BETA


2008/0137(NLE) EC/Ghana stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement

Progress: Awaiting final decision

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead INTA FJELLNER Christofer (icon: PPE PPE) KIRTON-DARLING Jude (icon: S&D S&D), LOONES Sander (icon: ECR ECR), TREMOSA I BALCELLS Ramon (icon: ALDE ALDE), LE HYARIC Patrick (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), KELLER Ska (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE)
Former Responsible Committee INTA
Former Responsible Committee INTA
Committee Opinion DEVE
Former Committee Opinion DEVE
Former Committee Opinion DEVE
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
TFEU 218-p6a

Events

2016/12/01
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2016/12/01
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted, by 375 votes to 220 with 46 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part.

The European Parliament gave its consent to the conclusion of the Agreement.

As a reminder, this stepping stone Agreement ensures a contractual safety net, warranting a duty-free access to the EU market until the regional agreement comes into a fruition and it matches market access opportunities with provisions addressing technical barriers to trade.

Documents
2016/11/30
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2016/11/14
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The Committee on International Trade adopted the report by Christofer FJELLNER (EPP, SE) on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part.

The committee recommended that the European Parliament should give its consent to the conclusion of the Agreement.

The committee recalled that with the signature of the EU-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) taking additional time, Ghana (and subsequently Côte d'Ivoire) has decided to proceed with ratification of its Stepping Stone Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union, concluded back in 2007.

The deal ensures a contractual safety net, warranting a duty-free access to the EU market until the regional agreement comes into a fruition. The IEPA matches market access opportunities with provisions addressing technical barriers to trade and helping Ghanaian exporters meet Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements.

No less important is the co-operation aimed at strengthening capacity in fiscal reforms, improving business climate, competitiveness, trade facilitation and customs co-operation.

Therefore, Parliament is called upon to give consent to this interim agreement which would open doors to its provisional application in order to allow Ghanaian exporters to preserve the duty-free preferences on the European market.

Documents
2016/11/10
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2016/10/24
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2016/10/04
   EC - Legislative proposal published
Details

PURPOSE: to conclude the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part.

PROPOSED ACT: Council Decision.

ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Council may adopt the act only if Parliament has given its consent to the act.

BACKGROUND: the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000, calls for the conclusion of WTO-compatible Economic Partnership Agreements.

On 12 June 2002, the Council authorised the Commission to open negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements with members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.

Negotiations for a stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement have been concluded with Ghana and the Agreement has been initialled on 13 December 2007.

The Agreement was signed on 28 July 2016 subject to its conclusion at a later date. It has been provisionally applied pending its entry into force. It is now necessary for it to be approved.

CONTENT: the draft Council Decision aims to approve on behalf of the Union the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part .

It is noted that the Agreement shall not be construed as conferring rights or imposing obligations which can be directly invoked before Union or Member State courts and tribunals.

Documents
2016/09/21
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2014/07/22
   EP - FJELLNER Christofer (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in INTA
2014/06/30
   CSL - Document attached to the procedure
Documents
2009/12/02
   all - Additional information
Details

The Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, amended the EU's two core treaties, the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (EC Treaty). The latter was renamed the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

These changes had various consequences for many ongoing procedures. First of all, the articles of the TEU and of the old EC Treaty that constitute the legal basis of all the proposals founded on those Treaties were renumbered in accordance with the table of equivalences mentioned in Article 5 of the Lisbon Treaty.

In addition, some proposals underwent a change to their legal basis going beyond a mere change to their numbering, and this resulted in changes to the type of procedure .

The Lisbon Treaty also introduced new concepts of decision-making procedure . The old "codecision procedure" was extended to new areas and renamed the "ordinary legislative procedure". A new "consent procedure" replaced the old "assent procedure". New interinstitutional procedures were also set up for the adoption of certain non-legislative acts, for example the conclusion of some international agreements.

The ongoing proposals concerned by these changes were formally modified by the Commission in a Communication published on 2 December 2009 (COM(2009)0665).

In the case of the proposal for a Council Decision concluding the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and Ghana, of the other part, the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty had the following impacts :

· the old legal basis – Treaty/EC/Art.133, Art 181, Art.300(3) 2nd para. - became Art 207(4) first para, Art.211, Art 218 (6)(a) of the TFEU. Please note that the numbering of the old legal basis corresponds to the consolidated version of the Treaty that was applicable immediately before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, and may differ from the references in the original Commission proposal ;

· the proposal, which had previously fallen under the old assent procedure (AVC), was classified as an interinstitutional non-legislative procedure (NLE).

2008/11/21
   CSL - Council Meeting
2008/07/10
   EC - Initial legislative proposal
2008/07/10
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
Details

PURPOSE: to propose the signature and the provisional application of a stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and Ghana, of the other part.

PROPOSED ACT: Council Decision.

CONTENT: the content of this provisional Agreement is identical to that of the general Agreement. For more details, please refer to the summary of the Commission’s initial proposal of 10/07/2008.

To recall, this stepping stone Agreement concerns trade and development cooperation issues linking the Community and its Member States and Ghana.

2008/07/10
   EC - Initial legislative proposal published

Documents

Activities

Votes

A8-0328/2016 - Christofer Fjellner - Approbation

2016/12/01 Outcome: +: 375, -: 220, 0: 46
PL ES RO HU BG SK CZ DE FI DK BE MT SE HR IT EE SI PT NL LV LT LU IE CY GB AT FR EL
Total
49
41
24
16
16
12
17
81
13
9
21
6
16
11
64
6
8
20
23
7
9
5
10
4
59
16
60
18
icon: PPE PPE
189

Belgium PPE

Abstain (1)

4

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE

2
icon: ECR ECR
65

Romania ECR

For (1)

1

Bulgaria ECR

2

Czechia ECR

2
2

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Italy ECR

2

Netherlands ECR

2

Latvia ECR

For (1)

1

Cyprus ECR

1

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
62

Romania ALDE

3

Sweden ALDE

2

Croatia ALDE

2

Estonia ALDE

3

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1
icon: EFDD EFDD
34

Poland EFDD

1

Germany EFDD

1

Sweden EFDD

2

Lithuania EFDD

Abstain (1)

1

France EFDD

1
icon: NI NI
14

Poland NI

1

Hungary NI

For (1)

1

Germany NI

Against (1)

1

Italy NI

1

United Kingdom NI

For (1)

Against (2)

3

France NI

Against (1)

2
icon: ENF ENF
35
2

Romania ENF

Against (1)

1

Germany ENF

Against (1)

1

Belgium ENF

Against (1)

1

Netherlands ENF

3

United Kingdom ENF

Abstain (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
38

Czechia GUE/NGL

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Germany GUE/NGL

4

Finland GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Italy GUE/NGL

3

Portugal GUE/NGL

3

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3
4

Cyprus GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

France GUE/NGL

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
42

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Hungary Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Finland Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Croatia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Latvia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

5

Austria Verts/ALE

3

France Verts/ALE

4
icon: S&D S&D
162

Hungary S&D

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

4

Bulgaria S&D

3

Slovakia S&D

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

4

Czechia S&D

For (1)

4

Finland S&D

Against (1)

2

Malta S&D

3

Sweden S&D

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

6

Croatia S&D

2

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Slovenia S&D

Against (1)

1

Netherlands S&D

Against (2)

2

Latvia S&D

Against (1)

1

Lithuania S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

Against (1)

1

Ireland S&D

Against (1)

1

Cyprus S&D

2

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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committees/0/date
  • 2014-07-22T00:00:00
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          • date: 2008-11-21T00:00:00 body: CSL type: Council Meeting council: Economic and Financial Affairs ECOFIN meeting_id: 2906
          • date: 2009-12-02T00:00:00 body: all type: Additional information
          • date: 2016-10-04T00:00:00 docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=ADV&RESULTSET=1&DOC_ID=12396%2F16&DOC_LANCD=EN&ROWSPP=25&NRROWS=500&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC type: Legislative proposal published title: 12396/2016 body: EC commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/trade_en title: Trade Commissioner: DE GUCHT Karel type: Legislative proposal published
          • date: 2016-10-24T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Development committee: DEVE body: EP shadows: group: S&D name: KIRTON-DARLING Jude group: ECR name: LOONES Sander group: ALDE name: TREMOSA I BALCELLS Ramon group: GUE/NGL name: LE HYARIC Patrick group: Verts/ALE name: KELLER Ska responsible: True committee: INTA date: 2014-07-22T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: EPP name: FJELLNER Christofer body: EP responsible: True committee_full: International Trade committee: INTA body: EP responsible: True committee: INTA date: 2009-09-01T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: PPE name: FJELLNER Christofer
          • date: 2016-11-10T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Development committee: DEVE body: EP shadows: group: S&D name: KIRTON-DARLING Jude group: ECR name: LOONES Sander group: ALDE name: TREMOSA I BALCELLS Ramon group: GUE/NGL name: LE HYARIC Patrick group: Verts/ALE name: KELLER Ska responsible: True committee: INTA date: 2014-07-22T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: EPP name: FJELLNER Christofer body: EP responsible: True committee_full: International Trade committee: INTA body: EP responsible: True committee: INTA date: 2009-09-01T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: PPE name: FJELLNER Christofer
          • body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2016-0328&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading title: A8-0328/2016 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Development committee: DEVE body: EP shadows: group: S&D name: KIRTON-DARLING Jude group: ECR name: LOONES Sander group: ALDE name: TREMOSA I BALCELLS Ramon group: GUE/NGL name: LE HYARIC Patrick group: Verts/ALE name: KELLER Ska responsible: True committee: INTA date: 2014-07-22T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: EPP name: FJELLNER Christofer body: EP responsible: True committee_full: International Trade committee: INTA body: EP responsible: True committee: INTA date: 2009-09-01T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: PPE name: FJELLNER Christofer date: 2016-11-14T00:00:00
          • date: 2016-11-30T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20161130&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
          • date: 2016-12-01T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=27815&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2016-0466 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T8-0466/2016 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
          commission
          • body: EC dg: Trade commissioner: DE GUCHT Karel
          committees/0/associated
          False
          committees/0/committee
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          DEVE
          New
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          committees/0/date
          • 2014-07-22T00:00:00
          committees/0/rapporteur
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          • name: KIRTON-DARLING Jude group: Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats abbr: S&D
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          • name: TREMOSA I BALCELLS Ramon group: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe abbr: ALDE
          • name: LE HYARIC Patrick group: European United Left - Nordic Green Left abbr: GUE/NGL
          • name: KELLER Ska group: Greens/European Free Alliance abbr: Verts/ALE
          committees/0/type
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          Old
          2014-07-22T00:00:00
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          committees/1/rapporteur
          • group: EPP name: FJELLNER Christofer
          committees/1/responsible
          True
          committees/1/shadows
          • group: S&D name: KIRTON-DARLING Jude
          • group: ECR name: LOONES Sander
          • group: ALDE name: TREMOSA I BALCELLS Ramon
          • group: GUE/NGL name: LE HYARIC Patrick
          • group: Verts/ALE name: KELLER Ska
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            docs
            • date: 2008-07-10T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2008/0441/COM_COM(2008)0441_EN.pdf title: COM(2008)0441 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2008&nu_doc=441 title: EUR-Lex type: Initial legislative proposal body: EC
            • date: 2008-07-10T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2008/0440/COM_COM(2008)0440_EN.pdf title: COM(2008)0440 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2008&nu_doc=440 title: EUR-Lex summary: PURPOSE: to propose the signature and the provisional application of a stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and Ghana, of the other part. PROPOSED ACT: Council Decision. CONTENT: the content of this provisional Agreement is identical to that of the general Agreement. For more details, please refer to the summary of the Commission’s initial proposal of 10/07/2008. To recall, this stepping stone Agreement concerns trade and development cooperation issues linking the Community and its Member States and Ghana. type: Document attached to the procedure body: EC
            • date: 2014-06-30T00:00:00 docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=ADV&RESULTSET=1&DOC_ID=12130%2F08&DOC_LANCD=EN&ROWSPP=25&NRROWS=500&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC title: 12130/2008 type: Document attached to the procedure body: CSL
            • date: 2016-09-21T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE589.325 title: PE589.325 type: Committee draft report body: EP
            events
            • date: 2008-07-10T00:00:00 type: Initial legislative proposal published body: EC docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2008/0441/COM_COM(2008)0441_EN.pdf title: COM(2008)0441 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2008&nu_doc=441 title: EUR-Lex
            • date: 2009-12-02T00:00:00 type: Additional information body: all summary: The Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, amended the EU's two core treaties, the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (EC Treaty). The latter was renamed the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). These changes had various consequences for many ongoing procedures. First of all, the articles of the TEU and of the old EC Treaty that constitute the legal basis of all the proposals founded on those Treaties were renumbered in accordance with the table of equivalences mentioned in Article 5 of the Lisbon Treaty. In addition, some proposals underwent a change to their legal basis going beyond a mere change to their numbering, and this resulted in changes to the type of procedure . The Lisbon Treaty also introduced new concepts of decision-making procedure . The old "codecision procedure" was extended to new areas and renamed the "ordinary legislative procedure". A new "consent procedure" replaced the old "assent procedure". New interinstitutional procedures were also set up for the adoption of certain non-legislative acts, for example the conclusion of some international agreements. The ongoing proposals concerned by these changes were formally modified by the Commission in a Communication published on 2 December 2009 (COM(2009)0665). In the case of the proposal for a Council Decision concluding the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and Ghana, of the other part, the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty had the following impacts : · the old legal basis – Treaty/EC/Art.133, Art 181, Art.300(3) 2nd para. - became Art 207(4) first para, Art.211, Art 218 (6)(a) of the TFEU. Please note that the numbering of the old legal basis corresponds to the consolidated version of the Treaty that was applicable immediately before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, and may differ from the references in the original Commission proposal ; · the proposal, which had previously fallen under the old assent procedure (AVC), was classified as an interinstitutional non-legislative procedure (NLE).
            • date: 2016-10-04T00:00:00 type: Legislative proposal published body: EC docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=ADV&RESULTSET=1&DOC_ID=12396%2F16&DOC_LANCD=EN&ROWSPP=25&NRROWS=500&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC title: 12396/2016 summary: PURPOSE: to conclude the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part. PROPOSED ACT: Council Decision. ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Council may adopt the act only if Parliament has given its consent to the act. BACKGROUND: the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000, calls for the conclusion of WTO-compatible Economic Partnership Agreements. On 12 June 2002, the Council authorised the Commission to open negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements with members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States. Negotiations for a stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement have been concluded with Ghana and the Agreement has been initialled on 13 December 2007. The Agreement was signed on 28 July 2016 subject to its conclusion at a later date. It has been provisionally applied pending its entry into force. It is now necessary for it to be approved. CONTENT: the draft Council Decision aims to approve on behalf of the Union the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part . It is noted that the Agreement shall not be construed as conferring rights or imposing obligations which can be directly invoked before Union or Member State courts and tribunals.
            • date: 2016-10-24T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
            • date: 2016-11-10T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
            • date: 2016-11-14T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2016-0328&language=EN title: A8-0328/2016 summary: The Committee on International Trade adopted the report by Christofer FJELLNER (EPP, SE) on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part. The committee recommended that the European Parliament should give its consent to the conclusion of the Agreement. The committee recalled that with the signature of the EU-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) taking additional time, Ghana (and subsequently Côte d'Ivoire) has decided to proceed with ratification of its Stepping Stone Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union, concluded back in 2007. The deal ensures a contractual safety net, warranting a duty-free access to the EU market until the regional agreement comes into a fruition. The IEPA matches market access opportunities with provisions addressing technical barriers to trade and helping Ghanaian exporters meet Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements. No less important is the co-operation aimed at strengthening capacity in fiscal reforms, improving business climate, competitiveness, trade facilitation and customs co-operation. Therefore, Parliament is called upon to give consent to this interim agreement which would open doors to its provisional application in order to allow Ghanaian exporters to preserve the duty-free preferences on the European market.
            • date: 2016-11-30T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20161130&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
            • date: 2016-12-01T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=27815&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
            • date: 2016-12-01T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2016-0466 title: T8-0466/2016 summary: The European Parliament adopted, by 375 votes to 220 with 46 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part. The European Parliament gave its consent to the conclusion of the Agreement. As a reminder, this stepping stone Agreement ensures a contractual safety net, warranting a duty-free access to the EU market until the regional agreement comes into a fruition and it matches market access opportunities with provisions addressing technical barriers to trade.
            other
            • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/trade_en title: Trade commissioner: DE GUCHT Karel
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            type
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            activities/8/docs/0/text
            • The European Parliament adopted, by 375 votes to 220 with 46 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part.

              The European Parliament gave its consent to the conclusion of the Agreement.

              As a reminder, this stepping stone Agreement ensures a contractual safety net, warranting a duty-free access to the EU market until the regional agreement comes into a fruition and it matches market access opportunities with provisions addressing technical barriers to trade.

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            • url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20161130&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament
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            • url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2016-0466 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T8-0466/2016
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            activities/6/docs/0/text
            • The Committee on International Trade adopted the report by Christofer FJELLNER (EPP, SE) on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part.

              The committee recommended that the European Parliament should give its consent to the conclusion of the Agreement.

              The committee recalled that with the signature of the EU-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) taking additional time, Ghana (and subsequently Côte d'Ivoire) has decided to proceed with ratification of its Stepping Stone Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union, concluded back in 2007.

              The deal ensures a contractual safety net, warranting a duty-free access to the EU market until the regional agreement comes into a fruition. The IEPA matches market access opportunities with provisions addressing technical barriers to trade and helping Ghanaian exporters meet Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements.

              No less important is the co-operation aimed at strengthening capacity in fiscal reforms, improving business climate, competitiveness, trade facilitation and customs co-operation.

              Therefore, Parliament is called upon to give consent to this interim agreement which would open doors to its provisional application in order to allow Ghanaian exporters to preserve the duty-free preferences on the European market.

            activities/7
            date
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            • PURPOSE: to conclude the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and Ghana, of the other part.

              PROPOSED ACT: Council Decision.

              BACKGROUND:  the stepping stone EPA has been negotiated with Ghana in order to avoid disrupting trade between this country and the Community on the expiry on 31 December 2007 of the trade provisions set out in Annex V of the Cotonou Agreement and the WTO waiver that covered them, and pending the completion of a comprehensive EPA with the whole West African region.

              Following the initialling of this Agreement respectively on 13 December 2007, Ghana was added to the list of countries benefiting from an EPA trade regime established by Council Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007, adopted on 20 December 2007. This Regulation provided for an advance application of the EPA trade regime.

              The negotiation of a full EPA with the whole West African region continues, consistently with the negotiating directives for EPAs with the ACP States adopted by Council on 12 June 2002. The countries of this region are:

              • Benin,
              • Burkina Faso,
              • Ivory Coast,
              • Guinea Bissau,
              • Mali,
              • Niger,
              • Senegal,
              • Togo,
              • Cape Verde,
              • Gambia,
              • Ghana,
              • Guinea,
              • Liberia,
              • Nigeria,
              • Sierra Leone,
              • Mauritania.

              CONTENT: the stepping stone EPA, which the Commission request the Council to conclude on behalf of the Community, after assent by the European Parliament, contains provisions on:

              ·         Trade in Goods,

              ·         Customs and Trade Facilitation,

              ·         Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

              There are also Development Cooperation provisions setting out priority areas of action for the implementation of the EPA. Each individual substantive chapter of the Agreement includes specific areas of cooperation and a Development Cooperation declaration establishes the link with the EU Aid for Trade strategy and recalls the Commission's and Member States’ intention to contribute to a regional development fund.

              The Agreement also foresees the continuation of negotiations at regional level on investment, services and trade related issues and provides that the full regional EPA will supersede it once concluded.

              Provisional application: pending the entry into force of the stepping stone EPA, the stepping stone EPA foresees the provisional application of the Agreement (see COM(2008)0440).

              Lastly, the European Parliament will be called upon to give its assent to the conclusion of the stepping stone EPA.

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