Free Trade? Sustainable Trade!



Trade agreements have far-reaching effects on the daily lives of people who at first glance have little to do with them. The 'Free Trade? Sustainable Trade!' project aims to draw attention to the effects of certain European trade agreements and the repercussions thereof for local communities in Southern developing nations.


The 'Free Trade? Sustainable Trade!' project focuses on two types of European free trade agreements. Firstly, the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs): EPAs are free trade agreements between the EU and 77 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific - the so-called ACS countries.

Secondly, the 'Free Trade? Sustainable Trade!' project focuses on Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs): RTAs are free trade agreements between the EU and specific regions such as CAN (Comunidad Andina de Naciones) in the Andes area and SADC (Southern African Development Community) in Southern Africa.

The 'Free Trade? Sustainable Trade!' project analyses free trade agreements on a macro level: what are the main lines and the effects of these EPAs and RTAs? But also on a micro level: how do the locals experience the effects of European free trade agreements and what are the repercussions for North-South relations? What does an EPA or RTA mean for a local farmer?


Both ENDS aims to draw the attention of a wider audience to the effects of free trade agreements. It does so in various ways, e.g. by organising events. Both ENDS organises expert meetings where strategic discussions are held between Both ENDS' partners and experts from the field. It also organises public meetings, where debates, based on information that is easy to understand, are held.

Both ENDS also publishes fact sheets and policy papers about EPAs and RTAs. Both ENDS strives to mobilise civil society organisations in the debate about free trade agreements. To this end, Both ENDS works with various civil society organisations to network and stimulate the exchange of information.


Eerlijke handel website

EPA website

ACP-EU trade website


Burghard Ilge, Projectleider


  • 2008 was an exciting year for the existence of EPAs. Probably this year there will be decided if the EPAs will be continued and if so in what form. 2008 will be an interesting year also for the RTAs: new regions for negotiation have come and new developments are in progress. 
  • January 2008 a big manifestation was held in Brussels. Both ENDS was there together with members of the African Diaspora. Photos: Manifestation in Brussels 2008
  • On the 10th of April 2008 an international meeting about global trade negotiations was held in The Hague. This expert meeting brought together perspectives about global trade from the European Commission, the academic realm and the Global South. Download here the Policy Note The development impacts of the new EU trade agenda with the arguments presented by Both ENDS. 


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