The CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement
“This is the first volume in the series Guide to Free Trade Agreements, edited by Stefano Inama.”
The CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement is a sui generis North-South trade and development agreement. The C-EPA is a bi-regional agreement, signed in Bridgetown, Barbados in October 2008, with the specific aim of supporting the sustainable development of the Caribbean. As a paradigm changer in the ACP-EU trade relationship, the C-EPA has unsurprisingly attracted considerable attention. The long process of ratification by twenty-seven EU Member States and fifteen Caribbean countries has begun, and implementation is advancing after an initial delay.
This book is the first detailed analysis of the Agreement’s provisions, including its negotiating history and prognosis of its future potential. It is written by fifteen Caribbean and European practitioners, most of whom actively contributed to the crafting of the Agreement as CARIFORUM or EU negotiators. The contributions cover the following:
• charting a dual approach to CARIFORUM commitments at both regional and national levels; • establishing an architecture of commitments that seeks to support CARIFORUM regional integration; • safeguarding Caribbean preferential access to the EU market; • broadening the ambit of the Caribbean-EU relationship, as reflected in the Cotonou Agreement, into new trade disciplines; • highlighting key drivers in the negotiations; • addressing the CARICOM-Dominican Republic economic relationship; • examining the special treatment of Haiti; and • reviewing the C-EPA’s compatibility with WTO rules.
The book will be welcomed by trade policy experts, lawyers, trade negotiators, development experts, and other trade practitioners, as well as by academics in the field. Although the particular analysis is of CARIFORUM-EU relations, few will doubt that the issues addressed apply to trade relations in many other parts of the world.
The Agreement’s articulation of the EPA concept by ist EU and Caribbean negotiators is sure to inspire parallel regional arrangements that are evolving elsewhere. The contributors’ detailed examination of the C-EPA not only opens the way to improved understanding and sustained implementation of that Agreement but also significantly assists in the development of the global trade regime.