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Also available in FrenchSpecial issue on EPA’s

This issue of Grain de Sel (GDS) is indeed special on several counts … First of all, there are a total of 40 pages dedicated to a single subject. Secondly, it includes an eight-page supplement jointly published with the Network of farmers’ and agricultural producers’ organisations of West Africa (ROPPA), presenting the position of farmers’ organisations from five ACP regions. The whole issue is published in French and English and will be widely circulated. Finally, this issue is special because it has mobilised many international partners. Two editorial committees met to design and write it, one in Ouagadougou, in February 2007, and the second in Paris, in March. More than twenty people participated in these meetings (cf. list below). As usual, Grain de sel would like to contribute to the debate in a special way, by offering you a comprehensive set of historical, contextual and analytical data, to help you understand the issues at stake. While the different viewpoints and concerns are presented and the alternatives discussed, this issue does not seek to defend any position. Its aim is to allow everyone to have a clearer understanding of the problem and to form an objective opinion.

Grain de sel n°39 : Economic Partnership Agreements: Presentation, analyses, viewpoints
Inter-réseaux

Special issue on EPA’s This issue of Grain de Sel (GDS) is indeed special on several counts … First of all, there are a total of 40 pages dedicated to a single subject. Secondly, it includes an eight-page supplement jointly published with the Network of farmers’ and agricultural producers’ organisations of West Africa (ROPPA), presenting the position of farmers’ organisations from five ACP regions. The whole issue is published in French and English and will be widely circulated….

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Networks of farmer organisations speak about the EPAs
Inter-réseaux

West African farmers are saying stop to the EPAs Saliou Sarr Food sovereignty and regional integration are the main expectations of the Network of Farmers’ and Agricultural Producers’ Organisations of West Africa (ROPPA) with regard to the EPAs. At the same time, these agreements in their current form only portend, for them, poverty and threats to the survival of the region’s farmers. PROPAC wonders how family farming can benefit from the EPAs Alexandre Manga Ndzana Alexandre Manga Ndzana…

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Negociation Process and Alternatives
Inter-réseaux

Are non-governmental stakeholders really participating in the negotiations? Davina Makhan There is a strong call for non-governmental stakeholder participation in the trade negotiations and this is specifically included in the Cotonou Agreement. With a few monthsto go before the cut-off date of 31 December 2007, have civil society stakeholders, professional bodies and parliamentarians really been involved in the negotiations? Trade agreements for development? Anna Lipchitz While everyone agrees that the EPAs must contribute to the development of ACP…

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Impacts and Implications
Inter-réseaux

Will agricultural producers be able to increase their exports to Europe? Claudius Preville Given their heavy dependence on exports, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries hope that the EPAs will help them to maintain, or even improve, their access to the European market for all goods, and for agricultural commodities in particular. But there is a wide gap between theory and practice. Will the agrifood chain be able to face the European competition? Cecilia Bellora Trade of the…

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The Cotonou Agreement: across-the-board reform of ACP-EU cooperation
Quentin Stoeffler, Sanoussi Bilal

The Cotonou Agreement is a reform of the cooperation governed for 25 years by the Lomé Conventions. It constitutes a revival in cooperation between the European Union and ACP countries, and brings about a transition towards a new trading system, which should come into effect in 2008 with the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). These will constitute the trading aspect of the Cotonou Agreement. The ACP-EU partnership remains based on three pillars: policy dialogue, special commercial relationships and development…

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Before EPAs, a system that was hardly conducive to agricultural development in ACP countries
Roger Blein, Vincent Ribier

Initially signed for 5 years in 1975, the Lomé Convention governed relations between the European Union (EU) and the ACP countries between 1975 and 2000. The Lomé Convention included two complementary elements, development assistance (with the European Development Fund, EDF) and a trade agreement characterised by non-reciprocal tariff preferences. This trading system is still in force today and will be removed only when the Economic Partnership Agreements (due to be signed in December 2007) are actually put in…

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Editorial: EPA: Beyond Trade
Freddy Destrait

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) are shortly to be signed between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) and should become effective in January 2008. These agreements will establish free-trade areas between the EU and each one of the six ACP regions. The EU’s main argument in support of establishing the EPAs is that the current EU-ACP trade cooperation rules do not comply with WTO rules. The EPA concept was formed in the mid-90s,…

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