EPAWATCH negotiations update
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 2003. EPAWATCH negotiations update. Agritrade, June 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52467
EPAWATCH posted a Negotiations Update on May 18th 2003 highlighting the lack of...
EPAWATCH posted a Negotiations Update on May 18th 2003 highlighting the lack of movement in the pan-ACP-EU negotiations, which it puts down to the fact that the European Commission 'never was in favour of such an exercise' but 'wanted to start regional negotiations straightaway'. It outlines the different approaches of the two parties to the structure of negotiations and lists the issues that the ACP would like to see addressed in the first pan-ACP phase. It notes the disagreements over support for economic restructuring: 'very little trade-related aid is allocated through the regional and country strategy papers'. It maintains that more funding will be needed for restructuring, but that if this comes from other EDF allocations it would mean 'taking money away from other development targets'. It argues that 'it would be unfair and contradictory to let poor developing countries pay for giving Europe access to their markets.' At the political level it notes the EC efforts at 'breaking the ACP ranks by obtaining a joint statement from ECOWAS announcing the beginning of regional trade negotiations between both parties in September' and points out the concerns that this has raised in the ACP. The update provides direct links to six source documents on current developments in the EPA negotiations. Comment: Although the ACP as a group has been highly critical of the Commissioner's approach to the negotiations, it should be noted that it is yet to provide schedules for the detailed discussions of the major issues of concern. This in part reflects the difficulty in gaining consensus within such a large group, and partly the fact that what trade negotiating capacity exists in ACP governments is largely focussed on the preparation for the WTO meeting in Cancun in September 2003. This leaves many ACP ambassadors to Brussels (but by no means all) without any effective support from their trade ministries, finance ministries and agricultural ministries in preparing negotiating positions.