A 'Sustainability Impact Assessment' of the Economic Partnership Agreements: Challenging the Participatory Process
For the past decade the EU has been preparing to end its tradition of preferential and partially reciprocal trade with the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) countries. With the expiry of trade preferences in 2007 under the Cotonou Agreement, these trade partners have agreed to negotiate Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) and trade on reciprocal terms, in a bid to preserve their special relationship. A Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) was commissioned by the EU to engage stakeholders in discussion about the real and potential challenges of the new trade regime facing ACP countries. This paper examines the participatory process of the EPA negotiations, in particular the Sustainability Impact Assessment, through the lens of country ownership and deliberative democracy. Discussion of the participation process will be twofold: analysing whether the issues raised in the public sphere are reflected in the CARIFORUM-EC EPA, and the extent to which the SIA is legitimised through public participation.
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Volume (Year): 3 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
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