Tag Archives: Agriculture

EXCLUSIVE: Inside the Congolese army’s campaign of rape and looting in South Kivu

Her face was tired and bruised, her arms bone-thin, her dress torn in several places. “Look at my body,” she whispered. “Is this the body of somebody who is normal?” There was a short pause before she responded herself: “This is death.”

The 36-year-old, who asked not be named, is one of dozens of women to accuse soldiers battling a new insurgency in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern South Kivu province of rape and sexual violence.

The abuses documented by IRIN began in late September after government soldiers reoccupied areas briefly captured by a new alliance of local Mai-Mai militias called the National People’s Coalition for the Sovereignty of the Congo (CNPSC).

The CNPSC is one of three Mai-Mai coalitions that have recently emerged in eastern Congo, an area mired in conflict since the mid-1990s, when the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide fled there, triggering two regional wars.

The coalitions say they are fighting against Congolese President Joseph Kabila, who refused to step down and hold elections last year when his constitutionally mandated two-term limit expired.

An agreement between the government and opposition, reached last December, stated Kabila would leave office and hold elections by the end of 2017. But Congo’s electoral commission now says that a vote will not be held until December 2018.

In September, the CNPSC launched a fresh offensive in the Fizi region, capturing a string of strategic villages before attempting an audacious naval assault on Uvira, the second largest town in South Kivu.

                                                                  

The group was eventually driven back by MONUSCO, the UN’s peacekeeping mission, which deployed attack helicopters to protect the town.

Congolese army moves in

As the Mai-Mai coalition withdrew from nearby villages, Congolese soldiers began systematically raping women and arbitrarily arresting young men, according to dozens of interviews IRIN conducted over several weeks with victims and witnesses.

In Makobola, 15 kilometres south of Uvira, the representative of a local peace organisation said at least 25 women were gang raped by Congolese soldiers over the course of one day in late September, after the army retook the town.

Sat in a small, two-roomed hut, away from the main road where soldiers lounged around in a makeshift barracks, four women took turns to tell their stories. They all spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from the army and stigmatisation by friends and families.

The still-bruised 36-year-old women said she was gang raped by soldiers alongside her 65-year-old blind mother at 10 in the morning. The attack was so brutal she said her mother was subsequently paralysed from the waist down and died shortly afterwards.

“She couldn’t move; she couldn’t even go to the toilet,” the woman said.

Nearby, a 35-year-old mother-of-four said she was stopped by soldiers outside her home at 10am while taking her two-year-old son to the toilet. The soldiers asked where her husband was. When she replied that he was travelling, they accused her of collaborating with the rebels.

“They told me, ‘You are telling us this because your husband is Mai-Mai and you have sent him to the bush’,” she said.

The soldiers stole her phone and money hidden in her underwear before entering her house. “They said, ‘Today we will rape you until you regret being alive’,” she recalled.

Five men then raped her in front of her children until she fell unconscious.

“I woke up to the sound of my children shouting Mama, Mama!,” she said.

See also: War on Women, our film exploring sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In a restaurant on the main road through Makobola, five women tried to hide but were caught and raped by 15 soldiers, according to the peace organisation representative.

One of the women, passing through the town to visit a hospital further south in Baraka, subsequently died. Another was hospitalised after being penetrated with a wooden object.

The owner of the restaurant told IRIN the five women were eventually freed after she paid soldiers the equivalent of around $100.

“After what happened, I felt very bad,” she said.

At another restaurant, an owner said she was raped at night on 11 October, after soldiers accused her of providing a place for Mai-Mai to sleep. Two more women inside her restaurant were also raped, with soldiers shooting into the air to stop them screaming. The soldiers then stole $130, leaving the owner broke.

“I have nothing to restart my business,” she said.

Further south in Sebele, another village in the Fizi region, three men were killed by Congolese soldiers and eight women raped after the the army regained control, according to village deputy chief Elias Feruzi.

The rebel alliances

The CNPSC label has been in use since late 2013 but only recently gained traction when Babembe warlord William Amuri Yakutumba rallied behind it.

Yakutumba’s group, Mai-Mai Yakutumba, is the largest component of the CNPSC, which claims to unite several Mai-Mai groups and has expanded into the western end of Fizi Territory as well as Maniema and parts of southern Shabunda.

Yakutumba and the Babembe have a long, fractious history with the region’s Banyamulenge community, who are ethnic Tutsi and often perceived as “foreigners”.

Ethnically targeted massacres have occurred on both sides over the past two decades. Analysts say the presence of a small number of Banyamulenge commanders in units deployed against the CNPSC, could aggravate these tensions.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring North Kivu province, another coalition called the National Movement of Revolutionaries (MNR) has also recently emerged to take advantage of the current political crisis. It includes several ethnic Nande Mai-Mai leaders from groups including Corps du Christ and Mai-Mai Mazembe.

                       

MONUSCO sources told IRIN that the MNR also includes allies from the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan rebel group accused of the attack earlier this montn on a UN military base near Beni that left at least 14 blue helmets dead.  

                                                                                       

The CMC, a third new coalition, brings together various factions of Nyatura, a Congolese Hutu militia. The coalition was recently able to take over a large amount of territory in Kalehe when army units withdrew to fight the CNPSC.

The strong anti-government rhetoric of the coalitions marks a shift in direction for Mai-Mai groups, which have traditionally focused on local grievances and ethnic rivalries. It remains to be seen whether they will be capable of building popular support outside their usual constituencies.

“At the moment, none of them represent a major national threat, and, given geographical distance, ideological divergence, and the risk of co-option, it appears unlikely they will merge into something bigger,” said Christoph Vogel, a researcher on Congo at the University of Zurich.

Nonetheless, fighting in both North Kivu and South Kivu continues to cause massive population displacement and major problems for Congo’s overstretched, demoralised army. Areas retaken from the CNPSC are now covered with army checkpoints, where soldiers harass and extort money from the local population.

In the South Kivu town of Mboko, which was occupied by the CNPSC for a week, locals told IRIN that soldiers subsequently looted houses, including a compound belonging to the Congolese NGO GEADES, and that they continue to rob people at night.

A 32-year-old teacher in Mboko said he was robbed by a soldier on a recent evening.

“The solider put his gun on my chest and said, ‘You are a Mai-Mai; you must say your last prayers.’ He then put his hands in my pocket, took out two phones and money and told me to run.”

Arrests and extortion

In Sebele, deputy chief Feruzi said 30 young men had been arrested and accused of being Mai-Mai since September.

“[The soldiers] use it at as an excuse to extort money,” he explained. “Once people are arrested they have to pay [$100] to be set free.”

IRIN also received reliable reports of arbitrary arrests of young men in Simbi, Mboko, Lukoke, and Fizi town, where 20 youths were arrested while watching a football match on 23 October and some were subsequently tortured.

In many villages, locals said the actions of Congolese soldiers are helping to build sympathy for the CNPSC.

After the coalition withdrew from Mboko, dozens of young men and children were recruited into the group, while others told IRIN they would consider joining in the future.

“There are two options people have here,” said the teacher. “Go to Tanzania and join the refugee camps or join the Mai-Mai and fight for the country.”

“His image comes into our minds and we start running”

Rapes victims spoke of their trauma, the stigma they felt in speaking about it, and their anger at the impunity as the abuse continues.

A 39-year-old woman from Sebele said she was raped alongside her 14-year-old daughter at 3pm in late September while farming in a nearby field. Her account was confirmed by medical certificates.

                                                                       

“Today, whenever we go to our field and reach the place where the solider raped us, his image comes into our minds and we start running,” said the women.

The Congolese NGO, Solidarity of Volunteers for Humanity, told IRIN that several women were also raped in Lulimba and the mining town of Misisi, both sites of recent clashes between the CNPSC and the army.

A reliable report from local researchers, shared with IRIN, claims that eight women were also raped by soldiers on 8 November in the hills above the village of Sangya. The women were asked what they knew about the Mai-Mai before being assaulted.

According to the same report, on 10 November, a woman arrived at Mboko health centre claiming she had been raped by two soldiers who accused her of providing information to the Mai-Mai. That followed two other cases of rape in Mboko, reported on 6 October.

In Makobola, women told IRIN the soldiers responsible for the attacks remain in the village and continue to rape women despite the cases being reported to army commanders.

“The rapes are still going on in the fields,” said the peace organisation representative. “Because of stigmatisation, women don’t say anything. They are afraid of being abandoned by their families.”

The women said they are now too afraid to farm or leave home at night. Some said they have decided to flee the country.

“I am waiting for some money and then I will go [to Tanazania],” said the 35-year-old mother-of-four.

 

A spokesperson for the Congolese army in South Kivu did not respond with comment in time for publication.

pk-gk/oa/ag

Managing earth: The land-water-energy nexus

But we need farms for our food and roads to get around, which put enormous pressure on land, water and energy resources, endangering the environment and our economic security at the same time. It is a hard balance to strike, as policies that focus on relieving one challenge might add to pressure to another. 

Surely the key is to develop policies that better reflect the linkages between these different resources­. A new modelling approach, focusing on the “land-water-energy nexus”, has been advanced to help do just that, and the readings are quite stark.

The model, which assesses the biophysical consequences and economic costs of the nexus in 2060, shows how shocks to one part of the system affect other parts of the system. It reminds us that everything is intrinsically interdependent.

It traces, measures and anticipates how use and regulation of one resource creates bottlenecks for others. Water management, for instance, leads to trade-offs between needs for energy production and irrigation for agriculture, particularly (but not only) in water-stressed regions. Urban sprawl eats away at the land available for growing food, but so do green policies promoting biofuels. Clearly we need to take into account the effects on the land-water-energy nexus for more holistic and effective policies that work for everyone concerned.

Linking a physical representation of bottlenecks with a global economic model

This nexus is perhaps best viewed through the prism of agriculture. Take water for instance. Unregulated groundwater pumping for irrigation, which occurs in many countries, can lead to a depletion of aquifers. This depletion is fastest in drier, water-stressed regions where farmers rely on groundwater, but rising demand for food and urbanisation have led to water pressures for farming even in rainier climates, with farm intensification hardly helping.  

There is likewise more demand to protect natural areas, but like urbanisation, this can also lead to increasing pressure on land markets. As green belts around major cities show: protected areas can either put existing agricultural land out of production, prevent its expansion or shift agricultural production to unprotected lands. In many countries, demand for land for food production has led to deforestation, destroying ecosystems and further driving climate change. Sprawl can also lead to lower crop yields when the most productive croplands disappear.

Increased biofuel production also affects our nexus. On the one hand, biofuels are an economic opportunity and have the potential to grow fast in countries like Brazil and Russia, with their abundant land and rain-fed agriculture. But in many cases biofuels reduce land availability for food crops. This “indirect land use change” can have several effects. It can push up global and regional food prices as supply is squeezed, with particular impacts in regions where food security is already vulnerable, such as India and northern Africa. More biofuels can also lead to higher energy prices, and cause new vulnerabilities among producers.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

By understanding the linkages between resources and economic choices, we can adapt agricultural practices more strategically, allowing them to adjust to shocks in a more integrated manner and to manage impacts and costs. This would help improve policymaking aimed at managing competing land uses, at local, regional and global levels. From California to the Caspian region, and through Africa and India, alarm bells, for water notably, are ringing loudly, calling for policies that address the land-water-energy nexus.

As climate change advances, the multiplication of extreme weather events and their growing unpredictability will directly impact agriculture, transform irrigation requirements and add pressure to groundwater resources. In the electricity sector, heat waves will require ever more balancing of supply and demand to cope with less water for power plant cooling and high energy demand for air conditioning and water pumping.

The effects of climate change can also be studied in a nexus scenario as an overarching bottleneck. Climate change exaggerates the nexus bottlenecks especially in regions where it is the most acute, such as India, North and Sub-Saharan Africa (see graph above). In these regions, the depletion of groundwater resources will increase people’s vulnerability where precipitation is low and boost global dependency on regions with rain-fed agriculture. Our global economic welfare depends on getting this balance right.  

Clearly, the costs and consequences are only a part of the nexus story. The nexus is about local hotspots, where different bottlenecks come together, but whose consequences can spread globally to affect all sectors in all regions. The land-water-energy nexus not only points the way to better policies for managing our environmental and economic interdependency, but could give rise to new, effective techniques, initiatives and innovations–technological, political and organisational–for managing resources and ensuring better lives for all.

References

OECD (2017), Land-water-energy nexus: Biophysical and Economic Consequences, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264279360-en

©OECD Observer No 312 Q4 December 2017


Economic Cooperation

11/12/2017, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Stakeholder’s Meeting on the Sub-regional Coordination Mechanism (SRCM) for Eastern and Southern Africa, which is being hosted by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), this morning opened at the Djibouti-based IGAD Institute of Diplomatic during a brief inauguration ceremony presided over by IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E. Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, with the Deputy Secreatry General of the East African Community (EAC), Eng Steven Mlote as Guest of Honour, and the Director of the UN Economic Commission for Africa’s (UNECA) Sub-regional Office for Southern Africa.

24-09-2017, Khartoum (Sudan): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in partnership with the Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute (HESPI) this morning launched the 2017 HESPI Conference on IGAD Economies with focus on “Youth Unemployment and Creating Opportunities through Trade & Investment” at the Mamoun Beheiry Centre (BMC) in Khartoum during an inaugural ceremony presided over by the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Sudan, H.E Mr. Magdi Hassan.

IGAD Executive Secretary was represented at the high table by the Director of Economic Integration Division-Mr Elsadig Abdalla, with the HESPI Board Chairperson-Amb. Peter Robreh, the Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa-Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, and the Executive Director of MBC-Prof. Munzoul Assal, sitting for their respective organisations.

H.E Magdi Hassan pointed out that the conference was a demonstration of commitment to the issue of youth employment and that investment and trade were key for job creation and economic growth. He added that youth unemployment was not specific to the IGAD region only but that there was need for better education in order to prepare them to the employment market.

Director Elsadig emphasized that youth represents more than half of IGAD population and that they could be an asset of productivity or a source of instability depending on the ways their potential is harnessed. “As a central theme, regional trade and investment require a carefully elaborated analysis to meet the challenge of youth unemployment and of other economic challenges”, he said.

Dr Abdalla Hamdok noted that IGAD was home to Djibouti and Ethiopia which were among “the ten fastest and best performing economies in the world”. “IGAD countries should seek to enhance intra-regional trade by both strengthening regional cluster integration and lowering the cost of trade for harnessing the potential of a large and growing international market in the sub region”, he said.

The African Capacity Building Foundation is sponsoring this event.
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21-08-2017, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning launched the IGAD Tourism Statistics Workshop for Strengthening of Tourism Statistical Systems & Development of Tourism Satellite Accounts for IGAD and Member States in Djibouti under the leadership of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism of Djibouti, Mr. Ali Daoud, The Director of Economic Integration-IGAD, Mr Elsadig Abdalla, and the Head Cluster on Sub-regional Initiatives for East Africa at the UNECA, Ms Daya Bragante.

This meeting is bringing together key IGAD tourism stakeholders, and serves as the 2nd Regional Tourism Meeting since the launch of the IGAD Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (STMP) 2013-2023.

The aim of this meeting is to advance IGAD STMP agenda, in particular, reviewing the implementation status with a view to identifying key milestones, key challenges and to recommending way forward to ensure that targets are met.

Mr Ali Dini declared that the meeting will allow harmonization of IGAD Member States procedures in regards to statistics, which will contribute to measuring progress made in the implementation of the IGAD STMP. “Our region is capable of engaging into the necessary reforms and investments in order to be more competitive as a premier global tourism destination”, he said.

Mr Elsadig highlighted that through collaboration between IGAD Secretariat, Member States, UNECA, and partners, the foundation land mark was laid with the IGAD Sustainable Tourism master plan 2013-2023. “The essence of this meeting is to see how far had we gone since we adopted our Master Plan, and to see how we can keep moving”, he said.

Ms Bragante noted the importance of tourism for the development of the region so rich in culture, history, and natural beauty.

The meeting provides a platform through which Member States and key tourism stakeholders exchange ideas and share lessons of best practice. In addition, given that there have been a number of developments including the African Union Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, the meeting also serves as an opportunity to link the IGAD STMP to these emerging global and continental development agendas.

It is financially supported by the African Capacity Building Foundation, based in Harare the capital of Zimbabwe, and technical assistance is brought by the UNECA.
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02-08-2017, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Director of Agriculture and Environment Division of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Mr. Mohamed Moussa on behalf of IGAD Executive Secretary, this morning opened a consultative workshop with Member States on establishing a systematic and regular Data Sharing Agreement (DSA).

This two-day workshop, held in Addis Ababa, is gathering officials in charge of statics bureaus in line ministries at respective Member States of IGAD.

The specific objectives of the workshop are to establish or consolidate formal institutional linkages and mechanisms for data/information sharing between IGAD Secretariat and national statistics offices, and also to improve coordination and collaboration between national statistics offices, regional, and continental organizations on harmonisation of statistics.

Mr Moussa, in his inauguration remarks, highlighted that “IGAD developed a road-map to establish a functional harmonized monitoring system to support the implementation of not only the IGAD Regional Strategy 2016-2020, but also the African Union Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals frameworks”.

He then explained that “the successful monitoring of these development agendas heavily” relied “on data and requires reliable and harmonized statistics from the National Statistical data systems”.

Thus, the need to develop “a comparatively structured regional statistics framework” that “requires the adoption of harmonized and standardised definitions and concepts, adaptation of international norms to regions realities and specificities, and the use of a common methodology for the production of statistics and their dissemination”.

Mr Moussa declared the meeting open after wishing the participants fruitful deliberations.
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11-07-2017, Mombasa (Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development this morning opened the 4th IGAD Business Forum (IBF) Bi-annual General Meeting in Mombasa, Kenya, under the co-chairmanship of the outgoing IBF Chair and Chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Djibouti, Mr. Youssouf Dawaleh, and the Chair of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Mombasa, Mr. James Mereu, and in the presence of the Programme Manager Trade, Industry and Tourism, Mr. Joseph Rwanshote, representing IGAD Executive Secretary.

The 4th IBF Bi-annual General Meeting is aimed at assessing progress made since the 3rd General Meeting held two years ago in Djibouti in particular, and more also an opportunity to gauge progress made since the revival of the IBF since May 2010.

High level representatives from Chamber of Commerce from IGAD member States and high profile business leaders are taking part in this meeting that saw the handing over of the chairmanship of the IBF from Djibouti to Kenya during the opening session.

Mr Rwanshote noted that the region was witnessing a GDP growth of over 4% since 1998 and that the private sector was expanding. He also highlighted that one of the key pre-requisites for a smooth flow of cross-border trade was “modern and durable infrastructure”. “IGAD Secretariat is involved in the coordination of various important infrastructure investments” such as regional transport and interconnectivity, energy, Information and Communication Technology, and water development projects, according to Mr. Rwanshote. “The private sector is a key partner in this push to develop the requisite modern infrastructure that will facilitate greater trade in IGAD member States”, he said.

Mr Youssouf Dawaleh stressed that the private the private sector in the region “has been meeting regularly to express its willingness and commitment to work with governments to help lift the obstacles that hamper the development of intraregional trade and the creation of an enabling environment for investment”. He also announced the adoption during the 3rd IBF of the establishment of an International Arbitration Center to be based in Djibouti.

Mr Mereu, as Guest of Honour and speaking for the Chair of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, officially opened the meeting.

This meeting is organized with financial support from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).

IGAD and GIZ: Stronger Relations

A delegation from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) led by Dr. Hans-Joachim Preuß, GIZ Managing Director, visited the IGAD Secretariat today. Accompanied by Amb. Volker Berresheim, German Ambassador and senior staff from GIZ, the delegation were received by Mr. Mohamed Mousa, Director of Agriculture and Environment and acting Executive Secretary. The parties discussed their long-standing relationship before signing an agreement. Ms. Fathia Alwan, acting Director of Social Development and Mr. John Kabayo the Coordinator of IGAD Drought Disaster and Sustainability Initiative were also present.

Technical and Financial Cooperation agreements between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany represented by H.E. the Ambassador, Dr. Volker Berresheim, and IGAD Executive Secretary represented by Mr. Mohamed Moussa, Director of Agriculture and Environment are signed on 27th November 2017, at the IGAD Secretariat.

The Technical Cooperation framework is on the project strengthening the capacities of IGAD and its Member Countries to support regional migration policies in the Horn of Africa and
The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, through GIZ, totaling up to 10,000,000 Euros (ten million euros) in the form of personnel, inputs and, where appropriate financial contributions.

The Financial Cooperation is a support by the Federal Government of Germany, through KfW, to the project Regional Migration Fund Supporting Migrants, Refugees and Host communities in the Horn of Africa. The support is up to 20,000,000 euros (twenty million euros).

CALENDRIER du 18 décembre au 07 janvier 2018

CALENDRIER du 18 décembre au 07 janvier 2018

(Susceptible de modifications en cours de semaine)

Déplacements et visites

 

Lundi 18 décembre 2017

Ms Federica Mogherini receives Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe.

Ms Federica Mogherini receives the Prime Ministers of the Western Balkans partners.

Mr Andrus Ansip and Mr Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Postal Services, visit MolenGeek coding school in Molenbeek, Belgium.

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis receives Mr Andrea Rossi, Chief Executive Officer of AXA IM and Board Director.

Johannes Hahn in Vienna, Austria: meets Mr Thomas Greminger, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Mr Neven Mimica in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (until 19/12): participates in the 34th Session of the Africa Caribbean Pacific-European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis receives Mr Dirk Jacobs, Mr Hubert Weber, Ms Mella Frewen, representatives of FoodDrinkEurope.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis receives Mr Ulrich Josef Brandenburg, Mr Seán Ó Riain, Mr Witdoeckt Flory, representatives of the Europa Esperanto-Unio (EEU). 

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos in Athens, Greece: participates in the Greek Economic Forum ‘Ministry for Tomorrow’ event; and delivers a keynote speech at the London School of Economics (LSE) alumni event at the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

M. Pierre Moscovici à Londres: rencontre M. Philip Hammond, Chancelier de l’Echiquier; prononce un discours à une table ronde organisée par Policy Network; participe à une conférence organisée par the London School of Economics.

Mr Christos Stylianides in Hamburg, Germany: meets Mr Andy Grote, Senator for Internal Affairs and Sport of the State of Hamburg; visits the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine.

Mr Christos Stylianides in Hannover, Germany: meets Mr Stephan Weil, Minister President of Lower Saxony; Mr Boris Pistorius, Minister for Internal Affairs and Sport of Lower Saxony.

Mr Phil Hogan participates in the2017 EU Agricultural Outlook Conference, in Brussels.

Ms Elżbieta Bieńkowska in Madrid, Spain: delivers a keynote speech at a meeting with Professional Women’s Network and delivers another keynote speech at a seminar on Tourism and Culture: Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals in Europe.

Ms Violeta Bulc in New Dehli, India; delivers a keynote speech at the Business roundtable “India’s modernisation agenda: opportunities and challenges for European transport companies”; meets Mr Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, and Shipping; meets Mr Piyush Goyal, Minster for Railways.

Ms Corina Creţu in Bucharest, Romania (until 19/12): participates in the signing ceremony of the financing agreement on Improving the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Regional Operational Program 2014-2020, together with Mr Mihai Tudose, Prime Minister of Romania, and Mr Marius Nica, Minister–delegate for European Funds of Romania. She also visits an EU-funded project:  “Multi Risk – Module I”, Large Infrastructure Operational Program, together with Ms Carmen Daniela Dan, Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr Marius Nica, Minister–delegate for European Funds of Romania, and Mr Raed Arafat, Secretary of State, Head of the Department for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Then, Ms Creţu visits the Children Center “St. Muceniţă Sofia”; meets Mr Felix Stroe, Minister of Transport; participates in the Structural Funds Gala, organised by the Representation of the European Commission in Romania and Structural Consulting Group.

Ms Margrethe Vestager in Copenhagen, Denmark: meets Ms Lizette Riisgaard, President of the Confederation of Danish Trade Unions.

Mr Carlos Moedas delivers a keynote speech at the Award Ceremony of the Corporate Startup Stars at the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP), in Brussels.

Ms Mariya Gabriel in Geneva, Switzerland: attends the 12thInternet Governance Forum.

 

Mardi 19 décembre 2017

President Jean-Claude Juncker receives Mr Gérard Larcher, President of the French Senate.

Mr Frans Timmermans and Mr Andrus Ansip receive Mr Dieter Kempf, President of Federation of German industries (BDI).

Mr Frans Timmermans and Mr Karmenu Vella receive Ms Stientje van Veldhoven, State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management of The Netherlands.

Ms Federica Mogherini is in Beirut, Lebanon.

Mr Andrus Ansip receives Mr Nick Clegg, Head of office “Open Reason”.

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis receives Mr Magnus Berntsson, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) and President of the R20-Regions of Climate Action (R20).

Mr Jyrki Katainen delivers a speech on European Defence at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) series on the Future of Europe, in Brussels.

Mr Jyrki Katainen receives Mr Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Secretary of the Economy of Mexico.

Ms Cecilia Malmström delivers welcome remarks at the 2017 Export Control Forum, in Brussels.

Ms Cecilia Malmström receives Mr Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Secretary of Economy of Mexico.

M. Pierre Moscovici reçoit M. Gabriel Zucman, chercheur à Université de Californie, M.  Ludvig Wier et M. Thomas Tørsløv, chercheurs à  Université de Copenhague, à Bruxelles.

M. Pierre Moscovici participe à la cérémonie publique d’hommage à Simone Veil et Euro Chanukah organisée par le European Jewish Community Centre à Bruxelles.

Mr Christos Stylianides in Bremen, Germany: meets Mr Christian Weber, President of the Parliament of the State of Bremen. He also meets with the representatives of the Committee for Federal and European Affairs, International Contacts and Development Policy of the Parliament of the State of Bremen; Mr Ulrich Mäurer, Senator for the Interior of the State of Bremen;Mr Joachim Lohse, Senator for the Environment, Construction and Transport of the State of Bremen. He then visits the Maritime Search and Rescue Service of Germany and the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA e.V.).

Mr Phil Hogan in Paris, France: participates in a national conference on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Ms Violeta Bulc in New Dehli, India; meets Mr Pusupati Ashok Gajapati Raju, Minister for Civil Aviation; meets Mr Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs.

Ms Corina Creţu in Bucharest, Romania: attends the Award ceremony of the “European Leader” Contest, organised by the European Commission Representation in Romania; participates in a Citizens’ Dialogue, together with Mr Marius Nica, Minister–delegate for European Funds of Romania.

Ms Margrethe Vestager in Copenhagen, Denmark:meets Mr Karsten Dybvad, CEO of the Confederation of Danish Industries; meets party leader Mr Uffe Elbaek, Danish party Alternativet; meets Mr Kristian Jensen, Minister of Finance of Denmark; meets Mr Soren Pape, Minister for Justice of Denmark and leader of Danish conservative party.

Mr Carlos Moedas receives Mr Xavier Barcons, Director General of the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO).

Ms Mariya Gabriel reçoit Mme Véronique Desbrosses, Directrice générale du European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers (GESAC).

 

Mercredi 20 décembre 2017

Meeting of the College of Commissioners.

Mr Karmenu Vella receives Mr Goran Trivan, Minister for Environmental Protection of Serbia.

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis receives Vice-President of European Investment Bank, Mr Ambroise Fayolle.

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos and Ms Marianne Thyssen host the signing ceremony for the partnership on integration with social partners, in Brussels.

M. Pierre Moscovici à Lisbonne: rencontre M. Mario Centeno, Président de l’Eurogroupe.

Mr Carlos Moedas attends with Mr Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), the signature ceremony of the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects loans for CHO TIPER  and Oxford Photovoltaics Ltd. (Oxford PV).

Mr Carlos Moedas receives representatives from the Ordem dos Enfermeros (Portuguese Order of Nurses).

 

Jeudi 21 décembre 2017

Johannes Hahn in The Hague, The Netherlands: participates at the closing ceremony of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Mr Karmenu Vella receives Mr Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR).

Mr Karmenu Vella receives representatives from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

M. Pierre Moscovici à Lisbonne: prononce un discours lors d’une conférence organisée par le journal Diário Notícias à l’occasion du 153ième anniversaire.

Mr Tibor Navracsics in Ispra, Italy: visit to the European School in Varese and meets with staff and senior students. He also meets with staff of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and visits the Interoperability and Vehicles Emissions Laboratories.

Mr Carlos Moedas receives Mr Paul Marie Chavanne, President of GeoPost.

Mr Carlos Moedas receives Ms Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value and Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London (UCL).

Mr Carlos Moedas receives Mr Manuel Castro Almeida, Director of Ernst and Young in Portugal.

Vendredi 22 décembre 2017

 

Samedi 23 décembre 2017

 

Dimanche 24 décembre 2017

 

Prévisions du mois de décembre:

11/12 Foreign Affairs Council (FAC), in Brussels.

11-12/12 Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH), in Brussels.

11-14/12 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg.

12/12 General Affairs Council (GAC), in Brussels.

12/12 General Affairs Council (Art. 50), in Brussels.

14-15/12 European Council, in Brussels.

18/12 Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE), in Brussels.

19/12 Environnent Council (ENVI), in Brussels.

 

Permanence DG COMM le WE du 16 au 17 décembre 2017:

Christian WIGAND: +32 (0)460 764 700

Permanence DG COMM le WE du 23 au 31 décembre 2017:

Anna-Kaisa ITKONEN: +32 (0)460 764 328

Permanence DG COMM le WE du 01 au 02 janvier 2018:

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

 

CALENDRIER du 03 janvier au 07 janvier 2018

(Susceptible de modifications en cours de semaine)

Déplacements et visites

 

Mercredi 03 janvier 2018

 

Jeudi 04 janvier 2018

Mr Maroš Šefčovič in Bratislava, Slovakia; participates in the opening ceremony for the first ever battery assisted fast charging system in Central and Eastern Europe.

Vendredi 05 janvier 2018

Mr Vytenis Andriukaitis in Vilnius, Lithuania: meets with the Committee responsible for double quality in food of Lithuanian Parliament.

Mr Christos Stylianides in Luxemburg: meets Mr Dan Kersch, Minister for Interior of Luxemburg.

Mr Carlos Moedas in Lisbon, Portugal; delivers a keynote speech at the opening session of the initiative Catolica Research (CARE) at the Conference Ciência Aberta organised by Universidade Catolica.

 

Samedi 06 janvier 2018

 

Dimanche 07 janvier 2018

 

Prévisions du mois de janvier:

15-18/01 European Parliament plenary session, in Strasbourg.

22/01 – Foreign Affairs Council, in Brussels.

22/01 – Eurogroup, in Brussels.

23/01 – Economic and Financial Affairs Council, in Brussels.

25-26/01 – Informal meeting of justice and home affairs ministers, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

29/01 – Agriculture and Fisheries Council, in Brussels.

 

Permanence DG COMM le WE du 06 au 07 janvier 2018:

Mina Andreeva: +32 (0)498 991 382

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

Service Audiovisuel, planning studio – tél. : +32 (0)229 52123