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Economic Partnership Agreements

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the timetable is for the EU's review of economic partnership agreements; and if he will make a statement. (98471)

The joint EU-ACP review of Economic Partnership Agreements is taking place at present and a consolidated report will be presented to EU and ACP Ministers in early 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he (a) has made and (b) plans to make to the EU’s review of economic partnership agreements. (98473)

The UK took an active part in discussions to agree a joint ACP/EU declaration on the review currently taking place and we pushed hard for language that reflects our UK position. We see the review as an opportunity to highlight concerns raised by both sides and we regularly ask the Commission for updates on progress. We have also asked the Commission to hold an EPA Expert Group meeting in November in order to feedback to all member states on progress to date, raise any concerns and provide a timeline for completion of negotiations.