Economic Association Agreements – European Union

Economic Association Agreements – European Union: voting on Regulation No. 1528/2007 related to the suppression of the preferential Access to the European market

Tuesday 15 January 2013

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Canal: Antenna Africa FIDC.

Type of document: Petition.

Language: French.

Date: 14 January 2013.

Theme: Economic Association Agreements.

Keywords: Economic Association Agreements, European Union, voting at the European Parliament.

Esteemed members of the International Trade Commission from the European Parliament:

The European Parliament voted, in September 2012, against a proposal by the European Commission related to the suppression of the preferential access to markets for those countries which have not ratified, prior to January 2014, or were not in the way to undertake the first steps for the implementation of their economic association agreement.

The market access regulations 1528 guarantees a tax free access and without limitations to the European market for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) which have initiated a Provisional Economic Association Agreement (pEAA).

We are afraid that this threat of suppressing preferential access to markets will discourage ACP countries to ratify their Economic Association Agreements without taking some time to think whether they are for their benefit or not. The latter include a lot of contentious issues that should be taken into consideration so that ACP countries might have the hope of creating resistant economies, developing and struggling against poverty. The Council of Ministers of ACP rejected as well, this proposal and ratified its commitment to continue negotiations until attaining favorable development results.

We are requesting support for the voting by the Parliament non favoring this proposal by the Committee given the fact that:

- The deadline for January1st, 2014 is completely unreal.

- The pEAA have not been amended, although they include a lot of issues under debate and should not be ratified. The EAA in its present form endanger the future of development.

- The ACP regions continue negotiating to replace pEAA for the regional EEA, which should reflect in a better way their needs and priorities in development issues. Nevertheless, many of the issues under debate have not been solved, and quite to the contrary in some cases, the situation has even worsened. Also, the Commission has presented new issues having no relation whatsoever with the development needs of the implied regions.

- There is no legal reason justifying the amendments MAR 1528 proposed by the Commission prior to the conclusions of the negotiations for EAA.

We are requesting the reaffirmation of the position adopted by the Parliament, on first reading, rejecting the proposals presented by the Commission and the position of the Council and invite the Commission to take into consideration the concerns of ACP countries.

The undersigning organizations:

EUROPE Traidcraft Exchange, UK National Centre for Development Cooperation /CNCD, Belgium; KoordinationSüdlichesAfrikae.V., Bielefeld, Germany KirchlicheArbeitsstelleSüdlichesAfrika, Germany Welthaus Bielefeld e.V., Germany SOS Hunger-Belgium; Oxfam Solidarité FairWatch, Italy 11.11.11, Belgium Africa Contact, Denmark Afrikagrupperna / Groups of Sweden APRODEV ConcordDenmark Misereor, Deutschland Trade Justice Movement, UK Oxfam Germany Both ENDS, Netherlands Brotfuer die Welt, Germany.

ACP PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES, Nigeria BEACON, Kenya The Senegalese Social Forum; CONGAD, Senegal The Pan Africanist Youth Organizations, Senegal; Pan Africanism seen on education and sustainable development issues. Cenadep, RDC Proddes, RDC GARED TOGO/POSCAO-TOGO/OSCAF-TOGO CECIDE Guinea REPAOC, West and Central Africa NGO Platform Networks.

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