News

CALENDRIER du 6 juin au 12 juin 2016

(Susceptible de modifications en cours de semaine)

Déplacements et visites

Lundi 6 juin

Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (until 07/06), in Luxembourg.

European Parliament plenary session (until 09/06), in Strasbourg.

Ms Federica Mogherini in the United States of America: attends a briefing at the UN Security Council; meets with Mr Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations; delivers a speech at the UN Security Council (in New York); takes part in the Global Forum of American Jewish Congress (in Washington DC).

Ms Kristalina Georgieva in Prague, the Czech Republic: meets with Mr Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister, and with Mr Lubomír Zaorálek, Foreign Affairs Minister; gives a keynote speech at the Prague European Summit “EU in a Time of Crisis: Better Together?”

Mr Andrus Ansip receives European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA).

Mr Maroš Šefčovič in Luxembourg: participates in the signature ceremony of the “Political Declaration on energy cooperation between North Seas Countries”.

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis in Paris, France: to discuss the European Semester with representatives from the Senate and the National Assembly.

Mr Johannes Hahn in Luxembourg: holds a series of meetings in the European Court of Auditors.

Mr Neven Mimica on official visit to the Pacific region (until 09/06), including New Zealand and Australia. He holds a series of bilateral meetings as part of his visit.

Mr Miguel Arias Cañete in Luxembourg: signs the “Political Declaration on energy cooperation between North Seas Countries”; meets with Mr Peter Žiga, Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic.

Mr Karmenu Vella in Copenhagen, Denmark: delivers a speech at the 3GF Global Green Growth Forum; delivers a keynote speech at the Conference on “How do we Scale up Circular Economy?”; meets with Mr Esben Lunde Larsen, Minister for Environment and Food of Denmark; visits RGS 90 A/S, a treatment plant for soil, polluted industrial water, and used construction material.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis receives Mr Achim Irimescu, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Romania.

Mr Christos Stylianides receives Ms Marta Ruedas, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan.

Ms Margrethe Vestager in Copenhagen, Denmark: gives a keynote speech for the Copenhagen Rotary Club.

 

Mardi 7 juin

College meeting

Ms Federica Mogherini meets with Mr Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia, in Strasbourg.

 

Mercredi 8 juin

President Jean-Claude Juncker meets with Mr Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, together with Mr Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, in Brussels.

Ms Federica Mogherini on official visit to Canada (until 09/06).

Mr Maroš Šefčovič in Berlin, Germany: meets with Mr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany; gives a keynote speech at the German Association of Energy and Water Industries – BDEW (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft e. V.).

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis delivers the opening remarks at the Brussels Economic Forum, in Brussels.

Ms Cecilia Malmström in Botswana for the signing of the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (10/06): meets with Botswanan leaders; visits the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat; meets with representatives of Debswana, the leading diamond company in partnership with the Botswanan Government (in Gaborone).

Mr Miguel Arias Cañete meets with Mr Sigmar Gabriel, Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis in Amsterdam, The Netherlands: delivers a speech at the eHealth Week 2016.

Ms MarianneThyssen in Geneva, Switzerland: participates in the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organisation (ILO); attends a ministerial lunch organised by the Dutch Presidency of the European Council on “Strengthening Workplace Compliance – Realising Decent Work in Global Supply Chain”; meets with international workers and employers organisations; participates in a diner of G20 labour and employment ministers, as a contribution to the World Day against Child Labour.

M. Pierre Moscovici à Paris, France: est en auditions à l’Assemblée nationale et au Sénat de la République française devant les Commissions des finances et des affaires européennes.

Ms Vĕra Jourová in Luxembourg: meets with Mr Félix Braz, Minister of Justice of Luxembourg; Mr Andrea Orlando, Minister of Justice of Italy; and with Mr Jean-Jacques Urvoas, Minister of Justice of France.

Mr Tibor Navracsics in Karlsruhe, Germany: visits the Joint Research Centre (JRC) site with Mr Günther Oettinger for the inauguration of new infrastructures. He also gives the opening remarks at the JRC event organised on site. 

 

Jeudi 9 juin

Justice and Home Affairs Council (until 10/06), in Luxembourg.

President Jean-Claude Juncker in Geneva, Switzerland: delivers a speech at the World of Work Summit organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Mr Frans Timmermans receives Mr Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia.

Ms Kristalina Georgieva in Germany: delivers a keynote speech at the conference “Europe in a changing world: what should Europe do” (in Berlin); meets with Mr Stanislaw Tillich, Prime Minister of Saxony (in Dresden).

Mr Andrus Ansip in Bratislava, the Slovak Republic: participates in the Conference ITAPA 2016 (Information Technologies and Public Administration); meets with Mr Peter Pellegrini, Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic and with stakeholder specialised in Digital Single Market and e-commerce; has ministerial meetings and visits the National Council of the Slovak Republic.

Mr Maroš Šefčovič receives Mr Marco Alverà, CEO of the Snam Group.

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: attends the Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM).

Mr Johannes Hahn gives a keynote speech at Institution Building Days 2016, on the occasion of the TAIEX’s (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument) 20th anniversary; participates in the Roma Integration 2020 Launch Event; receives Mr Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia, in Brussels.

Ms Cecilia Malmström in Kasane, Botswana: meets with Trade Ministers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Mr Miguel Arias Cañete participates in the High-Level Round Table on Low Carbon Innovation, in Brussels; receives Mr Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam Group.

Mr Karmenu Vella in St Petersburg, Russia (until 10/06): participates in the 21st North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers Conference.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis delivers a speech at the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) and the EU Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients (FEFANA) EU Stakeholder Conference on “Innovation in Animal Nutrition”, in Brussels.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis in Eindhoven, The Netherlands: participates in a Citizens’ dialogue on E-Health.

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos receives Mr Rob Bertholee, Head of the Counter-Terrorism Group and Director-General of the General Intelligence and Security Service of The Netherlands.

Ms Marianne Thyssen attends the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Executive Committee.

M. Pierre Moscovici à Paris, France: rencontre M. François Villeroy de Galhau, Gouverneur de la Banque de France.

Mr Christos Stylianides receives Mr Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Mr Phil Hogan in Portugal: visits the National Agriculture Fair; participates and delivers a speech at the International Conference “The Grand Challenges for Innovation in Agriculture”; meets with Mr Luís Capoulas Santos, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development of Portugal; meets with Mr Vasco Cordeiro, President of the Regional Government of Azores (in Santarém); attends the inauguration of the 1st water connection from Alqueva Irrigation Global System to the Irrigation Perimeter of Roxo; visits the Fruit Concentration Logistics and Shipping Platform of the water distribution system of the Alqueva dam (in Ervidel/Aljustrel).

Ms Elżbieta Bieńkowska delivers a keynote speech on circular economy in the textile industry at the EURATEX Industrial Dialogues event, in Brussels.

Ms Vĕra Jourová in Luxembourg: meets with Mr Heiko Maas, Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection of Germany.

Mr Tibor Navracsics in Pilsen, the Czech Republic: participates in the “OOPEN UP! Festival” conference focusing on the evaluation of cultural projects; meets with Ministers of Culture of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries and delivers the opening remarks for the Visegrad International Prize.

Mr Carlos Moedas in Lisbon, Portugal: delivers a speech and presents awards at the 11th European Inventor Award ceremony.

 

Vendredi 10 juin

Ms Federica Mogherini receives Mr Jiechi Yang, State Counsellor of China.

Mr Andrus Ansip delivers a keynote speech at European Dialogue on Internet Governance (Eurodig) event, in Brussels.

Mr Maroš Šefčovič in Barcelona, Spain: gives a keynote speech at the Eurogas General Assembly 2016.

Ms Cecilia Malmström in Kasane, Botswana: for the Signature Ceremonyof the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.

Mr Neven Mimica receives Mr Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Finance of Benin.

Mr Karmenu Vella in St Petersburg, Russia: participates in the 21st North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers Conference.

Ms Violeta Bulc in Athens, Greece: attends The International Shipping Exhibition “Posidonia” and meets with Mr Thodoris Dritsas, Minister of Shipping and Insular Policy.

Mr Tibor Navracsics in Budapest, Hungary: gives the closing speech at the regional workshop on “Education and the Investment Plan for Europe” organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the European Investment Bank.

Ms Margrethe Vestager in Sofia, Bulgaria: meets with Mr Rosen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria; Mr Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister; Mr Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds and Economic Policies; Mr Vladislav Goranov, Minister of Finance; Mr Ivaylo Moskovski, Minister of Transport and with Ms Temenuzhka Petkova, Minister of Energy.

Mr Carlos Moedas in Berlin, Germany: participates in the Startup Europe Week.

 

Samedi 11 juin

Mr Neven Mimica in Windhoek, Namibia (until 12/06): attends the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (Africa Caribbean Pacific–European Union).

Ms Margrethe Vestager meets with the Executive committee of the Danish Liberal party, in Brussels.

 

Dimanche 12 juin

Mr Christos Stylianides in Rome, Italy (until 13/06): attends the World Food Programme Board.

Prévisions du mois de juin:

13/06 Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, in Luxembourg.

16/06 Eurogroup, in Luxembourg.

22-23/06 European Parliament plenary session, in Brussels.

28-29/06 European Council, in Brussels.

Prévisions du mois de juillet:

04-06/07 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg.

11/07 Eurogroup, in Brussels.

12/07 Economic and Financial Affairs Council, in Brussels.

18/07 Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels.

18/07 Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels.

Prévisions du mois de septembre:

09/09 Eurogroup, in Bratislava.

12-14/09 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg.

20/09 General Affairs Council, in Brussels.

29-30/09 Competitiveness Council, in Brussels.

Permanence DG COMM le WE du 4 au 5 juin:

Natasha BERTAUD, +32 (0)460 767 456         

Permanence RAPID – GSM: +32 (0)498 982 748

Service Audiovisuel, planning studio – tél. : +32 (0)2/295 21 23

News

El Niño set to have a devastating impact on southern Africa&#39s harvests and food security

12 February 2016 – Over the coming year, humanitarian partners should prepare for food insecurity levels and food insecure population numbers in southern Africa to be at their highest levels since the 2002-2003 food crisis, the United Nations agriculture agency warned today, citing an ‘intense’ drought as the main cause.

Southern Africa is currently in the grip of a drought that has expanded and strengthened since the earliest stages of the 2015-2016 agricultural season, driven by one of the strongest El Niño events of the last 50 years, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today in a joint statement with the World Food Programme (WFP), Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Across large swathes of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, and Madagascar, the current rainfall season has so far been the driest in the last 35 years. Agricultural areas in northern Namibia and southern Angola have also experienced high levels of water deficit.

Much of the southern African sub-region has consequently experienced significant delays in planting and very poor conditions for early crop development and pasture re-growth. In many areas, planting has not been possible due to 30 to 50 day delays in the onset of seasonal rains resulting in widespread crop failure, according to the agencies.

Although there has been some relief since mid-January in certain areas, the agencies warn that the window of opportunity for the successful planting of crops under rain-fed conditions is nearly closed. Even assuming normal rainfall for the remainder of the season, cropwater balance models indicate poor performance of maize over a widespread area.

Seasonal forecasts from a variety of sources are unanimous in predicting a continuation of below-average rainfall and above-average temperatures across most of the region for the remainder of the growing season, says the statement.

The combination of a poor 2014-2015 season, an extremely dry early season (October to December) and forecasts for continuing hot and drier-than-average conditions through mid-2016, suggest a scenario of extensive, regional-scale crop failure.

Drought emergencies have been declared in most of South Africa’s provinces as well as in Zimbabwe and Lesotho. Water authorities in Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa and Namibia are limiting water usage because of low water levels. Power outages have been occurring in Zambia and Zimbabwe as water levels at the Kariba Dam have become much lower than usual.

While it is too early to provide detailed estimates of the population likely to be food-insecure in 2016-2017, FAO and its partners say it is expected that the population in need of emergency food assistance and livelihood recovery support will increase significantly. Additional assistance will be required to help food-insecure households manage an extended 2016 lean season.

In the short term, the agencies recommend: continued close monitoring of the season to inform decision-making on programming and targeting; immediate additional assistance to help currently food-insecure households; updating of contingency plans, intensification of advocacy and resource mobilization to address the impact of an extended post-2016 harvest lean season; and increased awareness-raising of the need for a regional approach to address the effects of drought that are becoming more frequent and intense.

News

El Niño Set To Have A Devastating Impact On Southern Africa’s Harvests And Food Security

Joint Statement by WFP, FEWS NET, EC-JRC and FAO*

Southern Africa is currently in the grip of an intense drought that has expanded and strengthened since the earliest stages of the 2015-2016 agricultural season, driven by one of the strongest El Niño events of the last 50 years.

Across large swathes of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, and Madagascar, the current rainfall season has so far been the driest in the last 35 years. Agricultural areas in northern Namibia and southern Angola have also experienced high levels of water deficit.

Figure 1: Seasonal rainfall October 2015 to January 2016 in Southern Africa ranked within the last 35 years. Note large areas falling within the three driest seasons since 1981. Areas where such extremes have not been reached have also registered significant rainfall deficits. WFP-VAM based on CHIRPS v2.0 rainfall data.

Much of the southern African sub-region has consequently experienced significant delays in planting and very poor conditions for early crop development and pasture re-growth. In many areas, planting has not been possible due to 30 to 50 day delays in the onset of seasonal rains resulting in widespread crop failure. Although there has been some relief since mid-January in certain areas, the window of opportunity for the successful planting of crops under rain-fed conditions is nearly closed.  Even assuming normal rainfall for the remainder of the season, crop water balance models indicate poor performance of maize over a widespread area.

Seasonal forecasts from a variety of sources (ECMWF, NOAA CPC, UKMet, IRI ) are unanimous in predicting a continuation of below-average rainfall and above-average temperatures across most of the region for the remainder of the growing season.  

The combination of a poor 2014-2015 season, an extremely dry early season (October to December) and forecasts for continuing hot and drier-than-average conditions through mid-2016, suggest a scenario of extensive, regional-scale crop failure. South Africa has issued a preliminary forecast of maize production for the coming harvest of 7.4 million tonnes, a drop of 25% from the already poor production levels of last season and 36% below the previous five-year average. (http://www.sagis.org.za/cec_reports_2016.html).

Figure 2: GEOGLAM multi-agency assessment of the Southern Africa maize harvest perspectives. Note considerable areas with projected poor or failure end of season production status. See more at: http://cropmonitor.org/

These conditions follow a 2014-2015 agricultural season that was similarly characterized by hot, dry conditions and a 23% drop in regional cereal production. This has increased the region’s vulnerability due to the depletion of regional cereal stocks and higher-than-average food prices, and has substantially increased food insecurity: even before the current crisis began, the number of food-insecure people in the region (not including South Africa), already stood at 14 million,  according to the South African Development Community (SADC). As of early February, FEWS NET estimates that, of this total, at least 2.5 million people are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and require urgent humanitarian assistance to protect livelihoods and household food consumption.

The numbers of the food insecure population are now increasing due to the current drought and high market prices (maize prices in South Africa and Malawi were at record highs in January). Drought emergencies have been declared in most of South Africa’s provinces as well as in Zimbabwe and Lesotho. Water authorities in Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa and Namibia are limiting water usage because of low water levels. Power outages have been occurring in Zambia and Zimbabwe as water levels at the Kariba Dam have become much lower than usual.

While it is too early to provide detailed estimates of the population likely to be food-insecure in 2016-2017, it is expected that the population in need of emergency food assistance and livelihood recovery support will increase significantly. Additional assistance will be required to help food-insecure households manage an extended 2016 lean season.

In the short term, the following actions are required:

1.    continued close monitoring of the season to inform decision-making on programming and targeting;
2.    immediate additional assistance to help currently food-insecure households;
3.    updating of contingency plans, intensification of advocacy and resource mobilization to address the impact of an extended post-2016 harvest lean season;
4.    increased awareness-raising of the need for a regional approach to address the effects of drought that are becoming more frequent and intense.

Over the coming year, humanitarian partners should prepare themselves for food insecurity levels and food insecure population numbers in southern Africa to be at their highest levels since the 2002-2003 food crisis.

This statement reflects a shared view of current conditions and the likely evolution of the situation in southern Africa by major actors involved in global food security monitoring and early warning. Further details can be obtained from the following reports:

WFP Seasonal Monitor

FEWS NET Southern Africa Food Security Alert

FAO Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) Special Alert for Southern Africa

European Commission’s in-house science service, Joint Research Centre – El Niño report

* WFP – World Food Programme; FEWS NET – Famine Early Warning Systems Network; JRC – European Commission’s Joint Research Centre; FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

1.ECMWF: European Centre for Medium Weather Forecasts. CPC: Climate Prediction Centre. UKMet: United Kingdom Meteorological Office. IRI: International Research Institute for Climate and Society.

2.See http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/wfp279330.pdf, page 5, for official SADC numbers at the start of the season. Not including South Africa, the 14 million includes 7.6 million in currently drought affected countries, plus 6.6 million in DRC (where conflict, not drought is the driver of food insecurity) and 0.4 million in Tanzania, which is not drought-affected during El Niño. South Africa is excluded as its figures are not directly comparable.

For additional information:

WFP contacts
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
David Orr, WFP/Johannesburg, Tel. +27 11 517 1577, Mob. +27 82 908 1417

FAO contacts
George Kourous, FAO-Rome, (+39) 06 570 53168, george.kourous@fao.org | Liliane Kambirigi, FAO-Africa: (+233) (0)302 610 930, liliane.kambirigi@fao.org