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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The European Parliament has published its report on the Strategy for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in third countries. The motion for a resolution in the plenary sitting “stresses that IPR cooperation between the Union and other regional blocs should be enhanced wherever possible”; “ Calls on the Commission to encourage third parties to give reciprocal recognition of IP legal experts’ right to practice”; “Calls on the Commission and Member States to step up customs cooperation within the Union and with third countries for the seizure of counterfeit goods and to simplify customs procedures” as well as the recommendation of an IPR Helpdesk in third countries.

The European Parliament Committee on Fisheries shall have a public hearing on eco-labeling of fisheries products on 16th June. Eco-labeling schemes was first addressed in the Commission Communication on the Future for the Market on Fisheries Products in the EU in 1997, and has gained momentum since the introduction of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy in 2002. Additionally, international momentum has also been created with the adoption of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) guidelines on "eco-labeling for fish and fisheries products from marine fisheries." It has been recognized however, that the recent increase in the number of eco-labeled products creates difficulties in terms of competition, trade and consumer protection policies and has put the issue back on the agenda.

Speaking at the European Development Days 2015, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström argued for a strong role of trade in Africa’s development.  She stressed the new trade relationship of equals that the concluded Economic Partnership Agreements had delivered: EPA countries now covers 70% of the population and 80% of GDP in Africa. She also argued for their full implementation and for complementary institutional and governance reforms to make sure that EPAs support the goal of broad based sustainable development – the new path of the EU-Africa relationship. With reference TO Asia’s growth, the Commissioner said that trade can deliver development objectives in Africa, as well as provide market access for African companies to grow in Europe.

The European Commission shall partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and establish a new fund to tackle the global challenge of undernutrition in six countries: Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Laos and Niger. EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, confirmed the EU’s commitment in supporting partner countries to reduce the number of children who are chronically undernourished by at least seven million by 2025 and its commitment of  €23.5 million for the new initiative: the National Information Platforms on Nutrition (NIPN). The initiative will provide partner countries with the tools to better monitor progress in the reduction of undernutrition, improve information and analysis about nutrition, and enable partner countries to develop well-informed and effective national nutrition policies as a result.

Linda McAvan, Member of the European Parliament explains that the EU needs to support its words with concrete actions in order to enhance its role in the global community, especially in light of the milestone forthcoming conferences: i) the third international conference on financing for development in Addis Ababa in July, ii) the UN summit on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in September and iii) the Paris climate change talks in December. In addition to these, the European commission will also be preparing the new gender action plan (GAP) , which aims to put the interests of women and girls at the heart of our development policies.