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Resolution of the 99th session of the ACP Council of Ministers - SUGAR

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A. HAVING REGARD to the Resolution on Sugar adopted by the 98th session of the ACP Council of Ministers held in Brussels (Belgium), from 10-11 December 2013;
 
B. NOTING that with the end of the EU sugar  and isoglucose quotas  in September 2017  the ACP would lose its preferential market share as a result of open competition among ACP, EU and third country; 
 
C. NOTING  the   December   2013   report   by  the   European   Commission  Services entitled "Prospects   for   Agricultural   Markets   and   Income   in  the   EU  2012/2022" which concludes  that  the  expiry  of sugar  quotas  would  lead  to  a reduction  of the  domestic sugar  price in the  EU with prices falling to a low Eur 403/tonne. Imports, including preferential access, would be less attractive and the EU would move close to self sufficiency and may even become a net exporter from time to time.  Noting also that prices have already fallen from Eur 723/tonne to some Eur 500/tonne over the past year causing serious hardships to growers;
 
D. RECALLING that the real value of the preference was the difference between the prices the ACP could obtain on the EU market and those obtainable on the world market. This difference, most likely to be reduced by the CAP reform, could be further eroded by WTO negotiations not only by significant tariff reductions but also by reductions in domestic support and by constraints on subsidized exports;
 
E. NOTING that   Article    13.3 of   Council Regulation   1528/2007 and   other   relevant provisions in respective EPAs provide for Sugar specific safeguard measures applicable to non LDC ACP countries post 30th September 2015 ;
 
F.    CONCERNED that in its negotiations of FTAs with third parties, the  EU has, provided  certain concessions  relating to the import of sugar  which further  erodes  the  preferences the  ACP countries enjoy on the EU market;
 
Reiterating the ACP position that there remains at the end 2013, a shortfall of around 100 million Euro shortfall under the AMSP arising from accounting irregularities as well as the application of the EU's financial regulations; and
Recognising that some beneficiaries have not been able to make full use of their allocation as a result of circumstances beyond their control and that such amount will be decommitted.
 
G. CONCERNED that any mandatory COOL (Country of origin labelling) requirement in the sugar sector would represent a major  non technical  barrier  to ACP sugar  trade;
 
H. NOTING that the stated   position of the EU to take into account development cooperation   objectives in trade and other related   policies in pursuit of policy coherence for development;
 
I. RECOGNIZING the significant technical results attained so far under the first phase of the ACP Sugar Research Programme in terms of deepening academic knowledge, provision of the required infrastructure, new infrastructures, development and capacity building, networking and partnerships for research and development as well as prospects for new industrial clusters based on the valorisation of new components extracted from the Sugar Cane biomass; and
 
J. NOTING the positive response to the call for project proposals received from ACP research centres and their partners which meet both the expectations of the relevant ACP States for enhancing competitiveness, and the broad guidelines established by the EU in economic and social matters.
 
1.   Calls on the European Union and the European Commission to:
 
ensure that its commitment in respect of policy coherence between trade, agriculture and  development policies is fully respected in all decision  making processes,  particularly  on sugar  related  issues;
 
commit  to  review  in 2017  the  impact  of the  new  sugar  regime  and the  new FTAs on the ACP Sugar  Supplying  States  and  to take  corrective   measures if necessary;
 
rescind   the sugar specific safeguard  provisions applicable   post September 2015   in  the   respective    EPAs and  to  exclude   such   provisions   in  any upcoming  sugar  import   implementation regulation resulting from the recent CAP agreement;
 
examine modalities and mechanisms for reinstating the sum of around 100 million Euros shortfall under the AMSP ;
display flexibility in implementing the AMSP to allow full utilisation of allocated resources through reallocation amongst beneficiary countries;
 
consider reallocating such funds which may be decommitted by any beneficiary in respect of any uncompleted project to other projects proposed by the beneficiary;
 
consider  granting new accompanying support in view of the  new challenges  which  the ACP Sugar Supplying States are  likely to face with the end  of the  EU quotas  in 2017;
 
ensure that ACP preferences are not eroded as a result of  market   access  concessions   in  its  FTA negotiations   and  to  ensure   are   maintained to the maximum extent possible in the WTO negotiations;
 
ascertain that no mandatory to the ”C00L" requirement is applied to the sugar sector;
 
provide adequate funds  for a new Sugar Research and Innovation Programme on the basis of proposals made by the ACP research centres and their partners; 
 
2. Instructs the  President  of the Council of Ministers to forward  this resolution  to the European Commission,  the   Council  of  the   European   Union,  and  the   European Parliament.  
 
 
 
 
Nairobi, 18 June 2014
 


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