Overall, the literature on EU initiatives to promote “dialogue” and “participation” shows that African civil society actors and business representatives are denied a real chance to have a real impact on the content of EU trade and aid policy. Nevertheless, their presence at eu dialogue events plays an important role in helping the Commission to present its trade agenda as compatible with the legitimisation of development standards. Paul Brenton is a Senior Economist in the Trade and Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI) of the World Bank. It focuses on analytical and operational work on trade and regional integration. Instead, the EU should consider negotiating a comprehensive continent-to-continent trade agreement that includes North African countries that are not part of the ACP countries. This would be a recognition of the new reality of trade relations on the continent, in which Africa is trying to prioritise intra-African trade and investment, as well as a recognition of the importance of multilateralism. Due to the WTO`s continuing inconsistency with previous agreements, the main feature of EPAs is their reciprocity and non-discriminatory nature. They concern the gradual abolition of all trade preferences established between the EU and the ACP countries since 1975 and the gradual removal of trade barriers between partners. In order to meet the criterion of a non-discriminatory agreement, the EPAs are open to all developing countries, which puts an end to the ACP group as the EU`s main development partner. One of the most notable points of the agreement is that Africa is resisting what has become a global trend: the retreat of multilateralism, particularly in the United States. Presidency of Donald Trump.
On the trade front alone, the “Cold War” between the U.S. and China intensified for years, intensifying beyond threats to the actual imposition of tariffs, and Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP, which later became the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) without the U.S.); negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the EU collapsed in 2018; In the same year, the United States blocked the appointment of new judges to the WTO Appellate Body, thereby interrupting its work; ==References=====External links===The decision to leave the European Union led to what has been described as the “greatest change in trade relations in modern history”. By analysing the EU`s potentially harmful actions, in particular its current pursuit of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with regional groupings of African states, it becomes clear that Europe is still not listening to the need and desire of African countries to find their own paths to global trade. The most important remedy for this is for Europe to listen to Africa – which it always says it wants to do – and for Africa`s integration efforts to be carried out on its own terms. The representation of interests by European civil society organisations can be useful in this respect. Songwe, V. (2019, January 11).
Intra-African trade: a path to economic diversification and inclusion. Brookings. www.brookings.edu/research/intra-african-trade-a-path-to-economic-diversification-and-inclusion/ (accessed 8 May 2021) The Cotonou Agreement. (4. December 2020). European Commission. ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/development/economic-partnerships/ (accessed May 8, 2021) African countries, on the other hand, are lowering tariffs among themselves, harmonizing existing trade agreements, and creating instruments that not only allow them to trade more effectively with each other and build regional value chains, but also create more and better opportunities for industrialization. By offering companies a wider market. Economic Partnership Agreements are a system for establishing a free trade area (FTA) between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States. They are a response to persistent criticism that the EU`s proposed non-reciprocal and discriminatory preferential trade agreements are wto-inconsistent. The EPAs date back to the signing of the Cotonou Agreement.
EPAs with different regions are at different stages. In 2016, epas were to be signed with three African regional economic communities (East African Community, Economic Community of West African States and Southern African Development Community), but they faced challenges.  [needs to be updated] It is therefore not surprising that a number of African civil society and business leaders are actively trying to challenge eu trade policy and are calling on EU officials to reconsider unfavourable EPAs given their negative impact on sustainable development in Africa. In Cameroon, for example, the Civil Association for the Defence of Collective Interests (ACDIC) launched a major local campaign entitled “Chickens of Death”, which stimulated consumer opinion in favour of the consumption of poultry products in the region at the expense of frozen meat from EU Member States. ACDIC worked with local poultry farmers, but formed an independent activist network, giving the campaign greater national credibility than an industry-led initiative. As Johnson (2011, p. 593) explains: With regard to Aid for Trade funds, the example of the West African EPADP illustrates the shortcomings of such initiatives aimed at truly linking EU free trade agreements to development objectives, namely poverty reduction. West African countries have argued that all Aid for Trade funds must be “new” funding – not existing EU commitments under the European Development Fund (EDF). They also calculated that the transition costs of the EPA and related financial resources to increase productivity would amount to €9.5 billion. Nevertheless, the European Commission has responded by promising a significantly reduced amount of €6.5 billion, specifically stemming from existing EDF commitments (Langan and Price, 2015, p. 283). As a result, many West African civil society organisations felt that the EU had deceived West African citizens.
Namely, that EU officials had agreed to establish epadp only as a way to legitimize the free trade agreement as “development-friendly,” despite its likely negative impact on key sectors such as poultry in the region. For example, the West African Civil Society Platform on the Cotonou Agreement noted that “the EU`s persistent refusal to make a substantial and specific commitment to cover the fiscal adjustment costs that the EPA will impose on ECOWAS economies, as well as for the ADDITIONAL funding of paped [EPADP], constitutes a clear violation of existing agreements and commitments” (ibid., p. . . . .