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African and European CSOs Call on Governments to Pursue Alternative to EPAs

 A meeting of European and Africa civil society organisations has ended in Nairobi, Kenya, with a call for governments to "seriously pursue alternatives to EPAs". The meeting was organised by the Kenyan Human Rights Commission:

4. We strongly urge our governments to seriously pursue alternatives to EPAs. These      

include the:      

· prioritization of deeper of African regional integration;      

· Consideration of regional mechanisms to compensate for the loss of EU trade      

preferences to non-LDCs within a region, for example a solidarity fund as adopted by      

ECOWAS trade ministers in December 2011;      

· Enhancement of Everything But Arms (EBA) in line with the AU trade preferences      

proposal adopted by African trade ministers in December 2011;      

· Opting for EU GSP+.ii      

5. We are particularly concerned by the recent developments in the East African Community      

EPA negotiations. The consolidated negotiation text, as it currently stands, does not      

address the contentious issues as identified by the ACP Council in 2007 and African      

Union trade ministers in 2008. In fact, most of the contentious issues have not been      

amended at all while others have worsened. Moreover new issues have been put on the      

table by the European Commission that bear no relations to the development needs of the      

region.iii      




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