Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Ghana
ECOWAS, EU negotiators deadlocked on EPAs
5 May 2012
Negotiations between ECOWAS and the EU on the Economic Partnership Agreements, EPAs reached a deadlock at a meeting held in Brussels, last month.
West African negotiators and their EU counterparts could not agree on four key areas including the level of market access to EU goods and development programmes and benchmarks.
Ghana together with its Ivorian counterpart initialed the Interim EPA’s in 2007. And since then Ghana has not been able to make a choice as to sign or not to sign the final EPAs.
This situation and the fact that Ghana is not exploring other alternatives including the Solidarity Fund agreed upon by a meeting of the ECOWAS Ministerial body hosted in Accra by Ghana is a source of worry to Civil Society organisations like the Economic Justice Network.
The Solidarity Fund will compensate Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Cape Verde on export losses in case a regional consensus on EPAs is not reached by 1st January 2014.
Speaking to Radio Ghana after a meeting organised by the Economic Justice Network in Accra to discuss this pertinent issue Sylvester Bagooro of Third World Network, Africa said Civil Society organisations expect Ghana to take the lead to persuade other countries within the sub- region to pursue the idea of the solidarity Fund option in order to find a regional solution to a regional problem.
He said even though there is a deadlock in the negotiations the EU is still pressurising Ghana to rectify the interim agreements by 2014 or lose its market access.
Mr. Bagooro said the only way to counter the EU’s agenda is for ECOWAS to solve its own problems.