The African Union (AU) Commission and the European Commission are meeting in Brussels for their 5th annual College-to-College session. They will move forward on a joint agenda of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership and focus their discussion on two pressing issues of present concern: democracy and growth.
The efficiency and effectiveness of EU contributions channelled through United Nations organisations in conflict affected countries
Statement of Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs
Report of the Court of Auditors on
"The efficiency and effectiveness of EU contributions channelled through United Nations organisations in conflict affected countries"
"I welcome the new Court of Auditor's report on our work with the United Nations in Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq. Our work with the UN in parts of the world which may otherwise be difficult for us to reach is crucial in helping us to lift people out of poverty. I was pleased to see that the report highlighted that the Commission's work in these areas has had a positive impact in the majority of its projects.
From 12th to 14th May, Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs will visit the Republic of Sudan, including South Sudan. This is the first official visit by a European Commissioner since the referendum took place last January. Commissioner Piebalgs will underline that the Commission stands ready to do all it can to support the new country of South Sudan when it gains independence on 9 July. On 12 May Commissioner will be in Khartoum and will meet government representatives. During his visit to South Sudan (13th and 14th May), Commissioner Piebalgs will give a public speech in Juba where he is expected to emphasize the fact that Sudan is one of the EU's highest priorities in Africa, and confirm the EU's commitment to doing all it can to enable South Sudan to have a new start on the international stage following its expected independence in two months' time.
By early 2014, all shipments of wood products to the European Union from Liberia will be required to carry a license certifying their legal origin. A Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to that end was signed on 9 May by the EU and Liberia, which contains over half of the remaining rainforest in West Africa. This agreement underpins Liberia’s ongoing forestry reforms, driven by the Government's commitment to good governance and to ensuring that natural resources contribute to sustainable development. The agreement also gives European consumers the assurance that wood products imported from Liberia, including furniture and wood chips used for bio-fuel, are of legal origin. The Agreement comes in result of the strong mutual commitment to eradicate illegal logging and to bring more transparency to the timber trade.
Commissioner Andris Piebalgs visits Guinea to discuss the next steps in resuming EU-Guinea cooperation, with new President Alpha Condé
On 6 and 7 May, European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs will travel to Conakry, Guinea, to discuss the next steps in resuming EU-Guinea cooperation. The visit takes place in the context of a gradual return to democratic legitimacy and constitutional order following the democratic election of a new president and the establishment of a civilian government. The Commissioner will announce further measures in support of Guinea which aim at accelerating the resumption of cooperation between the EU and Guinea. Commissioner Piebalgs will meet the President of Guinea, Alpha Condé, selected members of his government and representatives of opposition parties.
Commissioner Piebalgs visits Côte d'Ivoire to assure President Ouattara of the EU's full support for a swift and sustainable recovery of the country
As the first EU official to visit Côte d'Ivoire after the crisis, EU Commissioner for Development Cooperation, Andris Piebalgs, will meet President Ouattara on Friday 6 May in Abidjan to confirm EU's full support towards stability and recovery of economic activities. They will discuss the government priorities for short and medium term support to stabilise the country and to ease the conditions of life of the population. Commissioner Piebalgs and President Ouattara will also sign three projects worth €44 million in support of the agriculture sector (€26 million) and reform of the justice sector (€18 million).
Great stories have the power to change the world – Commission launches the Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize 2011
At the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the European Commission launch the competition for this year’s Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize, the award for excellence in journalism on the theme of development, democracy and human rights across the world.