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Bulgarian EU Council presidency makes agenda available online

Bulgaria has launched the website for its presidency of the Council of the EU, which runs from January to June 2018. The website includes a description of major issues to be debated, the meeting calendar, and agendas for both political and cultural events.

Website - European Union

EU

European parliamentarians propose increased investment for SRHR

The European Parliament Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and the Committee on Development (DEVE) plan to exchange views on their joint draft report on “Gender equality and women's empowerment: transforming the lives of girls and women through EU external relations 2016-2020”. Among amendments to the draft report, several Members of the European Parliament call “for the need for stronger support for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)”, as well as reducing the financing gap produced by the US Global Gag Rule. 

Report Amendments - European Parliament 

Draft Report - European Parliament 

Procedure file - European Parliament 

 

EU

ECDPM explains current Brexit talks' impact on EU ODA

The European Centre for Development Policy and Management (ECDPM) has published a blog post indicating the expected and possible impact of Brexit on EU ODA. UK contributions to the €35 billion (US$39 billion) EU budget for ODA, and to the €30 billion (US$33 billion) off-budget European Development Fund (EDF) are expected to continue until at least 2020, and possibly longer for the purpose of fulfilling outstanding multi-year commitments, such as project completions. The UK’s influence over EU decision-making, however, will drop off sharply after the March 2019 Brexit deadline.

Blog post - ECDPM 

EU

France and Spain pledge new €20 million to EU’s Euroclima+ program for Latin America

The French development agency AFD and the Spanish AECID have announced a €10 million contribution each to the European Union’s Euroclima+ program to help address the effects of climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Accounting for additional disbursements from other donors, including the United Nations Environment Program (€1.5 million), the Economic Committee for Latin America (€1.5 million), and Expertise France (€2 million), the Euroclima+ program will have €25 million to invest on resilient food production, green energy, and water and sanitation interventions.

Press release - AECID

EU France Spain

EU foreign affairs ministers discuss post-2019 relations with ACP countries

Ahead of the expiration of the EU's "Cotonou" agreement with the African, Carribean and Pacific (ACP) countries, in February 2019, EU foreign ministers in Brussels have expressed broad support for recommendations presented by the European Commission in December. 

Support for an umbrella agreement at an APC level was expressed, combined with three regional tailored partnerships for Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

Press release - EU

 

EU

European development think tanks launch website

The European Think Tanks Group (ETTG), which includes five leading European think tanks working on international development and humanitarian issues, has launched a new website. This resource features the latest thinking from some 350 researchers who share a commitment to global welfare and good policy-making and covers all aspects of international development and humanitarian policy.

Website – ETTG

EU

High-level EU multi-stakeholder SDG platform launched

European Commission has launched its high level multi-stakeholder platform on the UN SDGs, bringing together stakeholders to support the Commission's work. Platform members agreed at the inaugural meeting to work on a joint contribution to the Commission's Reflection Paper 'Towards a sustainable Europe by 2030,' announced in the Commission's 2018 Work Programme, for adoption later this year. Platform members identified priorities for future discussion, including mainstreaming the SDGs into the EU’s future Multiannual Financial Framework, generating both inclusive and sustainable growth, and monitoring and reporting on SDG progress.

Press release – EU

EU

European Commission releases interim evaluation of Horizon 2020

The European Commission has adopted a Communication on the Interim Evaluation of its Horizon 2020 research program. The Communication documents lessons learned and how the EC intends to act on: investing more ambitiously (increasing research funding); continuing simplification; improving support for breakthrough innovation; increasing impact through mission-orientation and citizen involvement; increasing synergies with other EU programs; strengthening international cooperation; reinforcing openness; and better “rationalizing” the funding landscape.

Website - EU

EU

Debate on EU MFF design highlights importance of research, innovation, and European public goods

In a high-level European Union (EU) conference on the next EU multi-year annual financial framework (MFF), key decision-makers agreed that: MFF objectives and aims should be decided before volume discussions; the current target of 1.1% of GDP for EU member state contributions should be met or increased by all member states; ‘value added’ is an essential decision-making principle; and European public goods should be a focus of priorities.

Several speakers, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger, spoke in favor of increasing funding for research and innovation.

Conference website and video links – European Commission

EU

EU launches consultation on research and innovation funding with survey open to public

The European Commission has launched a consultation on “EU funds in the area of investment, research & innovation, SMEs and single market”, which includes the next phase of the EU's framework program for R&D. The very brief survey seeks input regarding what has worked well in the past and what could be improved in the future. All interested stakeholders are encouraged to respond. The survey is open until March 8, 2018.

Website – EU

EU