Eu Trade Agreements With Africa

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The European Union has free trade agreements [1] and other agreements with a trade component with many countries around the world and negotiates with many other countries. [2] South Africa passed an investment protection law in 2015 after the end of most bilateral investment contracts with EU countries. Established in 2015, the EU Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Southern Africa offers a coherent approach to the issues of concern to European companies investing in the region. The overall goal of EPAs is to contribute, through trade, to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in ACP countries. However, it is important to recognize that such laudable campaigns by African civil society and business leaders can only partially mitigate the expected impact of the EPA on development, unless there are cross-cutting policy changes – and the EU does not recognise the injustice of its trade agreements. It is therefore essential that EU officials are constantly reminded of their so-called promises to reduce poverty in Africa when they are linked to African counterparts on the agreement succeeding Cotonou. EU officials must repeatedly be asked to listen to the continuing concerns that EPAs will undermine Africa`s sustainable development prospects – and that their civil society dialogues and aid-for-trade initiatives are completely inadequate. They should be asked to recognize that such initiatives cannot organize the circle and make unfair trade agreements development opportunities. However, it seems worrying that a major renegotiation of EPAs is currently being ruled out, with the European Commission (2017; 2018) insisting that its trade agreements are in line with UN sustainable development targets. If the EU does not take its responsibility in the fight against poverty seriously by returning to the EPAs, any successor in Cotonou will be fatally undermined from the outset. The European Court of Justice has ruled that the provisions relating to arbitration between the investor state (including a special tribunal under some free trade agreements) fall within the shared jurisdiction between the European Union and its Member States and that, for this reason, their ratification should be authorised by both the EU and each of the 28 Member States. [82] For European Council President Charles Michel, who met with African leaders on the sidelines of the Addis Ababa summit, and other EU leaders, the enthusiasm for the free trade regime raises hopes that the EU can compete for influence with China and the United States, the major powers that prefer bilateral relations.

Some EU officials fear that the US is trying to undermine the Agreement on Africa by reaching agreements with individual countries that make it difficult to define common standards. This requires more engagement and interaction on both sides and at all levels. I am engaged in that process. I have known the continent well during my tenure as Commissioner for Agriculture and look forward to continuing this commitment as Commissioner for Trade. I have already met with my AU colleague, Commissioner Muchanga, to discuss common challenges and solutions. But it`s worth it. Promoting intra-African trade would not only support sustainable development and growth on the continent, but also encourage cooperation and trade between our continents. This is why support for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is a cornerstone of the EU`s trade strategy with Africa.

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