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ACP on ambitious EPA deadline: EU lacks understanding

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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

ACP on ambitious EPA deadline: EU lacks understanding

During the course of the 27th session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly, which was held this week, ACP Secretary General, H.E Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas recalled the announcement of the European Commission (EC), which stated that countries that did not finalise an EPA would not longer benefit from free market access to Europe as of 1st January, 2014. “It is a matter of regret that the EU has imposed such a unilateral deadline which seems in opposition to the letter and very spirit of our time-tested relationship. Even worrisome is the fact that they seem to be imposing terms that some economists even in Europe are decrying as being above even what the WTO would be prepared to impose,” he stated.
Dr. Ibn Chambas has also spoken of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), as its coming into force coincides with the deadline of the trade liberalisation commitments of those countries which have initiated the ratification of an EPA.
In criticism, ACP Secretary General has said: “There is also not much understanding in the Berlaymont of the fact that several of our regions are only now completing their customs unions, which are a pre-condition for regional communities to be able to coordinate a common EPA position.  In light of the de-industrialising effects of wholesale trade liberalisation, the reluctance to include a development component to the EPAs as some of our regional communities have insisted all along remains a disappointing reality.”

Source: ACP/ CTA