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ACP Parliamentarians urge 'flexibility' on EPAs

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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

ACP Parliamentarians urge 'flexibility' on EPAs

Parliamentarians from the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific concluded their twice-yearly plenary last week in Lomé, Togo with discussions on Economic Partnership Agreements, development cooperation with European partners, and the future of the ACP Group beyond the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020.

“While the Caribbean have finalised an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU, it is to be noted that the negotiations with the rest of our sub-regions in Africa and the Pacific have proven more protracted than any of us would have wished.  We are all aware of the new deadline that the Commission has set for the conclusion of these negotiations,” ACP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas stated at the 26th session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly. […]

“I hope that [the upcoming Joint Parliamentary Assembly] will be a catalyst to finding a way out of the current impasse. It is our expectation that the European Commission will demonstrate flexibility in the negotiations to ensure EPAs that are development-friendly and that enhance regional integration,” stated the Secretary General. The Joint Parliamentary Assembly is held this week, 19-24 November.

Source: ACP Group of States