1602 Working Group News on Trade – February 2016

 1.       Nigeria’s President to the EU Parliament: Nigeria cannot sign the EPA in its present state


The Nigeria’s President spoke to the European Parliament about Nigeria’s concerns about the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) because the negative impact of the agreement on Nigeria’s industrialisation programme. He said that Nigeria was yet to sign the agreement because pertinent technical issues raised by the Federal Government have not been satisfactorily addressed. He urged to the EU partners to address Nigeria’s concerns to allow for an EPA that can contribute to the prosperity of its people.


Read More      Read More  (Reps to vet EPA with EU… lament textile industry collapse)


2.     Neuser MEP criticises the EPA EU-ECOWAS for the absence of a Sustainable Development Chapter


In this draft Neuser criticises the EPA (EU-ECOWAS) for the absence of a Sustainable Development Chapter, and makes suggestions for its implementation. With regard to the SD chapter he demands additional institutional guarantees before Parliament gives consent. This should come in the form of a protocol to establish a monitoring structure -involving civil society organisations- that should be able to take binding decisions eventually including suspension of the EPA in case of non-compliance with the ILO Decent Work Agenda. It is not clear whether S&D indeed would refuse to vote or will reject the EPA without the proposed protocol.


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3.        Eastern African (EAC) EPA


The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) has released a new report titled “The Implications of the EAC-EU EPA on Kenya’s Agriculture and its compatibility with the WTO Rules”. The report reveals the effects of implementing the initialled EAC-EU EPAs on Kenya’s agricultural sector which is a backbone of its economy. The initialled EPA agreement will favour large exporters, multinational agribusiness corporations and promotes the interests of the small elite with export business interests rather than respond to the needs of smallholder farmers. The report can be found here. There is no date for the EPA with EAC (See the text). It is not sure whether formalities have been concluded, but with the situation in Burundi the signing of the EPA is not seen as opportune in the EU.



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