The Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group made decisions on several key issues at the close of its 98th session on Wednesday afternoon 11 December, including on the post-2015 global development programme to follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Council of Ministers reiterated its unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all forms. The Council of Ministers passed three resolutions major commodities for ACP economies – bananas, cotton, and sugar.
- 16-19 December: European Parliament committee meetings
- 20-22 December: Election Observation Delegation to Madagascar
Council of the EU:
- 16 December: Foreign Affairs Council
- 16-17 December: Agriculture and Fisheries Council
- 17 December: General affairs Council
- 18 December: Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN)
- 19-20 December: European Council
- 16 December: Special meeting of the Committee of Ambassadors
- 16 December: W/G on the Future Perspectives of the ACP Group
- 17 December: Meeting of the ACP-EU Private Sector Working Group
The Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Samoa, Hon. Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi is confirmed to preside over the 98th session of the Council of Ministers for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group. The meeting, scheduled for the 9th till 11th of December 2013, will bring together officials from the 79 member states in Brussels to deliberate and take decisions on policies for the Group. The Council of Ministers is the organisation’s highest decision-making body under the Summit of Heads of State.
A group of 23 countries* attacked the European Commission (EC) in an expert meeting, on 11 November, accusing it of ignoring the agreement on reforming the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) when drafting rules to implement the new measures. The member states have bandied together to try to make EFAs – Ecological Focus Areas – less ecologically focused. France, Spain, Poland and Italy were among those countries that backed the joint note to the Commission appealing it to “urgently correct” inconsistencies between the draft rules and the terms of the CAP agreement.
European Union (EU) diplomats and the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) approved, on 8 November, the proposal delay the sale of 900 million tonnes of carbon permits until later this decade in order to prop up carbon prices in the bloc's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) under the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS). They gave the Lithuanian Presidency a mandate to negotiate with the European Parliament, just days after Berlin confirmed its support for the measure on 4 November.
A package deal comprising the 2014 EU budget and the financing of EUR 400.5 million to remediate flood and drought damages in four member states was agreed on 12 November by the Council and the European Parliament at a meeting of the Conciliation Committee. The Parliament and the Council struck a deal early which remedies payments shortfalls in in the current fiscal year. This was a prerequisite for Parliament to approve the MFF, because Members of European Parliament (MEPs) wanted to prevent the EU from starting the first year under the new MFF with a deficit.
The Council of the European Union (EU) adopted on Monday 2nd December the regulation laying down the EU's multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020 (11791/7/13). This follows the European Parliament's consent of 19 November. Today's decision marks the end of two and a half years of negotiations and allows the new generation of EU spending programmes to be implemented as from 1 January 2014.
The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) met in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) from 25 to 27 November to debate security in the Great Lakes region and the situation in the Comoros archipelago. The plenary debates were preceded by meetings of the JPA standing committees and the womens’ forum.
After months of complex negotiations, Parliament gave its blessing to the EU’s long-term budget for 2014-2020 on Tuesday 19 November. All the conditions set out in its July resolution – which followed a political agreement at the highest levels between Parliament, the Irish Presidency and the Commission were met. The overall budget for the next seven years is €960 billion in commitments and €908 billion in payments (at 2011 prices).
Last week, the European Parliament voted in favour of the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the years 2014 to 2020. The consent of the EP clears the way for the final approval by the Council in the coming weeks. Two and a half years of intense negotiations, since the Commission had tabled its proposals on 29 June 2011, have come to an end.