“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

EU undermines its own development policies

Deutsche Welle, 20 April 2014

The EU is one of the largest donors of development aid, but these policies have not played much of a role in the European election campaign. Economic interests, meanwhile, are jeopardizing its effectiveness.

Euro rescue, the banking union, a reduction of bureaucracy and more power for the European Parliament: these topics have been dominating the European election campaign in Germany. The fact that the various parties aren't talking up the fight against poverty in Africa, promoting economic development in Asia or calling for the strengthening of democracy and human rights in Latin America seems, at first glance, logical. After all, they are the elected representatives of EU citizens.

"It is unfortunately the case that development policy plays a subordinate role in the voting decision," said Norbert Neuser, a member of European Parliament with the Social Democratic Party, and also part of the Parliament's Committee on Development. In recent years, the EU has achieved much with its development work in cooperation with Africa; the focus on the UN's Millennium DevelopmentGoals has led to measurable results.

Development work can curb migration

The objective of EU development aid is to promote good governance, along with human and economic development. This includes promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, as well as contributing to the fight against hunger and poverty. According to the European Commission, efforts to contain migration are not among the stated objectives of the EU's development work.

Poverty and a lack of opportunities have
forced many to flee to Europe
However: development success can help ensure that people remain in their home countries. In Ethiopia, for example, the EU has devoted 200 million euros ($276.3 million) to road construction. As a result, people living in remote villages now have a faster and more secure route to larger cities, where they can sell their products on markets, which has reduced rural poverty significantly.

Contributing to development and the reduction of poverty in the developing countries of the South are therefore in Europe's best interest. After all, those who don't see a future at home end up leaving. Like the people on crowded refugee boats picked up by the Italian, Spanish and Greek coast guards, or the hundreds of people that have tried to reach European soil by scaling the fences surrounding the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in northern Morocco.

Export subsidies ruining African farmers

More than half of world's official development assistance (ODA) comes from the EU and its member states, with a focus on cooperation with the so-called ACP countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Of the 79 ACP countries, many are former European colonies.

In the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force in 2009, the EU pledged to a coherent policy when it comes to development. Accordingly, any European policy decisions in the areas of foreign relations, agriculture or economic expansion must not interfere with the objectives of development policy.

African farmers can hardly compete
with EU agricultural exports
The reality, however, is different. "On the one hand, the EU wants to do everything possible to fight poverty and hunger," said Christa Randzio-Plath, the vice president of the Association of German Development NGOS (VENRO). "On the other hand, they work against this development effort with food exports. What good is it to small farmers in Africa if their markets are flooded with cheap EU agricultural products?"

True, the EU subsidies for agricultural exports to Africa amounted only to 150 million euros this year. And in January, the EU commissioner responsible for agriculture and rural development, Dacian Ciolos, announced that export subsidies would be eliminated entirely - without giving a specific timeline. In any case, the damage is already done: decades-long export subsidies for products like poultry, for example, have driven many African farmers to ruin.

Unequal partnership

It's not just agriculture that has been affected, as European fishing fleets cast their nets off the African coast."Fisheries agreements allow the EU to benefit from African fishing stocks, and not the local population," said Randzio-Plath.

The EU does pay compensation to states that give European fishing vessels access to their waters and fish stocks. Senegal, for example, receives about 16 million euros per year, Mozambique a little over 4 million and Mauritania, 86 million euros. But according to the World Wildlife Fund, the market value of these catches is usually significantly higher than the compensation. In addition, coastal fishermen also lose their livelihood.

After the EU fishing fleets have taken what
they need, not much is left for locals
MEP Neuser is also critical of the various economic partnership agreements that the EU is currently negotiating with the ACP states. "There is definitely a need for some counseling in this area, since the policies that we're negotiating there aren't very fair for the developing countries."

The EU has stated that partnership agreements are meant to encourage development in the ACP countries. But according to aid agencies, the opposite is the case. "In their current form, economic partnership agreements are far-reaching free trade agreements which mainly benefit European exporters."

The partnership agreements would require African countries to open their markets to European exports. They would also liberalize the service sector, allowing European investors to get involved in projects supplying services like drinking water, for example. But examples from other regions have shown this usually leads to price increases, without much improvement in quality.

Elites must take responsibility

But lack of coherent policy from the EU is only one side of the coin. The "failure of the elite" in many African countries cannot be pinned on Europe's development policies, said Neuser, giving the "negative example" of Nigeria. "It's a very rich country thanks to its oil reserves, but enormous amounts are disappearing and the elites are unbearably rich," he said.

The EU must "confront the elites floating on their oil fields and raking in the money," said Neuser. One way it could help would be to assist with the development of efficient tax systems. The EU could also contribute by closing its many tax havens, stemming the flight of capital from Africa.

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