This background paper summarises the official negotiating process between the EU and the ACP countries concluded in February 2000 and examines alternatives and various proposals presented by independent consultants and from within the NGO community. Material drawn upon includes the final text of the new framework agreement, official statements of the negotiating parties, minutes from informal meetings with the participation of both ACP and EU representatives, studies conducted by independent researchers and documents prepared by NGOs who monitored the negotiating process. Since the nature of future trade arrangements emerged as one of the most controversial issues during the negotiations so far this paper will concentrate on this issue and will only spotlight other areas of negotiations, such as civil society participation, good governance and financial instruments, where agreement had also proven to be difficult to achieve. There is a wealth of publications on future trade options available both from independent researchers and from representatives of the European NGO communities. These will be referred to in the following text whenever appropriate.
Author: Klaus Schilder