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EDITO
Saturday, 16 December 2017
The European Union says its poverty reduction programs in Malawi are meant to empower people to improve their plight and contribute to national development and are not charity or welfare programs. Under fire after cases of alleged embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, the EU recently justified its micro-projects program as a way of improving conditions in African, Caribbean and Pacific partner countries. The government of Malawi and the EU Micro Projects Program has a total commitment of 35 million euros for the period 2003 to December 2009. The program benefits rural and urban communities throughout Malawi who are participating in their own development. National Program Coordinator Isaac Munlo said the micro-projects philosophy did not fit in with the previous governments' philosophy of handouts and the glorification of begging.
Source: dw-world.de
The European Commission has published a study on the impacts of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 of 29 September 2008 establishing a Community system to "prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing" which comes into force from 1st January 2010. The study "Analysis of expected consequences for developing countries of the IUU fishing regulation and identification of measures needed to implement the regulation" was conducted by consultants Megapesca Lda (Portugal) and Oceanic Développement (France) and involved an indepth study of the impacts in eight countries; Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Mauritius, Ecuador, Indonesia and Thailand. The study estimates that the average cost of elimination of one tonne of IUU fish under the scheme will be EUR 218, representing, an average additional cost of EUR 8/tonne on imports of marine fishery products. Assuming that compliance costs sustained by a third countries Competent Authority will be passed to industry, and then to the customer, the additional costs are estimated to represent an overall 0.26% increase in the average price of marine fishery products exported to the EC.
Source: CE/megapesca.com
The 2957th Council meeting on General Affairs and External Relations held in Brussels on27 July adopted a decision authorising the signature and provisional application of an agreement establishing a framework for an economic partnership agreement with the East African Community partner states: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The framework comprises commitments and negotiations, with the aim of incorporating additional elements in order to arrive at a full economic partnership agreement (EPA). The general objectives of the EPA are to:
– contribute to economic growth and development through the establishment of a strengthened trade partnership;
– promote regional integration, economic cooperation and good governance in the East African Community (EAC);
– promote the gradual integration of the EAC into the world economy;
– foster the structural transformation of EAC economies, and their diversification and competitiveness by enhancing their production, supply and trading capacity; improve capacities in terms of trade policy;
– establish and implement an effective, predictable and transparent regulatory framework for trade and investment in the region;
– strengthen existing relations between the parties on the basis of solidarity and mutual interest;
– promote private-sector development and employment growth.
Source: EU Council
The European Union agreed steps on 23 July to help stabilise falling dairy prices, scrapping the minimum price for cheese to qualify for export subsidies and extending purchases of butter and milk powder. A spokesman for the European Commission said the abolition of the minimum price rule would allow more bulk cheeses to be exported with export subsidies and help remove surplus from the market. The minimum price for cheeses to qualify for export subsidies is currently 230 euros per 100kg. The spokesman said the existing 1 March-31 August period during which the Commission could buy surplus butter and milk powder from the market had been extended until the end of November. This temporary step would allow time for EU member states and the European Parliament to examine a Commission proposal to extend the period until the end of August next year, he said. EU member states, particularly France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, have faced protests for several months by dairy farmers calling for help to deal with slumping milk prices. EU dairy markets have deteriorated sharply over the last 12 months. After a price rise in 2007, milk prices have dropped substantially, and have fallen some 30% in France over the past year.
Source: Euractiv
Ensuring both food security and environmental sustainability is possible, argues a platform which is currently sketching a vision and strategic research agenda for organic food and farming. "Massive production of food for decades has come at a tremendous environmental cost," said Alexander Beck of the Association of Organic Food Processors, speaking earlier this month. While not perfect, organic farming is "by far the best solution" for securing both food and environmental security, he argued, adding that the sector was enjoying strong growth despite the current economic crisis. Heino Graf von Bassewitz, chair of the organic farming group at Copa-Cogeca, the EU farmers' organisation, predicted even stronger market growth in the future as "organics will become cheaper once oil prices increase again [oil is a key ingredient for producing pesticides, predominant in traditional farming] and thanks to the eco-intensification of organics". The Worldwatch Institute presented figures showing that organic agriculture has more than doubled worldwide since 2000. But yields still remain far below those of traditional farming methods, which use fertilisers and pesticides.
Source: Euractiv