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The Cotonou Agreement - New Perspective for European Trade Policy?


The Cotonou Agreement

New Perspective for European Trade Policy?

Documentation
International Conference in Preparation of the Negotiations between the EU and ACP Countries on Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreements

June 2002
92 pages
ISBN 3-9808227-0-2
2.50 Euro (add shipping and handling)

The countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) are to a large extend marginalised in world trade. 25 years of EU-ACP co-operation under the framework of successive Lomé conventions have not been able to significantly change this. The new Cotonou Agreement, signed on 23. June 2000 in the capital of Benin, puts increasing emphasis on the liberalisation of trade relations between the EU and the group of countries (ACP).

The new EU-ACP agreement foresees the beginning of negotiations for so called 'Economic Partnership Agreements' (EPAs) between the European Union and the ACP countries in September 2002, to be concluded by January 2008 at the latest. Before the negotiations start, ACP countries are expected to finalise the regional configuration in which they will begin negotiations on new trade agreements with the EU. Discussions on the European negotiating directives are currently in a final stage, the ACP group is expected to present its negotiating mandate later this year.

Against this background terre des hommes Germany, World Economy, Ecology & Development (Weed) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation held an international conference entitled "The Cotonou Agreement - New Perspective for European Trade Policy?" on the 7. and 8. March, 2002, in Berlin. It was the organ-isers objective to subject the strategies and aims of European trade policy towards the ACP countries in its totality to critical examination and investigate its underlying political tendencies. The organisers intended to contribute to a broad debate on the direction of future EU regional trade policy and to formulate political expectations and recommendations for political actors in Berlin and Brussels. Furthermore, it is of utmost importance to include the general public in the broad debate on the ecological and social impacts of trade agreements.

The present publication reflects the debate surrounding three main areas:
I. Who profits from free trade - environmental and social impacts of re-gional trade and investment agreements
II. European trade policy initiatives for a balanced and sustainable partnership with southern countries - implica-tions for EU, ACP and trade co-operation
III. Policy requirements for future trade and economic co-operation agreements.

In order to encourage a lively and informed debate, a number of non state actors from African countries and from the secretariat of COMESA were invited. From the European side, the Director of DG Trade, the Director of the Secretariat of the Development Committee of the European Parliament and a representative from the ACP Secretariat, all of whom are involved in the preparation of the upcoming negotiations, participated in the conference. Several representatives of European NGOs presented their views on future ACP-EU economic co-operation. In addition, a representative from the Federal Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development joined the debate.

The organisers express their hope that this publication serves as a timely contribution to the current discussions, clarification of issues and development of strategies to ensure that the forthcoming negotiations between the EU and ACP countries will serve the ultimate aim of sustainable development in ACP countries.

Peter Eisenblätter, terre des hommes
Klaus Schilder, World Economy, Ecology & Development
Volker Vinnai, Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation


Content:

I. WHO PROFITS FROM FREE TRADE? - ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPACTS OF REGIONAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS

  • Impact and Consequences of Trade Liberalisation Policies. Klaus Schilder
  • Regional Integration and Liberalisation - Challenges to SADC in Negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) Rev. Malcolm Damon
  • Regional Co-operation and Integration in the Caribbean. - The Effects of New ACP-EU Trading Arrangements. Lingston Cumberbatch
  • Which Role for the New Actors? - Civil Society Participation in the Cotonou Process. Bibiane Mbaye Gahamanyi

II. EUROPEAN TRADE POLICY INITIATIVES FOR A BALANCED AND SUSTAINABLE PARTNERSHIP WITH SOUTHERN COUNTRIES

  • European Trade Policy Following Doha Increasingly Regional? Initiatives for a Balanced and Sustainable Partnership. Evita Schmieg
  • Cotonou in Its Regional and Multilateral Context. Christopher Stevens
  • To Sign or Not to Sign? EPAs and Alternative Options for EU-ACP Negotiations.
    Paul Goodison
  • The MAI through the Back Door? Investment Liberalisation in Regional Free Trade Agreements. Sabina Voogd
  • Options for Participation of ACP and EU Civil Society. Simon Stocker

III. ON THE EVE OF NEGOTIATIONS - POLICY REQUIREMENTS FOR FUTURE TRADE AND ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AGREEMENTS

  • Summary of Policy Dialogues onTrade Policy, Investment Policies and Civil Society Participation

IV. SUMMARY / ZUSAMMENFASSUNG

V. AUTHORS

VI. SELECTED RESOURCES

VII. ANNEX - ACP and EU Negotiating Mandate


The documentation "The Cotonou Agreement - New Perspective for European Trade Policy?" can be ordered online or by sending an email to Klaus Schilder
The complete documentation can also be downloaded as compressed PDF-File (2.405 Kb)
PDF-Download

The conference is jointly organised by

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