EU Public Procurement and the ACP

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(Joyce van Genderen-Naar)

If ACP experts and companies want to compete with the EU and to have access to the EU Market, they have to know more about the rules and procedures. Frequently asked questions are: how can ACP experts and companies have access to the EU market and compete with EU and other foreign experts and companies; how can ACP SMEs participate in EU consortiums; what is the best way to have access to EU tenders; is there a lack of confidence in the ability of our own enterprises and in our own capacity; why do not ACP countries involve their own people and experts more and increase their own capacities in stead of complaining that ACP has no capacity and asking the EU for capacity building and EU consultants to do research and studies in ACP countries? Reports that can only be written with the help of the information of ACP locals who are being used as information and response persons, reports that often are not implemented.

This article discusses EU Public Procurement Procedures with regard to the ACP-EC Cooperation. It shows the importance of Public Procurement for the EU and its Member states and indicates the preferences for ACP-tenders and tenderers provided in the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement and the relevant provisions of the European Development Fund. It sets out in detail the Legislative framework of the EU Public Procurement, eligibility criteria, contract award criteria and principles,procedures, rules, transparency; Transparency Rates of EU Member States; Obstacles for EU Member States and firms; and other factors conditioning ACP access to EU Public Procurement markets.

Click here for ‘EU Public Procurement and the ACP’

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ACP Declaration on Bananas 28 May 2009

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The 34th ACP-EU Council of Ministers took place on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 May 2009 in the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels. Ministers from 79 African, Carribean and Pacific states met the members of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission and discussed trade issues, EPAs, the bananas issue, climate change, the economic and financial crisis and official opened the negotiations for the revision of the Cotonou Agreement in 2010.

On Bananas the ACP Ministers made a declaration in which they stated that the threat to the economies of ACP countries is clearly serious and that they have to act now to prevent its materialising. “We have noted that the EC has indicated that discussions are almost at an end with the MFN suppliers and the US, with whom it intends to sign the final deal by the end of June 2009. The ACP countries insist on the need to ensure that any deal should:
(i) include a peace clause settling alle outstanding disputes at the WTO;
(ii) include a Credit clause, by seeking the endorsement of the entire WTO
membership,
(iii) safeguard the interest of ACP countries
(iv) comply with the EU’s contractual commitments, particularly those contained in the recently signed EC-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement, which provides for tariff reductions to be made only if “unavoidable” and that in any case they “should be phased in over as long aperiod as possible”.

The ACP Ministers stated that the EC proposal will have disastrous consequences for ACP banana-exporting countries, unless a longer period for the reduction of preferences is given and adequate resources are provided to assist the countries in dealing with the impact of the reductions.

They reiterated that it is pointless to enter into any agreement in anticipation of a Doha settlement and that the EC proposal to the MFN countries is more far reaching than is required.

Joyce van Genderen-Naar
Lawyer/journalist Brussels

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EU is not a REAL Partner


by Joyce van Genderen-Naar

Published in Global Watch, April 2009 Joyce van Genderen-Naar is a lawyer and journalist from Suriname based in Brussels. She writes regularly about ACP-EU issues.

The ACP Working Group on Bananas chaired by the Ambassador of Suriname Mr. Gerhard Hiwat organized an ACP press conference on Monday 6 April 2009 in Brussels to inform the media about the serious implications that recent EU decisions will have for ACP banana producing countries, such as Belize, Cameroon, Cote d?Ivoire, Cape Verde, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Ghana, Grenada, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Eastern Caribbean States, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadine, Suriname and Tanzania. The press was also addressed by the Ambassador of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Frederico Alberto Cuello Camilo and the representatives of Cameroon, Mr. Anatole Ebanda Alima, and of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Philippe Mavel.

The Chairman started by saying that the EU is not a real partner and that the EU does not really know what partnership is, because a real partner would help to find solutions for problems resulting from measures they implement. The cooperation between the ACP and the EU/EC is based on a „Partnership Agreement?. The longstanding ACP-EU development partnership is in question, now the ACP is to lose both much of its vital existing tariff preference on bananas and much of the funds

2.originally promised by the EC to make possible the adjustments necessary for the ACP banana producing countries to cope with the consequences. This is the bad news the European Commission delivered to the ACP Ambassadors in these final days of the longstanding banana dispute at the WTO, ongoing since 1995.1 The EU will soon conclude with the Latin American Banana producing countries an agreement that will harm the production and export of bananas of ACP-countries.

The European Commission proposed on March 12, 2009, that the current tariff of 176 Euros/ton to MFN countries would be reduced by 2011 to 136 Euros/Ton, with a possibility of continuing its reduction to 114 Euros/Ton by 2019. This will facilitate further the access of bananas from the Latin American countries (MFN of Most Favored Nations), who today already own 80% of the European and nearly 100% of the North American markets of bananas. ACP banana producing and exporting countries have only a small share of 18% of the EU market and as good as no access to the USA market.

To compensate ACP banana producing countries for the negative effects of these concessions, the European Commission proposed an assistance package of barely 100 million euros for the period 2010-2013. Paradoxically, it is now encouraging ACP States to reprioritize the funds already committed under the respective National Indicative Programmes, Regional Indicative Programmes and other ongoing programmes for the implementation of necessary projects. So the promised funds for the banana reforms are gone.

1 ACP Press Release 06/04/09 www.acp.int

Trade goals prevail on development
For the ACP it is obvious that the EC is choosing trade over development, that for the EC trade goals prevail over development objectives and that profits are more important than poverty eradication and the preservation of decent jobs in rural areas.

3 The ACP says that the EC is yielding to pressure for trade liberalisation regardless of the consequences for the development objectives set out in the Cotonou Agreements with ACP countries and the social and economic impact that such sudden and rapid changes will have on jobs and living standards in rural areas. Bananas for ACP countries are not only about trade, but also about the development of their countries.

In a Press Release dated April 6, 2009, ACP stresses that now the world is suffering from a global financial crisis, ACP countries can not afford to sacrifice their few sources of hard currency to the altar of free trade. According to ACP it might cause a food security crisis, since the ACP countries are all net-importing developing countries. Furthermore, ACP countries have repeatedly pointed out to the EU Commission that such substantial tariff cuts would have dire consequences for ACP export trade, for which the established preference is of vital importance.

ACP stresses that such rapid reductions are neither necessary nor justified. The sharp reductions proposed between 2009 and 2011 cannot be reconciled with any of the EU commitments towards ACP Countries, specifically the recently signed Cariforum-EC Economic Partnership Agreement which provides that tariff reductions should not only be “unavoidable” but “should be phased in over as long a period as possible”. Moreover, there is no justification, in advance or in the absence of a Doha settlement, for imposing the whole programme of reductions to 114 euros, originally proposed in the context of the Doha negotiations.

The DOHA Round Talks collapsed in July 2008. Any agreement between the EU and the Latin American countries should be part of new Doha Talks in the WTO. For the moment the EC should not do more than is needed and that is just binding the tariff. ACP understands that the longstanding preferences will have to be moved, but that has to be done gradually so that ACP production and industries can become more competitive. For ACP it is difficult to see how any adjustment aid could deal in sufficient time with the problems arising from the deep initial cut proposed.

The EU argues that it is urgent to conclude an agreement with the Latin American countries because the EC lost all the complaints that the Latin American countries and the USA since 1995 have filed in the WTO against the EC and its preferential

4 tariff for the ACP countries. The EC wants to put an end to this ongoing battle as soon as possible. What the ACP wants is more time to become more competitive and financial compensation for the loses they will be suffering. The EC told the ACP that they should use the funds of their National and Regional Indicative Programmes to address the negative impact of the EC measures. These funds however are already allocated for other projects and programmes in the ACP countries. So this is not an adequate solution.

Strong versus weak lobby
Besides the ending of the ongoing legal battle in the WTO another argument is given why the EC is not listening to the ACP. It is about lobbying: some EU representatives say that the Latin American countries have a good and strong lobby and that the ACP countries do not lobby enough, which is not helping them. The ACP does not agree with this argument and says that the EC is sufficiently aware of the problems the ACP is facing; the EC has enough information and knows exactly what the ACP is proposing.

There is no need and no money to pay expensive lobbyists like the Latin American countries and their multinationals do. Which raises the question if it is just and normal that the interests of poor countries become less important when their lobby is not strong enough. What a strange argument. Even stranger when a Member of the European Parliament argues that it is about democracy and that the stronger the lobby is the more they will be heard. It seems like the survival of the fittest. What about poverty eradication and sustainable development of poor countries, what about support for their sensitive industries and export markets based on existing agreements such as the ACP-EC Partnership agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)?

35 out of the 77 ACP countries concluded and signed an EPA with the EC in 2007/2008 to safeguard their interests and their duty free access to the EU-market. They wanted to prevent that they had to pay taxes for their products to enter the EU market as from January 1, 2008. That was their main reason to close the EPA with the EC, a full EPA for the 15 CARIFORUM-countries in the Caribbean and interim agreements for 18 African countries and 2 Pacific countries. The ACP-EC banana

5 issue is a first and disappointing test case and puts the whole meaning of the EPA into question. EPAs should not be rushed 42 ACP countries (29 in Africa and 13 in the Pacific) did not sign an agreement with the EC and are still negotiating with the EC. In March 2009 Claude Maerten, Head of unit DG Trade – D2 -„EPA I? and Elisabeth Tison, Head of unit DG Development – D3 – „Central Africa region and Great lakes?, wrote an article about the State of Play of the EPA negotiations with Central Africa and stated2 :

2 EPA negotiations with Central Africa:
The state of play Claude Maerten, Head of unit DG Trade – D2 -‘EPA I’ and Elisabeth Tison, Head of unit DG Development – D3 – ‘Central Africa region and Great lakes’

ec.europa.eu/trade/issues/bilateral/regions/acp/index_en.htm; ec.europa.eu/development/geographical/regionscountries_en.cfm.

“Although progress on the EPAs is necessary, it should not be rushed. There are strategic issues at stake for the ACP and it is important to match the content of the partnerships under negotiation to the specific needs of each region. This takes time, particularly because the regional negotiation format requires substantial co-ordination efforts on the ACP side.

But there are still common objectives, whatever the pace of negotiations, which are to: (i) help meet Cotonou Agreement goals, particularly sustainable development and support for regional integration; (ii) strengthen supply capacity and diversification within economies and hence promote greater integration into the global economy; and (iii) ensure WTO compatibility, particularly in relation to the degree of liberalisation necessary to comply with the definition of “substantially all trade” in GATT article XXIV.

The EU has no wish to exercise pressure at the risk of obtaining agreements that might not meet the specific needs of each region”.

6 Different approach
This seems to be a total different approach from the EC compared to the concluding of the EPA and interim EPAs in December 2007 with the 15 Cariforum Countries, the 18 African and the 2 Pacific countries. The position of the EC is now that the EPAs should not be rushed. So the 42 Countries in Africa and the Pacific can take their time to negotiate a good agreement and to prevent the mistakes of the ACP countries that already signed.

They did not conclude nor signed a EPA in December 2007 because they were not sure about the impact of the EPA for their economies and for coming generations and their future. They wanted to have more time for discussions with all the stakeholders in their countries, more research and data. So the negotiations between the four regions of Africa, the Pacific region and the EC have continued since January 2008. Progress has been made with some regions like Central Africa, draft texts are available, but no EPA has yet been signed. No ACP-EU Heads of States Meetings

The ACP Heads of States have sent a request for a meeting to the European Council to discuss the EPAs and other ACP-EC-partnership issues at the highest level. This is not the first time they are officially requesting such a meeting, but like before their request has been refused with the argument that the dialogue should take place in the institutions the ACP-EC-Partnership Cotonou Agreement provides for, such as the ACP-EC-Council of Ministers. It is not understandable why ACP and EU-Heads of States should not meet each other on regularly basis and discuss what is important for their cooperation and their countries. This is not promoting real ACP-EC-partnership and cooperation nor bridging the gap between North and South, EU and ACP. Brussels

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1/2 Day Coaching or Seminar Opening in PA/NJ/DE on 21 May 2009

 

Are you looking for an internationally ‘road-tested’ executive or leadership coach to turbo-boost your on-the-job performance in dealing with an intercultural team or international project?

Do you have a marketing or advertising team that needs a quick and effective ‘time-out’ from daily business to strategize, (re-)focus and (re-)activate for a new/ongoing project or to help them meet the ambitious goals expected of them in this demanding economy? Is this a team working with intercultural players or within an international context?

If so – and you are in the southeastern Pennsylvania/southwestern New Jersey area – you have a unique opportunity!

I have just one more open slot to either personally onboard a new coaching client (face-to-face ‘threshold’ session) or to conduct one additional 1/2 day seminar during my next business stay to the Delaware Valley.

For potential coaching clients: Booking me as your new sounding board and accountability partner means you will reach your goals more efficiently and effectively than you would if you were working on them on your own. In addition, you will have access to someone with almost 30 years of experience in the international business arena.

We will begin our coaching relationship with a complimentary interview by telephone to discuss your precise coaching needs, any questions you have about my background, and confirm that we are on the same wavelength.

We will then conduct an intensive, face-to-face threshold coaching session while I am in your area so you can

-identify the values, drivers and motivators that make up the backdrop upon which your coaching goal will be projects
-enhance your understanding of your coaching context by formulating a clear and concise coaching mission statement
-develop an action plan – including significant milestones – that will lead you to your desired goal

While working together closely for four hours we will also establish the beginnings of a solid interpersonal foundation for our ongoing coaching relationship. After this initial session, our coaching relationship will continue via telephone at the times/dates that best suit your schedule using any/all modern technology that facilitates our coaching process until you reach your desired professional goal.

For potential seminars: Based on the insights and experience gained from 20+ years working in international marketing and advertising, I will design a four-hour individualized seminar/workshop/brainstorming session focused on your specific need, e.g.:

(re-)uniting the group and intensifying their motivation and team spirit pooling and prioritizing ideas and known best practice relevant to their project/goal developing/re-focusing an action plan for successfully achieving their goals

The result: A smoother running team, a wealth of new ideas, a benchmark to prioritizes those ideas and the resources you’ll need for execution, and a plan to put – and keep – the team (back) on track!

Prior to the event, we will have an opportunity to discuss your specific needs via telephone. Based on your input plus a survey of your organization’s target group, I will submit a written preliminary outline of the planned session for your approval. I also provide post-session evaluations and transfer tele-coaching to further increase the ROI of the session.

Or maybe after taking a look at my portfolio, you have another idea about ways in which my experience and insights can help your organization better identify and further leverage the value you add?

Because of my schedule, I will be available one day and one day only – May 21, 2009**!!!

Please understand that this opening is on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.

To contact me before May 15th about scheduling a professional turning point for yourself, for your department/team or for your organization, write to me at:

trina.roach-raschke@creating-tomorrow.com

or call:

+49-2435-98 01 57

When calling, please remember that there is a six-hour time difference between Central Europa and the East Coast of the USA!

http://www.creating-tomorrow.com/

**You are interested in engaging the services of Creating Tomorrow, but this date doesn’t fit into your coaching plans/training calendar? I will be returning to the States in the fall of 2009. Contact me via email with a telephone number where you would like to be reached between 18th – 25th May to discuss your specific coaching/training needs and to learn more about how I can support you/your organization, as well as my upcoming business travel dates to the Delaware Valley area.

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13 Year Old Nia Conley Presents the Juviez, an Urban Animation DVD Series for Kids

13 Year Old Nia Conley

Presents the

JUVIEZ,

an Urban Animation

DVD Series for Kids 

the JUVIEZ

 

Los Angeles, CA –  Video distributor Will Conley remembers the day like it was yesterday. It all started when six years ago he found himself in a helpless situation.  He had promised to surprise his then, 8 year old daughter Nia with a new home video for her collection.  Returning home empty handed because he could not find anything appropriate on the market, Will dreaded giving his young daughter the disappointing news.            

Upon hearing it however, the young Nia asked her father if she could just make her own video, something for her and her friends to watch. That was in 2003. On March 17, 2009, young Nia’s vision will be realized when  JUVIEZ hits the market at major retailers around the country, including Blockbuster, Netflix, Walmart, Target and Best Buy !  

Nia Conley 

JUVIEZ is the original brainchild of Nia Conley, now 13,  in conjunction with her father, Will Conley, CEO of CONKidz and Visionary Entertainment, a home video distribution company targeting the urban market.   JUVIEZ is an upbeat, 3D-animated series about a group of gifted, urban kids growing up in the inner city. 

 

Daily life lessons are revealed to Ray, the main character, an eight year old artistic prodigy, his little brother Manny, and his friends and classmates from his gifted class, including Junie, Alexia, JoJo and Meka.  All the characters are between six and eight years old, African American or Hispanic, and gifted artistically or intellectually.  

“It’s amazing the brilliance behind our young minds today” expresses Conley.  “JUVIEZ is truly Nia’s creation. The humor, insight and creativity of the characters all originate from her!  JUVIEZ is especially refreshing in that we are able to reveal the strength and beauty of our children, no matter where they may live, or what neighborhood they are from.”


Fearlessly enjoying the adventures of day to day living and learning in their community, JUVIEZ is indeed a world by kids and for kids.  Everything is through their eyes, with adults seen only when necessary.  Topics range from social issues to personal introspection.  

The soundtrack, an uplifting infusion of hip hop, contemporary jazz and R&B music scoring is also written and produced by an all – youth cast of talented musicians ranging in ages from 9 to 16!  They are Tommie Williams, 13; Lil’ Niqo, 9; Qyeendom, 12; Tati Hilton, 12;  Bre Roca, 16; and Mac Flossy, 14.


 “I remember when the Rugrats used to be my favorite cartoon,” recalls Nia. “But now I’m happy to have my very own JUVIEZ with characters who look like and remind me of all my friends.  And even better than that is the fact that I was also able to work with a group of my friends to bring my vision to light.  I want young people to not only love the JUVIEZ, but to be able to show them the true meaning of ‘Yes, I can!’ I started this project with my dad when I was just eight years old.  It was a lot of work, but we never gave up!”      


In addition to the release of a JUVIEZ soundtrack, back packs, coloring books and an entire promotional line is in the works.  ConKidz has entered in a co-production deal for additional episodes with Zensoft Studios in Calgary , Alberto Canada, and the agency plans to give away 1000 laptops in a special advertising campaign. 


JUVIEZ is available online at Amazon.com and will be distributed nationally by Channel Sources.  For additional information, go to
http://www.Conkidz.com  and get acquainted with the JUVIEZ crew now !

 

NOTE TO MEDIA:  For promo copies of JUVIEZ, send name, media outlet and mailing address to makeda@jazzmynepr.com .   Nia Conley is available for interview, send request to makeda@jazzmynepr.com

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About Women and Opportunity 2009 Conference (Curacao)

Date: Friday and Saturday March 6 & 7, 2009
Location: International Trade Center Curaçao, Curaçao, Dutch Antilles
Conference Organizer: Reyna Joe / BISInc
Conference advisor: Norma Angel MM

ABOUT WOMEN and Opportunity

The 2009 Conference About Women and Opportunity is a conference on opportunity in the lives of women and how women are programmed to deal with opportunities. This conference aims to focus on how women recognize opportunity, how they use and benefit from great opportunities and think about how to deal with opportunities in all aspects of lives.

Asking women what ‘opportunity’ means to them, they often refer to work opportunities: a good job, a career, to earn your own money, to be independent. But there is more in life for women to make them feel good and successful. Women also want a family life, partner, children, good relation- and friendships. Women wants to love and be loved, to take care, to be creative, to be beautiful, nice, intelligent, to have fun, to travel, to communicate etc. Is this ‘opportunity’ or just an idealized image?

The definition describes ‘Opportunity’ as a favourable chance or opening offered by circumstances or a favourable or advantageous circumstance of combination of circumstances. It is a chance for progress or advancement’.

So opportunity is a given chance, that is created by circumstances and that brings about growth and improvement. Opportunity can arise by accident or through luck. But to sit and wait for sudden luck or good luck to arrive is not the best way to discover the opportunities in your life. As Eleanor Roosevelt said: “If you prepare yourself . . . you will be able to grasp opportunity for broader experience when it appears”.

‘To prepare yourself’ means to be alert, to know what you want, what is good for you, for others, for a better world and how to reach your aims and goals. But the concerns and complexity of daily life and relationships withhold women in recognising and developing their opportunities, talents and creativity. Women still carry the bulk of all care responsibilities and (unpaid) work at home. Women’s work days are longer than men’s, especially when young children are in the household. This has an impact on women’s work patterns and limits their opportunities to take occupations that are comparable to the average occupations of men.

Mothers spent on average 11 hours less per week in gainful employment than fathers. The same mothers devote daily between 5½ and 7½ hours to parental and domestic tasks. According to the United Nations, in no country in the world men come anywhere close to women in the amount of time spent in housework. Women do two-thirds of the world’s work, receive 10 percent of the world’s income and own 1 percent of the means of production. Women produce 75 to 90 percent of food crops in the world and are at the same time responsible for the running of households.

Women are increasingly breaking into male domains, such as mathematics, science and civil engineering, on average, female study choices still show traditional gender stereotyped patterns, and are often neglecting the chances of more future-oriented studies in science or ICT. Women are over-represented in part-time work and have fewer opportunities for training and career progression, lower salary levels and reduced access to supplementary payments and social protection benefits.

Significantly fewer women than men have jobs with supervisory responsibilities. Within enterprises, women account for only 32% of managers. Furthermore women are largely under-represented in positions of authority and responsibility: only 10% of board members and 3% of CEOs of the larger companies are women.

The unemployment rate remains higher for women than for men and two out of every three poor adults are women, which is called the “feminization of poverty.

But the problems women are constantly facing, are also ‘challenges’ to seek for creative solutions and opportunities for growth and advancement. And women are very creative! The 2009 Conference About Women and Opportunity is a platform for women to discuss the creative solutions they have found to discover and benefit from the opportunities in their daily lives.

January, 2009
Joyce van Genderen-Naar

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Fire Rainbow Obama

fire_rainbow_obama

“Fire Rainbow Obama”

I wanted to give you a sneak preview of my tribute to and celebration of Barack Obama.

“Fire Rainbow Obama” celebrates him as a special gift to all the people of the world. A president that gives us all hope.

Therefore I chose a fire rainbow to symbolize him. A fire rainbow is a phenomenon rarely seen or experienced. The rainbow also is biblical promise of hope for good and some of us will also think of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In an astrological sense Obama is also a fire sign, a Leo.

The people looking up at the rainbow (Obama’s spirit) are from all walks of life and from all around the world. Never before have I seen the world embrace a United States President with such joyful hope and pride.

I will sign the completed painting “Fire Rainbow Obama” next week, and I will be releasing it as a Limited Edition Giclee on Canvas in 2 sizes. If you’re interested in details please email me or give me a call – 323.993.5722.

Have a wonderFULL day!
synthia

Life is Magnificent! Accept, Release, Relax and EnJOY IT…
>^^<

Synthia SAINT JAMES
Atelier SAINT JAMES
P.O. Box 27683
Los Angeles, CA 90027/USA
323.993.5722
www.synthiasaintjames.com

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