Cotonou Partnership Agreement
 ACP-EU Relations in a Changing World


Monday, April 02, 2007

EPAs: much work remains to be done to accommodate ACP concerns

Among the recent key meetings on EPA negotiations were the Joint Trade Committee Meeting (JTCM) on 1 March where the conclusions from the EPA review carried out in ACP sub-regions were discussed. This meeting was followed by the informal EU Development Ministers meeting on 13-14 March hosted by the German EU Presidency.

Both meetings resulted in EU/EC statements affirming that progress is being made and "that much work remains to be done" but that negotiations are on schedule.

However, from the ACP side, things seem to be less clear and from informal debriefings, it appears that much remains to be done to accommodate ACP concerns. There is appreciation of the fact that the EC and in particular Commissioners Mandelson and Michel have finally understood that their "dismissive tone" towards their ACP counterparts is little but provocative and can certainly not be understood as a confidence building approach. Recognition by Commissioner Mandelson about failing to listen to the ACP comes late, but it is hoped that such change will lead to the necessary sincere engagement and accommodation of ACP concerns. This "change of tune" only proves that the EU Council's political supervision is urgently needed to ensure that the EPA negotiations are in line with principles enshrined in the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, rather than DG Trade negotiation practices.

Source: EU NEWS - Issue 2, March 2007 (APRODEV, CIDSE, Caritas Europa).

See also Euforic dossier on ACP trade.

Labels: , , , , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home