Experts see the EPA dispute as the main obstacle to a new agreement. But it does not appear that the EU will give in. It would also be difficult: “A new agreement cannot fundamentally influence partnership agreements. These are independent international treaties that cannot be significantly changed by a new agreement,” said expert DIE Keijzer. Instead, the EU would prefer to promise additional aid to facilitate African countries` trade with Europe: money for infrastructure or border management, for example. African members of OACPS are also offended by the fact that the EU has negotiated EPAs with individual states. The African Union (AU) is trying to establish an African free trade area. But if different states have their own agreements with the EU, that makes it difficult. “These agreements have led to a great division and fragmentation of the African position,” Carlos Lopes, the AU`s representative for relations with Europe, said in early June. The EU funds most of its development programmes for ACP countries through the European Development Fund (EDF). These funds are not part of the EU`s overall budget. They are subject to internal agreement between the Member States meeting in the Council.
Also in July 2014, negotiations with the countries of the Southern African Development Community concluded successfully. The agreement was signed on 10 June 2016 in Kasane, Botswana. It entered the provisional application on 10 October 2016. … In the same year, members approved the Lomé Convention, a development aid package and a preferential trade agreement with many countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Members also attempted to jointly manage their exchange rates, which led to the creation of the European monetary system in 1979. The Council gives the Commission a mandate to negotiate these agreements and must sign the final agreement as soon as it is concluded. The EU will work towards a comprehensively revised agreement, based on a common basis at THE ACP level, in conjunction with three bespoke regional partnerships for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Things have not been as simple as they were in 2000, when the Cotonou agreement came into force. “Africa and Europe want to develop and deepen their relations.
But the African side also wants its priorities to be taken more into account,” says John Maré, who, as a South African diplomat, has negotiated several agreements with the EU.