Socio Economic Partnership Agreements

Socio Economic Partnership Agreements

The EU is implementing seven Economic Partnership Agreements with 32 partners, including 14 in Africa. The main objective of epas is to use trade and investment for sustainable development. The content of the agenda will be broadened, with agreements covering new topics such as services and investment. The South Centre is publishing a new policy brief series, focusing on international investment agreements and the experience of developing countries. The EU`s trade relations with ACP countries are governed by the Cotonou Partnership Agreement signed in 2000 between the EU, its Member States and acp countries. Given that this comprehensive political, economic and development partnership expires in 2020, the parties are currently negotiating a successor agreement (the so-called “post-Cotonou” agreement). At present, ACP-EU agricultural trade already faces many challenges, ranging from the erosion of ACP trade preferences in the EU market to standard-setting and supply-side bottlenecks within ACP countries. These are described in Section 2, which focuses on the specific issues of least developed countries (LDCs), areas of convergence and disagreement between LDCs and ACP countries not affected by LDCs, as well as the links between the EPA and WTO negotiations on these issues. Section 3 examines EPA issues from the EU`s perspective and outlines a possible negotiating strategy on the basis of previously signed free trade agreements (FTAs). This analysis is then used to identify different negotiating options for ACP countries, including the development dimension of EPAs (Section 4); Finally, we will discuss the provisions that could be adopted to establish an “ideal” EPA (section 5). European Economic Community (EEC): an organisation set up in 1957 with the aim of promoting economic integration between the six founding Member States of the EU.

The EEC was renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993 and was integrated into the EU in 2009. Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are trade and development agreements negotiated between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and regions. The EPAs have their roots in the Lomé Convention, which entered into force between 1975 and 1999. These agreements between the European (Economic) Community and 71 ACP States granted duty-free access to the EU market for all agricultural products and products. In addition, the Lomé Convention aimed to promote aid and investment in acp countries. As this agreement precedes unilateral preferences to ACP countries, it was found to violate the most important principle of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the most-favoured-nation clause. Derogations were granted to the EU in 1996 and 2001, provided that the Lomé Conventions were replaced by trade agreements in line with WTO rules, such as . B EPA.. . .

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