25 Nov 2008

PANG urges flexibility in EU/ACP talks

5:49 pm on 25 November 2008

The Pacific Network on Globalisation says Pacific countries need to be using a meeting between European Union and the region's parliamentarians to push for the EU to be more flexible on Economic Partnership Agreements.

Talks between African, Caribbean and Pacific delegates and the EU got underway in Port Moresby on Monday.

PANG says Pacific trade ministers want to rewrite their interim EPAs as they were signed under pressure that they would lose market share and suffer economic penalties.

The group's coordinator, Maureen Penjueli says at the very least, Fiji and PNG should be asking to renegotiate.

"They need to be calling for alternatives to be offered, political alternatives to the EPA. That's guaranteed under Cotonou, so they need to be calling for that. But there is a bigger question...we need to be really calling for a non-reciprocal trading cooperation between Europe and the Pacific."

Maureen Penjueli says the Pacific countries need to be pushing parliamentarians to push for the European Commission to be more flexible.