The development committee's opinion concerning ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), against which the Green Group has been actively fighting for years, has been postponed. Within the other parliamentary groups the concerns have become too strong to be ignored. Originally the votes were scheduled for the 29th of February, but more time will no be provisioned to discuss the criticism concerning the treaty ? ACTA will seriously impede access to generic drugs. A new date for the votes has not yet been set.
Ska held a speech at the anti-ACTA demonstration in Vienna last Saturday.
Commission Communication concerning Trade and Development
On the 27th of January the Commission has issued a communication (Trade, Growth and Development):
The communication is based on the assumption that there no longer is a unified group of "Developing Countries". Instead a more differentiated approach needs to be chosen to deal with the different stages of development partner countries find themselves in. The commission says it wants to achieve greatest possible synergies between trade and development.
We see the communication as the continuation of the EU trade strategy which prompts an aggressive opening of markets and the conclusion of comprehensive free trade agreements. A large proportion of EU development aid is aimed at backing the implementation of trade agreements.
First discussions concerning the DCI reform in DEVE
On the occasion of the reform of the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), one of the two instruments for EU development cooperation, there has been a first discussion in DEVE. The think tank ECDPM has presented its evaluation study. In the next DCI it must be clarified how the aims of reducing poverty and subordinate steps can be reached and concluded. The DCI needs to be better integrated within the other instruments. The DCI should be made more flexible.
You find the evaluation report here.