On 9th December, Yentyl Williams, ACP YPN Founder and President and EU-ACP Trade expert, presented on ‘The Caribbean-EU EPA – Lessons for the African-EU EPAs’ at the 10th Ghent-Africa Platform Symposium, in Ghent on 9th December 2016. Her presentation is available here.
Yentyl presented 7 lessons based on her research on the EU-Cariforum EPA since 2011 to today. Yentyl explained the historic relations between the EU and the Caribbean as a ‘historic inevitability’, and the legally binding relations under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. Yentyl explained that the EPAs were meant to integrate the ACP countries into a WTO-compatible agreement. Indeed, former Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht summarised the challenges faced by the ACP countries in the following words: “as regards the economic fundamentals, the truth is that the current system has failed; that ACP countries have become increasingly marginalised in world trade, even with the generous tariff preferences since the Cotonou and Lomé agreements.”
Yentyl’s lessons include: 1) We should further investigate why critics state that WTO argument does not sell due to the incoherencies of Art. XXIV as an article designed for developed-developed countries; 2) We should learn from the cognitive failure between the two camps of EU and ACP officials; 3) Caricom regional integration is slow, even on pause, and this will impact implementation of the EPA, especially given political tensions between Caricom and Cariforum; 4) Any new agreement must overcome Walter Rodney’s ‘development-underdevelopment dialectic as oppose to deepening it; 5) Policy Coherent for Development is paramount; 6) There needs to be consultations with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs); 7) There are several models of development, and all future relations should be based on economic development.
See the other presentations on this panel by:
Prof. Dr. Jan Orbie, Economic Partnership Agreements and Regionalism
Dr. Sarah Deputte, The Parliamentary Dimension of Inter-Regionalism: the EU-ACP JPA
Dr. Frank Matteis, Comparing regionalism: Is Africa following Europe?
Marjolein Derous and Deborah Martens, EU regionalism the case of ASEAN and Central America
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