The treats of transparency:
Non-partisan sourcing and knowledge sharing on ACP-EU trade.
A joint initiative by the ECDPM and ECORYS, with the support of AIF and DFID.
Structure of the website
Approach : a joint initiative
Methodology: the networking principle
In June 2000, 77 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the 15 Member States of the European Union (EU) signed in Cotonou a new ACP-EU Partnership Agreement , commonly referred to as the 'Cotonou Agreement'. This new partnership was preceded by four successive Lomé Conventions, which offered 25 years of non-reciprocal trade preferences.
Under the Cotonou Agreement, both the ACP and the EU agreed to negotiate new development-oriented trading arrangements that are compatible with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The negotiations of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) have started on 27 September 2002. EPAs should enter into force by January 2008 at the latest. If necessary, alternative trade arrangements should be provided for.
The wide range of trade negotiations facing the ACP countries (i.e. at regional, ACP-EU and multilateral levels) puts huge pressure on the scarce trade negotiating resources in most ACP countries. Access to relevant information and analysis is a key first step in this process.
With this in mind, the ACP-EU Trade website www.acp-eu-trade.org was launched in September 2002 to coincide with the start of the EPA negotiations on new trade arrangements between the ACP countries and the EU.
With the start of EPA negotiations at regional level from October 2003 and the recent launch of Phase III of the negotiations in view of the conclusion of EPAs by the end of 2007, further information is required. To this end, an enhanced ACP-EU Trade website has been developed, on-line since 2005.
Structure of the website
The www.acp-eu-trade.org non-partisan website provides access to publicly available information, from a variety of sources, in English and in French, on ACP-EU trade related matters. In particular:
Approach: a joint initiative
The www.acp-eu-trade.org is an independent initiative by ECDPM and ECORYS , with the support of the Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (AIF) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) .
Methodology : the networking principle
The concept behind the website is that active networking between the various stakeholders in the ACP-EU trade negotiations is a key condition for exchange of relevant information, learning by doing and trade negotiating capacity building. The website provides a hub for such networking activities.
All concerned actors, in particular from the ACP, are actively invited to participate to the www.acp-eu-trade.org website:
by submitting relevant documents, news and links for inclusion in the online databases to firstname.lastname@example.org , and
by registering online in the expert's database as a resource person working in trade and development.