The EU-Africa Economic Partnership Agreements: Any Way Out?



The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) being negotiated by the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries are already causing great concern, because they threaten to undermine economic development in some of the World’s poorest and most vulnerable countries. That is, the EPAs, the European Union’s much vaunted trade and development agreements with ACP countries, are in complete disarry.Despite the passing of a key negotiating deadlines at the end of 2007 and 2009, and relentless pressure from European Commission (EC) negotiators, many countries in Africa have refused to sign any form of EPA (even though some have lost their tariff preferences as a result). The overall consequences for their economies are simply too threatening. That is African countries have little to gain from EPAs and are participating simply to try and retain their existing trade preferences with the EU. But it seems they have a great deal to lose if they sign up to and implement EPAs. There is a significant chance that EPAs will increase poverty and hunger, rather the reduce them, and have negative impacts on environment. This paper therefore suggests that the European Union must find alternative routes to assist ACP countries to develop fair and sustainable societies”

Keywords: Partnership, poverty, sustainable development, economic agreement, trade barriers, tariffs, cooperation, treaty, preferences.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-574X ISSN (Online)2224-8951

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