By negotiating new Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), the Cotonou Agreement decided to make trade relations between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) compatible with WTO rules on free trade agreements. In 2007, the EU has proposed draft EPA texts which would include far reaching and novel obligations for ACP countries to liberalise investment. The WTO, however, does not oblige EPAs to include investment issues. Although the Cotonou agreement intended to introduce “general principles on protection and promotion of investments” in EPAs (Art. 78.3). Trade Ministers of the African Union have stated in many declarations that they do not wish investment issues to be negotiated in EPAs since they refused to do so in the WTO. Investment issues in current EPA negotiations are another example how EPAs fail to serve ACP societies and their economic interests. read more less
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