Implications of the Doha Development Agenda on the Economic Partnership Agreement (Epa) Negotiations

16 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2003

See all articles by Sanoussi Bilal

Sanoussi Bilal

European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)

Date Written: November 1, 2002


On September 27, 2002, in Brussels, the 77 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the European Union (EU) officially opened negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). These new WTO-compatible agreements should replace, at the latest by 2008, the current non-reciprocal trade preferences between the ACP and the EU under the Cotonou Agreement. The EPAs, proposed by the European Commission, would be free trade areas (FTAs) between (regional) groups of ACP countries and the EU. In parallel, a new WTO round of multilateral trade negotiations has been launched in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001, which should be concluded by a single undertaking in 2005. In consequence, the ACP countries are confronted with the commitment to negotiate new WTO-compatible trade agreements with the EU while the WTO rules are being negotiated at the multilateral level, and thus subject to changes. The challenge of the new Doha Round of negotiations, like that of the negotiation of an EPA, is to realise expectations concerning the relationship between international trade and sustainable development. The aim of this study is to determine to what extent EPA negotiations between the EU and ACP countries, and in particular EPAs between COMESA member countries and the EU, will be influenced by multilateral negotiations under the Development Round under the auspices of the WTO.

Keywords: regional intergation, trade and development, European Union, Africa Caribbean Pacific - ACP countries, WTO, negotiations

JEL Classification: F13, F15, 019, 024

Suggested Citation

Bilal, Sanoussi, Implications of the Doha Development Agenda on the Economic Partnership Agreement (Epa) Negotiations (November 1, 2002). Available at SSRN: or

Sanoussi Bilal (Contact Author)

European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) ( email )

Onze Lieve Vrouweplein 21
6211 HE Maastricht
+31-43- 350 29 00 (Phone)
+31-43-350 29 02 (Fax)


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