35

result(s)

Word(s)
Publication type
Policy area
Author
Keyword
Date

An overview of the EU-ACP countries' economic partnership agreements: Building a new trade relationship

03-07-2018

In line with the objective enshrined in the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (signed in 2000), the EU has sought to update its preferential trade relationship with the ACP countries by establishing free-trade areas with regional groupings. As well as allowing ACP countries to continue exporting their products to the EU without any restriction, this would also ensure compliance with WTO rules. The negotiation process has been longer and more complicated than initially expected. So far, it has ushered ...

In line with the objective enshrined in the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (signed in 2000), the EU has sought to update its preferential trade relationship with the ACP countries by establishing free-trade areas with regional groupings. As well as allowing ACP countries to continue exporting their products to the EU without any restriction, this would also ensure compliance with WTO rules. The negotiation process has been longer and more complicated than initially expected. So far, it has ushered in nine agreements covering more than half (51) of the ACP countries. Some of these agreements are interim, others are final; seven are already under provisional application. Economic partnership agreements are development-oriented asymmetric agreements providing important advantages and safeguards to ACP countries, in order to foster their sustainable economic development, regional integration and integration on world markets. They are the first attempt to liberalise trade between economies with such a disparate level of development, which also possibly explains the difficulties encountered during the negotiations. Despite the EU's initial ambitions to conclude modern comprehensive agreements that also cover trade in services and trade-related issues, this has been fully possible only in the EPA with the Cariforum region; in the other EPAs, these elements have been left for future negotiations.

A renewed partnership with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific

17-04-2018

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the above-mentioned impact assessment (IA), which originally accompanied the joint communication on a renewed partnership with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, published on 22 November 2016. Subsequently, on 12 December 2017, the Commission adopted a recommendation for a Council decision authorising the opening of negotiations with the countries of the Cotonou Agreement, which was referred to ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the above-mentioned impact assessment (IA), which originally accompanied the joint communication on a renewed partnership with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, published on 22 November 2016. Subsequently, on 12 December 2017, the Commission adopted a recommendation for a Council decision authorising the opening of negotiations with the countries of the Cotonou Agreement, which was referred to Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET). The Commission considers the analysis and conclusions of the impact assessment conducted in 2016 for the joint communication to be valid for the December 2017 recommendation for the opening of negotiations, which are to begin officially before 1 September 2018.

European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD)

13-11-2017

The Commission took the opportunity provided by the September 2016 proposal for mid-term review/revision of the 2014-2020 MFF to propose the creation of a new innovative financial instrument – the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). The EFSD is part of the partnership framework for cooperation with countries with high irregular emigration and is one of the pillars of the new external investment plan, inspired by the success of the investment plan for Europe. This plan, one of the legislative ...

The Commission took the opportunity provided by the September 2016 proposal for mid-term review/revision of the 2014-2020 MFF to propose the creation of a new innovative financial instrument – the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). The EFSD is part of the partnership framework for cooperation with countries with high irregular emigration and is one of the pillars of the new external investment plan, inspired by the success of the investment plan for Europe. This plan, one of the legislative priorities for 2017, listed in the Joint Declaration by the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission of 13 December 2016 is an important building block of the reformed EU migration policy. The new fund aims to mobilise EU grants to catalyse investment from public and private sources to tackle the root causes of migration in the European neighbourhood and Africa, while helping to achieve the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals. Some NGOs have voiced concern, fearing the use of development policy resources for migration management purposes and in pursuit of European private-sector interests. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

International Agreements in Progress: Economic Partnership Agreement with the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

13-09-2017

In line with the objective of the Cotonou Agreement to establish a World Trade Organization-compatible trade regime with ACP countries, in 2002 the EU started negotiations on free trade agreements with different ACP regional configurations. One of these is the SADC EPA Group – of southern African countries, including South Africa. The negotiations were long but the final outcome is a compromise that has been accepted by all parties, with the exception of Angola which did not endorse the Economic ...

In line with the objective of the Cotonou Agreement to establish a World Trade Organization-compatible trade regime with ACP countries, in 2002 the EU started negotiations on free trade agreements with different ACP regional configurations. One of these is the SADC EPA Group – of southern African countries, including South Africa. The negotiations were long but the final outcome is a compromise that has been accepted by all parties, with the exception of Angola which did not endorse the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), but has an option to join in the future. The Agreement establishes an asymmetric free trade area, taking into account the disparities in the level of development between the EU and its African partners, which can shield sensitive products from EU competition. It emphasises sustainable development as an overarching objective, includes important safeguards in order to protect sensitive sectors from sudden surges in trade, and gives African countries the possibility to preserve their policy space in order to industrialise. The Agreement was signed in June 2016 and entered into provisional application on 10 October 2016, after being ratified by five of the six African countries and the European Parliament. It is now in the process of ratification by EU national parliaments. Second edition. The ‘International Agreements in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the process, from initial discussions through to ratification. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 586.661, 7 September 2016.

Decentralised cooperation in the context of the 2030 Agenda

16-06-2017

Cooperation between sub-national authorities is a potentially powerful tool for the local implementation and public ownership of the 2030 Agenda. Without application at every level that ambitious, comprehensive agenda might never come to fruition.

Cooperation between sub-national authorities is a potentially powerful tool for the local implementation and public ownership of the 2030 Agenda. Without application at every level that ambitious, comprehensive agenda might never come to fruition.

Addressing Developing Countries’ Challenges in Free Trade Implementation

02-02-2017

The present study places the potential effects of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) liberalisation on government revenue in signatory states within the broader context of regional integration and global liberalisation. Based on a review of the secondary literature it finds that the revenue effect may be severe in some, but by no means all, cases and that the forecasts now need to be updated by country-level studies using the details of liberalisation schedules actually agreed. The evidence also ...

The present study places the potential effects of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) liberalisation on government revenue in signatory states within the broader context of regional integration and global liberalisation. Based on a review of the secondary literature it finds that the revenue effect may be severe in some, but by no means all, cases and that the forecasts now need to be updated by country-level studies using the details of liberalisation schedules actually agreed. The evidence also suggests that poor countries find it very hard to replace government revenue lost through liberalisation but that where there have been successes the measures taken include those needed to increase any gains from regional and global trade integration. Such reforms require sustained commitment (by donors and recipients) over many years. The stresses created by EPAs (and regional liberalisation) increase the need for such commitment; but they also offer an opportunity since they include an appropriate framework for providing appropriate assistance. Yet data on flows of aid for trade do not indicate that an adequate commitment has yet been made. Six recommendations are made on actions that the European Parliament might champion to reduce the risks of an ‘EPA revenue squeeze’ in ways that support recipients’ capacity to benefit from greater regional and global integration.

External author

Isabella MASSA and Christopher STEVENS (Overseas Development Institute)

ACP-EU relations after 2020: The end of an era

16-12-2016

One of the main building blocks of EU external relations, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP), is set to expire in 2020. Due to EU institutional evolution and changes in the global balance of powers, a renewal 'as is' of the agreement is not an option. There is a need to streamline ACP-EU relations, with new EU strategies in the regions concerned, and to adapt to the ACP countries' new ambitions. The issue of financing is also on ...

One of the main building blocks of EU external relations, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP), is set to expire in 2020. Due to EU institutional evolution and changes in the global balance of powers, a renewal 'as is' of the agreement is not an option. There is a need to streamline ACP-EU relations, with new EU strategies in the regions concerned, and to adapt to the ACP countries' new ambitions. The issue of financing is also on the table. Stakeholders have started discussions, focusing on the overlaps with other frameworks and the assets that should be kept or reformed. The main challenge for the EU is to keep its leverage in the region while remaining faithful to the values the EU Treaties promote. The EU's new relationship with the ACP countries will have to be consistent with recent strategic changes in its foreign policy, such as the EU global strategy. Formal negotiations between the parties need to start in August 2018 at the latest. Further to a joint evaluation, the European Commission and the High Representative have put forward their preferred option: an umbrella agreement with tailored regional partnerships. To date, other stakeholders have not yet taken formal positions, but some discernible patterns are emerging. This briefing develops and updates an 'At a glance' note of September 2016.

ACP-EU relations beyond 2020

27-09-2016

Twenty-eight European Union (EU) Member States and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries are legally bound by the provisions of the Cotonou Agreement, with its three intertwined pillars: a political dimension, development strategies and economic and trade cooperation. In February 2020, the Cotonou Agreement will expire and a new relationship has to be designed, taking into account the achievements and shortcomings of the agreement. The EU position is expected by May 2017. The European ...

Twenty-eight European Union (EU) Member States and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries are legally bound by the provisions of the Cotonou Agreement, with its three intertwined pillars: a political dimension, development strategies and economic and trade cooperation. In February 2020, the Cotonou Agreement will expire and a new relationship has to be designed, taking into account the achievements and shortcomings of the agreement. The EU position is expected by May 2017. The European Parliament's consent will be required before a new agreement is concluded.

International Agreements in Progress: Economic Partnership Agreement with the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

07-09-2016

In line with the objective of the Cotonou Agreement to establish a World Trade Organization compatible trade regime with ACP countries, in 2002 the EU started negotiations on free trade agreements with different ACP regional configurations. One of these is the SADC EPA Group – of southern African countries, including South Africa. The negotiations were long but the final outcome is a compromise that has been accepted by all parties, with the exception of Angola which did not endorse the Economic ...

In line with the objective of the Cotonou Agreement to establish a World Trade Organization compatible trade regime with ACP countries, in 2002 the EU started negotiations on free trade agreements with different ACP regional configurations. One of these is the SADC EPA Group – of southern African countries, including South Africa. The negotiations were long but the final outcome is a compromise that has been accepted by all parties, with the exception of Angola which did not endorse the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), but has an option to join in the future. The Agreement establishes an asymmetric free trade area, taking into account the disparities in the level of development between the EU and its African partners, which can shield sensitive products from EU competition. It emphasises sustainable development as an overarching objective, includes important safeguards in order to protect sensitive sectors from sudden surges in trade, and gives African countries the possibility to preserve their policy space in order to industrialise. The Agreement was signed in June 2016 and has now to be concluded. Parliament is scheduled to decide whether to give its consent to the Council Decision on the conclusion of the EPA, on behalf of the EU, during its September 2016 plenary session. "A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html"

Research for PECH Committee - Impact of Fisheries Partnership Agreements on Employment in the EU and in Third Countries

15-07-2016

This study describes the situation of employment linked to the fourteen existing Fisheries Partnership Agreements, which the EU has entered into with third countries. It estimates the numbers of persons employed in both the EU and third country partners and where possible attributes numbers of posts to regions and specific Agreements. The study concludes that the EU’s policy of supporting fisheries access to third country waters via the Fisheries Partnership Agreements has had a positive impact on ...

This study describes the situation of employment linked to the fourteen existing Fisheries Partnership Agreements, which the EU has entered into with third countries. It estimates the numbers of persons employed in both the EU and third country partners and where possible attributes numbers of posts to regions and specific Agreements. The study concludes that the EU’s policy of supporting fisheries access to third country waters via the Fisheries Partnership Agreements has had a positive impact on employment in fisheries dependent areas of the European Union and partner countries.

External author

Ian Goulding

Partners

Stay connected

email update imageEmail updates system

You can follow anyone or anything linked to the Parliament using the email updates system, which sends updates directly to your mailbox. This includes the latest news about MEPs, committees, the news services or the Think Tank.

You can access the system from any page on the Parliament website. To sign up and receive notifications on Think Tank, simply submit your email address, select the subject you are interested in, indicate how often you want to be informed (daily, weekly or monthly) and confirm the registration by clicking on the link that will be emailed to you.

RSS imageRSS feeds

Follow all news and updates from the European Parliament website by making use of our RSS feed.

Please click on the link below to configure your RSS feed.