Economic Partnership
Agreements
Where are we and which way
forward?
Isabelle Ramdoo
12 November 2013, Helsinski
Structure of presentation
1. Setting the scene

2. Some key facts
3. Where are we now? Some figures and the state of play
...
1. Setting the scene: Key milestones
•

Prior to 2008: Lome to Cotonou Preferences: unilateral, nonreciprocal preferential...
2. Refresher: Key facts
•
•

Stage II 10/2003 – 2007: Regional negotiations
West Africa: 16 countries (ECOWAS + Mauritani...
3.a Where are we now?

ECDPM

Page 5
3.b Countries concerned by deadline and regime
applied in 2014

ECDPM
Page 6
3.c Who will be affected and by how much?
Biggest losers:
Fiji
(97.4%
exports)
•
Swaziland (96.3%)
Both sugar exporters
(€...
3. State of Play of current negotiations
1. ECOWAS: 2 main issues
1.
2.
3.

Market access offer
Development chapter (PAPED...
3. SADC:
1. Export taxes, MFN
2. South Africa/SACU market access both on agriculture and
NAMA; RoO cumulation with SA;
3. ...
4. Challenges ahead
•

Deadline 1st Oct. 2014

•

So far, on contention issues, little flexibility on both sides

•

Timel...
5. Risks ahead
• If agreements are concluded:
Timeline is unrealistic
 Risk of trade disruption pending ratification: ec...
6. Which way forward?
•

10 years on, all technical possibilities have been explored; but
yet no agreement

•

Becoming ev...
•

Best way is to prepare for the worst! But are we prepared for a
failure? What “extra-mile” are we ready to go or can we...
Thank you
www.ecdpm.org
Isabelle Ramdoo (ir@ecdpm.org)

Page 14
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Economic partnership agreements where are we and which way forward

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Isabelle Ramdoo
12 November 2013, Helsinski

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Economic partnership agreements where are we and which way forward

  1. 1. Economic Partnership Agreements Where are we and which way forward? Isabelle Ramdoo 12 November 2013, Helsinski
  2. 2. Structure of presentation 1. Setting the scene 2. Some key facts 3. Where are we now? Some figures and the state of play of the negotiations 4. Challenges ahead 5. What are the risks? 1. Which way forward? ECDPM Page 2
  3. 3. 1. Setting the scene: Key milestones • Prior to 2008: Lome to Cotonou Preferences: unilateral, nonreciprocal preferential market access BUT not compatible with WTO • Difficult, uncertain and costly WTO waivers between 2000-07 • Art 36 Cotonou Agreement: parties committed to start EPA negotiation to address WTO compatibility • Since 2008 – Trade outside of Cotonou agreement. EPAs are stand-alone agreements; • However: many unfinished negotiations – to avoid trade disruption, EC Reg. 1528/2007 – provisional application of EPAs for countries that had at least initialed an EPA (although interim) • Deadline to finalise all unfinished business: 1st October 2014 ECDPM Page 3
  4. 4. 2. Refresher: Key facts • • Stage II 10/2003 – 2007: Regional negotiations West Africa: 16 countries (ECOWAS + Mauritania) Central Africa: 8 countries East and Southern Africa: 11 countries (COMESA minus) East African Community: 5 countries (full region) Southern Africa – 6 countries + SA joined later (SADC minus) Caribbean region – 15 countries Pacific: Pacific Forum – 14 countries • • • • • • ECDPM Stage I 09/2002 – 09/2003: All ACP negotiations Since then: Only 1 full EPA (CARIFORUM) signed in 2008; 1 African region ESA (4 countries) signed in 2009 – all countries ratified. The remaining 17 countries (have agreements that are legally challenging Africa: CA (Cameroun signed in 2009, not ratified) West Africa: Ivory Coast and Ghana Page 4
  5. 5. 3.a Where are we now? ECDPM Page 5
  6. 6. 3.b Countries concerned by deadline and regime applied in 2014 ECDPM Page 6
  7. 7. 3.c Who will be affected and by how much? Biggest losers: Fiji (97.4% exports) • Swaziland (96.3%) Both sugar exporters (€339/tonne) • • Kenya and Namibia also likely to suffer Source: Bartels L & Goodison P (2011): EU Proposal to end preferences for 18 African and Pacific States : An Assessment – Trade Hot Topics, Commonwealth Secretariat – Figures are from 2009 ECDPM Page 7
  8. 8. 3. State of Play of current negotiations 1. ECOWAS: 2 main issues 1. 2. 3. Market access offer Development chapter (PAPED – additional resources) Other contentious issues: MFN Clause; EU Domestic subsidies and support to agriculture; Obligations to negotiate FTAs with countries where EU has CU (Turkey, San Marino, Andorra) 2. EAC: Mainly contentious issues 1.Export taxes; MFN, 2.RoO; 3.Agriculture; 4.non-execution clause (ICC/Kenya) ECDPM Page 8
  9. 9. 3. SADC: 1. Export taxes, MFN 2. South Africa/SACU market access both on agriculture and NAMA; RoO cumulation with SA; 3. infant/distress industries; 4. Central Africa: 1. Slow negotiations. 2. Key remaining issues include MA offer; MFN, Export taxes development 5. Pacific: Recently agreed to freeze negotiations because of fisheries 6. ESA: 1 outstanding issue: customs cooperation agreement but not an issue with deadline ECDPM Page 9
  10. 10. 4. Challenges ahead • Deadline 1st Oct. 2014 • So far, on contention issues, little flexibility on both sides • Timeline towards deadline: given pace of negotiations, even if negotiations are completed there might be problems with implementation • Risk of failure: Some countries might be left without preferences; likely implications for regional integration (Kenya? Ivory Coast? Cameroun? Swaziland?) ECDPM Page 10
  11. 11. 5. Risks ahead • If agreements are concluded: Timeline is unrealistic  Risk of trade disruption pending ratification: economically challenging and politically unacceptable • If trade talk collapse: some countries may sign for fear of market disruption; big risk for regional (dis)integration; multiple trade regimes applicable to exports to EU with negative impacts on RI Diplomatic and political challenges : EU-Africa Summit – risk of derailing strategic discussions; mistrust at level of countries/regions;  More broadly: geostrategic implications – partners might turn elsewhere ECDPM Page 11
  12. 12. 6. Which way forward? • 10 years on, all technical possibilities have been explored; but yet no agreement • Becoming evident that EPA has negative impact on the overall Europe-Africa relationship; • Increasingly urgent to promote positive and constructive atmosphere to maintain the broader strategic relations between Europe and Africa • Needs pragmatic and realistic solutions on both sides: outcome most likely to be resolved at political level • Important to weigh the political cost of a possible failure/ undesirable outcome within the broader EU-Africa relationship; ECDPM Page 12
  13. 13. • Best way is to prepare for the worst! But are we prepared for a failure? What “extra-mile” are we ready to go or can we afford to go? • Prepare for “smooth landing” if/when negotiations fail: agree to disagree and anticipate how to continue to engage constructively should that happen. ECDPM Page 13
  14. 14. Thank you www.ecdpm.org Isabelle Ramdoo (ir@ecdpm.org) Page 14

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