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European Union cuts ties with Africa


16 Apr 2013


Global Europe

"With this vote(*), Parliament has seriously jeopardised regional integration in Africa," said GUE/NGL MEP Helmut Scholz criticising Parliament's vote on closing EU markets for a number of developing countries from October 2014.  Before the vote, Scholz had tried to pursuade MEPs to reject the proposal, or to at least postpone the deadline to 2016 in order to give more time to find an agreement at the negotiating table. This proposal was rejected by a centre-right majority. 

"By bowing to Commission and Council pressure, Parliament has supported a measure that will effectively withdraw the possibility of exporting to EU markets from those ACP developing countries which have not ratified a trade agreement (EPA) with the EU by October 2014."

This means that countries such as Kenya, Namibia, Ghana as well as other developing countries will either lose access to EU markets by the October 2014 deadline, or will have to quit customs' unions with the least developed countries in their regions in order to conclude an agreement with the EU. 

"Today the centre-right parties have seriously damaged the image of the European Union in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific Regions. We should not be surprised if these countries will now be looking for new partners in other parts of the world."

(*) Martin report: EU/ACP countries' Economic Partnership Agreements: exclusion of certain countries from trade preferences.


GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09

European United Left / Nordic Green Left

European Parliamentary Group



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