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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

ACP calls on EP to not vote regulation which pressures ACP countries

On the eve of a decisive vote in the European parliament on a market access regulation (1528/2007) that proposes to exclude certain ACP states from European Union trade preferences, the Secretary General of the ACP, Alhaji Muhammad MUMUNI called on April 15 on the MPs to refrain from taking action, as it is considered that voting for the regulation would be to the detriment of the ACP states concerned, and could be considered as a pressure.
Moreover, the Secretary-General appealed to the MEPs to retain the implementation date of 1 January 2016 for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs), instead of the new proposed date of October 2014. He considers that this would correctly accommodate the interest of the ACP-EU partnership.
The proposal to exclude certain ACP States from benefitting from duty free and quota free market access would had exerted severe pressure on ACP States to accept the EPAs, in order to avoid the interruption of their exports to the EU. The ACP groups believes that such pressure goes against the principles and spirit of the ACP-EU partnership as enshrined in the Cotonou Agreement. Furthermore, the proposal would tilt in EU’s favour the balance of power in an already asymmetrical process of negotiations.
Another critic which is brought to the EPAs negotiation process is that it creates divisions in some regions where not all members subscribed to comprehensive EPAs, and also that they deal only with trade in goods and related issues, leaving for later discussions on other important development support issues of greater interest to the ACP States.
The ACP group view is that a decision to implement the amendment by October 2014 would not allow the conclusion of comprehensive and inclusive regional agreements.

Source: ACP

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