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Thursday, 27 January 2005

EU-ACP/LDC informal meeting on sugar

EU-ACP/LDC informal meeting on sugar

In the afternoon, the Council held an informal meeting with ministers from the ACP and LDC sugar producing states to discuss the proposed Action Plan to assist them to adjust to the new situation after the planned reform of the EU’s sugar regime. Commissioner Fischer Boel stressed that the reform was now urgent and that she hoped for a political agreement before the WTO ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December. She said the EU was fully aware that this would have knock-on effects for the ACP countries. Commissioner Michel stressed that the EU would help the countries to adapt on the basis of the actual needs of the countries concerned (see IP/05/85). Commissioner Mandelson underlined that preferential access to the EU market for ACP producers would be an important part of the Economic Partnership Agreements currently being negotiated with the ACP states.