ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! TIME TO ABANDON THE E.P.A. CHARADE!!
(STATEMENT OF GLOBAL EPA STRATEGY MEETING, HARARE)
WE, organisations of civil society from Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe campaigning on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe from 8-
We therefore demand the abandonment of the EPA processes — i.e. negotiations, ratifications and/or implementations. Instead, ACP governments must re-
It is now over ten years since the EPA negotiations were launched. In that time, only the Caribbean region has managed to conclude their negotiations in full. However, the resulting EPA has not lived up to its developmental expectations. Instead, the anticipated benefits for Caribbean people have been frustrated by procedural small-
An additional handful of other countries in Africa have concluded interim EPAs with the EU. These are fraught with contentious provisions which have impeded further movement. And the EU has resorted to the extreme measure of withdrawing market access offers from countries which do not take necessary steps towards ratification of the concluded interim agreements.
The remaining majority of countries (in Africa) have yet to conclude any agreement with the EU. Some have lost any interest and no longer participate, others are trying to negotiate regional EPAs that could replace the interim EPAs. Here again negotiations are stuck in acrimonious dead-
The prospects of regional integration, a supposed aim of the EPAs, have been damaged even further. In Africa, contentious negotiations and partial agreements have pitted neighbouring countries against each other; and existing groupings and mechanisms of regional integration are being distorted into facilitating European interests in Africa. Similarly, in the Caribbean, where a comprehensive EPA has been concluded, the fractious implementation process has put common regional relations in further jeopardy.
In the meantime, the global economic and political situation has changed dramatically since the negotiations were launched, and all parties to the negotiations are faced with economic challenges not anticipated before.
Declaration of civil society organisations at the meeting of the Africa Trade Network, Cape Town, South Africa
22nd February 2008
We, civil society organisations, including farmers, workers, women’s, faith-
At our meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, from 20-
When the EPA negotiations were launched, civil society organisations from all over Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific and Europe warned that the EPAs were profoundly anti-
The latest developments in these negotiations have exposed even more sharply the fundamental outrage represented by the EPAs.
At the end of 2007, Europe deployed manipulative and heavy-
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