Trade Agreement between the EU and Eastern and Southern African States
Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are free-trade agreements between the EU and several regions in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).
Since the EU failed to conclude agreements with the respective regional organisations, it decided to negotiate with individual countries.
Parliament's position has shifted from a critical stance to being in favour of the agreement, mainly because of a procedural change. For instead of the dossier being handled primarily by the Committee on Development (DEVE), it is now being dealt with by the Committee on International Trade (INTA), where a majority of committee members are in favour of free trade.
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens believe there is a very high risk of the ACP countries covered by the agreement being unable to compensate for government revenue lost through the lowering of trade barriers.
We also believe that these countries' industries will hardly be able to compete with European imports.
What is more, two countries currently negotiating with the EU, namely Madagascar and Zimbabwe, have been sanctioned for human rights violations in the past, so signing free-trade agreements with them would clash with the requirement to respect human rights.
It would also be inconsistent, since the EU rejected trade agreements with Belarus for this very reason.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
The Greens succeeded in persuading the Committee on Development that EPAs should be assessed critically.
In so doing we clearly pointed out the contrasting positions between the Committee on Development and the Committee on International Trade.
Which points did the Greens lose?
Lead MEP:Daniel Caspary (EPP)
Green MEP responsible:Ska Keller
Staff contact:Tsiguereda Walelign (Email)
Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?