The EU and the East African Community (EAC) have managed to strike out important sticking points in their bilateral talks during the on-going Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations.
The Most Favoured Nation (MFN) clause, Rules of Origin (RoOs), and finally some parts of the agriculture chapter seem to have been resolved at technical level.
The MFN clause has reportedly been settled, using language reducing the automatic nature of the extension of concessions and placing the burden of proof on the European Commission (EC).
Most importantly, the agreement now privileges a “case by case” approach. It is not yet clear whether “major trading partners” have been defined, as was the case in West Africa, or if the “case by case approach” has been sufficient to assuage the EAC’s concerns.
Rules of Origins are now finalised, including remaining product-specific rules. The principles of asymmetry and cumulation, which had been controversial in the past, are also resolved.