Regional strategy programmes focus on preparations for EPAs
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CTA. 2002. Regional strategy programmes focus on preparations for EPAs. Agritrade, December 2002. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52554
The European Commission has signed three regional...
The European Commission has signed three regional co-operation strategy agreements with African countries. On 19th November it signed a regional strategy document for a €223 million programme for 2002-2007 with the Eastern, Southern African and Indian Ocean region. Under the focal area of 'economic integration and trade' emphasis is placed on the 'fostering of the free-trade area and the future creation of a customs union'. This is seen as important for enhancing the region's competitiveness and attracting investment. It also signed a similar regional co-operation strategy with the Southern African Development Community worth €101 million, again focussing on economic integration and trade. On the same day a regional co-operation strategy worth € 55 million was also signed with Central Africa. Comment: The new regional indicative programme for Southern Africa signed with SADC shows a decline in the aid allocation to the region and an increased emphasis on economic integration and trade, with around 40% of the total allocation being earmarked for this sector. This reflects the shift in the EU's emphasis from support for functional programmes of regional co-operation towards integration in preparation for the introduction of EPAS. It remains to be seen whether the regional institutional structures are strong enough to carry through successfully the new policy responsibilities implicit in this new focus for EU regional aid.