Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
Dr Hans Herren is our guest this week. Dr. Hans Herren, an internationally recognized scientist, is the President of the Millennium Institute since May 2005. On the occasion of his participation in the Brussels Development Briefing on food crisis in ACP countries, Mr. Herren is explaining to us the role played by the Institute concerning the Millenium Development Goals. M. Herren presents also the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science & Technology (IAASTD), which is an assessment of agriculture by reviewing the last 50 years in science, technology and knowledge as to better define what we should do in the next 50 years to resolve issues food security, nutrition security and also environmental issues.
Friday, 08 January 2010
On 1 January 2010, a set of new, strong rules has enter into force to bolster the control system of the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy. These rules will give the EU and its Member States new and powerful tools not only to protect the resources of our seas and oceans from unscrupulous operators, but also to protect the livelihoods of honest fishermen who would otherwise be exposed to unfair competition. With no preferential treatment from one country to another and no real temptation to cheat, because offenders will not be allowed to get away scot-free, the new system will enable fishermen to ply their trade under the same conditions, thus promoting a culture of compliance throughout the fisheries sector.
Thursday, 07 January 2010

The European Commission is providing €50 million in humanitarian aid to vulnerable drought-affected people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. The funds are channelled through the Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) under the responsibility of Commissioner Karel De Gucht.

The Moroccan and EU negotiators signed an agreed minute concluding negotiations that have been ongoing for almost four years in view of a future agreement on improving bilateral trade conditions for products from the agri-food and fisheries sector. The conclusion of the negotiations is subject to the approval of the respective authorities. In particular, the agreement will reinforce the position of European exporters on the Moroccan market, particularly exporters of processed agricultural products, representing a major offensive interest for the EU with full liberalisation planned in stages over the next ten years, with the exception of pasta, for which a quantitative restriction is provided. In the agricultural products sector, the agreement will allow for the immediate liberalisation of 45% of the value of EU exports and 70% in ten years. The tinned food, dairy products, oilseeds and fruit and vegetable sector will benefit fully from total liberalisation. The fisheries sector will also be opened up for EU products (91% after five years and 100% in 10 years).

Monday, 04 January 2010
On 9th December 2009, more than 100 experts attended the 15th Brussels Development Briefing on "From Global Food Crisis to Local Food Insecurity" organised by the CTA and its partners. The Briefing examined the domino effects of increased speculation in food markets and the impacts of the global food and financial crisis on food production, food distribution and developing countries’ food security. The risks for global food production and the role that small-scale farming can play in times of crisis in least-developed countries have been discussed, along with the policy options that can secure food supply and availability at global and local level. For more information (including presentations and interviews): http://www.brusselsbriefings.net.

Dr. Steve Wiggins is our weblog guest this week. Dr. Steve Wiggins is an experienced agricultural economist with interests in rural livelihoods, poverty, food security and nutrition who has worked extensively in Africa and Latin America. He leads work at the Overseas Development Institute on agricultural development, food prices and biofuels. Mr. Wiggins talks about spike food prices and the four major transitions that concern agriculture: the energy transition, water scarcity, the impacts of gas emissions and the consequences of climate change.

The European Union is considering imposing a tax on multinational corporations which shirk their tax responsibilities in developing countries while hiding their profits away in secrecy jurisdictions/tax havens. EU Development Commissioner Karel De Gucht suggested last week a tax in Europe for multinationals operating in developing nations but squirrelling profits off to tax havens. "We must take our responsibilities regarding multinationals based in Europe with activities in the developing world and not consider that financial transfer to tax havens have been duly taxed", De Gucht told a good governance conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. Asked for details, he said that Europeans should find a system to allow them to raise considerable funds for development aid. Currently tax evasion is "at least three times bigger than development aid", he added.

Friday, 18 December 2009
At the 2986th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 14-16 December 2009, the delegation of Netherlands provided information regarding the conclusions of the International conference on "GMOs in European agriculture and food production" policy in Europe held in The Hague on 15-16 November 2009. Some delegations warmly thanked Gerda Verburg, Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and her colleague, Jacqueline Cramer Minister for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment who jointly organised the event. The Austrian and Hungarian delegations welcomed the idea to have a Commission’s proposal allowing individual Member States to adopt national measures leading to regulate and/or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs on their own territory. Commissionner Vassiliou reminded ministers of President Barroso's political guidelines regarding GMOs: "In an area like GMOs, for example, it should be possible to combine a Community authorisation system, based on science, with freedom for Member States to decide whether or not they wish to cultivate GM crops on their territory".
Thursday, 17 December 2009
This issue paper, titled “Legal and Systemic Contested issues in Economic Partnership Agreements and WTO Rules: Which Way Now?”, and written by Dr Cosmas Milton Obote O’chieng, provides a legal analysis of some systemic issues regarding the relationship between the WTO and EPAs.  Some of these issues include the following: The application of the Most Favourable Nation Clause, Article XXIV of GATT and its relationship with EPAs; The effects of the “standstill” clause on bound or applied tariff rates applied to ACP countries by WTO members; The political and legal effects of the “Non-Execution Clause” in EPAs; The articulation of the dispute settlement mechanisms of EPAs and their interactions with the WTO one. The paper concludes with a series of legal recommendations that could be useful to all stakeholders in understanding the stakes involved in the EPA negotiations.