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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

ACP-EU trade talks to get fresh political edge

Trade negotiations between the European bloc and the ACP Group may soon move closer to a resolution, with plans for a political high panel to tackle the longstanding deadlock in talks over the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations, as  confirmed at the last ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers meeting held in Brussels between 6-7 June.
The move follows proposals made by the ACP Heads of State and Government Summit in December 2012.
“The [ACP Summit] decided to recommend the high level political panel, comprising of Heads of States with experts from the regions, to meet with the highest leadership of the EU to try and break the stalemate and advance the process by taking appropriate political responsibility,” ACP Secretary General Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni said at the conclusion of the joint council on 7 June.
The European and African Union Commission Presidents had agreed that a date will be set in July for talks on the issue, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht revealed. It is hoped that the Pacific and Caribbean will join in order to involve all parties.

The ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers is the highest decision-making body of the ACP-EU partnership framework.

Source: ACP group