BRUSSELS, Belgium (ACP) -- The secretary general of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, declared on Thursday that the European Parliament’s vote to extend the proposed deadline for concluding Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with ACP countries is prudent.
“The European Parliament has shown wise political judgment in extending the period for negotiation of EPAs to 1 January 2016. Negotiating the EPAs is a complicated process, involving a number of very complex and diverse issues which can impact heavily on our developing economies. It requires careful and thorough discussions, without the pressure of unreasonable deadlines,” he stated after parliamentarians took the decision in Strasbourg this afternoon.
“We should also recall that earlier, the European Parliament had called on the European Commission to show flexibility in the negotiation process. It is hoped that the Commission will demonstrate such flexibility in order to resolve the outstanding contentious issues between now and 2016.”
The secretary general added: “The two year extension can help to facilitate a more serene environment to make balanced decisions beneficial to all parties.”