Written question – EAC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement – E-000940/2017

The Partner States of the East African Community (EAC) have negotiated an Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU.

Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have already signed the agreement, but Burundi is refusing to do so because the EU suspended its development aid following the political crisis that occurred in 2015. Tanzania is opposed to the deal, as it believes that trade liberalisation will hinder its development and undermine its industrial sector. The EAC is an economic and fiscal union, meaning that all five Partner States are obliged to sign agreements with the EU in order for them to come into effect.

The ACP Secretary-General, Patrick Gomes, has said that States ‘could end up losing important development aid from the EU’ if they do not sign the agreement.

In 2016, the EU concluded trade agreements with five of the fifteen member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), signed a separate agreement with South Africa and entered into negotiations with the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).

1. Can the Commission say precisely what the agreements with the SADC, South Africa and Ecowas entail?

2. How will it protect EU manufacturers against competition from imported African products?

3. Does it have any explanation for the worrying statements made by the ACP Secretary-General?