Following a meeting held in Brussels several weeks ago, EU and East African Community (EAC) negotiators at technical level met in Mombasa, kenya to discuss certain aspects of the EPA. According to the European Commission press service, they continued the discussions started during the last negotiation round on rules of origin, dispute settlement and institutional provisions, agriculture, and economic and development cooperation.
Delegations of the ACP Group said their goodbyes to H.E Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo, whose term as Dean of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors has ended, and who will now head up the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
As a prelude to the G8 Summit, the European Commission welcomed the May 18 launch of the "New Alliance to improve Food and nutrition security". The EU has been actively supporting the preparation of the "New Alliance", which is intended to boost productivity, domestic and international private sector investments and supporting innovation and technology in Africa.
While criticism has dominated the EU's foreign policy in recent months, positive notes have appeared to prevail in the media last week. Following long negotiations, the first iEPA has come to pass: Four African countries, namely Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe, will gradually open their markets to European exports over the course of 15 years. The trade and development agreement concluded by the EU and the aforementioned African countries takes effect. “This is excellent news and I salute the hard work of negotiators and colleagues on all sides. With this trade deal we hope to accompany the development of our partners in Eastern and Southern Africa and open up better and lasting business opportunities", praised EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
Good news also came out of the Caribbean region, as weeks after the visit of Jolita Butkeviciene, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Directorate General for DEVCO, Guyana’s parliamentarians have unanimously approved a motion ratifying the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The Pacific region did not go unnoticed either, as the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Gordon Darcy Lilo, recalled the EU’s role as a “development driver”, and stressed that the EU would remain a key partner. He also noted that through Cotonou’s provisions the Solomons receive substantial assistance in crucial areas of development, such as agriculture or climate change.
-21/24 May: Plenary session (Strasbourg)
-21 & 24 May: Committee on Foreign Affairs
-21 May: Committee on Fisheries
Council of Ministers
-23 May: Coreper I
-23 May: Coreper II
-21 May: Consultations on the Pan-African Road Map on Cotton
-21 May: Stakeholders’ Workshop on the UNDP-sponsored on Future Perspectives of the ACP Group
-21 May: 6th meeting on ACP-EU Dialogue on Migration
-22 May: Meeting of Brussels-and Geneva-Based representatives of ACP Cotton-Producing Countries
-22 May: 17th Meeting of the COS-Coton
-23/30 May : Joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly (Horsens, Danemark)
-21/24 May: Customs 2013 Workshop – The role of Customs in Environmental Protection (Rønne, Denmark)
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