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Newsletter 454

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2019
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Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Although negotiations on Economic Partnership agreement s (EPAs) were launched with seven regions in 2002 – with the expectation that they would be concluded within five years – only one full EPA was in force by March 2015: the agreement between the EU and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM).A few interim EPAs are being implemented, including one for Eastern and Southern Africa. This briefing compares the principle provisions on social and environmental standards in the EPA with West Africa to the provisions in the CARIFORUM EPA and the interim EPA for ESA. In general, the cariforum EPA and the interim EPA contains the widest set of environmental and social standars, as well as the most specific provisions, including on monitoring and dispute settlement procedures. While less comprehensive, the West Africa EPA also contain references to social and environmental objectives.

Wednesday, 08 July 2015

The Antigua and Barbuda prime minister Gaston Browne was not reassured by the Head of the EU delegation to Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Ambassador Mikael Barfod’s, attempt to lessen the impact of the labelling, which threatens to do untold damage to the listed of the country, and their financial sectors. PM Gaston Browne explained, “What is really required is for the EU to have it corrected and to make sure that all of the countries within CARICOM are taken off the list. It isn’t a just classification and it obviously would have done serious harm to our respective countries. It has potential negative impact on investments and even in terms of corresponding banking relations.” Contrary to the recent publication, PM Brown affirms that Caribbean countries are fully cooperative jurisdictions and have been in full compliance with the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Global Forum.

The Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi and German ambassador Philipp Schauer signed a deal worth US$142 million for various development projects, over a two year period. The three priority areas in the cooperation between Mozambique and Germany: education, decentralization for rural development, and sustainable economic development. Baloi said the agreement was expected to have “a catalyzing impact” on implementation of the strategic objectives of the Mozambican government’s Five Year Programme for 2015-2019:  “We are pleased at Germany’s commitment to continue granting support to the economic and social development of Mozambique, and thus to the government’s efforts to reduce poverty,” said Baloi.

The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) were high on the agenda at the joint ACP trade committee in Brussels on 24-26 June. On the EPAs, ministers point out that  the negotiation and implementation of EPAs should be of variable geometry, with greater focus on the development dimension, special and differentiated treatment and recognition of the unique challenges of the ACP States. With regard to the Caribbean EPA, it was noted that the tangible advantages of the CARIFORUM EPA have yet to be seen. On the issue of the EP catalysing regional integration, ministers stated: “The conclusion of separate EPAs within different groupings in Africa that do not correspond to existing regional implementation arrangements, (…)  ACP States and regions should establish a mechanism through which they could address any impediment to their regional integration agenda that arises from commitments made in the EPAs.”

Tuesday, 07 July 2015

This working paper explores why a normative-based EU development policy is being challenged by reformed EU institutions and a new global order and how the EU is attempting to respond to this context in face of the EU deepest recession since the end of the Second World War. The European Union (EU) is one of the world´s leading donors in official development assistance (ODA) to give it a strong weight in the relationship with recipient partner countries, in particular with those that are more dependent on it. Besides the material weight of its funding, the EU has retained historical ties and influence in diplomatic, political and economic terms in many of its ODA recipient partner countries (particular in Sub-Saharan Africa). Since the 2000s, the EU development policy has not only undergone major structural changes in its institutional framework but it has also started to face a new international aid scenario.