EDF Mid-Term Review
  22. Impact of the economic crisis on key sectors of the EU
  23. Poverty eradication and sexual and reproductive health
  24. Europe looks to justify the cost of biofuels
  25. Trinidad and Tobago: Goverment fiddling with cane money
  26. Uganda: coffee traders trained
  27. EU provides EUR 1 billion for trade facilitation in developing countries
  28. Visby Agenda: creating impact for an eUnion 2015
  29. Future CAP: MEPs favour maintaining a strong, reformed, common agricultural policy


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week (23-29 November)
    2009-11-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    European Parliament (Strasbourg):
    - 23-26 November: Plenary session

    EU Presidency (Brussels):
    - 23-24 November: Climate Smart Food
    - 24 November: ACP Working Party
    - 25 November: Coreper I; Working Parties: Humanitarian Aid and Food Aid, International Environment Issues Climate Change, International Environment Issues Desertification, Africa, Foreign Relations Counselors (RELEX), Financial Agricultural Questions
    - 26 November: Coreper II; Working Parties: Development Cooperation, Africa, External Fisheries Policy
    - 27 November: Working Parties: ACP, External Fisheries Policy, Agricultural Counselors/Attachés

    ACP Secretariat (Brussels, Luanda):
    - 23 November: African Union; Fisheries Steering Committee
    - 25 November: Meetings of ACP members: Committee on Economic Development,
    Finance and Trade, Committee on Political Affairs; UNEP
    - 26 November: Meeting of the ACP members of the Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment; MEA Steering Committee; UNEP/MEA; Meeting of the Bureau of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly
    - 27 November: 18th Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly and ACP-EU Joint PA; Regional Consultative meetings
    - 28 November: Women’s Forum; Meeting of Committees: Social Affaires and the Environment, Political Affairs; Meeting of ACP members of the Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade
    - 29 November: Meeting of the Bureau of the ACP-EU JPA

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

    Link European Parliament
    Link EU Presidency
    Link ACP Secretariat


  2. Our Video guest: Mr Pierre Berthelot, Director Coordination Unit, All ACP Agricultural Commodities Programme
    2009-11-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Food Security, Archive

    Mr Pierre Berthelot, Director Coordination Unit, All ACP Agricultural Commodities Programme (AAACP) & Cos-coton Secretariat, is our guest. Mr Berthelot presents the AAACP: its background and objectives, and its financial allocation. He then explains how the programme works in terms of priority sectors and activities, the role of implementing organizations and the processes that lead to projects selection. He finally stresses the key point raised by the programme’s Mid-term Review and the way forward, together with highlighting some of the positive examples and lessons learnt of the programme.
    Link More about AAACP
    Link View the interview


  3. 9th December 2009 - 'From Global Food Crisis to Local Food Insecurity'
    2009-11-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Archive

    CTA in partnership with the European Commission-DG Development and EuropeAid, the EU Presidency, the ACP Secretariat, Euforic, IPS Europe and Concord organizes bimonthly Development Briefings in Brussels to raise awareness on key rural development issues with the development community based in Brussels. The next Brussels Development Briefing will be held on 9th December  and will discuss "From Global Food Crisis to Local Food Insecurity" in the context of the new EC policy on Food security to be released. The Briefing will be looking at the domino effects of increased speculation in food markets (How has the global food and financial crisis affected food production and distribution and the food security of the poorest? Is global food production at risk in the medium and long term and will national food security and food sovereignty be the priority over global food availability?  Is the small-scale farming more effective and resilient in times of crisis in least-developed countries?) and the on what realistic policy options can secure food supply and availability at global and local levels.  The meeting will be held on 9th December at Berlaymont from 8h30 to 13h00. You can view outcomes of previous meetings at http://brusselsbriefings.net. For registration please contact: boto@cta.int or pruna@cta.int
    Link Read more
    Link Past Briefings
    Link Registration_form_1.doc

  4. New ACP Secretary-General
    2009-11-20

    Ghana’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, will be the new ACP Secretary-General of the ACP Secretariat as decided during the 90th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers on Tuesday 17th November 2009.  The President of ACP Council, Hon. Eunice Kazembe, MP of Malawi announced his appointment after the Council adopted the recommendation of the Bureau of the ACP Council of Ministers Bureau to appoint Chambas as the new Secretary-General during its meeting on Monday 16th November 2009. Dr. Chambas will take office on March 1, 2010.

    Source: ACP Secretariat


    Link Read more
    Link Pictures from the meeting


  5. Top posts filled
    2009-11-20

    At a press conference on Thursday evening, the names of the individuals appointed to the three top posts discussed at the informal summit between the EU’s heads of state and government, were presented. Herman Van Rompuy was appointed permanent President of the European Council, Catherine Ashton was appointed High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Pierre de Boissieu will be the Secretary-General of the Council.

    Source:  EU Presidency


    Link Read more
    Link Press release meeting
    Link Lisbon Treaty


  6. IST-Africa 2010 Conference - Call for Papers Deadline 20 November
    2009-11-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Hosted by Government of South Africa through the Department of Science and Technology, IST-Africa 2010 Conference & Exhibition will take place in Durban, 19 - 21 May 2010. Part of the IST-Africa Initiative, which is supported by the European Commission under the ICT Theme of Framework Programme 7, IST-Africa 2010 is the fifth in an Annual Conference Series which brings together senior representatives from leading commercial, government & research organisations across Africa and from Europe, to bridge the Digital Divide by sharing knowledge, experience, lessons learnt and good practice and discussing policy related issues. IST-Africa 2010 is also Supported by the South Africa - Finland Knowledge Partnership on ICT project and Technically Co-Sponsored by the IEEE South Africa Computer Chapter and Computer Society of South Africa.

    Source:  IST-Africa


    Link Call for Papers
    Link IST Africa


  7. Council conclusions on integration of maritime surveillance
    2009-11-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, Environment

    The 2974th External Relations Council meeting held in Brussels on 17 November 2009 welcomed the work done under the Swedish Presidency and calls for further work on the idea of establishing an integrated approach to maritime surveillance, through a common information sharing environment in order to promote more interoperability and make best use of existing systems on a cross-sectoral basis, and facilitate safe and secure exchange of information while ensuring complementarity of efforts, thus improving safety, security, cost effectiveness and efficiency, maritime situational awareness, and the facilitation of maritime transport calling at a European port or passing through European waters or its approaches. The Council urged the Commission, in close cooperation with the Member States, to improve coordination between different sectors in the field of maritime surveillance, and to give priority to the development of a general framework, including common standards and protocols to ensure cost-effective and efficient interoperability and adaptability of existing systems as well as cooperation, taking into account the international standards being developed for information sharing amongst different sectors, where appropriate, as well as the experiences gained from relevant projects and research. The Council supported the establishment of the Commissions' expert group with Member States representatives on the integration of maritime surveillance acting as a forum for coordination, in association with other relevant EU bodies and stressed the need to investigate an appropriate legal framework.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link CTA Briefing on 'Fisheries'
    Link CTA Reader on 'Fisheries'


  8. Council conclusions: Policy coherence for development
    2009-11-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Food Security, Archive, Rural development

    The 2974th External Relations Council meeting held in Brussels on 17 November 2009 discussed policy coherence for development and adopted conclusions on this issue. Although progress has been made in improving policy coherence for development (PCD) within the EU, further work is needed to set up a more focused, operational and results-oriented approach. This includes strengthening dialogue with partner countries in order to make progress at all levels and in all relevant sectors. The conclusions identify five priority issues where the EU will take account of development objectives in a more pro-active way as part of a more focused approach to PCD: trade and finance, climate change, food security, migration and the security and development nexus. It is understood that these priorities may evolve over the years.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Policy coherence for development
    Link EU actions


  9. Council conclusions: Aid effectiveness
    2009-11-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The 2974th External Relations Council meeting held in Brussels on 17 November 2009 adopted an operational framework which contains measures in key areas of the aid effectiveness agenda, such as division of labour, use of country systems and technical cooperation.They will reduce the burden on developing countries and contribute to a more effective delivery of aid. The Council underlined the EU's commitment to aid effectiveness and stressed that the implementation of the aid effectiveness agenda should be reinforced. With a view to further enhancing the implementation of the EU aid effectiveness agenda and providing a strong and effective EU input to the Seoul High Level Forum in 2011, the Commission and future Presidencies are invited to prepare early in 2010 further action-oriented proposals for possible joint approaches to be added to the Operational Framework.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Fostering Aid Effectiveness
    Link DG Development


  10. Council conclusions on Climate change and development
    2009-11-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Environment

    The 2974th External Relations Council meeting held in Brussels on 17 November 2009 called on EU Member States and the Commission to further integrate adaptation, risk reduction, mitigation efforts, into development cooperation policies, strategies and activities, building on dialogue with partner countries and, inter alia, on the Council Conclusions on an EU strategy for Supporting Disasters Risk Reduction in Developing Countries, and the Council Conclusions on Integrating Environment in Development Cooperation. In this regard, the Council supports the OECD guidance on integrating climate change adaptation into development cooperation as well as work on developing a climate change adaptation marker. The Council noted that the 10th EDF Mid-Term Review and other relevant and similar reviews of geographic and thematic instruments provide an opportunity to enhance the integration of climate change issues into development cooperation.The Council invited EU Member States and the Commission to support National Adaptation Programmes of Action priorities and priorities identified in related planning documents in the short term, as well as supporting a country-owned process of formulating and implementing national adaptation actions and integrating them into national development plans, strategies and budgets. The Council urgeds EU Member States and the Commission to base their development cooperation and support on the perspectives of partner countries and the human capacity to address the challenges of mitigation and adaptation within the overall context of national ownership.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link EU and climate change
    Link CTA Briefing on 'Climate Change'


  11. Can football fever beat malaria in Africa?
    2009-11-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Aid effectiveness

    The 'United Against Malaria' campaign hopes to use the excitement of preparations for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa to help the continent win the fight against malaria, a preventable disease which kills a child every 30 seconds and nearly one million people per year. The 2010 World Cup is the greatest sports event ever to hit Africa and 'United Against Malaria' will be its winning team," said campaign manager Christina Barrineau at the European launch of the initiative on 16 November. United Against Malaria is a partnership of football teams, celebrities, health advocacy organisations, governments and businesses to renew the global MDGs commitment to ending malaria by 2015 and raise awareness regarding the use of prevention tools and malaria treatments in Africa. The European launch of the initiative took place in Brussels deliberately in order to draw the EU's attention to the disease. Charles Michel, Belgium's minister for cooperation and development who is set to preside over the EU's development councils during the 2010 World Cup planned to give the fight against malaria new impetus at EU-level and better integrate it into sustainable development policies. EU countries already contribute some €13 billion (60%) of global funding of €21 billion to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link United Against Malaria
    Link MDG 6


  12. Development aid: Need to ensure billions of euros in aid doesn't get wasted
    2009-11-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Archive, Food Security

    European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Karel De Gucht, called upon EU Member States to work better together to ensure that more than 3 billion euros of aid can avoid being wasted every year. A European approach to development aid could bring massive 'savings', he warned, through more effective management of aid policy, actions and projects – savings which must then be reinvested in better development.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report
    Link DG Development


  13. Banana wars’ deal may be signed this week
    2009-11-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    The “banana wars”, the longestrunning dispute in the history of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is close to being settled. European and Latin American trade officials are pushing for a deal to be signed this week. As a result, the European Union would cut duties significantly on bananas and other tropical products. The move could lead to lower prices for consumers. The transatlantic dispute, which dates from 1993, arose because of the protection afforded by the EU to former British and French colonies in Africa and the Caribbean. Latin American banana exporters, such as Ecuador, complained to the WTO, as did the US, acting to protect its multinational companies, such as Chiquita. The EU hopes that the draft settlement will win US backing, although talks are understood to be continuing. The WTO has repeatedly ruled in favour of Latin American banana exporters. They argue that the EU’s preferential trade accords with ACP countries are discriminatory.Under the draft settlement, leaked last night, the EU would cut banana import tariffs from €176 a tonne to €148. Over seven years it would fall to €114, eating away at much of the advantage enjoyed by ACP nations. Tariffs for other tropical products imported into the EU, including sugar, could also be cut — a move that again would hit ACP nations, which have been exempt from  such duties. In a bid to pacify ACP nations, it is understood that €190 million in new development aid from the EU has been written into the deal.

    Source:  Business Times


    Link Read more


  14. New standard for 3rd Countries' export companies to EU
    2009-11-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    A new international standard was drawn up for Third Countries' organic export companies to EU by Italian Certification Body ICEA (the first to apply for the EU Commission accreditation) together with the other ACB (Accredited Certification Bodies). The new international standard "Equivalent European Union Organic Production & Processing Standard for Third Countries” drawn by ICEA with the other accredited certification bodies perfectly meets the EU Regulations about organic agriculture. The standard, clear and well organised, is to become the accurate point of reference for all the companies certified by ICEA in Third Countries that want to export their organic certified products to EU.

    Source: Green Planet


    Link Read more
    Link Institute for Ethical and Environmental Certification
    Link EU legislation on Organic farming


  15. European Programme to confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis
    2009-11-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Aid effectiveness

    The 2974th External Relations Council meeting held in Brussels on 17 November 2009 welcomed the Commission's Progress Report on the European Programme for Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis through External Action (2007-2011) as well as the progress made in some of the areas that the programme is committed to address. However, the Council noted with concern that, in spite of the progress made, these three diseases continue to kill millions of people every year and are undermining social growth and development and seriously hampering efforts to achieve all the MDGs. The Council therefore recognised that the three diseases will continue to pose exceptional global challenges for decades to come and called for stronger, more effective and more concerted efforts of the Commission and Member States to accelerate progress in confronting them. This must be underpinned by continued and intensified support to strengthen health systems.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Programme HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis
    Link Millennium Development Goals


  16. Marine bio-diversity, EU ready to sign protocol update
    2009-11-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Further to the modification proposal of part of the protocol on specially protected areas and biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea, which was signed in 1977 in the framework of the agreement on Marine Environment and Shore Protection in the Mediterranean (Barcelona treaty), the EU is working on the position to adopt with this regard. The Barcelona treaty is aimed to prevent, reduce and fight pollution in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as protect and improve the marine environment in the region in order to contribute to sustainable development. This inter-governamental treaty was born as a scheme within the UN Environment Progamme, ANSA news agency reported. In 1999 a protocol on specially protected areas and biodiversity, that is now to be updated further to the modification proposal presented in Floriana (Malta) during the meeting "National Focus Points" from June 3 to 6 2009 and now adopted during the 16th meeting of contracting parties of Barcelona convention, which took place on November 3-5 in Marrakech, Morocco. The modifications are aimed at changing the taxonomic denomination of some species as well as protecting several other species, consistently with the EU laws and commitment to cooperate internationally to protect biodiversity.

    Source: Green Planet


    Link Read more
    Link UN Environment Progamme
    Link EU Biodiversity policy


  17. MEPs back big budget for EU farm policy
    2009-11-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    The first exchange of views on the post-2013 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) last week showed that the European Parliament may well use its new powers to block any significant budget cuts for the policy. If EU farm policy is to address important new demands, including food security, biodiversity and water management, then "it is a paradox" that the Commission plans a significant reduction in resources, said the Italian chair of the Parliament's agriculture committee, Paolo De Castro, speaking at a workshop on the CAP's future after 2013 on 10 November. His comments follow the leak to the press late last month of a Commission draft paper hinting at substantial cuts to the CAP's share in the bloc's long-term budget. EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel denied ever having backed the draft communication, and referred to it as "a non-paper which should have been thrown in the bin". In any case, "we can't decide on the budget before a debate on the CAP," she said.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link The future of the CAP
    Link DG Agriculture


  18. Cariforum-EU Council
    2009-11-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    The 2973rd Council meeting on General Affairs held in Brussels on 16 November 2009 adopted two decisions on the creation of a joint Cariforum-EU Council, as provided for by a economic partnership agreement between Cariforum (15 Caribbean states) and the EU. The decisions concern EU positions on–the rules of procedure of the joint Cariforum-EU Council, the trade development committee and special committees provided for by the economic partnership agreement; the participation in the Cariforum-EU consultative committee and the selection of the representatives of organisations.

    Source: Council of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Council decision
    Link Economic Partnership Agreements


  19. Commission welcomes landmark step towards a truly global internet
    2009-11-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    At the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), the European Commission has welcomed a landmark step towards a truly global (and local) internet: the announcement that "Internationalised Domain Names" will be introduced at the top level. Until now, internet domain names were either fully or partly in the Latin "a to z" alphabet. ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which manages the internet's core directory, has announced that a fast track process would be launched today to open up country code top level domains (like ".eu" of europa.eu) to non Latin characters. This means that Europeans, especially in Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus, will be able to see domain names in their own alphabets. Viviane Reding, the EU's telecoms and internet Commissioner, heralded this major multilingual development. She also called for the timeframe of the Internet Governance Forum-a unique multi-stakeholder dialogue platform for the global internet community-to be extended.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link DG Information Society and Media
    Link Internet Governance Forum


  20. Council conclusions on European Community's Development
    2009-11-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The 2974th External Relations Council meeting held in Brussels on 17 November 2009 encourages the Commission to continue its efforts to improve the Annual Report by: taking stock of its performance so that the results of EC cooperation over the previous year can contribute to future policies and aid effectiveness; further improving the transparency and accountability of EC reporting on aid; reporting in a more detailed way on progress in division of labour; setting out more coherently how EC cooperation works in countries in a situation of fragility, including with other EU and non-EU actors; identifying lessons learnt more clearly and demonstrating how evidence obtained from monitoring and evaluation reports is shaping changes in Community policies and programmes.

    Source: Counci of the European Union


    Link Read more
    Link Read the Annual Report
    Link DG Development


  21. Gambia and EC Hold 10th EDF Mid-Term Review
    2009-11-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Rural development

    The government of The Gambia, represented by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs in collaboration with the European Commission Banjul office held a day's mid-term review of the 10th European Development Fund at the Corinthia Atlantic Hotel in Banjul. The 10th EDF and National Indicative Programme represent the current cooperation framework within which the EC contributes to The Gambia's socio-economic development over the five-year period (2008-2013). The main trusts of this EDF intervention were in road infrastructure, good governance, general budget support and capacity building. It aims among other things to verify whether the country strategy is still relevant and to assess the performance of the programme implementing the strategy. Yesterday's session also enabled the NAO and the EC delegation to share the wider stakeholders and the information generated so far in the process of the Mid-Term Review of The Gambia's 10th EDF Strategy which started in September 2009.

    Source: AllAfrica


    Link Read more
    Link European Development Fund
    Link Country Strategy Paper


  22. Impact of the economic crisis on key sectors of the EU
    2009-11-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    This series of reports is prepared on a monthly basis by DG Enterprise and Industry. It aims at describing the impact of the economic crisis on of the manufacturing and construction industries. In recent months EU manufacturing output seems to have stabilised with confidence surveys also showing a more positive outlook. This suggests that the inventory correction has begun to reach its end and that over the coming months manufacturing output could be expected to start to recover. Indeed, data on new orders and export volumes have also shown some improvement. In contrast, output in the construction industry has continued to fall.

    Source:  European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link DG Enterprise and Industry
    Link CTA Briefing on SMEs


  23. Poverty eradication and sexual and reproductive health
    2009-11-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Aid effectiveness

    In 2002, the European Commission agreed to fund a 42 month joint UNFPA-IPPF programme on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in 22 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries - which despite national and international efforts, has experienced difficulties in bridging the gap between needs and resources. The overall objective of the joint programme was to improve the capacity of ACP countries to deliver a basic package of SRH services to the target populations (the most vulnerable and under-served) through the public and non-profit sectors. Now it was the time to summarize and evaluate the project. On 14 - 15 October 2009, the joint end programme workshop took place in Brussels. The workshop was well attended by various high level representation from key decision makers such as donors and government ministers, the ACP Secretariat, ACP Ambassadors and the African Union. In addition to that, European Civil Society representatives participated, including The European Public Health Alliance - a member of Action for Global Health. The main objective of the workshop was to show the achievements and to highlight the ongoing need to prioritise SRH and rights provision in national health policies, as well as the profound role of the EU and its Member States in doing so.

    Source: EPHA


    Link Read more
    Link Read more on EPHA
    Link The EU and the SRH


  24. Europe looks to justify the cost of biofuels
    2009-11-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    Over the past few years, biofuels made from organic crops have been widely touted by European leaders as a solution for reducing dependency on oil and gas in transportation and for mitigating climate change. Arguably this century’s greatest challenge. In that time, biofuels have come to dominate not only the debate on renewable fuels but government support for them as well. From financial investment to political capital, much has been expended to breathe life into a viable European biofuel industry. Yet, despite the tremendous political support, there is now strong evidence to indicate that biofuels produced from agricultural harvests are more costly than fossil fuels in several alarming ways. While the European Union alleges that its biofuels policy is a necessary and environmentally friendly measure to address the urgency of climate change and energy security worries, it has put forward little in the way of countering the mounting evidence lodged against its policy. Accordingly, this paper questions to what extent the EU biofuels policy fulfills the promise of providing environmentally friendly and secure energy supplies. In light of the growing body of new research in the field, this paper posits that increasing the use of biofuels derived from crops in the EU is poor policy on sustainable development grounds and bears the high risk of long-term global consequences, the likes of which are still being uncovered.

    Source:  Checkbiotech


    Link Read more
    Link European directive on biofuels
    Link Agriculture and biofuels


  25. Trinidad and Tobago: Goverment fiddling with cane money
    2009-11-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Trade

    Time and again, groups representing farmers picketed the offices of the European Commission, the Office of the Prime Minister at White Hall and several other state offices to express their concerns over the funding. Farmers feared that government was stalling in taking up the offer by the EU of some Euro $41 million to be used in minimising the environmental, social and economic impacts of government’s decision to withdraw from the sugar industry. And while plans are indeed moving ahead by government to use EU funding for the restructuring programme developed for the sugar industry, the Cane Producers Association fear government is attempting to exclude its members in benefiting from this support. EU funding will be delivered in four fixed tranches, once government is able to fulfill three conditions of the financing agreement. Four variable tranches are also available, once the country is able to fulfill additional criteria. Trinidad has already received Euro 2.2 million in the first fixed tranche from the European Commission and may receive the variable tranche for 2009 of Euro 3.6 million once assessment is done to ensure economic diversification and mitigation of the environmental and socio-economic impact is taking place. Dick-Forde used the opportunity to explain cane farmers had been included in plans for restructuring the industry. As part of the process, she said, 3,420 private sugarcane farmers who were cultivating sugarcane during 2006-2007 were to be provided with transitional finance.

    Source:  Newsday


    Link Read more
    Link Sugar Protocol
    Link EC Delegation to Trinidad and Tobago


  26. Uganda: coffee traders trained
    2009-11-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Trade

    Many times coffee producers and traders are caught unaware by the volatility in international prices which leads them into making losses and being less competitive. This can be avoided, if the traders were equipped with knowledge and techniques in price risk management efficiency in times of crisis. Being a vital cash commodity to East Africa, where in Uganda alone over a million households rely on coffee, the World Bank through its Agriculture and Rural Development, has introduced a Commodity Risk Management course to equip and train coffee traders and producers on how to handle the situation in times of volatile prices. To benefit from this course facility, are the Eastern African Fine Coffee Association, eleven member countries. Funding has been secured from the European Union's Africa Caribbean Pacific Agricultural Commodities Programme and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

    Source: AllAfrica


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Agricultural Commodities Programme
    Link EC Delegation to Uganda


  27. EU provides EUR 1 billion for trade facilitation in developing countries
    2009-11-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Aid effectiveness

    The European Union has today presented to the World Trade Organization the trade facilitation projects it has financed between 2006 and 2008. The review shows that the EU has spent EUR 1.01 billion on 95 projects related to capacity building and technical assistance. The projects have helped simplify import and export procedures, boosting the ability of developing countries to benefit from trade and open global markets. The projects are part of an overall commitment to Aid for Trade by the European Union worth more than EUR 7 billion every year.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)
    Link CTA Briefing on Aid for Trade


  28. Visby Agenda: creating impact for an eUnion 2015
    2009-11-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Visby Agenda was a conference on future European IT policy. The conference was an important step in creating a common platform for a European ICT policy agenda by 2015. Priorities for the common ICT policy agenda were discussed at the conference from different perspectives: policy, technology and innovation, business and market, social progress and utility: in other words, the user perspective. The high-level conference brought together delegations from the Member States, the European Commission, European Parliament and stakeholder organisations.

    Source: European Presidency


    Link Read more


  29. Future CAP: MEPs favour maintaining a strong, reformed, common agricultural policy
    2009-11-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) can benefit all EU citizens, if equipped to face new challenges such as climate change, food security and water management, but it must be maintained and supported to meet new global demands, agreed most Agriculture Committee MEPs on Tuesday, in a workshop on the CAP's future after 2013.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Agriculture Committee web site
    Link More about CAP



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