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Council of the EU kicks off next steps for SDGs

The Council of the EU reiterated the EU’s strong commitment to the 2030 Agenda and to mainstream the SDGs into all policy areas. By mid-2018, the Commission should draft an SDG implementation strategy with timelines, objectives, and concrete measures. The strategy should identify policy, legislation, and governance structures for horizontal coherence and implementation gaps at the EU level. The Council urged the full range of actors across the EU – including governments at all levels, private sector, and civil society – to support SDG implementation.

Press Release - Council of the EU

EU

EU foreign ministers endorse new Africa-EU Partnership Strategy

EU foreign ministers have endorsed a new joint EU-Africa Strategy that seeks to strengthen mutual engagement, address security, and promote sustainable, inclusive economic African development. The Strategy Communication, launched in May 2017, identifies two strands for these objectives. First, the strategy aims at building more resilient states and societies, with a focus on 1) preventing conflicts, address crises and peace-building, 2) strengthening governance systems; and 3) managing migration and mobility. Second, it aims at creating more and better jobs, especially for youth, with a focus on 1) attracting investments, 2) promoting renewable energy, 3) transforming African agriculture and agro-businesses, and 4) improving knowledge and skills in the African continent. The European Council’s endorsement underscored the importance of human rights, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in the work to be supported by the new strategy.

Press release - Council of the EU

European Medicines Agency prepares for Brexit

The Management Board of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has begun to prepare for the likelihood that the UK will become a “third country” under its protocols starting in March 2019. EMA, which is currently located in London, regulates the effectiveness, safety, and quality of medicines while maintaining a regulatory environment supporting innovation and development of new medicines. Due to the exit of the UK from the EU, the EMA must prepare for re-location to an EU member state, as well as  redistribution of workload and provision of guidance and information to pharmaceutical companies in this new landscape. 

Press release - EMA

EDCTP and Mundo Sano Foundation agree to co-fund research on NIDs

The Mundo Sano Foundation and the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) have agreed to partner on research funding for neglected infectious diseases (NIDs). During the next two EDCTP calls for proposals, the private foundation will contribute up to €2 million on top of the EDCTP’s budgeted €30 million for clinical and product-focused implementation research. The two calls for proposals will be launched once the European Commission approves the EDCTP 2017 work plan.

News report - EDCTP

EU provides €143 million to Nigeria

The European Commission has announced a €143 million assistance package to Nigeria to support recovery and reconstruction efforts in Borno State, which is suffering from a worsening humanitarian crisis as Boko Haram fighters escalate their assaults. More than 20,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million displaced as a result of violence in the area. The package combines short-term humanitarian assistance with longer-term development support, and is expected to help 1.3 million displaced people in and around Borno state with basic services and support future stability and growth.

News report - EurActiv

EU

EU approves security and resilience projects in West Africa

The European Commission has approved €88 million in new projects for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The projects are designed to strengthen security, facilitate trade, and improve the resilience of the people of West Africa. The projects were approved by the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, at a meeting of the Strategic Orientation Committee of the European Development Fund (EDF) for West Africa.

The Strategic Orientation Committee aims to support the implementation of the Regional Indicative Programmes of the 10th and 11th European Development Funds, the latter of which has a budget of €1.15 billion for 2014-2020.

Press release - European Commission

EU

EU releases progress report on migration partnership framework

The European Commission and the High Representative/Vice-President of the Council of the EU have issued a progress report on the Partnership Framework of the European Agenda on Migration, to review progress made since its launch in June 2016. The report provides an analysis of lessons learned and examines how current approaches can be sustained to meet the goals of the European Council. It presents concrete results in priority countries – especially Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Ethiopia – which include strengthened dialogue and border control, and new EU Trust Fund for Africa projects focusing on agriculture, vocational training, youth employment, and sustainable migration management.

Press release- European Commission 

EU

EU, Japan, and US to coordinate fight against anti-microbial resistance by aligning data standards

Drug regulatory agencies from the EU, Japan, and the US have agreed to align their data requirements to stimulate the development of new treatments to fight antimicrobial resistance. Each regulatory agency will now develop streamlined guidance documents and advise medicine developers in line with the new agreement. The agreement took place at a high-level meeting in Vienna, which follows an initial meeting that took place in September 2016 where the agencies discussed regulatory approaches for the evaluation of new antibacterial agents.

Press release - European Medicines Agency

EU Global health Global health R&D

EU signs Istanbul Convention on violence against women

European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, signed the Istanbul Convention on violence against women, thereby committing the EU to engage in regular monitoring of its own efforts and policy initiatives as well as those of its member states, and to design more effective implementation strategies. This action was lauded by human rights activists across Europe, such as the European Institute for Gender Equality.

News article - European Institute for Gender Equality

EU

Trade Unions attack EU public-private development finance

Leading European and international trade unions launched attacks on the European Union’s approach to public-private development finance to coincide with the 11th annual European Development Days conference in Brussels June 7-8. A detailed analysis released by the Trade Union Development Cooperation Network (ITUC-TUDCN) argues there are a host of problems with such financial instruments, including inadequate transparency, favoritism for donor-country companies, poor monitoring, and a failure to ensure decent working conditions. The European Public Service Union’s General Secretary also published an article highlighting research showing that private contracts are not cost-effective and are prone to corruption.

News website - EurActiv

EU