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Briefings and background notes

Some legal issues related to the EPAs


Bilal, S. 2007. Some legal issues related to the EPAs. Meeting of the ACP Legal Experts, ACP House, Brussels, 9-11 October. Maastricht: ECDPM.

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The purpose of this note is to address some of the legal commitments related to the conclusion of the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) negotiations and their application by 2008.

The Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) sets out the basic parameters for the negotiations of EPAs, particularly the key timeline and procedures (CPA Article 37). In September 2002, the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States initiated negotiations on EPAs as foreseen by the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. These new trade agreements should lead to all of the following (CPA Articles 36(1) & 37 (7)):
− the progressive removal of barriers to trade between the EU and the ACP;
− enhanced cooperation ‘‘in all areas relevant to trade’’
− in a manner compatible to the rules of the WTO prevailing at the conclusion of the EPA negotiations,,
− taking into account the level of development and capacity of the ACP countries

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Economic recovery and transformationBackground notesBriefings and background notesEconomic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)