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Trade Policy Reform

The EU's common trade policy is one of its pillars. Trade has also traditionally been a key component of the EU's development programme. EU leading politicians claim that the EU's focus on trade has a strong developmental dimension, but is this so?

Currently two major trade negotiation processes are being prepared which will profoundly affect the economic and commercial opportunities of the developing countries in the South.

The EU plays a leading role in the preparations of a next round of negotiations in the WTO following the Doha Ministerial. in addition, the EU tried to forged a policy of close cooperation with governments of developing countries in these negotiations. But will the proposals that are put on the table by the EU indeed provide new opportunities for poverty eradication in developing countries?

The EU is also currently preparing the renegotiation of new Economic Co-operation Agreement, the so-called "Economic Partnership Agreements" (EPAs), with the world's poorest countries of Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific. What is the EU attempting to achieve and what can be expected from these negotiations?


Negotiations on new ACP-EU Trade Arrangements - NGO letter to Pascal Lamy on the occasion of the 4th meeting of the ACP-EU Ministerial Trade Committee in St. Lucia February 2003  
Lessons Learned? - The Impact of Trade Liberalisation Policies on Countries and Regions in the South - A Collection of Evidence (1.2 Mb) December 2002 Lessons Learned?
The Cotonou Agreement - New Perspective for European Trade Policy? Documentation of an international conference, organised by Weed, terre des hommes and the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation (2.34 Mb) June 2002 The Cotonou Agreement

SNV Online Reference:
SNV is publisher of the European Union Online Reference Guide - a Key Info Guide on Foreign and Development Policy & Funding of the European Union.

November 2001

More on EU Trade Policy at the Weed - terre des hommes EU website:

Weed - terre des hommes website on EU North-South Policy