|The Courier N° 130 Nov - Dec 1991 - Dossier: Oil - Reports: Kenya - The Comoros (EC Courier, 1991, 96 p.)|
ACP-EEC Committee of Ambassadors - Stabex problems on the agenda
The Committee which met in ACP House in Brussels on 11 October had Stabex transfers for 1990 on the agenda and discussions revolved around the Community offer and what the ACPs actually felt should be transferred.
ACP Ambassadors maintained that the Community should be transferring ECU 1240.7 million for 1990, an amount which they claimed represented their total losses in export earnings that year.
The Community offered ECU 483.7 million under the present Convention ECU 100 million of it from the unspent balance of Sysmin, but the ACPs deemed this inadequate and called on the Community to bear in mind its obligations to the ACP Group and find further financing to complete the transfers. The request was repeated at a press conference during which, in the absence of the Chairman, the Ambassador of Gabon, Raymond Chaste (Mauritius) announced that the Community offer was only 38.99% of the estimated amount and less than 50% of all Stabex resources since the system was first set up. The ACPs asked for an extraordinary conference of ministers to be convened to take steps to do something about the inadequacy of the resources, given that a similar situation could very well arise in 1991.
The Community was sorry about the situation, but thought it had done all it could within the framework of the Convention. It was not possible to find extra resources within the present framework. The President of COREPER undertook to report the situation to the Community Ambassadors, but told the ACPs that the chances of the Community offer being improved were in fact non-existent and that it was highly unlikely that an ACP-EEC conference of ministers could be held during the Dutch Presidency because the Council timetable was so overloaded.
The Commission has taken the following financing decisions (5th, 6th and 7th EDF) following a favourable opinion from the European Development Fund Committee.
Ethiopia: A grant of ECU 3 750 000 of emergency aid as a contribution to humanitarian organisations assistance programmes for refugees and the victims of drought and fighting.
Botswana: A grant of ECU 2 800 000 and a special loan of ECU 4 000 000 to protect wildlife in northern Botswana.
Zaire: A special loan of ECU 10 000 000 from the 5th EDF plus a grant of ECU 9 500 000 and a special loan of ECU 15 000 000 from the 6th EDF for the road section of the APEK project.
Equatorial Guinea: A 6th EDF grant of ECU 5 070000 for the protection and rational utilisation of forestry resources.
Mozambique: A grant of ECU 650 000 as emergency aid to be implemented immediately to help victims of the troubles.
ACP States: A grant of ECU 650 000 as emergency aid to be implemented immediately to help with the campaign to control epidemics in the ACP States.
AD ACP States: A grant of ECU 650 000 to open immediately an emergency global commitment to cope with emergencies in the ACP countries.
All ACP States: A further grant of ECU 650 000 as emergency aid to be implemented immediately to help with the campaign to control epidemics in the ACP States.
The Commission took the following financing decision (7th EDF) after the EDF issued a favourable opinion in a written procedure completed on 2 August.
Angola: An ECU 2000000 grant of emergency aid to help with humanitarian organisations assistance programmes for the victims of famine and fighting.
All ACP States: An ECU 6000000 grant for the CDIs 1991 budget.
Gambia: An ECU 14 500 000 grant for a development programme for the North Bank, Upper River and Western divisions.
Burkina Faso: Grants of ECU 1 739 247.85 (5th EDF), ECU 4 760 752.15 (6th EDF) and ECU 13 850000.00 (7th EDF) to rehabilitate the road from Koup to the Togolese frontier.
All ACP States: A 7th EDF grant of ECU 2 760000 for ACP countries to attend the Universal Exhibition in Seville in 1992.
Seychelles: Grant of ECU I 000 000 to consolidate the development of handicrafts.
Lesotho: An ECU 44 000 000 grant (ECU 34 000 000 from the national indicative programme and ECU 10 000 000 from the regional programme) for the project to build the Muela HEP station as part of the Highlands Water Project.
Mozambique: A 6th EDF grant of ECU 13000000 to improve rural telecommunications.
Regional (SADCC): A 6th EDF grant of ECU 500 000 to provide SADCC with technical assistance with its fauna, forests and fisheries.
All ACP States: A 7th EDF grant of ECU 3 684 000 for the 1991 budget of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation.
Madagascar: A 5th EDF grant of ECU 2 750 000 for a craft development programme.
All ACP Sates: A 7th EDF grant of ECU 3 000 000 to enable ACP countries to attend meetings of the ACP-EEC Joint Committee and Council.
All ACP and OCT: A 7th EDF grant of ECU 2 000 000 as a global commitment authorisation to finance attendance at international trade and tourist events from the national indicative programmes.
All ACP and OCT: A 7th EDF grant of ECU 40 000 000 as a global commitment authorisation to finance (expedited procedure) technical cooperation, trade promotion and tourist schemes.
All ACP and OCT: A 7th EDF grant of ECU 30 000 000 as a global commitment authorisation to finance (expedited procedure) multiannnal microproject programmes.
All ACP and OCT: A 7th EDF grant of ECU 15 000 000 as a global commitment authorisation to finance (expedited procedure) relief for returned refugees and displaced persons.
AD ACP and OCT: A 7th EDF grant of ECU 15 000 000 as a global commitment authorisation to finance (expedited procedure) cultural schemes.
Niger: A 7th EDF grant of ECU 12000000 to develop the Niamey-Say national highway (56 km).
Jamaica: ECU 4 million in support of small and medium-sized enterprises
The European Investment Bank is providing ECU 4 million in support of small and medium-sized enterprises in the industrial, agro-industrial, mining and tourism sectors in Jamaica. The funds are made available under the Third Lomonvention in the form of
- a global loan of ECU 3 million from the Banks own resources for 15 years at 5.7% (after deduction of an interest rate subsidy from the European Development Fund) to the National Development Bank Limited (NDB) for on-lending to small and medium-sized companies, and - a conditional loan of ECU I million from risk capital resources provided for under the Convention and managed by the EIB, to Jamaica Venture Fund Limited (JVF) for making equity participations in small and medium-sized enterprises.
From a previous EIB global loan granted under the Third Lomonvention NDB financed 18 smaller scale industrial and tourism ventures.
Kenya: ECU 20 million in support of small and medium-sized enterprises
The European Investment Bank is providing ECU 20 million to finance investments by small- and medium-sized enterprises in the industrial, agro-industrial, mining and tourism sectors in Kenya.
The funds are provided to the Republic of Kenya under the Fourth Lomonvention in the form of a global loan for 12 years at 5.05%, after deduction of an interest rate subsidy from the European Development Fund. The Central Bank of Kenya, on behalf of the Government, will make available the proceeds of the loan to banks and other financial institutions for on-lending to small and medium-sized private-sector companies.
This is the first EIB loan in Kenya under the Fourth Lomonvention which entered into force on September 1991. Total EIB lending in Kenya under the Third Lomonvention (1986-91) amounted to ECU 76 million, of which ECU 7 million were loans from risk capital from EDF resources provided for under the Convention and managed by the EIB.
Mauritania: ECU 25 million for an iron ore mine
The European Investment Bank is lending ECU 25 million under the fourth Lomonvention for developing an open-cast iron ore mine in Northern Mauritania:
- ECU 10 million from risk capital resources provided for under the Convention, are made available in form of a conditional loan for 18 years at 3% to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. The Government will advance the proceeds of the loan in form of a convertible shareholders advance to the Soci Nationale Industrielle et Mini (SNIM), a semipublic company in which the State holds a majority.
- ECU 15 million from the Banks own resources are going to SNIM for 15 years at 5.05% after deduction of an interest rate subsidy from the European Development Fund.
The project is expected to cost ECU l55 million and comprises mainly handling equipment, crushing and stockpiling facilities, a power line and road and rail links for transport of the mines output to the export harbour.
This brings total EIB lending for this project to ECU 30 million following a first loan of ECU 5 million from risk capital resources granted earlier this year still under the Third Lomonvention, before the Fourth Lomonvention entered into force on l September 1991. Additional funding is also expected to come from Caisse Centrale de Cooperation Economique (France), the African Development Bank and the World Bank Group.
Nigeria: ECU 48 million for palm oil production
The EIB announced two loans totalling ECU 48 million for financing palm oil milling and refining facilities in southeastern Nigeria.
The funds are advanced under the Third Lomonvention in the form of: - an ECU 45 million loan from the Banks own resources, for 18 years at 5.7% after deduction of an interest rate subsidy drawn from European Development Fund resources; the funds will be made available to the Federal Republic of Nigeria for on-lending, via the Nigerian Agricultural and Cooperative Bank (NACB), to Akwa Palm Industries Ltd (API).
- a conditional loan of ECU 3 million from risk capital resources managed by the EIB, for 25 years at I %, to NACB which will use the proceeds of the loan for underwriting additional capital in API and three other palm oil companies.
Total investment costs of the palm oil production development programme are estimated at ECU 260 million; the Commission of the European Community and the World Bank are participating in its financing alongside the EIB.
This is the ElBs fifth financing operation in Nigeria under the Third Lomonvention, following global loans of ECU 30 million to New Nigerian Development company and ECU 50 million to the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank for financing small and medium-size industrial projects, an ECU 45 million loan to Lagos State Water Corporation in 1988 for improving water supplies in the Lagos metropolian area and the first loan of ECU 43 million to NACB in 1989 for financing palm oil production.
Zaire: ECU 19 million for an electricity scheme in Zaire
The European Investment Bank is lending ECU 19 million for the improvement and extension of the electricity transmission and distribution network in the Kivu region in eastern Zaire, near the border with Rwanda and Uganda. The scheme covers the installation of transmission and distribution lines and substations.
The funds from risk capital resources provided for under the Lomonventions and managed by the EIB are granted in the form of a conditional loan for 15 years at 2%, to the Republic of Zaire, for on-lending to the Soci Nationale dElectricit
The scheme is costed at ECU 40.8 million and will be cofinanced by the Caisse Centrale de Cooperation Economique (France).
Zimbabwe: ECU 18 million for an electricity scheme
The European Investment Bank is lending ECU 18 million to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) for the extension of the electricity transmission and distribution network in Zimbabwe. The scheme comprises transmission and distribution lines and the installation of new, and overhaul of existing, substations in the northern and central regions.
The loan has been granted under the Fourth Lomonvention for 18 years at 5% after taking into into account an interest rate subsidy from the European Development Fund. Last year the EIB contributed ECU 8 million towards financing the first stage of this project.
The scheme, costed at ECU 70.5 million and expected to be completed by mid-1994, is part of ZESAs long-term plans for extending and re-inforcing the national power system estimated at some ECU 148 million.
Following the recent events in Kinshasa and elsewhere in Zaire the Commission decided on 26 September to make an initial emergency aid allocation for the capitalts inhabitants.
The aid, worth ECU 100 000, is in the form of medical equipment and will be channelled through the medical NGO Mcins sans Frontis.
In addition, the Commission is proposing to open a credit line of ECU I 000 000, a formal decision on which is imminent. It would be used for emergency humanitarian operations still to be determined. These operations will be carried out by the Commissions usual partners (the Red Cross, UN agencies and NGOs).
Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda
The Commission has granted emergency food aid for ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) programmes in Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda.
The aid comprises 3 650 tonnes of cereals, 2 000 tonnes of vegetable oil and the sum of ECU 4 million for the purchase of other products and the payment of transport costs within the countries. The overall value of the aid is ECU 6.4 million.
The ICRC programmes are aimed at helping:
- 300 000 displaced ex-servicemen in Ethiopia and 200 000 Sudanese refugees; - 300 000 displaced persons in southern Somalia;
- 60 000 displaced persons in Rwanda; - 85 000 people in the south of Sudan, who are being supplied via an air bridge.
EC fact finding mission
On 20 August 1991 the EC fact-finding mission to Ethiopia met with Ethiopian President Mr Meles Zenawi. Prime Minister Mr Tamirat Layne, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Seyoum Mesfin and the personal adviser of the President Kassu Elaia were also present at the meeting. The EC delegation consisted of the Nertherlands Minister for Development Cooperation Mr J.P. Pronk, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Portugal Mr Durao Barroso, the Vice-President of the European Commission Mr Manuel Marin and Mr Gaston Stronck of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representing the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.
The President provided the EC delegation with an overview of political events in Ethiopia since May 1991. He drew attention to the National Conference (Addis Ababa, 1-5 July 1991) which was attended by a large number of former resistance movements. The National Conference adopted a charter which will serve as a constitution for the coming 2 1/2 years until elections are held. The charter stresses the importance of peace, democracy and respect for human rights.
The Eritrean Popular Liberation Front (EPLF) attended the National Conference as an observer. In two years time a referendum will be held in Eritrea in order to allow the Eritrean people to decide on Eritreas future relationship with Ethiopia. President Meles expressed his hope that the Eritrean people would choose to remain part of Ethiopia. Eritrea and Ethiopia, he said, need each other. The President however acknowledged the possibility that Eritrea would become an independent state. He said that, for the sake of peace, Ethiopia would not oppose the wishes of the Eritrean people.
The human rights situation in Ethiopia was discussed at length during the meeting.
President Metes admitted that many members of the previous regime, like officials from the Party, the Secret Service and the army, had been detained. However, he said, these people were treated well and were allowed visits from family friends, humanitarian organisations and diplomats. The detainees, he said, will be put on trial individually. For this purpose independent inquiry commissions will be established. The government will thereafter not be involved in the trials any more. The President stressed that officials of the former regime with purely technical, rather than policy-making responsibilities had not been detained. Indeed, two ministers from the former government, who were regarded as technicians, had been released.
The economic policy of the new Ethiopian government, had not yet been finalised. The President, however, did not expect much difficulty in reaching consensus on a new economic policy.
It was in any case to be expected that the following issues would be addressed:
Agriculture: Large parts of Ethiopia are affected by drought and environmental degradation while the population pressure in some areas is high. A policy will have to be formulated which will attach priority to food production and food security in particular in the regions which have been affected by civil war. Some state farms will be closed while others will be maintained in order to avoid capital losses. Land reform, leading to private ownership of land, may be possible in some areas taking into account the necessity to provide access to land to poorer and small farmers in particular. Important decisions on these issues will, however, be postponed until after the elections.
Industry: Government policy will be to encourage private investment and avoid government intervention. Privatisation will, however, have to take place gradually.
External trade: The government will stimulate foreign trade which will largely be left to private entrepreneurs. The exception to this will be trade in coffee and sugar which will remain under the supervision of the government authorities. Foreign exchange regulations will remain necessary as long as export income does not meet the need for foreign exchange for essential imports. In this context, Mr Marin explained the rules of the Stabex fund from which Ethiopia may benefit. Furthermore he stated that a clear economic policy is a prerequisite for the resumption of structural support under the LomII Convention and the start-up of the LomV indicative programme. Mr Marin furthermore stated that increased structural food aid and SlPs would depend on progressive financial liberalisation.
Community aid suspended
In the wake of recent events in Ha, Manuel Marin, Vice-President of the Commission with special responsibility for development cooperation confirmed that all forms of cooperation with the country were suspended with immediate effect. More particularly, the programming of aid under the Lomonvention has been frozen.
According to Mr Marin, the Fourth Lomonvention, to which Ha has just acceded, is designed to offer the country a framework for cooperation, but also for stability. The Community cannot now remain passive in response to the toppling of the democratically elected Haitian Government. I have therefore decided to suspend, forthwith, the programming of aid to Haiti under the LomV Convention until such time as legitimate, democratic government has been restored.
During a visit to Brussels which included, in particular, a meeting with President Delors and Vice-President Marin, the Haan President, Bertrande Aristide welcomed the decision taken by the Commission which fits in with the embargo policy directed against the new Haitian regime. During a press conference, President Aristide, who also visited ACP House, declared that only a strict embargo could bring about the removal of the military from power, and the restoration of legal authority in the country. He added that the struggle he was leading went beyond his own country and his own people; it was a struggle for the triumph of democracy, so that what was happening today in Ha could not happen tomorrow, elsewhere.
The Republic of Ha recently became a member of the ACP Group having acceded to the Fourth Lomonvention. Under this Convention, Ha will be able to benefit from approximately ECU 120 million in programmable grants during the period 1991-1995 to which could be added other sums and benefits provided for under the Convention.
EEC-Guinea Bissau fishing agreement
European vessels now have the following fishing possibilities in Guinea Bissaus territorial waters.
- Shrimp trawlers with freezing facilities: an annual average of 11 GRT per month.
- Fish and cephalopod trawlers with freezing facilities: an annual average of 6000 GRT per month.
- Tuna vessels with seine nets and freezing facilities: 20 vessels.
- Tuna vessels with canning facilities and surface long liners: 12 vessels.
The agreement provides for financial compensation of ECU 12 000 000, payable in two equal annual instalments. It is to be paid into an account opened with a financial institution or any other organisation which Guinea Bissau designates and the sole responsibility for allocating it lies with the Guinea Bissau Government.
The fishing possibilities may be increased by successive amounts of 1000 GRT (per month, annual average), in which case the financial compensation goes up pro rata.
In the coming years, the Community will also be contributing ECU 850 000 to Guinea Bissaus scientific/technical programme designed to improve the knowledge of this countrys exclusive economic zone and the running of the marine biology laboratory. The amount will be made available to the Government and paid into an account named by the national authorities.
Both parties agree that improving skills and staff in the sea fishing sector is vital to the success of their cooperation and so the Community will be easing Guinea Bissau nationals path in establishments in the Member States and providing them with two-year awards for study and practical training in the various scientific, technical and economic aspects of fishing.
These awards, the total cost of which may not exceed ECU 550 000, may also be used in any State linked to the Community by a cooperation agreement. At Guinea Bissaus request, part of that amount may be converted to cover the cost of attending international fisheries meetings or courses, run fisheries seminars in Guinea Bissau or improve the administrative structures of the Fisheries Ministry, in which case payments will reflect spending.
4th EEC-Central Africa Industrial Forum
The Commission of the European Communities runs an EEC-Central Africa industrial forum every year. The fourth such event, in Libreville on 25-28 November, is an opportunity for European businessmen to go to just one place to meet a large number of potential partners from 11 countries of Central Africa.
The main idea is to encourage medium-and long-term cooperation between African and European partners by attracting flows of finance, techniques and other essentials to specific industrial projects in Central Africa The forms of cooperation in view are, primarily, contracts of partnership or the relevant industrial collaboration - technical assistance with management and marketing, staff training, maintenance and rehabilitation of industrial plant and sub-contracting - although such things as supplying industrial units, equipment and materials, transferring technology and granting licences and franchises may also be involved.
The African delegations comprise top civil servants, heads of industrial promotion organisations and a large number of promoters from the public sector and representatives of financial institutions. The majority of the European participants are businessmen and representatives of professional federations in the financial sector. The Yaoundorum (1989) was attended by 181 Europeans and 359 African promoters.
World Bank: Annual Report 1991
The World Bank anticipates new lending commitments to developing countries in fiscal year 1992, which began on July 1 1991, to range between $23 billion and $25 billion, according to the Banks Annual Report 1991, which has recently been published. New loans from the IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) are expected to amount to between $17 billion and $19 billion while new credits from the IDA (International Development Association) are expected to reach SDR4.8 billion (currently equivalent to $6.4 billion).
In fiscal year 1991, IBRD lending totalled $16.4 billion, up from $15.2 billion the previous fiscal year. IDA credits in FY91 amounted to SDR4.6 billion ($6.3 billion equivalent), compared with $5.5 billion in FY90. Net disbursements from IBRD and IDA in FY91 totalled $6.4 billion, down from $9.3 billion a year earlier. Net income for the last fiscal year was $1.2 billion, up from $1.05 billion in FY90.
Lending for human resource development rose dramatically during FY91. New commitments for education combined with loans and credits for population, health and nutrition amounted to $3.8 billion, up from $2.4 billion the previous year. Lending to nations in Eastern and Central Europe also rose sharply in FY91, totalling $2.9 billion, compared with $1.8 billion a year earlier.
Lending for structural and sector adjustment operations, accounting for 25% of total FY91 commitments by IBRD and IDA, totalled $5.67 billion, up from $3.97 billion in FY90 - 20% of total combined commitments that year.
Other activities described in the Report include:
- adoption of a long-term strategy to ensure that all assistance undertaken by the World Bank is geared to the reduction of poverty;
- provision of additional financial assistance by the Bank (nearly $1.5 billion) and the international community to countries adversely affected by the Gulf crisis;
- launch of the second phase of the Special Programme of Assistance to countries in sub-Saharan Africa with the support of 18 donor nations which have pledged $7.4 billion to help finance adjustment programmes;
- continuation of support for debt and debt-service reduction, along with the first operations of the Debt Reduction Facility for IDA-only countries;
- initiation of improved procedures within the World Bank Group for cooperation in supporting private-sector development;
- continued increase of the proportion of projects approved which include specific actions aimed at integrating women into the development process;
- publication of an Environmental Assessment Sourcebook, along with development of a new forest policy;
- revision of the Banks loan-loss provisioning policy;
- selection by the Board of Executive Directors of Lewis Preston to be the next President of the World Bank.
During the course of fiscal 1991, membership in the IBRD rose to 155 nations and in the IDA, to 139. At the end of FY91, action was pending on membership in the IBRD and IDA for Albania and Switzerland and in IDA for Portugal.
Official development financing and contributions from the private sector improve in 1990
Official development financing and private sector contributions grew in 1990 according to a recent OECD study on financing the developing countries external debt. Official bilateral payments from the DAC countries are firm, there are large increases in payments from the Arab countries and direct investments are continuing, the Organisation says. The improvements recorded in 1988-89 were confirmed in 1990, with the net contribution of resources to the developing world rising by 16% for $142 billion, broken down as follows:
- public financing 55%
- contributions from the private sector 43%
- export credits 2%
Debts mounted more slowly. External debts, totalling $1.450 billion by the end of 1990, were 6% up on 1987. Payments by the main categories of the countries most heavily in debt declined in 1989 and 1990. The situation remains serious in the low-income countries of sub-Saharan Africa and the medium-income countries, particularly those in Latin America.
The Commission has decided to provide ECU 300 000 in emergency aid to the victims of the torrential rains which have hit the Philippines adding to the damage already done by the eruption of the Pinatubo volcano.
This aid will be used to finance the conveyance and distribution of basic necessities to the sections of the population worse hit. A first instalment of an equivalent amount had already been authorised on 24 June.
The Commission has decided to provide ECU 200 000 of aid for victims of the earthquake which struck Guatemala on 18 September, leaving 20 dead and 20 000 homeless.
The aid will be chanelled through the League of Red Cross Societies (LICROSS) and the French organisation, Mcins sans Frontis, and provides for the supply of urgent essentials such as tents, blankets, medicines, etc.
In response to a personal request from the Romanian Prime Minister, Mr Roman, to Mr Andriessen and to the appeal for international aid launched by the United Nations Disaster Relief Organisation, the Commission has decided to grant ECU 500 000 in emergency aid to help the victims of the floods in Romania.
According to latest reports torrential rain has caused considerable damage and made 13 000 people homeless in the departments of Suceava, Neamt and Bacau. In Bacau 71 people died and 43 are missing after a dam burst.
The aid is made up of ECU 200 000 for shelters and medicines plus ECU 300 000 from the Phare programme to supply essential goods and diesel fuel. It will be implemented by the Commissions customary partners, including the Belgian NGO Villages Roumains.
Yugoslavia and Cambodia
The Commission has granted ECU 1 million in emergency aid for victims of the conflict in Yugoslavia.
The aid covers the distribution of essential supplies (medicines, basic medical supplies, provision of essential services, etc.) and will be implemented by the International Committee of the Red Cross and Mcins sans Frontis (Belgium).
The Commission has also granted ECU I million for people in Cambodia affected by the renewed fighting and recent flooding.
The Commissions usual partners (NGOs, agencies of the United Nations, Red Cross societies) will handle the aid.
The Commission has made an agreement with the Hungarian Government to purchase 45000 tonnes of Hungarian bread wheat for Albania, at a cost of ECU 5 million. The expenditure is being met out of funds set aside for the Phare programme, under which the Community gives economic support to a number of countries in Central and Eastern Europe, including Hungary.
This essentially humanitarian aid is an expression of the Communitys political will to ensure that the Albanian people have sufficient food. It is an additional bonus that this end can be served by buying a Hungarian product which is immediately available. The wheat is to be transported by rail. This will avoid putting a strain on Albanias very limited port facilities, which are to be used to import the food which the Community was already planning to send.
The Commission had promised to supply Albania with 50000 tonnes of bread wheat from its own stocks and now plans to increase that quantity significantly.
The Commission has just decided to finance the following projects as part of the financial and technical assistance programme for developing countries in Asia and Latin America.
India: ECU 11800 000 for an irrigation scheme in Kerala.
The idea is to reduce poverty in rural Kerala by raising farm incomes thanks to better productivity on 20 200 hectares of irrigated land by 1997 (which should mean an extra 74 000 t of paddy rice and 3800 t of copra).
The work is as follows.
1. Irrigation water to be supplied for the second crop (11 500 ha under irrigation from storage reservoirs by the end of 1994). During this time, 459 reservoirs will be distributed throughout the State of Kerala.
2. Irrigation water to be supplied for the second crop (8700 ha irrigated by pumping from independent networks by the end of 1988) During this phase, 31 networks will be built in the districts if Thrissur and Malapurram.
3. Project management unit installations to be built by September 1992 and to stay operational throughout the period of implementation. Detailed studies of the economic, technical, social and ecological aspects of the basin and land rationalisation plans are to be run.
Bolivia: ECU 5 000 000 for water supplies to the town of Potosi.
The purpose of this project is to make up for the chronic shortcomings of the Potosi water supplies, which get worse every year as the population expands, and have been particularly bad over the past two years because of drought.
In 1990, in particular, the water supply system virtually dried up for more than a month, when serious gastro-intestinal cases trebled, with an alarming increase in deaths, particularly of children.
The project should guarantee the town a supply of water throughout the year, with a useful volume of 40 litres per person per day in the dry season and as much as 701 in the other seasons.
International agricultural research centres: ECU 9 000 000 for agricultural research.
This, a continuation of the Community assistance begun in 1977, is divided as follows:
- CIAT (Centro Internacional de Agricultural Tropical), Cali, Colombia: ECU 1 900 000. Research activity here focuses on four products - beans, maniac, rice and tropical forage.
- CIP (Centro International de la Papa), Lima, Peru: ECU I 100 000.
The aim here is to improve the quality of potatoes from the highlands of Peru and develop a strain which is suitable for the tropical plains.
- ICRISAT (Institute of Crops Research for the Semi-Arid Tropics), Hyderabad, India: ECU 1 900 000.
Research here is into products from the semi-arid tropics in 50 countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Australasia - for example, sorghum, millet and chick peas.
- IRRI (International Rice Research Institute), Manila, Philippines: ECU 1 900 000.
IRRI researches varieties of rice, the preparation of the soil and the socioeconomic aspects of new technology.
- ISNAR (International Service for National Agricultural Research), The Hague, Netherlands: ECU 500 000.
This establishment helps developing countries to improve the efficiency of their research through better organisation and management.
- CIMMYT (Centro International de Mejoramento de Maiz y Trigo), Mexico: ECU 1 700 000.
As its name suggests, CIMMYT specialises in research into improving varieties of maize and wheat.
Two financial agreements signed
Mr Abel Matutes, Member of the Commission with special responsibility for Mediterranean Policy, and Mr Safa Giray, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, have signed the agreements for financing two Community/Turkey cooperation projects.
Community funding will amount to ECU 5 400 000, on a grant basis. The projects will deal with vocational training in tourism and coal-mining. Under the first project a centre will be set up at Istanbul capable of training 360 professional people annually, for technical and financial management in tourism to a standard similar to that in other tourist countries. Under the other project, a training programme will be set up to prepare young mechanics, electricians and metal workers to enter the Turkish coal industry.
The signature of these two financial agreements is the last stage in the implementation of the ECU 75 million Special Assistance Programme adapted in 1980.
1990 Report and mid-term aid renew with Central and Eastern European partners
The Commission has sent to the Council and Parliament, the annual report on the implementation of economic aid to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The report covers the period ending 31 December 1990.
The report gives a detailed breakdown of the use made of the ECU 500 million granted to finance projects in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the former GDR, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, the six countries eligible for such aid last year.
This year, the Community has budgeted ECU 785 million for PHARE, which now covers Romania in addition to last years six recipients.
The Commission has convened a ministerial meeting with the Central and Eastern European partners for 30 September and I October with the aim of conducting a mid-term review of the use made of this aid instrument.
It will be an opportunity to study aid already granted, to assess future needs and to discuss both the economic and political situation and the implementation of reforms in the countries concerned.
Setting-up of an ECU 10 000 000 Fund for a technical assistance programme
The Commission has decided to grant an initial sum of ECU 10 000 000 to set up a multidisciplinary technical assistance fund as part of the technical assistance programme for the USSR adopted at the Rome Summit in December last year, which provides for overall support of ECU 400 million in 1991.
This decision should enable the drawing up of sectoral projects which, in accordance with the indicative programme signed by the Community and the USSR in August, will cover:
- public and private-sector management training,
- foodstuffs distribution,
- financial services,
This initial funding is intended:
- to ensure prompt and effective use of aid by making it possible to carry out immediately essential tasks connected with the preparation and implementation of the technical assistance programme as a whole and individual projects;
- to response flexibly and swiftly to the urgent need which has emerged in the USSR for small-scale training schemes as a result of the countrys efforts to improve the requisite professional know-how and skills in specific areas which link up with the priorities of the indicative programme;
- to increase the Commissions capacity to deal adequately and promptly with the urgent problems affecting the USSR.
In addition, this measure will make a direct contribution to the process of economic restructuring under way in the Soviet Union and help increase its ability to manage Community-backed operations.
Mr Andriessen, Vice-President of the Commission, will be visiting the Soviet Union from 8 to 12 September when he will meet the relevant authorities, primarily to work out the coordination for technical assistance in the light of recent events.
Implementation of Community aid to the USSR
Implementation of the indicative programme of Community technical assistance for 1991, which was signed on 2 August, has not yet started. The programme provides for a ECU 400 million package that forms part of the aid for the Soviet Union decided at the Rome European Council in December.
Food aid (ECU 250 million)
Implementation started in June.
Contracts for most (approximately 80%) of the proposed quantities of food aid have been awarded and transport contracts have been signed. But of these quantities, only a small proportion, mostly infant foods and milk powder, have been delivered.
Credit guarantee (ECU 500 million)
The contract between the Community and financial institutions to guarantee credit for the export of Community agricultural and food products to the Soviet Union has not yet been signed.
UNCTAD VIII - an opportunity for new political approaches
Kenneth Dadzie, UNCTAD Secretary-General, has just produced his report for UNCTAD VIII, the eighth UN Conference on Trade and Development, scheduled for Cartagena de lndias (Colombia), on 8-25 February 1992. It deals with speeding up development and the aims of national and international policies in the 1990s and it calls on developed and developing countries alike to grasp the opportunity of UNCTAD VIII to devise innovative political approaches.
The scope, structure and subject matter of the Dadzie report reflect the agenda which the governments have adopted for the Conference, the guiding principle of which is better national and international action and multilateral cooperation for a healthy, reliable and fair world economy. It discusses the national and international dimension of development and the question of making development last - a theme running through the report and studied in its many ramifications. It emphasises the democratisation of political structures, the importance of proper respect for human rights, be they economic, civil or political, in the development process and the fact that harmonious development of the world economy is an important factor of peace and stability.
Part one, on trends in the world economy in the early 1990s (change and stagnation), looks at what is at stake, what changed, and what has been inherited from the 1980s. Elements of analysis and assessment are provided and an attempt is made to reveal both the consequences of the problems and the potential of long-term structural changes when it comes to lasting development and expanding international trade in an interdependent world economy.
Part two, containing the main guidelines, covers market forces, government action, proper management and trends in the economic policy framework. It looks at policies likely to speed up development - the background for an investigation of the new and so far controversial notion in UNCTAD of sound management and particularly the role of market forces and government action in promoting development.
Part three tackles political questions in the interdependent fields of development resources, international trade, technology, services and commodities from the point of view of desirable national and international policies and in the light of the aims of lasting development and sound management.
Separate regional meetings have been run at intergovernmental level over the past few months - the group of Latin American countries went to Caracas (Venezuela), the Asians to Pyongyang (Korea) and the Africans to Lusaka (Zambia).
These events were preceded by informal meetings where various development operators were invited to think about items on the UNCTAD VIII agenda. Meetings such as the round table on international commodity policies in Moscow in May and the second session on trade and the environment in Oslo (Norway) in February brought out new ideas and fresh prospects to help both governments and the UNCTAD Secretariat to come up with an analytical report containing a detailed examination of the main problems for the eighth Conference.
Extract from a speech by Sir Leon Brittan on the enlargement of the EEC
Vice-President of the Commission, Sir Leon Brittan, recently delivered a speech to the Central Chamber of Commerce of Finland on the ECs enlargement. Here are some extracts:
When the two inter-Governmental Conferences conclude, at the end of this year, it will be possible to focus more clearly on the question of Community enlargement because applicants will have a clearer idea of what their commitments would be within the European Community.
The EC has already received several applications for membership; and a number of other countries, from the Balkans to the Baltic, and even further north, have made no secret of the possibility that they might apply in due course.
The Community has grown increasingly outward-looking. There can be no question of turning away applicants provided they are economically, politically and geographically suited for membership, and provided that they are willing and able to take on the full obligations involved.
The Treaty of Rome, indeed, requires the Community to take this approach. Article 237 states clearly that any European state may apply for membership, and the whole Treaty is founded upon a determination to lay the foundation of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe. The signatories explicitly call, and I quote, upon other peoples of Europe who share their ideal to join in their efforts. The Community cannot begin negotiations with potential new members until after decisions have been reached at the present Inter-Governmental Conferences and alter the Single Market comes fully into effect at the end of next year. Thereafter, however, negotiations can begin, and I have no doubt that the Community will quickly expand.
Strenuous obligations of EC membership
Community membership, however, involves extremely strenuous obligations which need to be carefully considered by those contemplating membership.
When Britain joined the EC in the early 1970s few, I think, had really understood the political and legal import of the step which was being taken. Consider, for example, the fact that Community law takes primacy over national law. This can have consequences which are hard for a fiercely independent country to accept. In a recent case, the British Parliament passed an Act designed to prevent fishermen from other Member States, and notably Spain, from undermining the system of fishing quotas by registering their fishing-boats in the UK, though they landed their catches elsewhere. The Act was intended to close a loophole in an agreed Community policy, yet it was clumsily drafted, and undeniably discriminatory. In consequence, the British Law was recently struck down by the European Court. As simple as that.
If the obligations of Community membership were onerous when the UK joined in the early 1970s, they have become even greater in the intervening years. And the current Inter-Governmental Conferences will push up the stakes even higher. In the case of Finland, for example, membership would require very large reductions in agricultural support, especially if the Common Agricultural Policy is reformed as I hope and expect. The Communitys commitment to free movement of people and its early attempts to begin coordinating immigration policy at a Community level could require drastic amendment of your current laws in this area. And so on.
Community membership, then, is a momentous step for any country. But nor do I want to over-estimate the problems. Too much, I suspect, has been made of neutrality as a potential obstacle to membership. Neutrality is a concept which needs to be reassessed in any case in the new Europe, taking account of the new climate of East/West cooperation, and the continuing development of CSCE which was signed in this very hall in 1975. I suspect that the arrangements eventually devised for a Common Foreign and Security Policy will have the flexibility to cope with a wide range of different circumstances.
Overall, I expect the Community to expand, as I have said, and I wholeheartedly welcome the prospect. Previous accessions have served to galvanise the European Community. By contrast, it has been least effective when it has turned in upon itself.
Equally, however, the Community must be clear - as it has perhaps not been clear enough when previous accessions took place - that it must be taken as it is found. Concessions to new members must not put the Communitys achievements at risk. The Communitys whole strength resides in the fact that it is so much more than an inter-governmental organisation. If it is to retain its particular character as it takes on new members, it must refuse to compromise its supranational powers: indeed it will almost certainly need to adapt and strengthen its distinctive institutions if it is to retain its dynamism as a much larger organisation.
Special relationships with the Community
Because Community membership is such a big step, it is not surprising that attempts have been made to find mutually beneficial relationships falling short of full membership.
The negotiations over the establishment of a European Economic Area are the most elaborate experiment of this kind to date, and they have demonstrated the very great difficulty of the endeavour. On the one hand, it is hardly surprising that the EFTA countries, now under Finlands able chairmanship, have argued that they must have a real say in future decisions which will govern their economic environment. On the other, it is natural that EC members resist any dilution of their powers and prerogatives in favour of countries which, by definition, as far as these negotiations are concerned, do not wish to take on the full obligations of membership.
The negotiations have been hard, but they are now nearing their conclusion, and I very much hope that they will succeed.
The other major experiment in privileged relationships falling short of EC membership is the negotiation of so-called Europe Agreements with a number of emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe. These Agreements go far beyond anything attempted in traditional Trade and Cooperation Agreements. They include, for example, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation, and frameworks for regular high-level political exchanges. Through these agreements; through more generous trade access provisions which will, I hope, be decided soon by the Communitys Council of Ministers; and through the Community coordination of assistance programmes to these countries on behalf of the whole of OECD, the European Community wants to encourage and accelerate the process of transition in Central and Eastern Europe to stable and prosperous free market democracies.
The European Community has shown how the advantages of nation states can be preserved while overcoming the disadvantages and strident nationalism which have caused so many wars, and so much bitterness over the centuries. As old national, regional and ethnic tensions begin to resurface in the former Soviet Union, after years of suppression, it may be that the Community offers a model which will have relevance for those countries, too.
Max Jakobson ended his excellent bock Finland: Myth and Reality, with the words: There is no alternative to integration; but neither is there an alternative to the nation state. The contradiction cannot be resolved: we must live with it.
I agree with the first half of that proposition: there is no alternative to integration or to the nation state. But the European Community has done better than merely to live with the contradiction. It has channelled it into a unique and successful construction.
Illegal fishing must end says Vice-President Marin
Mr Manuel Marin, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for fisheries policy and development cooperation, addressed the international Ministerial Conference, held in La Toja (Spain) on 9-10 September 1991, on the theme of world fisheries in the 1990s.
In his address, Vice-President Marin stressed the priorities of EC fisheries policy in the 1990s:
Firstly, the need to conserve fishery resources to enable them to be exploited adequately on a long-term basis.
The conservation and management of resources must form the core of Community fisheries policy. We must protect fish today to protect the livelihood of fishermen tomorrow.
Secondly, the need for structural readjustments, accompanied by financial assistance to reduce the fishing fleet in line with available resources. The Community will have to cut the overcapacity of its fleet in Community waters, whilst at the same time taking account of the needs of those regions which are heavily dependent on fishing.
Thirdly, the need to reach agreements on the organisation of markets and marketing which provide the necessary support to Community producers.
Finally, the need to secure and develop access to fishing grounds outside the Community fishing zone to help reduce trade deficits.
Mr Marin also stressed the need for a new generation of fisheries agreements between the EC and third countries:
The new fisheries agreements must form an essential part of our common fisheries policy as well as an instrument for the promotion of our cooperation policy.
We can therefore talk of a second generation of fisheries agreements which vary in certain respects from previous agreements.
Externally the agreements could and should change in line with the economic development of those countries offering fishing opportunities. Internally, the agreements should increase the co-responsibility of those enterprises benefiting from the exploitation of resources in the waters of third countries.
The main aim would be to increase the effectiveness and appeal of agreements which are vital for the future of the Community fishing industry.
Speaking to the 40 national delegations and to the international press, Vice-President Marin forcefully stated the need to end all illegal fishing in the international waters:
Illegal fishing must end in all the seas, because that is a necessary pre-condition for the establishment of a reliable control and surveillance of fishing activities throughout the world. All coastal countries, international organisations and interested parties should cooperate in this field.
EXPO 92 - SEVILLE
European HDTV on show in all the pavilions of the Avenue de lEurope
Presenting European HDTV (high definition television) to the widest possible audience at the Seville Universal Exhibition in 1992, is the objective of an ambitious project put forward by the Commission, at the initiative of Mr Jean Dondelinger, Member responsible for audiovisual and cultural affairs, and adopted at Seville on 27 September by the Member States Commissioners-General responsible for the exhibition.
The project, as Mr Dondelinger put it after the meeting, will help to give practical form to the policy decision taken by the Council of the Communities to promote the European HDTV standard throughout the Community and with the assistance of the Community.
Concerted action by all those concerned, but especially the Member States, manufacturers, producers and broadcasters, Retevision and Expo 92, will ensure that HDTV is present in all the pavilions in the Avenue de lEurope. This will be a first-time achievement in Europe and indeed in the world, for tomorrows television, whether it follows the European or the Japanese standard, has never been presented in the form of an integrated project reaching such a large audience for such a long time. The Community pavilion alone is expecting more than 2 million visitors in the exhibitionss six months.
Television material will be produced using the new standard at the Exhibition site itself and broadcast through a network linking the thirteen pavilions; those who wish to do so will be able to see HDTV images via HD-MAC optical readers and HD projectors. Among other things, as soon as the Exhibition opens on 20 April 1992, this European network will be showing the video film Europe rediscovered - the return of Colombus, produced according to the European high definition standard by the Commission.
Like the Winter Olympics at Albertville and the Olympics at Barcelona, the Seville Universal Exhibition will both be a source of spectacular images and provide a show-case where Europes HDTV capacity can be revealed to the world.
Joint declaration on the Baltic States
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the European Community, representatives of the Commission and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania met in Brussels on 6 September 1991 to mark the restoration of the sovereignty and independence of the Baltic States.
On this festive occasion, the EG representatives warmly congratulated their Baltic colleagues on the resumption of their rightful place in the international community. They regarded their meetings as a seal on the establishment of diplomatic relations with them. They also stressed the willingness of the European Community as such to establish diplomatic relations with the three Baltic States. The EC Ministers expressed their readiness to help the Baltic States become members of all relevant international organisations at the earliest possible date.
The Community foreign ministers and Commission representatives reiterated their willingness to explore together with the three States, all avenues to assist them in their democratic and economic development. They stated their readiness to see the Baltic States participate in the Group of 24 and benefit from the European Communitys Phare Programme. The Commission will have early discussions with the authorities of the Baltic States about the conclusion of trade and economic cooperation agreements with the Community.
The Foreign Ministers of the Baltic States declared the commitment of their countries to democracy based on the respect for human rights and the rule of law and to a market-oriented economy, social justice and environmental responsibility, together with the other principles contained in the CSCE Helsinki Final Act and Paris Charter. They pledged that their countries, in their efforts to liberate themselves from the legacy of the past, would strive to settle all outstanding issues in a process of open and constructive dialogue, mindful of the need for future cooperation between all States in Europe.
Declaration on Yugoslavia
The European Community and its Member States remain committed to a successful outcome of the Conference on Yugoslavia. They call on all Yugeslav parties to share this commitment with them. They acknowledge Lord Carringtons invaluable contribution both in chairing the Conference and in bringing about a new cease-fire agreement.
The Community and its Member States have long recognised that a new situation exists in Yugoslavia. They consider it self-evident that this calls for new relationships and structures. They reiterate that it is entirely up to all people living in Yugoslavia to determine their own future. The Community and its Member States will accept any outcome that is the result of negotiations conducted in good faith.
It is the fervent hope of the Community and its Member States that any negotiated settlement will be of a comprehensive nature and will contribute to the security and prosperity of all the peoples of the Balkans and of Europe as a whole.
The Community and its Member States wish to reiterate the basic principles to which they have subscribed from the very beginning:
- the unacceptability of the use of force;
- the unacceptability of any change of borders by force, which they are determined not to recognise;
- respect for the rights of all who live in Yugoslavia, including minorities;
- the need to take account of all legitimate concerns and aspirations.
The Community and its Member States welcome the cease-fire agreement concluded at Igalo in the presence of Lord Carrington on 17 September 1991. They have taken note, however, of the joint statement by Lord Carrington and the Presidents of Croatia and Serbia and the Minister of National Defence to the effect that the Igalo agreement constituted the last chance for a de-escalation and a cessation of actual warfare, without which there could be no meaningful negotiation on the future of the peoples concerned.
The Community and its Member States call on all parties concerned to refrain from any political or military action which might undermine the Conference on Yugoslavia. The continuing violence in particular puts the continuation of the Conference at risk.
The Community and its Member States regret that the EC monitoring mission is no longer able to perform its task in full. They therefore welcome the fact that the WEU is exploring ways in which the activities of the monitors could be supported so as to make their work a more effective contribution to the peacekeeping effort. It is their understanding that no military intervention is contemplated and that, before a reinforced monitoring mission is established, a cease-fire would have to be agreed with a prospect of holding, and that all Yugoslav parties would have to have expressed their agreement.
The Community and its Member States would wish to have the opportunity to examine and endorse the conclusions of the study. They also intend to seek the support of the nations of the CSCE and, through the UN Security Council, the international community as a whole.
Statement on Zaire
The Community and its Member States are deeply concerned about the critical situation in &e. They deplore the course of events and launch an urgent appeal to restore peace and security in the country. The Community and its Member States are convinced that political initiatives designed to bring about democracy are the only way to satisfy the aspirations of the people. They therefore urge bath the Government and all political and social forces to do their utmost to reach an agreement on the political future of Zaire, in which the rule of law, the organisation of free elections and respect for human rights are guaranteed.
The Community and its Member States also stress the importance of overcoming the social and economic impasse in order to improve the deteriorated living conditions of the people of Zaire.
Statement on the Middle East peace process
The Community and its Member States reaffirm their full support for the Middle East peace initiative promoted by the United States and the USSR. They welcome the agreement in principle of all parties to the dispute to the approach proposed by the US Secretary of States Mr Baker. In this respect they also welcome the positive attitude of the Palestine National Council. They hope that this emerging consensus will open the way to an early resolution of the problem of an authentic Palestinian representation. They do not believe that any formula on this issue can be held to prejudice negotiations on substantive issues such as the status of Jerusalem.
The Community and its Member States continue to attach importance to the adoption by both sides of confidence-building measures designed to create the right climate for successful negotiations. They underline the importance they attach to a suspension of Israeli settlement activity in the Occupied Territories including East Jerusalem, and welcome the willingness of Arab States to freeze the trade boycott of Israel in return for this.
They reaffirm their strong disapproval of the Zionism is Racism Resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly which they believe should be consigned to oblivion.
While reaffirming their well-known positions of principle, the Community and its Member States confirm their determination to give all possible support to efforts to convene a Middle East Peace Conference and their determination to play an active role as a full participant in such a Conference alongside the co sponsors.
They believe that an unprecedented opportunity to create peace between Israel and the Arabs now exists and they call on all parties to show the flexibility and imagination necessary to grasp this.