Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
Pacific ACP - European Union Economic Partnership Agreement
The Cotonou Agreement, which provides the framework under which the development relationship between the European Union (EU) and the Pacific ACP States (PACP) is governed, was signed in Bernin, Cotonou on 23 June 2000 and revised in 2005 and 2010. The Agreement covers a period of 20 years from 2000 – 2020.
The fundamental principles of the Cotonou Agreement include: equality of partners, global PARTICIPATION, dialogue and regionalization. The Cotonou Agreement establishes a comprehensive partnership that is built upon 3 key pillars:
        i.            Development Cooperation
      ii.            Political Cooperation
    iii.            Economic and TRADE Cooperation
Article 36(1) of the Cotonou Agreement commits the parties to negotiating an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with a view to designing a TRADING arrangement between the EU and the respective ACP States that would be compatible with World TRADE Organisation (WTO) rules by progressively removing barriers to TRADE and enhancing cooperation in all areas relevant to TRADE.
A TRADING relationship through an EPA was to replace the non-reciprocal TRADE preferences enjoyed by ACP countries from the European Union. This was to comply with WTO rules following the expiration of the WTO waiver of the Most Favoured Nation norm at the end of 2007, which allowed for the existence of such non-reciprocal preferences.
PACP Leaders and Ministers have mandated that the region CONTINUE negotiating a comprehensive EPA as a SINGLE region. 
Pacific ACP States include: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
A general brief on the progress of the PACP – EU EPA negotiations was presented at the 100th Meeting of the ACP Council of Ministers in Brussels, Belgium. This can be found here.
The Interim EPA
PACPS have maintained that the interim EPA (iEPA) does not ADDRESS the key regional interests of the PACPS and contains contentious issues which constrain the policy space of PACPS.
The iEPA was concluded in 2007 and initialed and signed by PNG and Fiji. PNG consequently ratified the agreement in 2011 with Fiji announcing the provisional APPLICATION of the agreement in July 2014. 
For any queries relating to the EPA, please contact epa@forumsec.org 
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