ECOWAS agree on opening regional negotiations
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CTA. 2003. ECOWAS agree on opening regional negotiations. Agritrade, June 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52954
The EU and West Africa have agreed to open negotiations for an economic...
The EU and West Africa have agreed to open negotiations for an economic partnership agreement in September 2003, according to a European Commission press release of April 20th 2003. The EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy described the agreement as 'a very important step forward in the EU/ACP common project of making trade contribute to development'. ECOWAS ministers will now meet in July 2003 to finalise the region's preparations for the opening of the negotiations. Comment: There are concerns in the ACP Group that 'ECOWAS has only a vague mandate from the states of the region' according to reports from Agra Europe. The ACP group deals with sovereign ACP governments and until such times as the governments of the region concerned explicitly make known who will negotiate EPAs on their behalf the secretariat of the ACP group will simply take note of the information. This ACP position reflects mounting frustration at the lack of progress in the phase 1 negotiations, where the ACP wants a minimum of firm commitments at the all-ACP level (incorporated into a framework agreement) before proceeding to regionally based negotiations.