15 May 2015

Pacific Forum says Europe move on EPAs unacceptable

4:25 pm on 15 May 2015

The Pacific Islands Forum says it is unacceptable for the European Commission to push for a deferral on a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

The EC Trade Commissioner has called for a deferment of negotiations for three years.

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat says Pacific members of the ACP group have expressed strong disappointment at the EC's decision.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Secretary-General Meg Taylor.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General, Meg Taylor. Photo: supplied

Dame Meg Taylor says the European Commission has not formally held face to face negotiations with senior Pacific officials in nearly two years and has not formally met with the Pacific ACP Trade Ministers since 2007.

She says Pacific countries have invested substantial time and resources in trying to resolve the contentious issues in the interim EPA.

Dame Meg says the EC proposal to defer without a formal political dialogue is unacceptable, particularly given that it gave an assurance to Pacific Leaders in 2014.