Outcome of the EPA launch
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CTA. 2002. Outcome of the EPA launch. Agritrade, November 2002. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52582
Although no consensus was reached on the intended ...
Although no consensus was reached on the intended outcome of the first phase of ACP-EU negotiations at the ACP-EU ministerial meeting on September 27th 2002, the ACP side did reach agreement on how it wished to see the negotiations conducted. From the ACP perspective they should be conducted at ministerial and ambassadorial level, with technical preparations being undertaken by the ACP Secretariat under the supervision of the Committee of Ambassadors. Negotiations will be conducted through six negotiating groups. Each will have a Ministerial spokesperson selected by the ACP Council with two alternate spokespersons. A parallel structure will be established at Ambassadorial level. Comment: Reports suggest that while the European Commission has agreed that an all-ACP structure of negotiations should be maintained throughout the negotiations it is less than enthusiastic about conducting substantive negotiations on issues of common concern to the ACP at the all-ACP level. The Commission is keen to move as quickly as possible to regional level negotiations. This poses a major problem for the ACP. If the Commission is unwilling to enter into substantive discussions at the pan-ACP level on issues of common concern, then it will be extremely difficult to make progress on an ACP-EU framework agreement which could provide the basis for regional level negotiations. This could fracture the unity of the ACP and accelerate the timeframe within which individual ACP regions initiate regional level negotiations with the EU.