EPA Development Support: Consequences of GAERC conclusions for EPAs
This EPA Development Support InBrief series concentrates on the reforms, institutional development, accompanying measures and
financial support necessary to enable African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and regions to benefit from the potential
opportunities that a new trade regime such as economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with the European Union (EU) could offer
for their sustainable development.www.ecdpm.org/epasupportinbriefs.
The debate on development support to Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) is gaining centre stage in the talks between the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the European Union (EU). Continuous divergence between the parties over the merit of additional and possibly binding support to finance accompanying measures to EPA has hampered progress in all other areas of negotiation.
Despite numerous formal requests from the ACP to include development support as part of the EPA negotiations, the EU has argued that:
- the EPA negotiations as foreseen in the Cotonou Agreement were about negotiating trade and trade-related issues only, and not development financing;
- development assistance is already covered by the Cotonou Agreement through the European Development Fund (EDF); and lastly
- the European Commission (EC) does not have the mandate from EU Member States to enter negotiations or agreements on development assistance.