The Cotonou Agreement, which was signed in 2000, is a partnership agreement between the European Union and 79 African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries. Article 9 of the agreement focuses on the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) between the EU and ACP countries.
EPAs are trade agreements that aim to promote trade between the EU and ACP countries. The main objective of EPAs is to support economic development in ACP countries by increasing their access to the EU market and promoting regional integration. Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement outlines the principles and objectives of EPAs and how they are to be implemented.
One of the key principles of EPAs is that they should be based on the needs and priorities of ACP countries. The agreement recognizes that ACP countries differ in terms of their economic development, and that EPAs should be tailored to the specific needs of each country or region. This means that EPAs should take into account the economic situation, natural resources, and social and cultural factors of ACP countries.
Another important principle of EPAs is that they should promote sustainable development. This means that EPAs should take into account environmental, social, and economic sustainability considerations when promoting trade. The agreement recognizes that trade can have positive and negative impacts on the environment and on social and economic development, and that EPAs should be designed to promote sustainable development.
In addition, EPAs should be consistent with the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. This means that EPAs should not discriminate between trading partners, and that they should be consistent with international trade rules. Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement also states that EPAs should be compatible with the development objectives of ACP countries, and that they should contribute to poverty reduction.
Overall, Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement emphasizes the importance of promoting economic development in ACP countries through trade. It recognizes that EPAs can be an important tool for promoting trade, but that they should be designed to take into account the specific needs and priorities of ACP countries. By promoting sustainable development and being consistent with international trade rules, EPAs can help to reduce poverty and promote economic growth in ACP countries.