13 Sep Cariforum Eu Epa Agreement
One view is that the EPA is an important step forward in trade relations, which will greatly benefit the region. On the other hand, some see it as a detriment to the region and perhaps a total capitulation of CARIFORUM to the EU. They argue that resurrecting World Trade Organisation (WTO) policies and circumventing obstacles in Doha is part of an overall EU strategy. During this debate, both sides try to support their views by referring to the text of the agreement. The aim of this review is to shed light on the issues that feed into this debate, particularly in the areas of market access, the impact on customs revenues and the impact on regional integration. This revision also attempts to clarify and distill some of the main contentious issues related to the EPA and to integrate them into the subsequent discussion on an implementation plan. The approach is based on a detailed study of the text of the EPA and its annexes, as well as in-depth discussions with some of the main negotiators on the CarIFORUM page. The interviews were conducted both in their personal capacity and on the Internet, as many of the regional negotiating acts live or work outside the region. The critic also participated in presentations and discussions with some of the main regional critics of the agreement.
The provisional application of the Agreement referred to in Article 243 began on 29 December 2008, after Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia, Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the European Community notified the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union of the completion of the procedures for the provisional application of he Economic Partnership Agreements between the Cariforum States and the European Community. CARIFORUM – CEPOL entered into force provisionally in December 2008. The agreement is reviewed every five years. In 2000, the European Union and 78 ACP countries, including 15 Caribbean countries, signed the Cotonou Agreement. CARICOM`s relations with the EU are governed by this agreement. The Cotonou Agreement has a duration of twenty years and contains a clause allowing for a five-year review. All CARICOM members, with the exception of Montserrat, have signed and ratified the Cotonou Agreement. The non-reciprocal trade preferences of Lomé IV will continue to be applied during a transitional period (2000-2007). Article 37 of the Cotonou Agreement also provided for the negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
The EPAs will replace the trade chapters in the Cotonou Agreement. Epa negotiations between the Caribbean and the EU opened on 16 April 2004 in Kingston, Jamaica. The negotiations were organized in four phases: (i) the first would focus on measures to accelerate the integration of CARIFORUM and to define guidelines for an EPA to be implemented by 1 January 2008; (ii) the second phase would focus on meetings of the technical negotiating groups; (iii) the third phase would serve to consolidate the discussions and points of the joint agreement in a draft EPA agreement; and (iv) the final step would be the conclusion of the agreement. . . .