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Monday, 30 November 2009

Bananas: fight against poverty still a priority of the EU strategy?

At a time when European leaders are gathering to welcome the dawn of a new era with the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty, this change may well prove to be more extensive than anticipated. The coming days could spell the end of the era when Europe considered the fight against poverty a priority. In the ongoing discussions on the Banana Dossier, the ACP States have made numerous concessions in an effort towards finding a definitive and balanced solution. In fact, analysis of the European banana market has shown that the customs tariff of €176/t that has been applied to banana imports from Central and South American countries (MFN countries) since January 2006, has sharply increased their presence on the EU market. There is no risk whatsoever, not now nor in the future, given the limited production capacity of the ACP countries that the European market will be “flooded” with ACP bananas. Just one MFN country, like Ecuador for example, could, single-handedly, if it so desired, supply the entire 27-country EU market which, let us not forget, is the only possible trade opening for ACP products.

Source: ACP Secretariat