Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 348

Posts Tagged ‘reforms’

Geopolitical implications of COVID-19: a wake-up call for multilateralism

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 10 luglio 2020

Reforms and more resources will be needed if Europe wants to have a say on the international stage, said the participants of a hearing in the Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday.Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs discussed the geopolitical implications of the COVID-19 crisis with invited think-tank experts and EU civil servants on Monday. Discussing the intensification of the negative trend of great powers rivalry, the participants contemplated on where the EU needs to position itself on the world stage together with the US, China and Russia. They pointed out to projects such as the Team Europe package were the right answer to the crisis, since it has an impact on the ground, with institutions and member states combining resources.The rapporteur for the report on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak, in the making, Hilde Vautmans (Renew, BE) warned that the crisis has revealed the EU´s dependency on third actors in certain strategic sectors. But these actors don´t always share the same political values that the EU does. Multilateral organisations, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), also depend on these third actors, for example when it comes to information sharing. She also stressed that Europe will need more resources if it wants to fight disinformation successfully.

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Illegal fishing: EU lifts Taiwan’s yellow card following reforms

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 29 giugno 2019

Brussels.The EU recognises Taiwan’s reforms put in place during the last three and a half years to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).Today the European Commission decided to lift the yellow card acknowledging the progress made by Taiwan and the major upgrade of its fisheries legal and administrative systems to fight against IUU fishing. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said: “I welcome the considerable efforts undertaken by Taiwan to reform its fisheries legal framework, implement new control tools and improve the traceability of marine fisheries products. The EU’s dialogue with Taiwan has shown again that international cooperation is a key driver towards healthier ocean management.”The EU is committed to the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and is working with countries across the world to that end. After the issuing of the yellow card in October 2015, the European Commission, on behalf of the EU, and Taiwan have engaged in three and a half years of intense cooperation and dialogue.As a result of that cooperation, Taiwanese authorities now have a broad range of modern and efficient tools to fight IUU fishing in place. This is a major step forward, given that Taiwan’s long distance fleet is the second largest in the world, and therefore plays a central role in the international supply chain for fisheries products. Taiwan has also reinforced obligations imposed on Taiwanese operators owning fishing vessels flagged to third countries.To keep building on these achievements, the Commission will propose the establishment of a dedicated IUU Working Group. This forum will allow both sides to maintain a close cooperation on matters relating to the fight against IUU fishing, including at the multilateral, regional and sub-regional levels.
In addition, the EU and Taiwan will continue addressing labour conditions in the fishing sector in the framework of their human rights consultations.

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Workshop report: Challenges and incentives in the implementation of structural reforms

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 21 gennaio 2018

BG_ENLARGMENTDAY1​Paul Lindquist, chair of the conference Considering the crucial role structural reforms play in the European Union, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) organised a workshop on the 14th of December in order to look at two questions: How do local and regional authorities rate the European Semester implementation in the EU Member States, and how could a stronger involvement of local and regional authorities help to implement structural reforms.The workshop focused on the context of the European Semester and its territorial dimension, looking at what can be done to ensure a better involvement of local and regional authorities in the design and implementation of structural reforms. The goal of the debate was to find solutions on how the results could be improved to meet expectations, viewing the existing challenges the implementation of reforms faces. The workshop provided a first opportunity for a discussion on the recent European Commission’s proposal of a new budgetary instrument to support structural reform plans by Member States with grants from the EU budget and technical assistance. (photo: BG_ENLARGMENTDAY1)

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Fundamental rights in surveillance: builds trust, improves security

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 23 ottobre 2017

BruxellesBruxelles. Reforms to surveillance laws are improving transparency but better checks and balances to match the powers of intelligence services are needed, finds a new report from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). It shows how clear legal frameworks, robust safeguards and effective oversight are needed to enhance security and respect fundamental rights.“Protecting fundamental rights and delivering effective national security are not incompatible; for instance, surveillance systems that respect human rights work better,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “Respecting privacy and data protection builds trust in intelligence services, improves data collection and analysis, and ultimately strengthens national security.”
The Agency’s second ‘Surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the EU’ report explores legal changes since its 2015 report and for the first time captures the views of intelligence experts and controllers themselves to see how these laws work in practice.Security threats and new technology have triggered numerous extensive reforms to surveillance laws. While reformed legal frameworks are clearer, they are often still too complex, leading to uncertainty over the powers and mandates of intelligence services. This calls for stronger safeguards when it comes to data protection and privacy.The judiciary, specialised expert bodies, parliamentary committees and data protection authorities play a vital role in overseeing the work of intelligence services. However, as the report notes, they are hindered by a lack of access to information, and limited competences, powers to issue binding decisions, technical know-how, resources and independence. This points to the need for independent oversight with sufficient powers and competences. This also applies to international intelligence cooperation where safeguards and oversight are weaker.There is also the need to ensure full cooperation and complementarity between various oversight bodies so there is continuous coverage of all surveillance steps – from authorisation to implementation.
The complexity of who can help and the secrecy surrounding intelligence work also make it difficult for victims of rights violations to seek effective remedies. In addition, many non-judicial bodies that can offer support lack the expertise to tackle intelligence issues, and independence and powers to investigate, access materials, or issue binding decisions. However, some Member States have found solutions enabling people seek justice through expert judges who may access classified information.
The report updates FRA’s 2015 legal analysis complemented with findings from over 70 interviews with experts in seven EU Member States: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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Supporting Sustainable Economic Growth in Moldova

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 30 marzo 2014

new yorkNew York,  Helping Moldova enhance its structural reform agenda and spur growth, by supporting improvements in the business climate, promoting financial sector stability and development, and improving the equity and efficiency of public expenditures are the core objectives of the First Development Policy Operation (DPO), in the amount of US$30 million, approved today by the World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors. The US$30 million supports the Government of Moldova’s National Development Strategy “Moldova 2020” and is a key component of the Moldova Country Partnership Strategy for 2014-2017. It is first in a programmatic series of two operations and builds on the most recent competitiveness-oriented Development Policy Operation approved in November 2012. ”We are pleased to support the Government of Moldova’s efforts to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth by shifting to a growth model based on investments, increased competitiveness, innovation and exports”, said Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova. „Our support is fully aligned with the country’s national development priorities and aims to address key reforms that can contribute to spurring private-sector led growth, whilst making public investments work better and more equitably to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity for all Moldovan citizens”. The new operation supports a number of important structural reforms through: i) strengthening the regulatory framework to improve predictability of the business environment, facilitate competition and reduce regulatory compliance costs; ii) strengthening financial sector stability, promoting transparency of shareholding, and easing conditions for access to finance; iii) improving the public investment management framework, making investment subsidies in agriculture more efficient and equitable, and improving coverage of well-targeted social assistance programs. “While the first operation marks an important benchmark, we are looking forward to continue our cooperation in advancing structural reforms as part of the second DPO”, said Ruslan Piontkivsky, Task Team Leader of the DPO series. “It is crucial not to lose momentum and to successfully complete all of the initiated reforms.” Since Moldova joined the World Bank in 1992, over US$1 billion has been allocated to 49 operations in the country. Currently, the World Bank portfolio includes 7 active projects with total commitments of US$162.2 million. Areas of support include regulatory reform and business development, education, social assistance, e-governance, healthcare, agriculture, and other. The International Finance Corporation has provided total investments in the amount of US$233 million in 24 projects in various sectors, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency has provided guarantees totaling US$95 million. Both institutions are members of the World Bank Group.

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World Bank and crisis-fighting

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 11 giugno 2011

Washington, As they put the financial crisis behind them, developing countries need to focus on tackling country-specific challenges such as achieving balanced growth through structural reforms, coping with inflationary pressures, and dealing with high commodity prices, the World Bank says in its June 2011 edition of Global Economic Prospects. The World Bank projects that as developing countries reach full capacity, growth will slow from 7.3 percent in 2010 to around 6.3 percent each year from 2011-2013. High-income countries will see growth slow from 2.7 percent in 2010 to 2.2 percent in 2011 before picking up to 2.7 percent and 2.6 percent in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Recent events in Japan and the political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa have cut sharply into domestic growth, but spillover effects to other economies are expected to be modest. GDP growth in 2011 will likely be flat in Japan. Among developing Middle-East and North African countries, GDP growth in 2011 will be weakest in Egypt (1 percent), Tunisia (1.5 percent), and Libya. While uncertain, growth in both Egypt and Tunisia is projected to pick up in 2012, reaching close to 5 percent by 2013.
Inflation in developing countries reached almost 7 percent year-over-year in March 2011, more than 3 percentage points higher than the low point in July 2009. Inflation in high-income countries has also picked up reaching 2.8 percent in April 2011. The biggest increases in inflation have been in the East Asian and Middle-East and North African regions, reflecting capacity constraints in the former and food prices in the latter. High oil prices and production shortfalls due to bad weather have contributed to higher food prices, which has negative consequences for the poor who spend a high proportion of their income on food. Although domestic food prices in most developing countries rose much less than international prices during the 2010/11 spike (7.9 percent since June 2010 versus 40 percent for international prices), local prices may rise further as international price changes slowly pass through into domestic markets. In addition, if the 2011/12 crop year disappoints, food prices may rise further, placing additional pressures on the incomes, nutrition, and health of poor families. The full report and accompanying datasets are available at http://www.worldbank.org/globaloutlook.

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Social Assistance Reforms

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 28 Maggio 2011

Washington The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved the €500 million Social Assistance System Modernization project. Through this project, the World Bank is partnering with Romania to support the implementation of Romania’s Social Assistance Reform Strategy, which was adopted by the Government in March 2010. The project’s development objective is to improve the overall performance of Romania’s social assistance system by strengthening performance management, improving equity and administrative efficiency, and reducing error and fraud. The project will focus on the Government’s programs for low-income households and vulnerable groups, such as the disabled, needy families, single parents, Roma households, and the rural poor, who will benefit from improvements in targeting accuracy as they would receive a greater share of social assistance benefits. The share of overall social assistance funds going to the poorest quintile is projected to increase from 37.7 percent in 2009 to at least 45 percent in 2014.
This partnership between Romania and the World Bank will contribute to Romania’s long-term goals to achieve growth and convergence with other EU countries, while protecting the poor and vulnerable. During 2005-2010, the fiscal cost of social assistance rose from 1.5 to 2.9 percent of GDP. The implementation of the Social Assistance Reform Strategy, will bring the fiscal cost of social assistance programs in line with the level of the new EU member states, and will contribute to the fiscal sustainability of the social protection spending. The savings will support the growth and convergence goals, by freeing up resources from social assistance programs that were not meeting their stated goals, and shifting them for better targeting those in need. The administrative and private costs associated with the social assistance system will decline by 15 percent from baseline value. The approved project is a €500 million “results-based” specific investment loan over a three year period, supporting the Government of Romania’s Social Assistance Program estimated at €5.5 billion.

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Across Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 31 ottobre 2009

The European University Association (EUA) is pleased to announce that it is leading a project to develop a scorecard aimed at benchmarking university autonomy (on the national level) across Europe. The scorecard will be a major tool both at the national level and at the individual institutional level, serving as a reference for national governments wishing to benchmark their progress on governance reforms vis-à-vis other systems, whilst also helping to raise awareness among universities of the differences that exist in Europe. The scorecard will also help record trends and progress on a regular basis, thus effectively contributing to the consolidation of the European Higher Education Area by improving comparability and promoting modernisation of the sector.The starting point for the scorecard will be the findings of the forthcoming EUA Autonomy study, an in depth comparative study of university autonomy across 34 countries based on more than 30 different indicators and focussing on four main areas of institutional autonomy:
This study and the scorecard project will be officially launched in Brussels on the evening of the 30 November at a special event at the Swedish representation to the EU.  While it is generally accepted by universities and indeed many governments that increased autonomy  is necessary for universities to modernise and respond to new demands being placed on higher education, perceptions and terminology regarding institutional autonomy vary greatly in Europe. To compare systems reliably, more systematic mapping of universities’ autonomy and accountability through a set of common indicators is necessary.  Comparability is crucial as autonomy is often linked to concepts like institutional performance, excellence, quality and efficiency.
The European University Association, as the representative organisation of both the European universities and the national rectors’ conferences, is the main voice of the higher education community in Europe. EUA’s mission is to promote the development of a coherent system of European higher education and research.

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Africa Needs a Concrete

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 12 giugno 2009

Washington, DC- U.S. African Chamber of Commerce Said That Africa Needs a Concrete Trade/Investment Plan from the USA Before China.  Martin Mohammed President of the USACC Encourages President Obama to help Zimbabwe New Political Beginning and Support the Unity Government of Zibabwe and their Economy. Barack Obama will meet Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Friday in Washington. The two leaders are expected to discuss what has been described as Harare’s difficult road ahead. Washington has said it wants to see reforms to the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe before it resumes financial aid. Early this year, Tsvangirai, a former opposition leader, joined embattled President Robert Mugabe in a unity government in a bid to resolve the country’s political and economic crisis. http://www.usafricanchamber.com
The USACC is the Leading Advocacy Organization for U.S. African Relations and promotes Emerging Markets. The USACC is the umbrella organization for African Chambers of Commerce and Professional Trade and Business Associations throughout the United States

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