On the importance of Monitoring Economic Partnership Agreements: Principles and concrete steps for the negotiations and beyond
As the contours and implications of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries gradually emerge, it is becoming clear that careful consideration needs to be given to the challenges of their implementation, which for certain ACP countries that signed Interim EPAs is due to start in 2008.
As reflected in the provisions of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, the parties involved in EPA negotiations, have agreed that the new free trade arrangements should, first and foremost, be instruments for development. However, the prospect of EPAs has raised serious concerns about their capacity to actually deliver on development. The impact of the EPAs on poverty and poverty eradication, on ACP regional integration processes and on the unity of the ACP group have been called into question, as well as the merits of reciprocal market opening, the capacity of the ACP to negotiate and implement EPAs and the linkages and coherence of the agreements with the ongoing Doha Round at the WTO.
Photo By Dietmar Temps