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Concluding EPA Negotiations: Legal and institutional issues

Bilal, San. (2007) Concluding EPA Negotiations: Legal and institutional issues. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are due to be concluded by 31 December 2007, so as to enter into force by 1 January 2008. All parties are currently committed to the timely conclusion of the EPA negotiations this year. However, some African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions or countries may not find themselves in a position to do so. The negotiations have been marred by delays, with numerous issues remaining to be addressed by the negotiators. The ACP countries and regions have faced serious constraints in their capacity to prepare for EPA negotiations and implementation. Besides, the European Union (EU) has not always responded as promptly as expected to various ACP requests and positions during the negotiations. As a result, EPA negotiations have generally progressed at a pace much slower than initially anticipated in the respective regional road maps. In this context, this study reviews the legal commitments and institutional arrangements necessary for the timely conclusion of the EPA negotiations and their application by 2008. It also considers the legal and institutional consequences of the failure by an ACP country or EPA regional grouping to sign an EPA by the end of 2007 or to later ratify it. This relates, among other things, to the legal status of the trade paragraphs and annexes of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), the waiver at the WTO, and cohesion aspects of regional integration. It is important to gain insight into these questions to determine the legal and institutional framework for the timely conclusion of the EPA negotiations so as to ensure EPA start being implemented as of 1 January 2008, as well as to identify the legally available options if the EPA negotiations are not finished in time or some ACP countries decide not to join an EPA. In doing so, careful consideration must be given to the WTO-compatibility requirements as well as the development objectives of the CPA. This is also important to stress what this study is not about. It is not the purpose of this study to assess whether EPAs should be concluded or not, and by when. Nor does it intend to assess the merits of an EPA or any alternative trading arrangement.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-ACP
    Other international institutions > GATT/WTO
    EU policies and themes > External relations > development
    EU policies and themes > External relations > international trade
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2008
    Page Range: p. 49
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:49

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