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New report shows that ACP countries are being hit by harmful EU policies (CONCORD)

By CONCORD - The European NGO confederation for relief and development
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BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, November 21, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- In Africa and elsewhere in the developing world, European Union (EU) policies are continuing to seriously undermine people's rights, because these policies are not coherent with development objectives. The EU fails to comply with its own treaty obligations says a new report by CONCORD (http://www.concordeurope.org), the confederation of European development NGOs.

Report: 'Spotlight on EU Policy Coherence for Development': http://coherence.concordeurope.org

Logo: http://www.apo-mail.org/concordve.jpg

The report was launched today in Lome, Togo to coincide with the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/intcoop/acp/10_01/default_en.htm) where African, European, Caribbean and Pacific decision-makers meet twice a year as part of the Cotonou Agreement. The Cotonou Agreement provides for the possibility for ACP representatives to question the European Commission on any policies that have or likely to have an impact on development.

Gerard Karlshausen from CONCORD: “You can't deny that European policies have effects overseas, like right here in Africa. Our report shows that European agriculture, trade and migration policies have negative impacts on ACP countries, undermining efforts to reduce global poverty.”

The report finds that:

• ACP agriculture continues to be negatively affected by the EU's Common Agricultural Policy

• ACP countries are experiencing more land grabs due to biofuel demands triggered by the EU's Renewable Energy policy

• Migration and human security are also affected by EU policies that fail to meet rights obligations.

• The EU is failing to comply with its Lisbon Treaty that states that European policies should take into account development objectives.

• The Cotonou Agreement mechanism allowing for enquiries on EU policy impact on development is largely underused.

925 million people went hungry last year – that's almost 1 out of every 7 people on the planet the report shows. At the same time one third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted.

Speaking at the launch event:

Salif Foulani Sissoko, Malian agro economist, said: “EU policies can do more harm than good in the developing world. In Africa for example, we see the affects in our agricultural production where we just cannot compete with cheaper, subsidized European imports.”

“The EU must realize that global food security can only be achieved if poor countries are enabled to develop and safeguard their own sustainable domestic production," said Laust Gregersen of CONCORD Denmark.

“To avoid harmful policy impacts, more dialogue must take place between the EU, notably the EU Delegations, and the stakeholders in ACP countries, including civil society organizations. Delegates of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly should embrace the opportunity that the Cotonou Agreement gives them to engage this dialogue on policy impact on development. The Assembly should nominate two of its delegates to gather evidence of policy incoherencies and seek to redress the situation,” said Pascal Erard of CFSI -Coordination Sud.

The EU invests €53 billion per year in its development policy, being the biggest aid donor. But without a clearer commitment to Policy Coherence for Development, the positive development gains achieved through EU aid-funded programmes will continue to be severely jeopardised by the negative impact of other EU policies.

Distributed by the African Press organization for CONCORD.

For more information and interviews contact:

CONCORD Communications officer, Daniel Puglisi on +32 2 743 87 77, [email protected]

CONCORD Policy Coherence for Development Coordinator, Blandine Bounioul on +32 027438761, [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

[1] “The Union shall take account of the objectives of development co-operation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries” Article 208 of the Lisbon Treaty

What is Policy Coherence for Development?

Policy Coherence for Development is about ensuring that the aims and objectives of EU development co-operation policy are not undermined by other EU policies, such as those on climate, trade, energy, agriculture, migration, and finance matters. These issues are highlighted in CONCORD's report.

Who is CONCORD?

CONCORD (http://www.concordeurope.org) is the European NGO confederation for relief and development. CONCORDs 26 national associations and 18 international networks represent over 1,600 NGOs which are supported by millions of citizens across Europe. CONCORD leads reflection and political actions and regularly engages in dialogue with the European institutions and other civil society organisations. http://www.concordeurope.org

About the report

The report is the joint effort of European development NGOs and civil society organisations, coordinated by CONCORD. It follows a first report in 2009. In the 2011 report, throughout the thematic chapters of relating to food security, natural resources management, human security, and migration, CONCORD uncovers some incoherencies of current EU policies and proposes alternative, fairer measures that respect the Human Rights of all.