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Breaking: EU Revises Partnership With Africa, Outlines Five Key Focus Areas

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The European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Tuesday proposed the basis for a new strategy with Africa.

The communication sets out proposals to intensify cooperation through partnerships in five key areas, a press statement sent to Taarifa by the Commission says.

The five areas of focus are green transition; digital transformation; sustainable growth and jobs; peace and governance; and migration and mobility.

“Based on this document, Europe will engage discussions with African partners towards a new joint strategy to be endorsed at the European Union – African Union Summit in October 2020,” the presser reads in part.

The European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said the Strategy with Africa is the roadmap to move forward and bring the partnership to the next level.

“Africa is the European Union’s natural partner and neighbour. Together we can build a more prosperous, more peaceful and more sustainable future for all,” she said.

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission for a stronger Europe in the World, Josep Borrell, said a part of Europe’s future is at stake in Africa.

He added that, “to face our common challenges, we need a strong Africa, and Africa needs a strong Europe. There is everything to gain from reinforcing our already very strong partnership in areas such as peace and stability, poverty and inequalities, terrorism and extremism.”

Borrell said both continents need each other to strengthen themselves, to strengthen each other, and to achieve a common ambition: a better world based on a rules-based international order.

according to the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, the proposed five partnerships, built around shared interests and values, Africa and Europe will together lead on the green and digital transformation, as well as promote sustainable investment and jobs.

“My key priority now is to ensure that the Strategy with Africa is owned by the youth and women, as it responds to their aspirations,”

The renewed cooperation on the partnerships around the five areas proposed today will build on an ongoing dialogue with African partners, which will be taken forward ahead of the next EU-AU Summit in Brussels in October 2020 in view of defining joint strategic priorities for the years to come.

The proposals set out build on a growing momentum in EU-Africa relations.

With the 6th Summit between the African Union and the EU and the conclusion of the negotiations of the new partnership agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of States, 2020 will be a pivotal year in living up to our ambition of an even stronger partnership with Africa, our natural partner.

The partnership should be based on clear understanding of our respective and mutual interests and responsibilities.

The Communication proposes that the EU partners with Africa on the following actions:

  1. Maximise the benefits of the green transition and minimise threats to the environment in full compliance with the Paris Agreement
  2. Boost the continent’s digital transformation
  3. Substantially increase environmentally, socially and financially sustainable investments that are resilient to the impacts of climate change; promote investment opportunities by scaling up the use of innovative financing mechanisms and boost regional and continental economic integration, particularly through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement
  4. Attract investors by supporting African states in adopting policies and regulatory reforms that improve the business environment and investment climate, including a level-playing field for business
  5. Rapidly enhance learning, knowledge and skills, research and innovation capacities, particularly for women and youth, protecting and improving social rights, and eradicating child labour
  6. Adapt and deepen EU support to African peace efforts through a more structured and strategic form of cooperation, with a particular focus on regions where vulnerabilities are the highest
  7. Integrating good governance, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and gender equality in action and cooperation
  8. Secure resilience by linking humanitarian, development, peace and security interventions at all stages of the cycle of conflicts and crises
  9. Ensure balanced, coherent and comprehensive partnerships on migration and mobility
  10. Strengthen the international rules-based order and the multilateral system, with the United Nations at its core

Background

On February 27, 2020, the European Commission and African Union Commission met for the 10th ‘Commission to Commission’ meeting in Addis Ababa,where the future cooperation in the fields set out above was discussed.

In May, the AU-EU Ministerial Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of both continents will be another important opportunity to consult African partners.

The proposals also build on the commitments taken at the 5th African Union-European Union Summit in Abidjan.

Progress achieved since then includes the launch in 2018 of the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs, calling for strengthened economic and trade relations, through sustainable investment and job creation.

The conclusion of the AU-EU Memorandum of Understanding in 2018 on Peace, Security and Governance was also an important landmark, deepening cooperation in these areas

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Europe

CGTN Kicked Out Of United Kingdom For Promoting Communism

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Chinese news network CGTN has been kicked out the United Kingdom because its state-backed ownership structure flouted British law.

“Following careful consideration, taking account of all the facts and the broadcaster’s and audience’s rights to freedom of expression, we have decided it is appropriate to revoke the licence for CGTN to broadcast in the UK,” the British government Office of Communications (Ofcom) said in a statement.

The English-language satellite broadcaster has long faced criticism for parroting the Communist Party line in its global broadcasts.

Ofcom added, “We have given CGTN significant time to come into compliance with the statutory rules. Those efforts have now been exhausted.”

Ofcom added that it would conclude an ongoing investigation into alleged breaches by CGTN of impartiality, fairness and privacy requirements “shortly”.

On Thursday,the UK’s broadcast regulator revoked the licence of Chinese news network CGTN after finding its state-backed ownership structure flouted British law, and warned of punishment ahead after it aired an alleged forced confession.

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Business

A New Britain Outside Europe’s Customs Union

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2021 is an unforgettable year for Britain after successfully walking out of Europe’s Customs Union and single market bringing an end to almost fifty years of corrosive relationship with her neighbours.

“We have our freedom in our hands and it is up to us to make the most of it,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson as his country ushered in the New Year.

This entire move means EU rules have become invalid and the free movement of more than 500 million people between Britain and the 27 EU states has suddenly ended.

The EU has lost 66 million people and an economy worth $2.85 trillion, but Brexit, with its appeal to nationalist populism, also triggered fears other disgruntled members could follow suit.

As well as ensuring tariff- and quota-free access to the EU’s 450 million consumers, Britain has recently signed trade deals with countries including Japan, Canada, Singapore and Turkey.

It is also eyeing another with India, where Johnson plans to make his first major trip as prime minister next month, and with incoming US president Joe Biden’s administration.

However, Fear of disruption at the ports has stoked concerns about food and medicine shortages, as well as delays to holidaymakers and business travellers used to seamless travel in the EU.

The British government said some border controls will not be implemented for months as part of Britain’s staged plan, and it was not expecting much disruption around the ports until next week, with traffic light due to the holiday period.

However, it also warned that around 50 percent of small and medium exporters might not yet be ready for the new trading arrangements.

British fishermen are disgruntled at a compromise to allow continued access for EU boats in British waters.

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Europe

Pope’s Reforms Take Effect To Fix Corruption In Roman Catholic Church

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Pope Francis on Saturday approved the new Statute of the Financial Information Authority (FIA), which will henceforth be called the Supervisory and Financial Information Authority [ Autorità di Supervisione e Informazione Finanziaria (ASIF)].

He issued a “chirograph” to approve the new Statute that comes into effect immediately on Saturday, December 5. A chirograph is a form of a papal document with legal force circulated among the Roman Curia.

“In the overall reform desired by Pope Francis for the Holy See and the Vatican City State, aimed at greater transparency and the strengthening of controls in the economic-financial field, the Holy Father has approved the new Statute of the Financial Information Authority, which, from today’s date, will be called the “Supervisory and Financial Information Authority” (ASIF),” said the Holy See Press Office in a release on Saturday.

The change of name had been hinted at earlier in July when FIA published its annual report.

Following the Pope’s approval of the ASIF Statute, FIA President Carmelo Barbagallo, who now becomes ASIF’s president, explained some of its important features.

As part of the Pope’s overall reform of the Holy See and the Vatican City State, he said, it is regarding “transparency and strengthening of controls in the economic-financial field”.

In this context, the most important changes are regarding the governance and organizational structure of the Authority.

Supervisory role

The word “supervisory” that has been integrated, Barbagallo said, is “not just a name change” but allows the Authority “to be aligned with the tasks actually assigned to it”.

He pointed out that since 2013, in addition to its original task of intelligence to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism, the Authority has also been exercising “prudential” regulatory and supervisory functions on institutions providing financial services on a de facto professional basis, such as to IOR (Institute for Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican Bank).

“This is the reason behind the addition of the term ‘supervisory’, which of course, is to be understood in the financial field,” he said.

Distribution of Roles

The Press Office said that the “main changes include a renewed distribution of roles between the Chairman and the Management – of a strategic nature for the former, aimed at effectiveness and operational efficiency for the latter – and the establishment of a new unit, dedicated to ‘Regulation and Legal Affairs’”.

Commenting on this, Barbagallo said that while confirming the governing Council’s role, the new Statute also underscores the President’s proactive role in the development of the Authority’s strategy, reinforcing his responsibility regarding supervision.

“At the same time, the role of the management, namely the Director and the Deputy Director, has been consolidated in order to ensure the effectiveness and operational efficiency of the Authority.”

Barbagallo also spoke about changes in the internal organization of the Authority.  “In line with international best practice,” he said, “the Regulatory and Legal Affairs Office has been set up to deal with all legal issues, including regulation.”

Thus, “the tasks of setting the rules have been separated from those of exercising control”.  This divides the Authority’s activities into three units: “Supervision”, “Regulation and Legal Affairs” and “Financial Information”.

 

Source:  Vatican

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