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ACP-EU Policy

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2018
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Sunday, 21 October 2018

Despite vocal criticism of the EU, this is tempered by a number of positive notes. The former president of Tanzania, Benjamin William Mkapa, who warns on a weekly basis of the negative effects of the EPAs, emphasised last week that there exists a certain sympathy within the EU for Africa’s concerns, as the European Parliament committees on Development (DEVE) and International Trade (INTA) recently drafted proposals rejecting the proposal for the amendment of Regulation 1528/2007, which provides duty-free and quota-free market access to the EU market. Furthermore, he has noted that the EU will greatly benefit from African development and prosperity. "We trust therefore that the EU will heed ACP countries’ and Africa’s proposals for a mutually-beneficial partnership ahead", he stated.
However, concerns over the inclusion of  the most-favored-nation (MFN) clause in the EPAs did not go unnoticeable. According to The East African, the EU aims to restrain the bloc from making deals with emerging economies, particularly with China and India, as it would require that the EAC extend to the EU the same preferences granted to third parties. EAC stakeholders said the clause could severely weaken South-South trade. James Ndahiro, Rwanda’s representative to the East African Legislative Assembly, stated  accordingly that the MFN clause should be removed or modified to restrict its application to agreements with more developed economies.

Monday, 14 May 2012

European Parliament
-14/15 May: Committee on Foreign Affairs
-14 May: Committee on Development
-14 May: Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (Extraordinary)
Council of Ministers
-14 May: Foreign affairs council
-14/15 May: Agriculture and Fisheries Council
-14/16 May: Coreper I
-16 May: Coreper II
ACP Group
-14 May: Committee of Ambassadors’ W/G on the preparation of the 7th ACP Summit
-15/16 May: Committee of Ambassadors

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The CTA-Brussels Office has been reporting on the latest developments in recent months at the European Parliament concerning chocolate production and trade.  In March, the European Parliament followed the advice of INTA Committee and gave its consent to renew the International Cocoa Agreement. Likewise, it took the opportunity to raise awareness of the problem of child labour and child trafficking in the sector. Moreover, rapporteur Vital Moreira stated that both policymakers and stakeholders involved in cocoa production had to live up to their responsibility to eradicate child labour in cocoa production.  This week, the EP hosted an event highlighting the issue of the use of child labour on cocoa farms and called upon consumers to buy Fair Trade.  Participants at the event were shown a special film by CNN about child labour on West African cocoa farms, where tens of thousands of children are involved in backbreaking and sometimes dangerous work.

Since 2005, Somali piracy has escalated and become a threat to regional stability, world trade, and all forms of maritime transport. As the political situation in Somalia, which after more than two decades remains unstable, gives little hope of an overall improvement of the matter, the EP adopted a resolution intended to better deal with maritime piracy this week.

As Swaziland’s government has suppressed trade unionism in the country by repeatedly meddling in union activities, the EU expresses concerns. Through a press statement by the EU Delegation, based in Lesotho, and  in conformity with the EU Heads of Mission accredited to the country, calls upon the government to stop these actions and recalls the existing Cotonou Agreement as its provisions stand for respecting human rights.

Friday, 11 May 2012

During the course of the 7th South Africa - Germany Bi-National Commission in Berlin,  Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe called upon the European nation to invest in South Africa's massive state-led infrastructure drive. "We are targeting a range of areas, including roads, rail, ports, water infrastructure and telecommunications. To this end we wish to invite the government of Germany and German cooperates to participate in this important initiative," Motlanthe said in his opening remarks at the BNC.

Following Francois Hollande's takeover of the French presidency, the South African President, Mr. Jacob Zuma said he looks forward to further strengthening  bilateral and trade relations between the two countries, as he emphasised the role of France in international fora. "On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, I congratulate Mr Francois Hollande on winning the French Presidential elections. We would like to take this opportunity to extend our congratulations to Mr Hollande and the people of France for a successful election," he stated.

A new Center for European Studies is set to be established in the Dominican Republic, as a result of a new agreement between the Directorate General of Multilateral Cooperation (DiGECOOM) and the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development. It aims to strengthen academic links between institutions in the country and provide an overview of Europe’s realities.

The European Commission's expenses for 2010 were approved by the Parliament under the EU's annual budget discharge procedure. The finances of almost all other institutions, agencies, and notably the European Development Fund, also received endorsement.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

As part of its Vision 2020 development blueprint, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) has launched a volunteer programme whereby young specialists will be deployed to serve in member countries. The programme, which is being supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Volunteer Programme (UNV), Unesco, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the European Union (EU), will seek to strengthen peace-building, improve national reconstruction and accelerate development in member states.