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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Civil Society ensuring development stays on EPA agenda

In an unusual move, West and Central African civil society organisations have participated in the negotiations between their countries and the European Union on the economic partnership agreements (EPAs). The organisations stress developmental concerns while assisting under-resourced African governments with trade expertise. Civil society organisations (CSOs) have also taken to the streets to persuade governments not to sign interim EPAs, for example in Mali. […] The EPAs are comprehensive trade liberalisation agreements which have been under negotiation since 2003 between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to replace the preferential regime of the Cotonou agreement. The ostensible reason for the renegotiation of the trade regime between the EU and the ACP is its incompatibility with the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The EPAs came under discussion at a roundtable at the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, which ran from Feb 6-11.

Source: IPS News

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