On the eve of the deadline of the finalisation of the economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations, chaos reigns.
A two-stage agreement between EU and ACP countries risks being an ‘EPA tight’ rather than an ‘EPA light’
The economic partnership agreements (EPAs), proposed by the European Union (EU) to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, constitute a "neo-colonial instrument" which will destroy the economic and social basis in African states, according to some German non-governmental organisations.
West Africa wants the EPA with the European Union to come into force on 1st January 2011 instead of January 2008 provided under the Cotonou partnership agreement. But what trading regime will apply after the expiration of the current trading system in December this year?
For the European Commission, the end of 2007 represents a firm deadline for negotiating the goods market access element of the Economic Partnership Agreements
Peter Mandelson is feeling misunderstood. As EU trade commissioner, he stands accused of being a neo-colonialist trying to railroad through Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries within the next few weeks.
Last week, the EU unilaterally renounced a 32-year sugar protocol that had guaranteed fixed quotas and prices for ACP countries, with no clear indications of how exactly sugar will be treated in the new EPAs.
Caribbean trade and political officials are fuming at the European Union’s decision last Friday to scrap a 32-year-old agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) sugar-exporting countries, describing the action as "a slap in the face" of the region.
Demonstrators in Brussels and Nairobi demanded on Thursday a halt to trade and investment negotiations between the European Union and former colonies, saying the proposed deal would harm poor countries.
Senior World Bank staff have asked the European Union to consider extending the end-of-year deadline it has set for a series of free trade agreements with Africa.
The European Union Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson, said the EU would not engage in an alternative strategy concerning African, Caribbean and Pacific trade relations with Europe at the World Trade Organisation, stressing that there is definitely "no Plan B" for EU trade relations with the ACP. New Era spoke to trade analyst, Wallie Roux, wherein he responds in his personal capacity to Mandelson’s assertions.
Concern is growing in both Europe and developing countries about whether a series of free trade agreements slated for signature later this year will contain overly stringent rules on intellectual property.
L’Europe pourrait accorder des quotas régionaux pour l’exportation de sucre. Ce qui placerait le Maurice et d’autres pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique en situation de concurrence face aux gros producteurs dont le Cuba et le Brésil.
The Gambia Social Forum demanded the extension of the deadline of negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union, on the one hand, and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, on the other.
Pacific trade officials and legal experts have expressed their disappointment and deep concern at the draft text proposed by the European Commission for an Economic Partnership Agreement covering trade in goods, trade in services, fisheries, investment and development cooperation.
Civil society groups in Africa have called for the suspension of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the 77 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries for at least three years to allow African governments to critically look through other regional initiatives they are already engaged in.
African governments, policy analysts, regional economic groups and civil society organizations are increasingly speaking with one voice: the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) now being hammered out between Europe and the ACP countries must be significantly modified to safeguard those countries’ prospects for development.
As Africa’s leaders met in Accra, Ghana, last week to consider ways of consolidating continental unity through increased trade, pertinent questions were being raised over the impact that a new trade arrangement between the European Union and the 75-member ACP trading bloc will have on regional integration.
Sustainability and trade barriers in biofuels could be addressed through new economic partnership agreements (EPAs), which are currently being negotiated with countries from the African, Caribbean and Pacific bloc. “New EPAs and the EDF will provide a framework for action on trade in biofuels,” a spokesman for the European development commissioner said. “From 2008 onwards this issue will become much more visible.”
OECS Trade Ministers accommodated the European Commission’s principal negotiator for the Economic Partnership Agreement, Karl Falkenburg on Wednesday.