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ACP-EU Trade

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2018
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EDITO
Tuesday, 25 September 2018
The Extraordinary Council meeting on General Affairs and External Relations held in Geneva on 30 November 2009 congratulated Commissioner Catherine Ashton on her nomination as the first High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to be appointed under the Lisbon Treaty. The Council took note of information provided by the Commission and the comments made by delegations on preparations for the 7th ministerial conference of the WTO. It also stressed the crucial role of the WTO in the current economic and financial crisis, and its full endorsement of the WTO's efforts to provide an effective monitoring process to counter protectionism. The EU intends to play a very active role during the conference, to advance on the themes of the two working sessions, without losing sight of the effects of the current economic downturn on least developed countries.

Official development aid must continue to grow and not suffer from the current economic and financial crisis, warned ACP-EU Co-President Louis Michel at the inaugural session of the 18th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly on Monday in Luanda. "Additional" funds should be released to help developing countries combat the food crisis and climate change, argued Louis Michel. "This money ought not to be deducted from current development aid", said Mr Michel, noting that some states are cutting their development aid budgets in response to the crisis, and adding that "nothing justifies such a reduction in official development aid - quite the contrary". Mr Michel advocated seeking new sources of development policy funding, such as a tax on air fares", and backed the idea, tabled by certain Member States, of a "tax on financial transactions". He condemned the coup d'Etat in Niger, observing that "the situation in Niger does not allow us to recognise constitutional bodies deriving from non-constitutional elections", a law that makes homosexuality a crime in Uganda, and difficulties in overcoming the crisis in Madagascar, despite African Union mediation efforts.

Thursday, 03 December 2009

The European Commission has adopted its annual proposal on next year’s guide prices for fresh and frozen fisheries products as well as the EU producer price for tuna for processing. The Commission proposes to decrease guide prices for white fish and crustacean species, by between –1% and –6%. The current economic crisis is strongly affecting consumer demand for fisheries products in the EU. The decrease in demand has resulted in dramatic drops in first-sale prices in the first half of 2009, in particular for whitefish and crustacean species. On the other hand, the recent price evolution for pelagic species and frozen products has been less negative. For pelagic species there are increases for sardines and albacore (between 1% and 3%) but decreases for herring, mackerel, Spanish mackerel and anchovies (between –1% and –4%).

It is probable that at some time in the next two weeks, Europe will announce that a final deal on bananas has been achieved. In so doing, it will bring to a close the trade war that it has been fighting with Latin producers and the United States since 1993. If documents now circulating in Brussels represent the outcome, the final solution will not be much to the Caribbean's liking. On agreeing a deal, Europe will reduce its banana tariff from €176 to €148/t. Then, over a period of seven years, the tariff will fall to €114/t for all non-preferential imports of bananas into Europe. In exchange, Latin American producers will agree to drop their complaints against the EU at the World Trade Organisation. As with most matters of this kind, the final outcome is not yet guaranteed. There are still sensitive exchanges under way on a small number of issues requiring resolution.

The European Union is giving a total of 653 million Euros to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) member countries to finance projects that will help them to develop capacity in trade with other countries.The funds are to benefit companies investing in warehouse receipt systems, road construction, agriculture improvement projects and government departments among other things. It is aimed at developing the least developed countries' capacity to trade. It includes support to building new infrastructure, improving ports or customs facilities and assistance in helping factories meet European health and safety standards for imports, according to the European Union Operations Officer on Trade and Regional Integration in Uganda Alex Nakajjo.
Wednesday, 02 December 2009
If products are not tracked from their place of origin to their point of sale, there is no way of locating when and how product problems occur. Tracking products throughout their journey to their final destination is essential if we are to ensure worldwide supply and demand chains that deliver excellent-quality products. The three-year BRIDGE ('Building radio frequency identification for the global environment') project received EUR 7.5 million in EU funding to take up this challenge and it delivered exciting new tracking techniques using radio wave technology. Problems with the transport of goods such as delays, contamination or changes in temperature can mean that products are sometimes damaged or degraded when they arrive at their destination, and perishable goods such as food or pharmaceutical products are particularly vulnerable to this.
At a time when European leaders are gathering to welcome the dawn of a new era with the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty, this change may well prove to be more extensive than anticipated. The coming days could spell the end of the era when Europe considered the fight against poverty a priority. In the ongoing discussions on the Banana Dossier, the ACP States have made numerous concessions in an effort towards finding a definitive and balanced solution. In fact, analysis of the European banana market has shown that the customs tariff of €176/t that has been applied to banana imports from Central and South American countries (MFN countries) since January 2006, has sharply increased their presence on the EU market. There is no risk whatsoever, not now nor in the future, given the limited production capacity of the ACP countries that the European market will be “flooded” with ACP bananas.
Monday, 30 November 2009

Mr. Hegel Goutier, editor of the magazine "The Courier - The Magazine of Africa-Caribbean-Pacific & European Union Relations" is our guest. Mr. Goutier, who has 22 years experience as a journalist specializing in ACP-EU cooperation, present the purpose, content and objectives of the Courrier (available in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese), real media tool between the EU and ACP countries. Mr. Goutier shares with us the challenges ahead for the Courier and for the ACP-EU communication.

Friday, 27 November 2009
Experts from Africa, Caribbean and Pacific are meeting since  Wednesday morning in Luanda, to prepare the documents that will be submitted to the 18th  session of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, that will open on November 30 in the Angolan capital. The meeting is to tackle matters related to the impact of the world economic financial crisis on ACP countries, the situation in Madagascar, climatic changes, as well as the participation and  integration of youngsters in social and cultural affairs. The event will gather 400 participants from the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific plus Europe, to  discuss the reforms in international institutions and globalisation, including the refugees issue. The meeting will also tackle the impact of the world economic and financial crisis on the  ACP-EU states, the reduction of the effect of natural disasters, the World Trade Organisation  negotiations and the economic partnership accords, as well as the documents on regional and  countries strategies on the 10th Europe Development Fund.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
The European Commission has today signed a multi-million euro agreement that aims to help Nigeria tackle development challenges in the areas of governance, trade and peace. The agreement, signed in Brussels by European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Karel De Gucht, and by Nigeria's Executive Secretary of the National Planning Commission, Professor Sylvester Monye, is an ambitious step forward in cooperation and is a direct result of the Nigeria-EU political dialogue. It reinforces cooperation in three strategic areas: peace and security; governance and human rights; trade and regional integration with €677 million for the period 2009 – 2013 financed through the European Development Fund.