The member organizations of Via Campesina in Africa, in Europe and in the Caribbean consider that the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) are a new threat for the peasants and small farmers in the four regions. We ask a definitive stop in the negotiations and the opening of a period of debate and analyses on the impacts of free-trade on our national agricultures. Alternatives based on the right to food sovereignty exist.
This paper by Claire Godfrey provides a wide-ranging look at the many problems with the EPAs, and investigates how these could impact on the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries’ future development.
Outlines the legal and moral obligation of the EU to offer the Pacific ACP an attractive alternative to the EPAs.
Provides background information on fisheries in the Pacific and explores the pros and cons of a Pacific fisheries agreement with the EU.
The absence of development content and the severe effects of rapid
trade liberalization were among key problems highlighted by policymakers
and NGO participants at a workshop held here on the Economic
Partnership Agreements between the European Union and the
African, Caribbean and Pacific Group.
Gareth Thomas, international development minister, and Ian McCartney, minister of state for trade, are calling for the European commission to be more flexible in its approach and consider alternative agreements, should developing countries choose not to enter an EPA.
Representatives of ACP countries have been in the UK to lobby politicians to pressurise the government over its proposed new trade agreements. Black Britain spoke to them about how the agreements will destroy their economies and their lives.
Civil society organisations have called for caution as Nigeria, the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) and other African, Caribbean and Pacific(ACP) countries begin the second phase of negotiations with the European Union on the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement(EPAs).
A Mauritian political party called Rezistans ek Alternativ (RA) has asked local MLAs to help in stopping the process of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) which, according to its members, Mauritius and fourteen other African countries have agreed to negotiate with the European Union, without realising the implication of such an agreement.
Do the Pacific Islands’ negotiators genuinely hope they can negotiate a beneficial Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union or are they simply going through the motions and doing what is required of them under the Cotonou Agreement 2000? In the secretive chess game of trade negotiations it is impossible to know.
The South Centre, in partnership with a consortium of ACP and European NGOs, is organizing a high-level conference on negotiations related to Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in Brussels on 12 October 2006.
The conference focuses on three particular problem areas of EPAs. Are EPAs endangering food sovereignty and rural development of mostly agrarian oriented ACP states? Are EPAs in their current form undermining autonomous initiatives of regional integration? What effects are to be expected from a broad liberalisation agenda including the so called "new issues” of investments, competition and public procurement?
African countries risk sinking further into poverty if the European Union pushes ahead with new free trade deals that could harm local industry and farming by unfair competition, non-governmental aid groups said on Tuesday.
The EU strongly advocates that attracting more foreign investment is a solution to African development problems and that African countries therefore need to include strict investment liberalisation measures in EPAs.
The European Union (EU) is negotiating with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries for a new free trade agreement: the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). The liberalisation of services and therefore opening the market for foreign investors is part of these negotiations.
ACP countries cannot continue with the EPAs agenda as if the failed WTO talks are irrelevant to the EPAs context. An option would be to take advantage of the proposed review of the Cotonou Agreement upon which the EPAs negotiations are based. ACP countries should not wait for the EU to do this for them.
In what could be described as a softening of its position on the Economic Partnership Agreements negotiations between EU and ECOWAS, the EU’s Ghana office says it is hopeful that the concerns of ECOWAS would be addressed “before” the implementation of the EPAs begin.
The European Union (EU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have decided to negotiate an agreement to regulate their trade relations under the new World Trade Organization (WTO) Compatible Framework.
African Civil Society has called on the governments to stop negotiations on the proposed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union EU, saying it would undermine development and lead to increased poverty.
Karl Falkenberg, Deputy Director-General of Trade at the European Commission, says its is not worth having an Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and ECOWAS if the Agreement did not enshrine Free Trade Agreement-style full reciprocity between the parties and liberalised rules for Investment.