18. 9. 2021 Od admin Off

Economic Partnership Agreement Africa

The EU`s trade relations with ACP countries are governed by the Cotonou Partnership Agreement signed in 2000 between the EU, its Member States and acp countries. Given that this comprehensive political, economic and development partnership expires in 2020, the parties are currently negotiating a successor agreement (the so-called „post-Cotonou“ agreement). The Cotonou Agreement allows EU and ACP countries to negotiate development-oriented free trade agreements, known as EPAs. The EPAs are firmly anchored in the objectives of sustainable development, human rights and development cooperation, which are at the heart of the Cotonou Agreement. Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are trade and development agreements negotiated between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and regions. The EPAs with sub-Saharan African countries and other EU free trade agreements with North African countries are building blocks that contribute to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the long-term prospect of a free trade agreement between continents. The EPAs already contain useful trade instruments for the construction of the AfCFTA. They provide a solid framework for regional trade and investment between the EPA partners themselves and with the EU. They also strengthen the trading capacity of the EU`s partners. The EU is implementing seven Economic Partnership Agreements with 32 partners, including 14 in Africa. The main objective of epas is to use trade and investment for sustainable development.

The content of the agenda will be broadened, with agreements covering new topics such as services and investment. This is why the EPAs provide for special regimes for this specific group. Unlike other ACP countries, the group of least developed countries is called upon to reject the EPAs and continue trade relations under the Everything But Arms (EBA) Regulation. This amendment to the EC`s Generalised System of Preferences, launched by the Council of Ministers in 2001, has since regulated trade relations between the EU and the least developed countries that have opted for this possibility and gives duty-free access to all products from the least developed countries without quantitative restrictions, with the exception of weapons and ammunition. This provision, while facilitating the situation of least developed countries under the new trade regime, has also been criticised because the EBA initiative prevents least developed countries from opening their markets to EU products under an EPA. Another weakness of the EBA`s initiative is that it uses the GSP rules of origin, which require a two-stage transformation for textiles and clothing. In contrast, the EPA rules of origin allow for a single-step transformation for exports from these sectors. This is one of the reasons why Mozambique and Lesotho (both LDCs) initialled the EU`s interim EPA in November 2007 and signed the agreement in July 2009. Angola (the other LDC in the SADC EPA configuration) has decided to continue trade under the EBA, given that its main exports to the EU are oil and diamonds, which are duty- and quota-free as „fully obtained“ originating products, in accordance with EBA rules of origin. . .

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