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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

EPA: 2014 deadline concerns interim agreement

The 1 October 2014 deadline concerns only the signature of interim Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and not of full (comprehensive) EPAs, Andris Pielbags, European Commissioner for Development said at the Joint ACP- EU Council of Ministers held in Brussels on 6-7 June.
This has been received as a sign of appeasement by the ACP group.
The 1 October 2014 deadline was announced earlier this year by the EU for negotiating ACP countries that signed interim EPAs to ratify and implement the deal or lose their preferential access to the EU market.
The discussion on the EPAs heard also the argument of the ACP – co-president of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, the Botswana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Phandu Skelemani, who had underlined the concerns of the countries of Cariforum - the only one to have signed an EPA - and other ACP States about the EU policy of differentiation. He believes that this might result in reduction of funds for countries with better achievement and thereby affect their capacity of implementation of the EPA. “The region is urging the EC to step up engagement on the remaining aspects of the negotiations which include a development cooperation chapter,” he said.

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


Source: ACP group