Development issues - including food and security - will receive extra attention in the first half of 2013, and not only because the European Commission's communication on resilience will be discussed by both the Council and the European Parliament, but also because of Ireland's historical background.

Tackling food insecurity, the first goal of the 2000 Millennium Development Goals - is one of the priorities of the Irish Presidency, since it endured its own Great Famine in the mid 1850s. "Food insecurity has a huge resonance with the Irish people," a Presidency source explained, noting that levels of support remained constant even with the implementation of new austerity budgets. In the first quarter of 2013, the EU executive is to prepare an action plan to set out the way forward on implementing the ten steps to increase resilience in food security and disaster prone countries described in its October 2012 communication The EU approach to resilience: Learning from food security crises'. The plan will be reviewed by the Foreign Affairs Council dedicated to development issues, on 28 May. "We'll carry on the Danish Presidency's work in the area," Presidency sources told Europolitics.

An illustration of the special focus development will be given in the next six months can be seen in the setting up of an informal Development Council in Dublin in February, which for the first time will be separate from the Gymnich - the informal foreign affairs meeting.


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