EU rules appear to encourage discussion again. As import restrictions have forced 30 staff of a sugar refinery in London into unemployment and resulted in a halting of weekend production, Marina Yannakoudakis, British MEP advices the European Commission to relax the rules.
Director-General Pascal Lamy recently presented a report to the General Council. Notably, he stated that “the current political environment dictates that the most realistic and practical way forward is to move in small steps, gradually moving forward the parts of the Doha Round which are mature, and re-thinking those where greater differences remain”.
As we were informing our readers last week, following the visit of the Prime Minister of Somalia the international conference on the future of the country would discuss the proposed increase in active troop strength in the African Union-led Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Both Catherine Ashton and Andris Piebalgs, High Representative and EU Commissioner for Development respectively, who attended the conference, held on February 23, reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to stabilizing Somalia and announced the EU will support AMISOM's crucial work with a further €100 million. “The new funding will support the proposed increase in troop strength agreed by UN Security Council Resolution 2036(2012) adopted on Wednesday 22 February”, Ashton stated.
The council has recently adopted conclusions on EUNAVFOR ATALANTA, EU’s Counter Piracy Operation. Following the Conference on the future of Somalia, which was held in London last week, ministers agreed to extend the mandate of EUNAVFOR until December 2014.
Following warnings that have pointed out that Europe is “too slow and too piecemeal” in developing a sustainable economy, the European Commission has unveiled its strategy to encourage development of the ‘bio-economy’ through investment and innovation.