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The EU fraudulent behaviour to extort the signing of the EPAs

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SOL | 11 December 2016

The EU fraudulent behaviour to extort the signing of the EPAs

by Jacques Berthelot (jacques.berthelot4@wanadoo.fr)

This paper aims to show that the States of West Africa (WA) and of the Eastern Africa Community (EAC) have been pressured to sign the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and to ratify the interim EPAs (iEPAs) of Ivory Coast (IC) and Ghana on the basis of false indications and pressures, not to say lies, of the DG Trade of the European Commission. It is not because these EPAs have been ratified by IC and Ghana and the EU that it is impossible to denounce these fraudulent ratifications.

We recall that DG Trade refused to circulate the last 3 evaluations of the impact of the WA EPA that it had financed since their conclusions were negative for WA, but they are nonetheless available . It lied by stating that the EPA aid program (PAPED) will bring €6.5 billion to WA from 2005 to 2020, while the DG DEVCO (Development and Cooperation) said in its brochure of July 2015 that there is not a single additional euro to the traditional cooperation funds: "From 2014-2020, €6.5 billion will be delivered to support PAPED… The funds are drawn from the existing EU financial instruments: 11th European Development Fund National Indica¬tive Programmes (NIP), Regional Indicative Programme (RIP), intra-ACP programme, and relevant EU thematic budget lines" . Worse, among the pressures on Nigeria to sign the EPA, the EU ambassador to Nigeria, Michel Arrion, said that the EU pledged to finance the PAPED to the tune of €6.5 billion every 5 years until 2035 . An empty promise since the Cotonou Agreement expires in 2020 and it is not clear whether it will be renewed and with what budget, and in any case not until 2035, since the EU’s overall budget is only programmed up to 2020. Not to mention that the United Kingdom (UK), which will leave the EU, contributes 14.5% to the 11th EDF, which is not an EU budget but is financed by the EU Member States.

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 source: SOL