Trade talks set to disrupt Africa-Europe relations.
Talks towards free trade between the European Union (EU) and Sub-Saharan African countries could seriously sour the political relations between the two continents and potentially jeopardise their Summit next April. After over ten years of negotiations, the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are due to be completed over the next few months. Failure to do so by October 2014 – a deadline unilaterally set by the EU – will mean that some African countries will lose their preferential access to the European market. Based on a new ECDPM paper, San Bilal writes in ‘This is Africa’ on the ongoing process, saying the challenge is that negotiations on EPAs, meant to be concluded on a regional basis, are still bogged down by some remaining technical issues that negotiators seem unable to overcome. It is time to take more explicit account of the political nature and interests behind this EPA process, so as to encourage more strategic diplomacy. ECDPM also released a paper asking what would it take to make an EPA economically and politically feasible for Europe and Africa?
Don’t miss the monthly EPAs update
Keep up to date with the monthly ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) update from ECDPM. Each month in our GREAT Insights magazine we provide a unique service with the latest news on the trade talks between the EU and ACP countries. Last month we covered the The 97th ACP Ministerial Trade Committee and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meeting that led to the new West African customs union. The update covers West Africa, the Eastern African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC).