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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

NGOs welcome EU’s vow not to push Africa into EPAs

Non-governmental organisations have expressed their satisfaction at the European Commission’s declaration that it would not put "undue pressure" on African and other countries to conclude the controversial trade deals called economic partnership agreements (EPAs). "The Commission continues to seek tailor-made solutions for all countries within a regional EPA in order to secure their duty-free, quota-free access to the EU and provide an improved framework for their economic development. It considers that it is up to the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) partners themselves to decide which type of trade-related rules they want to negotiate at this stage and to what extent." This statement by the European Commission, released on Oct 1, sounds like a victory for the Stop EPA Campaign which has been running for years now. On Sep 27, the seventh anniversary of the EPA talks, more than 80 organisations from 30 countries called for a fundamental change in the course of the ongoing EPA negotiations between the European Union and the ACP countries.

Source: IPS News