Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

March 2017
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EDITO
Wednesday, 29 March 2017

AFD Group secures €24 million for African Renewable Energy projects, designed to boost private sector investment in on-grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served rural populations and regions that suffer from an unreliable electricity service.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The High Representative/Vice President, Federica Mogherini, and Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, concluded an official visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The aim of the visit was to strengthen ties and boost partnership with the African Union on common areas of cooperation. In this respect, they met with the new leader of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat who took up office just two days ago. Remarks following her press point with Moussa Faki Mahamat are available here. The EU announced new financial support for the Horn of Africa region as well as for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The Brexit question as seen by the small and poor group of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries is far simpler – and potentially far more lethal – than those the more usual Brexit debate engages with. It belongs less to debate on knock-on effects rolling into the future than to questions of physical survival here and now. When a fifth of Fiji exports head for the UK, when a Caribbean island lives off bananas sold to Britain, new spokes in buying and selling can hit the people, and even all of the people, of a small nation. The more so when Britain is not just a large market in itself but a gateway to the European Union for many of the exports from small countries, none more than sugar and bananas.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Wednesday accredited a new Ambassador of the European Union (EU), with the new envoy advocating for the relationship to more effectively advance a common agenda in global and multilateral fora. In presenting her letters of credence to the CARICOM secretary-general Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Daniela Tramacere pledged that in the face of “populism on both shores of the Atlantic,” the EU will continue to foster political dialogue with the Region. The new EU Ambassador was accredited at a simple ceremony in the office of the secretary-general at the headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.

President Donald Trump's proposed deep cuts to humanitarian aid go against the global development goals the United States committed to in 2015, the European Union's international development chief warned Friday. "Any withdrawal or cut in the development assistance would actually go contrary to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals agenda," the EU commissioner for international cooperation and development, Neven Mimica, told The Associated Press. The ambitious set of global goals take aim at eradicating poverty, reducing disease burden and ensuring clean water around the world, among other issues, by 2030. They were adopted by the international community at a United Nations summit.

The High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica met in Brussels with the President of the Republic of The Gambia, Adama Barrow. The meeting was an opportunity to welcome President Barrow to the EU institutions following his election in December 2016 which saw a peaceful change of leadership in January, with exemplary support by the region. HR/VP Mogherini highlighted that the change in leadership opens a new chapter in EU-Gambia relations and that the EU fully supports President Barrow's reform agenda to establish strong democratic institutions in respect of human rights and the rule of law.

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica announced today additional EU support to respond to the crises in South Sudan, Somalia and its neighbouring countries, during an official visit to the African Union. On the occasion of an official visit to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica, announced a support package of €165 million to address the multiple crises in the Horn of Africa region. Commissioner Mimica said: "The sooner we act, the more lives we can save. This package of €165 million will support the urgent needs of South Sudanese people in the country and the region but also the millions of people at risk of famine in the Horn of Africa. With this additional support, the EU shows the way to other members of the international community to also respond urgently."

Friday, 17 March 2017

This stems from an agreement with the Finance Ministry, Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák said on February 22, after the cabinet okayed the annual plan for bilateral development assistance for 2017. “Based on the government's approval of the document today, we may launch calls for proposals now,” the minister said, as cited by the TASR newswire. “Neither our priorities nor the countries [receiving aid] have changed. It's a total of 10 countries, or nine plus one, where our primary focus is on development assistance.” Special attention is being paid to Southern Sudan, which is grappling with specific humanitarian and social concerns. For humanitarian and development assistance to evolve into economic cooperation and a dialogue, Slovakia would need to have a diplomatic presence there.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

When race riots sparked by the shooting of two African migrant workers forced Suleiman Diara to abandon life as a fruit picker in southern Italy he decided to turn his hand to making yoghurt. With 30 euro ($32) borrowed from an Italian charity worker, he and a friend bought 15 litres of milk and tried their luck. Six years on, the two friends and five other migrants are running a small organic farming business that U.N. experts say is an example of sustainable agricultural development, which if replicated could help feed the growing global population. "We named it Barikama, which means 'resilience' as we went through many difficulties to open this company but we never gave up," he said referring to a term used in Bambara, a language spoken in his native Mali. Born in a rural area of southwestern Mali, Diara arrived in Italy on a migrant boat from Libya in 2008 hoping to make enough money to buy his family a cow and a plough.

This Briefing, published by the European Parliamentary Research Service, is designed to provide key facts and figures about the European Parliament, both today - during the current 2014 to 2019 parliamentary term - and in the seven previous terms since direct elections were introduced in June 1979.