News / 25 September 2012

Invitation: EPA-negotiations: 10 years is enough?

On the 27 September 2012, the negotiations for European Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries mark their 10 year anniversary. But it is not really a time for celebration. 10 years on, EPAs negotiations continue to be fraught with concerns that when it comes to supporting development efforts and promoting regional integration, the EPAs will do more harm than good. Please join us for a debate on: "EPA negotiations: 10 years is enough?" at the Residence Palace, Brussels, 27 September 2012 from 9:30 to 11:30 am.


African countries have been strongest in resisting signing up to EU’s EPA approach which they don’t see as working in the interest of their economic future. The European Commission has proposed to withdraw duty-free-quota-free market access, which will put at risk some of the key export sectors of ACP countries. Those countries may feel compelled to ratify unsatisfactory (interim) EPA’s not because they think they are helpful, but just to safeguard their traditional exports. A choise between two evils, so to say.

Ideally, EPA negotiations should be concluded any time soon in a way that supports ACP development and regional integration, but is this a realistic option? Or should ACP countries walk out, create mechanisms to compensate increased EU tariffs, and concentrate on building their regional markets? These and other themes wille be discussed during the debate.

We hope that you will be able to join us!.


Obadiah Mailafia,                    Chef de Cabinet ACP Secretariat

Remco Vahl,                             Deputy Head of Unit, DG Trade

Peter Lunenborg,                    South Centre

Rangarirai Machemedze,       SEATINI Zimbabwe

Marc Maes,                               11.11.11


Facilitator: Kathleen van Hove, ECDPM

Speaking language will be English. Simultaneous interpretation to French will be available. Please register your interest with Marja Wolpher


On behalf of the organizers:

AITEC, Afrikagrupperna, Both ENDS, Comlamh, Oxfam Germany, Traidcraft, WEED, and 11.11.11.



Photo by saigneurdeguerre on Flickr                




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