Timothy Spence Archives

  • Sugar mounds and wine lakes? Not likely, quota advocates say

    Agrifood 15-03-2013

    Butter mountains and milk lakes. Those were the images invoked in the European Parliament this week by opponents of extending vineyard planting limits and protections for sugar beet farmers.

  • After landmark CAP vote, the hard work begins

    Agrifood 14-03-2013

    MEPs exercised their power to shape agricultural policy for the first time on Wednesday (13 March), voting to adopt a controversial package of legislation that now faces a fresh round of negotiations with national leaders. EURACTIV reports from Strasbourg.

  • MEPs, divided and under pressure, prepare for CAP vote

    Agrifood 13-03-2013

    The European Parliament votes today (13 March) on a future agricultural policy that, if approved as proposed, would step back from a generation of liberalisation moves and ease the European Commission’s plan to set new environmental standards for farming. EURACTIV reports from Strasbourg.

  • Parliament makes U-turn, allows full vote on CAP reform

    Agrifood 12-03-2013

    Bowing to criticism that it was “undemocratic”, the European Parliament’s agriculture committee agreed Monday night (11 March) to allow the full house to vote on hundreds of amendments to the EU’s future farm policy, many of them aimed at reversing the panel’s earlier decisions. EURACTIV reports from Strasbourg.

  • In sudden move, agriculture panel gets extra power over CAP

    Agrifood 11-03-2013

    In a sudden decision that has angered international development groups, the European Parliament’s agriculture committee has been handed special power to pare down hundreds of amendments to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on the eve of a vote Tuesday (12 March) by the full Assembly. EURACTIV reports from Strasbourg.

  • Nigerian farm minister seeks new aid deal with EU

    Development Policy 11-03-2013

    Africans must shake off their dependence on traditional agricultural aid from Europe and improve trade ties to address their food and poverty challenges, Nigeria’s agricultural minister told EURACTIV.

  • Barroso moves to limit damage from meat scandal

    Agrifood 06-03-2013

    European Commission President José Manuel Barroso on Tuesday (5 March) strongly defended the EU's response to the horsemeat scandal that has shaken consumer confidence and, more broadly, could have repercussions for international trade.

  • Sugar quota feeds bitter debate ahead of CAP vote

    Agrifood 04-03-2013

    The European Commission’s sugar management committee has authorised the import of 584,000 tonnes of white sugar since January, nearly half the amount the EU is projected to approve this year, adding fuel to calls for the EU to scrap its longstanding protection of the domestic sugar market.

  • UN report: Women’s education key to food security

    Development Policy 04-03-2013

    Improving education for women could dramatically reduce hunger in developing countries, says a United Nations report released today (4 March) that also calls for erasing gender inequalities in land ownership and financing to help address future food security.

  • EU’s ‘decent life’ plan seeks to shape UN development goals

    Development Policy 26-02-2013

    The European Commission's proposals for future global development goals, to be unveiled on Wednesday (27 February), risk running into opposition from emerging countries if they veer too broadly from fighting poverty.

  • EU’s soft power in Congo toothless on ‘conflict minerals’

    Development Policy 15-02-2013

    Congolese rebels are plundering the country’s natural resources to finance guns and materiel, but the EU remains powerless to compel companies to disclose whether they are buying vital minerals supplied by armed groups in Congo and other conflict states.

  • Farmers cultivate support to protect CAP budget

    Agrifood 07-02-2013

    Hundreds of European farmers who gathered in Brussels on the eve of an EU budget summit sent a terse message to national leaders: Hands off the CAP.

  • As EU pares budgets, Turkey and Korea step up aid spending

    Development Policy 06-02-2013

    EU candidate Turkey and South Korea, nations that have watched their own fortunes surge in a generation, are ramping up aid programmes for poor nations at a time when such spending in Europe is under threat, a EURACTIV analysis of aid statistics shows.

  • Foreign aid for sexual health sparks hot budget debate

    Development Policy 04-02-2013

    Conservatives opposed to using EU development aid to finance family planning services in poor nations have succeeded in recent years in reducing support for reproductive health services in poor nations, say health advocates who are now bracing for further cuts.

  • Kallas rolls back EU bid to break up state rail monopolies

    Transport 30-01-2013

    In a compromise aimed at countries like France and Germany, the European Commission on Wednesday (30 January) unveiled its latest plan to integrate rail services, allowing traditional state companies to maintain their hold on railway infrastructure as well as passenger and cargo services.

  • ‘Flop train’: EU’s high-speed rail ambitions hit a setback

    Transport 28-01-2013

    The EU’s top transport official says the troubled launch of a now-suspended high-speed rail service between Brussels and Amsterdam - christened the ‘flop train’ by angry passengers - is “not our problem” despite years of efforts to encourage such premium transnational rail service.

  • MEPs back a less green, more ‘flexible’ CAP

    Agrifood 25-01-2013

    The European Parliament’s agriculture committee has voted to weaken key environmental proposals made by the European Commission while agreeing to reduce subsidies to big farms. These and other proposals will be considered by the full Parliament in March.

  • Irish burgers are safe, Minister assures MEPs

    Health 24-01-2013

    Reacting to the furore over the discovery of horse meat in Irish beef patties, MEPs on Wednesday (23 January) called for stronger EU labelling laws as Ireland's agriculture minister defended the safety of his country’s meat products.

  • CAP reform far from a done deal

    Agrifood 24-01-2013

    The European Parliament’s agricultural committee began adopting dozens of amendments to the EU’s future farm policy on Wednesday (23 January), but approval remains far from certain when the full Parliament considers compromise proposals in March.

  • No ‘Brexit’ likely when it comes to development aid

    Development Policy 22-01-2013

    Whether or not Britain chooses to turn back the clock on its EU membership, the country is likely to remain an important player in Europe’s overseas development policies.

  • Failed air control mergers put EU countries under pressure

    Transport 22-01-2013

    The European Commission should end national monopolies of air traffic control if it is to succeed in making air travel more efficient, an executive of low-cost leader Ryanair told EU officials yesterday (21 January).

  • Pilots to protest over EU flight duty proposals

    Transport 21-01-2013

    Unions representing airline pilots and flight attendants plan a European-wide demonstration on Tuesday (22 January) against proposed EU regulations on flight duty times, though officials say the action is unlikely to disrupt travel.

  • Safety agency monitoring problems with new Boeing aircraft

    Transport 16-01-2013

    European aviation officials said on Wednesday (16 January) they are monitoring international safety investigations of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as two Japanese carriers grounded their fleets following several scares.

  • Oxfam: Africa can produce the food it needs

    Development Policy 15-01-2013

    The number of people who go hungry in Africa’s poorest countries is growing despite advances in food production, say Oxfam researchers who urge European donors and African governments to invest more in small farms and give rural people a bigger stake in decision-making.