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close this bookThe Courier N 122 July - August 1990 - Dossier Tourism - Country Report: Mali (EC Courier, 1990, 104 p.)
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ACP National Authorising Officers meet for the second time

ACP National Authorising Officers or their representatives recently met in the ACP Secretariat - General in Brussels to pool their experience of the implementation of LomAt their previous meeting three years ago, also in ACP House, they had concentrated on the preparation, execution, supervision and evaluation of projects, but this time, although considerable attention was paid to the problems of implementing LomII, the discussions, chaired by N.Rapha Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, focused on the provisions of LomV - and perfectly reasonably, too, since the programming for the new Convention is only a few weeks away and the National Authorising Officers have an essential part to play in it.

In the middle of their fortnight’s work, they met representatives of the Commission and the EIB to exchange views on various topics, including the forthcoming programming of Community aid. The first phase (indication of the amount) in this five - phase process has already taken place and the announcement of the first instalment of the structural adjustment funds, the expression of ACP intentions, the discussions between the ACP authorities and the Commission Delegates and the negotiation of the indicative programme come next. And there is the internal approval process in the ACPs and the Commission in addition.

As far as the principles of programming are concerned, LomV confirms and reinforces LomII, particularly when it comes to sectoral policies, the focusing of aid, the notions of mutual commitment and the policy dialogue. The Commission, through Manuel Marin, has, as we know, made it clear that it wants to see all the indicative programmes signed before the end of the year, which, Deputy Director - General for Development, Philippe Soubestre, says, means a rather different approach from that used before. Only where absolutely essential will the Commission now send out missions and it is the Delegate who will be negotiating and concluding the indicative programme - which should, where appropriate, include new areas such as population and demography, support for the private sector and structural adjustment. Regional aid, too, will be focused on a limited number of sectors, but the fact that economic integration is the central aim of cooperation under LomV makes this a harder and more demanding task.

The EIB representative said that the LomII system of earmarking 40 - 45 % of the risk capital for the least developed countries, each of which would be notified of the minimum amount it would be receiving, was to be continued. The Bank would be emphasising aid to private projects this time a new policy departure, although this kind of operation had already been financed before - and using ACP development banks and the private banking sector there to do so.

At the end of the discussions’ Dieter Frisch, the Director - General for Development, came in to suggest that the National Authorising Officers meet the Commission Delegates as often as possible to see where the bottlenecks are. In his eyes. they bore just as much responsibility as the negotiators, who would have been indulging in art for art’s sake if the Convention were not properly applied.

A.T.