European Union (EU) and African experts are scheduled to meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this week to discuss key issues on the EU-Africa cooperation. Agendas for the meeting might include EU-ACP cooperation-related issues, progress on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations and African Union matters.
Barbados and other developing countries negotiating an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe are -struggling- to meet the year-end deadline.
Felix Okatch (“Churches’ stand on EPAs look suspicious,” The EastAfrican, May 28-June 3) wondered why churches should take a stand on a “complex matter” such as the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union and the countries of Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific.
In its economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations with the ACP, the European Union seems to have forgotten the development dimension and pursues an agenda that reflects primarily the interest of the EU alone. This pattern is painfully evident in the EU’s pursuit of new and higher standards for intellectual property and other trade-related areas.
Uganda will benefit from a $64,000 fund from the European Union aimed at supporting studies on the likely impact of international trade on its environment.
When European campaigners suggest that a free trade deal could harm the poor, they typically encounter a frosty reaction from civil servants in Brussels. Still, no one tries to muzzle them.
Leaders from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states have vowed once again to work to finalise a set of free trade agreements with the EU before a critical end-of-year deadline, although many issues in the negotiations remain unresolved.
Central Africa seems an unlikely candidate for a free trade deal with the European Union.
While the labour movement supports the negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the Caribbean and the European Union (EU), there must be greater discussion with trade unions and civil society, and specially included treatment for women.
The Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) is calling for a substantial improvement in the current access of sugar to the European Union (EU) market.
Despite the unpreparedness of West African governments to negotiate the Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union, there are clear indications that the EPAs will be signed by the December 31, 2007 deadline, Tetteh Hormeku, Head of Programmes at Third World Network, has said.
The European Union and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states vowed Friday to clinch free-trade deals by end- 2007, defying critics who say the agreements will not help fight poverty.
The European Union on Tuesday vowed to press ahead with efforts to eliminate tariffs and quotas on imports from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, arguing that the deals were needed to open up markets in poor nations. "We must create regional markets, ... poor countries need bigger regional markets," German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek- Zeul said.
On the surface, the European Commission’s argument on how it sees economic partnership agreements with developing countries in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions playing out, is compelling.
The African Caribbean Pacific sugar group has adopted a united negotiating position on the European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreement.
In an recent article headlined “Economic Partnership Agreements: tackling the myths”, the European Union’s trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, sought to justify the EU’s position on agreements being negotiated with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries.
African, Caribbean and Pacific countries need to press for increased protocol tonnage to safeguard itself, a scholar advised.
A split among Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries that were also members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries would be detrimental to the region when the European Development Fund decided by year end to roll out development funds for the SADC region, said Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma yesterday.
The African, Carribean, Pacific countries are determined to safeguard the benefits the Sugar Protocol provided and would explore avenues to uphold its position, says ACP Sugar Ministerial chairman Dr Arvin Boolell.
The Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition (GTLC) has appealed to the governments of Ghana and Burkina Faso to facilitate an unconditional implementation of the protocol on the free movement of persons, goods and services within the West African sub-region.