Outcome of the ministerial meeting of the ACP-EU in St Lucia
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CTA. 2003. Outcome of the ministerial meeting of the ACP-EU in St Lucia. Agritrade, March 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52939
Given the failure to make progress on major issues of concern to the ACP at the...
Given the failure to make progress on major issues of concern to the ACP at the level of pan-ACP-EU negotiations (including on agricultural issues), a number of ACP ministers questioned the advisability of launching the second phase of the negotiations at the sub-regional level in September 2003. ACP ministers expressed particular concern about the erosion of the value of preferences in such key areas as sugar and tuna. Comment: At ambassadorial level the EU has proved unwilling to respond to ACP concerns in a number of areas. This is most notably the case in the sphere of agriculture where the EU has shown a marked reluctance to even accept the establishment of a negotiating group on agricultural issues, preferring the issues to be dealt with in the market-access group. A further bone of contention is the EU's unwillingness to accept the need for additional resources to aid the process of restructuring ACP economies which will be required under moves towards free trade. The EU and ACP also remain divided on the outcome of the first phase, with the ACP favouring the conclusion of a framework agreement while the EU merely wants a general exploration of the issues with any formal agreements being deferred until the second phase. The absence of a Commission press release following the Ministerial Trade Committee meeting is probably indicative of the Commission's disappointment with how the negotiations are progressing.