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ACP-EU Trade

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

March 2019
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Saturday, 23 March 2019
The Spanish Presidency's hopes of reviewing the EU's long-standing position on Cuba were frustrated last week when influential representatives from Europe's leading political family proclaimed their opposition to the move. A panel discussion organised by the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) and the Lech Wałęsa Institute in Brussels saw Spanish and Polish delegates reject moves by Spanish Prime Minister José Luiz Rodríguez Zapatero to rekindle relations with the dissenting Caribbean state. Polish parliamentarians drew heavy comparisons between the situation of the people of Cuba and that of Polish citizens before 1989.
Dacian Cioloş, the EU's commissioner-designate for agriculture, pledged equal distribution of EU farm aid across the EU 27 and fair income for farmers during a three-hour confirmation hearing in the European Parliament on Friday (15 January). His vision for a strong post-2013 EU farm policy convinced members of the House and reassured farmers alike "The main priority of my mandate is to define the perspective of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013," said Cioloş, presenting his vision for his potential five-year mandate in the Barroso II Commission.
Wednesday, 03 February 2010
Agriculture can help to slow climate change, but should be ready to adapt to the impact of global warming, said Agriculture Committee MEPs and scientists at a public hearing on Wednesday."Agriculture can provide solutions for the future", given its direct relationship with the earth and living things, said Parliament's rapporteur report on agriculture and climate change Stephan Le Foll (S&D, FR). A new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is therefore needed to take account of the impact of global warming and to mitigate climate change. "A new CAP", as "manager of the bio-sphere", would guarantee the transition to a new model of production and "ecologically, economically and socially efficient agriculture", he added.
Monday, 01 February 2010
The European Union reaffirmed its strong engagement with the United Nations, particularly in Africa where a trilateral relationship between the UN, African Union (AU) and EU is already in the making to enhance regional cooperation. The statement came as the acting head of EU delegation, Pedro Serrano, spoke to an open Security Council debate on the cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security. "A genuine trilateral UN-AU-EU relationship is already in the making," Serrano said, adding that the EU maintains a high level of engagement with the UN, especially in Africa.
Friday, 29 January 2010
Italy is paying closer attention to Africa in the conviction that there is a different continent from the one traditionally depicted as a land of poverty, disease and conflict. Africa is a young continent with enormous potential in terms of human capital. It is a continent which is not just a major supplier of raw materials, but also a market of 900 million consumers, with great potential for investment. On the political level, Africa has become a key partner in the dialogue on strategic issues such as energy security. And it is a vital partner in addressing global challenges, from climate change to combating terrorism. I was able to see this for myself during my visit to West Africa in February 2009, and I wish to find out more during my forthcoming visit to Mauritania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
The nominees to the 27-member European Commission hope to get the backing of Euro MPs, after each has been questioned in confirmation hearings. Like the last Commission, this one is headed by veteran Portuguese conservative politician Jose Manuel Barroso. Commissioners serve a five-year term and are responsible for drafting EU legislation and ensuring compliance with it. So who are the main players in the new team?
High import duties keep products from developing countries out of Europe. One particular problem is tariff escalation: Import tariffs increase the more processed a product becomes. This measure ensures that most imports to the EU are raw products like coffee, cocoa or pineapples which cannot be cultivated in Europe. While the import duties for unprocessed cocoa beans is rather small, the EU charges 30% for processed cocoa products like chocolate bars or cocoa powder, and 60% for some other refined products containing cocoa.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Today the EU has normalised its relationships and fully resumed development cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Following the elections and the appointment of Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz as president, the EU considers that a consensual solution to the political crisis has been implemented and that Mauritania has returned to constitutional order. It has therefore repealed all appropriate measures for Mauritania today while inviting the country to a close political dialogue with the EU aimed at strengthening the stability of the country (5012/10). The EU will support Mauritania's continuing efforts to overcome its economic and political difficulties, including new security and terrorist threats, while encouraging the national inclusive dialogue anticipated in the Dakar agreement signed between the political forces on 4 June 2009.
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Laura Sullivan  is our guest this week. She is responsible for the European policy and Campaigns in Brussels for ActionAid International. On the occasion of her participation to the Brussels Development Briefing on food crisis in ACP countries, Ms Sullivan explained her views on the subject, on the role of women and the small-scale farmers and the need to invest in their empowerment. She also touches upon trade policies and liberalisation approaches not always compatible with development.
Monday, 25 January 2010
The European Union should not impose border tariffs on goods from countries that fail to cut back their climate-damaging emissions, the EU's trade commissioner-designate said on the 12th January. "I don't think that's the right approach myself", Karel de Gucht told members of the European Parliament, which will vote whether to approve the European Commission line-up on 26 January. "It's an approach that will run into many practical problems." Europe has pledged to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide, which are blamed for climate change, to a fifth below 1990 levels over the next decade. But manufacturers worry that the cost of cleaning up factories and power-generators will make their products more expensive and less attractive than cheap imports from rivals in India and China.