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close this bookThe Courier N 138 - March - April 1993 Dossier: Africa's New Democracies - Country Reports : Jamaica - Zambia (EC Courier, 1993, 96 p.)
close this folderCTA - Bulletin
close this folderNews round-up
View the documentThe convention at work
View the documentCommunity budget
View the documentEmergency aid
View the documentEuropean investment bank
View the documentEIB - President appointed
View the documentACP-EEC
View the documentEuropean community
View the documentEuropean political cooperation
View the documentGeneral information
View the documentEuropean parliament

The convention at work


The Commission has taken decisions to finance the following schemes from the 6th and 7th EDFs.

-22 January 1993

Angola: 7th EDF grant of ECU 950 000 to improve the services of the National Authorising Officer.

All ACPs: 7th EDF grant of ECU 1 380 000 for 'The Courier ACP-EEC'.

Pacific Region: 7th EDF grant of ECU 1 300 000 for the ACP-EC Second Pacific Unit

-25 January 1993

Jamaica: 7th EDF grant of ECU 3 000 000 to develop trade and services (Target Europe Programme)

Niger: 7th EDF Grant of ECU 16 000 000 for small irrigation facilities in the Lower Tarka Valley (Phase II).

Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal & Chad: (7th EDF grant ECU 9 997 868 to improve the permanent diagnosis instruments for regional food security (Phase III)

Sao Tome & Principe: 7th EDF grant of ECU l 300 000 to repair the S. Joao dos Angloares-Ribeira Peixe road.

-2 February 1993

Cameroon: 7th EDF grant of ECU 22 500 for a road maintenance programme

ACP-OCT: 6th EDF grant of ECU 35 000 000 as a global commitment authorisation to finance (expedited procedure) technical promotion operations and schemes to develop trade and services, including tourism, in the ACPs and OCTs.

-4 February 1993

SADC region: 7th EDF grant of ECU 2 000 000 for a SADC language training programme.

SADC region (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia & Swaziland): 7th EDF grant of ECU I 900000 for a SADC regional customs training programme.

Namibia: 7th EDF grant of ECU 1 300 000 for institutional support for the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development.

Community budget

After a favourable opinion from the Mediterranean Communitee, the Commission has taken decisions to finance the following schemes from the European Communities' budget.

-3 February 1993

Jordan: Grant of ECU I 315 000 (2% interest rate subsidy)-ECU 645 000 for the Kafrein dam and ECU 670 000 for the King Abdullah canal.

-4 February 1993

Lebanon: Grant of ECU 30 000 000 for technical assistance for the Lebanese authorities.

Lebanon: Grant of ECU I 500 000 to access war damage and prepare dossiers of invitation to tender.

Emergency aid

1 January-5 February 1993

The Commission took the following emergency aid decisions between I January and 5 February 1993.

Tadjikistan: ECU 500 000 for displaced persons.

Sierra Leone: ECU 300 001) to finance the purchase of relief equipment following the recent fighting in the south west.

Fidji: ECU I million-worth of food aid for victims of Hurricane Kina.

Haiti: ECU I million-worth of humanitarian aid (purchase and transport of immediate relief, medicines, equipment etc) for Haitian populations following the embargo.

European investment bank

The EIB has just made the following loans,

Nigeria: ECU 75 million to develop small and medium-sized businesses.

Uganda: ECU 5.44 million for industrial development.

Swaziland: ECU 3.5 million towards the financing of investments made by small and medium-sized enterprises.

Tanzania: ECU 11 million to extend the container terminal at the port of Dares-Salaam.

Dominican Republic: ECU 3 million to help small and medium-sized enterprises.

Dominica: ECU 2.5 million towards the financing of investments by small and medium-sized enterprises.

Mozambique: ECU 3 million for a joint venture set up by Mozambican and European partners to develop cashew nut processing in Nacala in northern Mozambique.

Zambia: ECU 7 million to extend the cotton spinning installations and related thread dying facilities in Ndola.

Cot'lvoire: ECU 6.5 million to modernise and expand the tuna processing plant at Abidjan.

Cap Verde: ECU 5.4 million for the Nindelo electricity generating station.

Netherlands Antilles: ECU 3 million to lay on airline catering services at Cura.

Guyana: 5 million to reorganise the bauxite sector.

EIB - President appointed

The Board of Governors of the EIB has appointed Sir Brian Unwin as President of the Bank, as from 1 April 1993. Sir Brian, who sat on the EIB Board in 19831985 and is President of the Board of HM Customs and Excise, takes over from Mr Ernst-Gunther Broder, the German economist and banker who has headed the EIB since 1984.


Foundation for ACP-EEC cultural cooperation General Assembly meets

The plenary session of the General Assembly of the Foundation for ACP-EEC Cultural Cooperation was held in Brussels on I February 1993 under the chairmanship of Mr Giovanni Bersani, President of the Governing Board of the Foundation and Honorary President of the Joint Assembly.

Among participants were Mrs Aissata Kane, a former Mauritian Minister, Mrs Maria Luisa Cassanmagnago Cerreti and Dr Erskine Simmons, Co-Presidents of the ACP-EEC Joint Assembly, Mr Henri Saby, chairman of the Committee on Development and Cooperation of the European Parliament, Dr Edwin Carrington, Secretary-General of CARICOM, and Mr Francis K. Muthaura. the Ambassador of Kenya to Brussels. There were diplomats, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, educational psychologists, lawyers, distinguished university teachers, as well as representatives from the Commission of the European Communities. The press was also in attendance.

The relevance of the cultural issue to the development process and in the struggle against racism and xenophobia was strongly emphasised by various speakers who recalled the role played by Ambassador Chasle in securing recognition of the cultural dimension in the LomII and LomV Conventions.

These members emphasised the Foundation's daring objectives, which were sometimes perceived as subversive. Widening the range of partners, they say, is absolutely essential, so as to give more weight to the Foundation in the balance of power and reduce its financial dependence.

One of the anthropologists attending the meeting expressed the view that the Foundation should remain open to cultural nuances and cultural blending and that multidisciplinary research should be undertaken between the various continents without having to go through the West.

Addressing the Assembly, the Secretary-General of the Foundation, Ambassador Chasle, stressed the European Parliament's role in and contribution to the recognition of the significance of culture and its role in development cooperation, and he paid tribute to Angolo Narducci who, through his report to the Parliament, contributed to making his colleagues realise the relevance of cultural dialogue.

The Secretary-General added that if this recognition was now an acquis, the visions of culture and of cooperation were still radically different and that the conflict between these perceptions had led to certain tribulations and unsuccessful attempts to destabilise the Foundation which unfortunately impeded its progress and action. He indicated that, beyond the recognition of cultural pluralism, it would be proper to promote the concept of culture as a capacity for reflection, analysis and upliftment, aimed at responding to current exigencies.

The Secretary-General also observed that Euro-ACP intercultural dialogue would contribue to the reconstitution of the vital fabric of European culture and to revitalising its profound and genuine values, which were essential for the construction of Europe.

The General Assembly was pleased to hear that Mr Manuel Marin, Vice-President of the Commission, had informed the Secretary-General that the various evaluations conducted on the Foundation were on the whole positive and that, following procedures now under way, the Protocol Agreement between the Commission of the European Communities and the Foundation provided for under Annex XXII to the LomV Convention would be signed in the weeks to come- giving a clear signal of the Commission's determination to support the Foundation. The Assembly General moved that a letter of thanks and appreciation be sent to Commissioner Marin.

European community


The results of the Swiss referendum on 6 December were such that the agreement on the European Economic Area was not able to come into force as planned on I January. Under the terms of the accord, if one of the contracting parties fails to ratify, the other contracting parties have to call a diplomatic conference to look at the possibilities of adopting a protocol setting out the necessary amendments.

The Commission, the Council and the other EFTA States (Austria, Finland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Sweden) made it clear that they were still committed to the EEA, which they wanted to see come into being soon.

If the procedure is to be speeded up and any further ratification complication avoided, the protocol which the other contracting parties sign will have to be confined to provisions made absolutely essential by the Swiss non-ratification.

The Commission has therefore sent the Council a draft recommendation for a decision authorising it to embark on negotiations with the EFTA States, other than Switzerland, with a view to an additional protocol to the EEA accord.

European political cooperation

The Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Member States of the European Community have issued the following statements on the dates indicated:

8 January: Statement on Kenya

The European Community and its member States welcome the holding of multi-party elections in Kenya on 29th December 1992 as an important step in the ongoing democratization process in the country.

The Community and its member States have also noted with satisfaction that the Kenyan people exercised their democratic right to vote in great numbers and in a peaceful manner throughout the country, thus proving an impressive degree of political maturity. They have, however, noted with concern reports by international observers as well as national monitors of irregularities in the election process.

The Community and its member States hope that all parties will not turn to violence but use legal means to seek redress of all grievances related to the conduct of the election process.

The election results seem to represent a broad reflection of the choice of the Kenyan people, and the Community and its member States therefore urge all political parties to take up their seats in Parliament and find ways and means to work together within the constitutional framework, for the future peace, prosperity and unity of Kenya.

21 January: Statement on Haiti

The Community and its member States have consistently reaffirmed their commitment to the restoration of the democratic and constitutional government in Haiti as well as their will to support all efforts conducive to a settlement of the Haitian crisis.

They, therefore, welcome the efforts by the organization of American States and the United Nations to bring about the restoration of democracy in Haiti, and they urge all parties concerned to work towards this end.

The elections held on 18 January as well as those planned for 25 January do not constitute free and fair elections since the necessary preconditions, notably freedom of expression and assembly and the right to an open political dialogue, do not exist in Haiti.

For these reasons, the Community and its member States do not consider these elections to be a valid expression of the democratic will.

22 January: Statement on Angola

The Community and its member States deplore the outbreak of widespread and fierce fighting in Angola and the heavy losses of human lives incurred. They appeal strongly to the government and to UNITA to bring an end to the fighting, which constitutes a serious set-back for the peace process that culminated in the free and fair elections of September 1992. They also appeal to the countries in the region to refrain from any act that could contribute to an internationalisation of the present conflict in Angola.

A solution to Angola's problem cannot be found on the battleground. A general cease-fire is the first and immediate requirement. On this basis they regret the refusal by UNITA to attend a meeting of military leaders due to have taken place in Addis Ababa last week thus jeopardizing the efforts of the special representative of the UN, the Secretary-General and the observers to the peace process and they urge UNITA to reconsider that decision.

The Community and its member States reiterate their earlier appeals to the parties, in particular UNITA, to abide by the results of the elections, observe the Bicesse Peace Accords and resume the demobilisation process. In this context, they urge the President of Angola and the UNITA leader to respond positively to the UN Secretary-General's call for an early meeting between them.

The Community and its member States consider that the United Nations should continue to play a key role in restoring and maintaining peace in Angola. They look forward to the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the future role of UNAVEM. In the light of this report, the United Nations Security Council should consider the role and mandate of UNAVEM and the possibilities of strengthening the United Nations' involvement in the peace process. However, it must be underlined that cessation of hostilities and genuine willingness to reopen the political dialogue are prerequisites for a meaningful UN contribution.

21 January: Statement on Rwanda

The Community and its member States express satisfaction that, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Arusha cease-fire agreement of 12.7.1992, the Rwandese Government and the Rwandese Patriotic Front have concluded a protocol agreeing on power-sharing during the transitional period.

They feel that this important stage in the political negotiations should quickly lead, in the interests both of the Rwandese people and the entire subregion and of fruitful international co-operation, to the restoration of peace and security and to the return of persons displaced by the war to the land from which they have been driven. The progress achieved should also pave the way to the reconciliation of the Rwandese people with itself, the organization of free elections in the near future and the strengthening of democracy in Rwanda.

The Community and its member States pay tribute to the work carried out by the negotiating parties in their dynamic quest for a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict. They urge all Rwandese political forces to continue to support the Arusha process and the agreements resulting from it and to work for pacification in unity and tolerance. They particularly appreciate the constructive role and positive contribution of Tanzania and of the other countries and international organizations which are observers in the Arusha negotiations.

1 February: Statement on Zaire

The European Community and its member States deeply deplore the outbreak of violence which has just occurred in Zaire and which has caused numerous deaths, including that of the Ambassador of France in Kinshasa.

While expressing their grave anxiety at this new trial facing the Zairian people, the European Community and its member States are also very concerned for their nationals and hope that the ongoing evacuation can be continued in good order.

The European Community urgently appeals to the forces involved to put a stop to the fighting.

Political forces in Zaire must do everything in their power to enable the democratic process to make a fresh start, and the transitional Government must exercise its prerogatives in all areas, including the maintenance of order in compliance with human rights, and the economic and monetary control which are necessary for the social situation to be restored.

In this respect, the European Community calls upon the President of Zaire to ensure that an end is put to the actions to obstruct the process of democratic transition. It supports the efforts of the President of the High Council of the Republic, Monseigneur Mossengwo, to promote a political settlement enabling this transition to free and democratic elections to be properly carried out.

1 February: Declaration on the follow-up to the Warburton Mission

The Community and its member States welcome the report submitted by the Warburton Mission on its findings during visits conducted on 20-24 December 1992 and 19-26 January 1993.

The decision by the European Council to establish this investigation is vindicated by the findings. Rape has been perpetrated on a wide scale in former Yugoslavia, in such a way as to be part of a clear pattern. The great majority of the many thousands of victims have been Muslims.

The European Community and its member States are appalled by these crimes and the inhumanity which marks the present conflict. They intend to implement the recommendations in the report on assistance to the Bosnian Muslim women victims of rape and other atrocities.

At a political level, the Community and its member States will approach the parties to the conflict, and in particular the political leadership, to impress on them the incontrovertible nature of the evidence and the imperative need to bring these abhorrent practices to an end. In this context, the Community and its member States will pursue full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 798 and will endeavour to inspect the locations associated with the practice of rape.

26 January: Statement by Manuel Marin on Togo

Following the violent repression of a peaceful opposition demonstration in Lomy the Togolese armed forces on Monday 25 January, in which at least 12 people were killed and 25 wounded, Manuel Marin, the Commissioner responsible for development and humanitarian aid, has issued the following statement:

'I have learned with great emotion of the drama to which the population of Lomas again been subjected. I am deeply shocked by the upsurge of violence and of death in a peaceful demonstration. I hope the Togolese people will remain calm and find a peaceful way of resolving their political problems and resume as quickly as possible the democratic process.

In order to facilitate the return to calm, I now appeal to President Eyadema to declare the army neutral and to take measures to ensure that this neutrality is effective. I also appeal to the different political forces to restart dialogue as quickly as possible in view of elections which will allow everyone to express and determine themselves freely, in order to establish stable and lasting democratic institutions.

Once again, I remind that the Commission is ready to support this process, the only guarantor of a balanced and durable development.

General information

Commission awards

Lorenzo Natali Prize for Journalism to Reporters sans Frontieres

The Commission has just awarded the Lorenzo Natali Prize for Journalism for the first time.

There were 53 applicants for the 1992 award, which the judges, chaired by Manuel Marin, the Commissioner responsible for development cooperation, gave to the Newsletter of Reporters sans Frontieres, an organisation which works for human rights and democracy in the developing world.

They also decided to make special mention of Mr Nicoue Broohm for his article on voluntary servitude and human rights in Africa, which appeared in the first issue of Droits et libertes, the journal of the Togolese Human Rights League. This was the judges' tribute to an article and a journal representing the fight for freedom now a feature of so many developing nations.

The Commission organised an official ceremony for the award of the prize and the special mention in January.

Background to the Lorenzo Natali Prize for Journalism

The Commission set up the Lorenzo Natali award, with an ECU 5000 allocation, in memory of the former Vice President of the Commission of the European Communities-he was responsible for development cooperation - in 1992 (Official Journal C182 of 18 July 1992).

Articles on development cooperation published in one of the official languages of the Community in a daily paper or a periodical from any country in the world are eligible.

The judges are particularly interested in journalistic work which makes an outstanding contribution to the defence of human rights and democracy as essential elements of economic and social development and may, on an exceptional basis, decide to award the Prize to a means of communication which has made an outstanding contribution to championing human rights and democracy in the developing world.

The judges, chaired this year by Manuel Marin, the member of the Commission responsible for development, are from the Commission staff and may consult members of other Community institutions as well as leading personalities from the world of development cooperation in making their decisions.

COLEACP meets in the Caribbean

For the first time in its 20 years of existence COLEACP has held a meeting in the Caribbean. From 11-lSJanuary 1993 over 150 producers and exporters of fruit and vegetables (ACP, Caribbean and European alike) gathered in Santo Domingo to examine ways of improving the commercial position of Caribbean fresh produce in Europe.

The Conference identified five main areas of concern: market intelligence, organisation of the sector, transportation and logistics, quality of produce and promotion.

On market intelligence, the Conference agreed that there was a general lack of information on developments in the European market place, which meant that exporters often failed to respond to short-term windows of opportunity and niche-markets. The DECS Agricultural Diversification Coordinating Unit (ADCU) had developed scope for replication of the techniques used to benefit the wider region. The Conference recommended considering ways of improving the flow of information from its importer members, particularly as regards exotic and off-season fruit and vegetables with potential on the European markets.

The Conference noted, as regards the organisation of the sector, that this was undergoing a major upheaval with the general trend towards privatisation of marketing functions so that marketing boards and similar parastatals increasingly retained only quality control and certification. The emergence of numerous small, unsupported private operators entailed other problems. The meeting recommended the formation of professional exporters' associations for which successful experiences in the Dominican Republic and St Lucia could serve as models.

Transportation and logistics were viewed by many participants as the principal constraint to expansion of trade in non-traditional produce. Given the subject's importance, COLEACP had sent an expert on a preparatory assignment to the region and the item was thus covered in depth.

Generally, it was found that while regional shipping services remained geared to traditional exports (bananas), the facilities available could, at least in theory, be adapted to mixed cargo requirements to include non-traditional produce; there was an increasing tendency to switch to air freight where possible, but freight capacity was a direct by-product of passenger movements and the upper limits on fresh produce exports therefore coincided with those of the region's tourist industry. Moreover, there was a lack of containers for non-traditional produce and the fact that export volumes were small did little to encourage a greater supply. Intra-regional trade was severely hampered by very limited, expensive and slow transport and badly affected by the absence of storage and chilling facilities at regional ports/airports in the same way as extra-regional trade.

Recommendations included joint action by exporters' associations to negotiate standard rate and service specifications with carriers, action to persuade banana companies to review their cargo configurations so as to accommodate more non-traditionals, expansion of port/airport facilities and better demand analysis in mainland Europe. The transport session was followed by a well-attended workshop on containerisation.

The Conference found that quality of produce needed to be monitored from producer to final consumer. Too often produce was spoiled by poor handling during packaging, transportation and distribution, an inadequate perception of what is acceptable in the marketplace and a failure to recognise the direct correlation between the standard of produce offered for sale locally and that of export-quality fruit and vegetables. A common quality strategy and agreed standards were recommended for specific produce.

Last but not least, promotion was highlighted because of the need to combat the contraction of Caribbean market share in Europe relative to other sources (among which Europe itself was becoming a serious competitor for certain 'ethnic' produce such as pumpkins and yams). There was some disagreement on 'crossover' thresholds (the point at which an 'ethnic' product becomes part of general consumption) but there was general consensus on the need for point-of-sale information to the public and carefully targeted public relations to generate free coverage by the mass media. It was agreed that once quality standards were in place (and sufficient volume guaranteed) a logo could be introduced to denote top-grade Caribbean produce.

European parliament

Development Committee encouraged by new Council President

Members of the European Parliament's Development Committee were pleasantly surprised when the new Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Helle Degn, addressed them at their meeting in Brussels on 18 February. Representing the Danish Presidency of the Council, Mrs Degn set out an ambitious agenda designed to give greater impetus to development policy in the coming months. She began by outlining the general priorities of her Government in the development field, which included fighting hunger and defending human rights and democracy. Significantly, she also underlined the importance of achieving compliance with the longstanding commitment by developed states to provide 0.7% of their GNP for development assistance. In fact, Denmark is one of only two EC Member States to have met this target (the other is The Netherlands). Mrs Degn spoke of seeking 'to inspire countries which have not yet achieved the target to take their full share'.

Mrs Degn also served notice that certain specific issues which 'have been played down in recent months' would be given greater prominence. She focused specifically on the role of women and on the environment. As regards the former, the Minister said that the Danish Presidency would 'insist' that the Commission take steps to increase the role of women in development programmes. As for the environment, she argued that it was essential to build on the agreement which had been reached at the Rio de Janeiro conference. The Presidency, she said, intended to ensure there was a concrete follow-up to the commitments made by the Community at the Earth Summit.

Another thorny subject which Mrs Degn would seek to tackle was the issue of tied aid-in other words, assistance which is made conditional upon purchase of the related goods or services from the donor country. The Minister argued that this should be 'untied' so that 'the developing world can get more out of the aid that is available'.

Mrs Degn also dealt with a variety of other important issues including effective coordination between Community and national development policies,population policy, emergency aid and the importance of an independent judiciary and police forces that are free of corruption in the context of human rights and democracy.

In the subsequent question and answer session, the Minister was widely praised by MEPs from all sides although one member did suggest that she might be 'pushing her luck' in putting forward such a bold programme. Several members expressed doubts about whether her aspirations for other Member States to meet the 0.7% GNP target were realistic in the current economic climate.

Vice - President Marin looks to the future

Later in the day, Commission Vice President Manuel Marin had his first meeting with the Development Committee since his reappointment. His development portfolio has been expanded to include relations with developing countries outside the Lomystem, that is to say economic cooperation with the countries of Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and the southern Mediterranean. He has also been appointed Commissioner with responsibility for humanitarian aid.

Mr Marin used the opportunity to sketch out the Commission's working programme in the development field for the coming two years. He began by stressing the complexity of development processes, pointing out that there was 'no miraculous solution'. He affirmed that 'respect for human rights and democracy are built into the very body of Community development policy' and praised the 'decisive work' of the Parliament in this area in recent times.

The Commissioner also sought to reassure the Committee that there was no question of excluding Parliament from the process currently under way leading to a reformulation of development policy. He said that the Commission 'is very attentive to the various criticisms and reservations of some MEPs as regards the content of the 'Horizon 2000' document whose only purpose was to provoke a comprehensive and open debate on the future of our development cooperation policy'.

Mr Marin spoke about making aid more effective in quality terms and emphasised the advantages of having all the Commission services dealing with cooperation and development policy under a single Commissioner.

Turning to more short-term issues, the Commissioner referred to the forthcoming negotiations with the ACPs on the second financial protocol to LomV. (The Convention is valid for ten years, but the financial arrangements are set out in a Protocol which must be negotiated anew after five years.) He saw the negotiations as an opportunity to introduce changes elsewhere in the Convention, stressing that this would not be changed for its own sake, but in order to bring it up to date. He pointed out that it was impossible to ignore the transformation of the international scene, and the changes which had taken place inside the Community in recent years.

Mr Marin also spoke at some length about the growing area of humanitarian aid. The Community, he said, had helped people in the past without discrimination and this was something which must continue-the sole task in emergency situations being to help the victims. In this connection, he said that one of his immediate tasks was to get the EC Humanitarian Office (ECHO) working. The Office, he said, can act as a coordinating agency between the various Commission departments as well as in its work with Member States, third countries, international organisations and NGOs operating in the same field.

There then followed a lengthy session during which members of the Committee posed questions on a variety of issues. Several members expressed general concerns about the process leading to the reformulation of development policy and about the future of the Lomystem.

Responding to specific criticisms of the 'Horizon-2000' document, Mr Marin said that the text was a 'starling point and not a conclusion' and urged committee members, as part of the debate, to come up with constructive criticisms.

As regards the possibility of changes to the fourth Lomonvention, Mr Marin sought to reassure MEPs by stressing the 'open and transparent' way in which he was pursuing the initial debate-both with the ACP representatives and with the European Parliament. He reiterated his view that a comprehensive updating of the Lomonvention was needed.

Foreign Affairs Committee

Two days prior to meeting with the Development Committee, Vice - President Marin also attended, for the first time since the redistribution of portfolios within the Commission, the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee of the European Parliament. Both sides enjoyed the opportunity of having a first, frank exchange of views. Mr Marin highlighted, as he was to do later in the week, the guiding principles behind his development thinking: good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, and development as a long-term process, the ultimate goal being mankind and his wellbeing. He also reviewed recent development performance and set out the shortterm priorities by respective geographical areas of cooperation (ACP, Maghreb, Mashrek, Asia and Latin America).

MEPs took the opportunity to put specific questions to Mr Marin. These ranged from such issues as humanitarian aid and the difficulties of putting it into practice ('15 000 tonnes of wheat intended for Armenia were stolen'), the problem of defining borders ('Africans ask how Europe can teach them a lesson when it is in Europe that borders are currently being fought over'), East-South competition for development funds ('private firms cannot be dictated to but as far as public resources are concerned, we will not abandon the South') and the renewal of the Lominancial Protocol ('tome needs to be modernised and brought up-to-date').

Commissioner Marin also criticised the Bretton Woods Institutions-the IMF and the World Bank-for their 'inflexible approach', insisting that young democracies needed support in order to avoid creating conditions that are worse than before. He pleaded for complicity between the Commission and the Parliament in order to try and avoid having 'Member States defending one policy in Washington and another in Brussels'. One field of cooperation between the two institutions which, as revealed in this first meeting, is already operational, is in respect of democracy and human rights. The Commission and Parliament are working hand-in-hand to keep these issues at the forefront of future EC development policy.