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ACP-EU Policy

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2018
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EDITO
Thursday, 20 September 2018

A recent article by the Jamaica Observer raises the question of whether should there be two Secretariats for the ACP group of states in the Caribbean region, namely Caricom and CARIFORUM, the latter comprising Caricom and the Dominican Republic . “The dilemma is that there are now two secretariats, namely the Caricom Secretariat, an inefficient underfunded bureaucracy, and a CARIFORUM Secretariat which is really a fictitious institution in which the number two spot is given to a national of the Dominican Republic […] The same person serves as Secretary General of both the Caricom and CARIFORUM secretariats […] should there be one or two secretariats and, if there are two secretariats, should there be one or two secretaries general?”

According to a recent report by European Dignity Watch, two of the world’s largest abortion providers, namely International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International, have received funding from the EU’s development aid budget for projects related to Sexual and Reproductive Health, including abortions, among other projects.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

According to the European Commission, since the end of the post-election crisis in 2011, new resources have been mobilized to help the EU's total aid for the Ivory Coast reach more than € 600 million, covering the period from 2008 to 2013. The EU has actively supported the country's economic recovery and national reconciliation. Particular attention is being paid to infrastructure-building, transportation, governance, justice, rural development, vocational training and social sectors, notably health and education.

According to the EU High Representative, Catherine Asthon, the EU aims to develop a more comprehensive partnership with the Pacific region, as this would successfully address issues of global importance, such as climate change, and which would go beyond the “mere” donor-recipient relationship currently in place. Furthermore, the Pacific islands are an alarming case of the adverse effects of climate change where rising sea levels have an impact upon every aspect of citizens' lives and hamper the economic development. Therefore, the EU has decided to reinforce its response to these raising challenges and issue a Communication ''Towards a renewed EU–Pacific development partnership'.

According to recent updates, the Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation of the Netherlands, Ben Knapen, recently stressed  the positive aspects of the revised EU trade deals with the Caribbean region. He stated that these will help enhance the self-reliance of the developing countries concerned. Additionally,  the Minister noted that the revised Cotonou Agreement is more committed to combatting child labour, piracy, human trafficking and organised crime.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Caribbean Agriculture and Research Development Institute (Cardi) will work towards boosting the Haitian agricultural sector, seriously weakened following the earthquake two years ago.  Donor funding from Caricom, Australia, the Common Fund for Commodities and the EU will make three Cardi projects possible . While project one will focus on re-vegetation, the second project will be intended to improve Caribbean production of roots and tuber crops through the introduction of more advanced technologies. The main objective of the third project will also target increased production, though through the use of protected agriculture.

Following the opening ceremony of the EU Sustainable Energy For all Summit that took place in Brussels last week, José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, stressed the EU’s commitment to supporting the goals set forth by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Mr Barroso also recalled the EU’s engagement to promoting energy access and efficiency in developing countries. Towards that end, the EU aims to provide access to sustainable energy services to 500 million people by 2030,  regarding which Mr. Barroso commented: “This is a huge objective, but if we work together it can be done”.

Monday, 16 April 2012

European Parliament
-17/20 April: EP Plenary Session (Strasbourg)
European Commission
-16 April: EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit (Brussels)
Council of Ministers
-18 April: COREPER I
-18/19 April: COREPER II
-18/20 April : Informal meeting of Ministers for Energy and Environment (TTE and ENVI)
ACP Group
-16 April: Management meeting
-17 April: Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors
-19/20 April: 3rd meeting of the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Facilities

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During the last Brussels Briefing, entitled ‘Small island economies: from vulnerabilities to opportunities’, we met Pierre Encontre, Chief of Special Programmes, Division for Africa, Least Developed countries and Special Programmes, UNCTAD. He spoke to us about the key discussions of the UNCTAD Expert Group that met in December 2011, and which focused on the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).  He points to a specific policy for this group as the main course of action to address vulnerabilities “more effectively”.

Last week, the Brussels development Briefing on Small Island economies was held with great success. As a follow-up, the CTA and its partners, and in collaboration with the Mauritius Government, are organising the 7th Regional Development Briefing. The event, which  will be held in Mauritius on 23-24th April 2012, will gather representatives from the Pacific, the Caribbean and Africa to exchange views and identify what urgent and concrete policy actions of common interest need to be in place.