AU pleads for ACP interests in EU farm policy reforms

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- Concerned at the sharp decline and fluctuation of commodity prices, leaders attending the third ordinary assembly of the African Union here called on their European Union partners to ensure that reforms of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) do not affect the vital interests of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
The EU member countries are the long-standing trade and development partners of the ACP group of states.
In a declaration adopted here Thursday, the AU assembly said the reforms of the CAP must take into account the interests of the African countries whose economies largely depended on earnings from export commodities.
The declaration specifically mentioned sugar, a major export of several ACP countries, which they fear could be adversely affected by the review of the EU sugar regimes.
Not only is there a direct correlation between commodity dependence and poverty levels, especially in circumstances of perennial declining prices, but also the sharp decline in commodity prices has created a crisis in most African commodity exporting countries.
Development of these countries is heavily dependent on the preferential EU-ACP arrangements governing the access to the EU market at guaranteed prices for banana, rice and sugar.

08 july 2004 11:48:00

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