The EU, Africa and economic partnership agreements:Unintended consequences of policy leverage. Christopher Stevens
- The European union rings the changes
- The Economic Partnership Agreements process
- The regional impact of Economic Partnership Agreements
- How to capture the scale of the challenge?
- Focusing on Eastern and Southern Africa
This article argues that Economic Partnership Agreements will hinder the process of regional integration in Africa as African countries may be encouraged to reinforce rather than eliminate barriers to the free circulation of goods between them, because of the choices they make in the details of their trade regimes with Europe. Since 1975, all of Sub-Saharan Africa benefits from a very favorable trade regime through the Lomé Conventions and, since 2000, the Cotonou Agreement. These agreements are due to be replaced in 2007 by EPAs which fulfill the requirements of the WTO for Free Trade Agreements. For a very long time, WTO member states, discriminated by the privileges granted to the ACP group, let the EU have such policies but they now challenge the EU's preference agreements. The WTO allows members who are creating an FTA or customs union to discriminate in favor of their partners and against outsiders, provided that EPAs result in the liberalization of 'substantially all' trade and that it is accomplished in a 'reasonable length of time'.
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