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Unrealistic end to EPA talks

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, May 18, 2013

THE conclusion of negotiations between the European Union and Pacific Island states on a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on the export of fish products to Europe by June or July this year is unrealistic.

This was the comment made by the head of the EU delegation to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, while speaking to Pacific ACP leaders in Nadi.

"One of the issues raised was the possible impact of global sourcing on resource management," Mr Jacobs said.

"This is one of the reasons why we have to be certain that effective conservation and management measures of the fisheries resources are in place in the region before we conclude a new EPA."

He said it was for this reason that conclusion of negotiations during the next round in June and July in 2013 was simply not realistic.

"More time is needed at the technical level to narrow the considerable gaps and positions. Any bracketed texts would furthermore require clear political will for the heavy lifting of required sanctions to bridge the gap."