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Parliamentary questions
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18 April 2019
E-002028-19
Question for written answer E-002028-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Danilo Oscar Lancini (ENF) , John Stuart Agnew (ENF)

 Subject:  South Africa: violation of the Cotonou Agreement
 Answer in writing 

Relations between the EU and South Africa are primarily governed by the Cotonou Agreement and the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement. Article 9(1) of the Cotonou Agreement states: ‘Cooperation shall be directed towards sustainable development centred on the human person, who is the main protagonist and beneficiary of development; this entails respect for and promotion of all human rights’.

South Africa and the EU have also signed the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Under this agreement, the EU has removed tariffs on 98.7% of imports from South Africa. Article 2 of the SADC EPA recalls that the agreement is based on respect for human rights, the rule of law and democracy. It confirms that under the Cotonou Agreement ‘appropriate measures’ can be taken (including suspension of the agreement) if a party fails to fulfil its obligations in respect of these fundamental principles.

Having regard to the fact that serious human rights violations are taking place in South Africa (farm murders, acts of racial discrimination and expropriation without compensation), does the Commission intend to take appropriate measures in response to the South African government’s failure to fulfil its obligations in respect of the fundamental principles set out in the Cotonou Agreement?

Last updated: 3 May 2019Legal notice