Briefing Paper

The Way Forward for the Southern African Development Community Economic Partnership Agreement

“Negotiations on economic partnership agreements (EPAs) between the European Union (EU) and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries will end on 1 October 2014. After long and acrimonious talks, concessions must now be made. In the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), the EPA can be completed with more flexibility on four
issues: export taxes, the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) clause, agricultural
safeguards and rules of origin. Abandoning restrictions on export taxes
will cost the EU little and will respect African states’ sovereignty. Changing
the calibration of the MFN clause can offer the EU matching liberalisation
without restricting SADC’s future negotiating space. Safeguards that work
for agriculture take into account the distorted nature of the EU agricultural
market, while offering improved market access. Furthermore, support for rules
of origin capacity building will assure the deal reached on paper can be applied
in practice.”