Recent news on the stalemate in the EPA negotiations in Southern Africa raises fresh questions about the wisdom of Cariforum countries in rushing to sign on to a ‘Full’ EPA with Europe in October 2008…
Updating Economic Partnership Agreements to Today’s Global Challenges â€“ Essays on the Future of Economic Partnership Agreements. Edited by Emily Jones (Oxford) and Darlan F Marti (UNCTAD). German Marshall Fund Economic Policy Program. 19 November 2009.
African and Pacific countries continue to negotiate the challenging Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union. These new agreements have the potential to help African countries accelerate their economic growth and develop more resi lient economies. However, the presence of negotiating deadlocks or a sense of fatigue as well as the lack of real appetite for these agreements among many African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) negotiators, raise legitimate questions regarding their structure and content, as well as their ability to constitute instruments to leverage economic growth…
EPA Negotiations with Central Africa: The state of play, by Claude Maerten and Elisabeth Tison, March 2009
‘The EU has no wish to exercise pressure at the risk of obtaining agreements that might not meet the specific needs of each region…
A Pan African delegation recently traveled to Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Paris and London to engage European farmers, parliamentarians, civil society and media in discussions regarding the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) both instruments that risk having disastrous consequences on African small scale farmers..
At the beginning of March, political and labour union representatives from six African countries on a visit to five European capitals in March 2009 have told their hosts that ‘in Africa, the economic and financial crisis has already turned into a food crisis, and EPAs will make it worse..’
Third World Network submission to the United Nations Commission of Experts on the Global Financial, Crisis,
North-South free trade agreements (FTAs), bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments often contain a number of provisions that can increase the likelihood of a financial crisis and make it more difficult to take the necessary measures to deal with one once it occurs., This note briefly highlights the main provisions in these agreements that can hamper the effective implementation of recommendations to deal with the current crisis….
‘Ministers deplore the enormous pressure that has been brought to bear on the ACP States by the European Commission to initial the interim trade arrangements, contrary to the spirit of the ACP-EU partnership….(They) observed that the recent statements and pronouncements made by European Commission to the media and other fora, are at variance with the demands being made to the ACP negotiating regions and States. (They) observed that European Union’s mercantilist interests have taken precedence over the ACP’s developmental and regional integration interests…’
Report for the Commonwealth Secretariat, 2005.
GATT Article XXIV sets out a notoriously imprecise set of conditions under which free trade areas and customs unions are to be accepted as consistent with members’ obligations under the WTO Agreements. One of the most disputed elements is the phrase ” substantially all trade” (SAT) which appears in the requirement that ” duties and other restrictive regulations of commerceâ€¦.are eliminated on substantially all the trade in products originating” in the partners….
For each ACP country, this document summarises the ratification process including in particular whether competencies for entry into EPAs by the ACP countries lie at national level or regional level; and the process that must be followed in each case.