Initiated in September 2018, the negotiations of the new Partnership Agreement between the European Union (EU) and its Member States, on the one hand, and the Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific (OACP) States, on the other (henceforth the Post-Cotonou Agreement), ended in April 2021. This essay examines the strong focus on mobility and circular migration. It also shows that the emphasis on readmission (extensively detailed in Chapter 4 of the Post-Cotonou agreement) is tantamount to the EU’s attempt to consolidate legal mechanisms aimed at ensuring the temporariness of international migration. Such developments raise, however, a host of challenges.
Cotonou Partnership Agreement
The Economic Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Kenya and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Kenya-UK EPA) was signed by both parties on 8th December 2020. Unlike the proposed US-Kenya FTA (whose fate is uncertain under the new Biden administration), this agreement is at an advanced stage and there are many indications that it will enter into force as it has been approved by the Kenyan executive and only awaits parliamentary approval and ratification.
Over the past two decades, a number of factors have disrupted the Cotonou acquis. The opportunity to regenerate the ACP-EU relationship on new terms requires the parties to respond to challenges at the international, regional and domestic levels. At the global level, we have witnessed the declining influence of the USA and the EU on the international stage as emerging economies, like China and India, gain more economic and political power. As the EU’s leverage is not as significant as it was when the CPA was signed almost twenty years ago, multipolarity may present an opportunity for the ACP countries to diversify their partnerships and forge new relationships with non-EU countries.
The AfCFTA will continue to face a number of risks that threaten to impede continental integration in favour of fragmentation. Of interest to this post are bilateral trade agreements between African countries, individually or in smaller groups, on the one hand, and non-African countries or regions, on the other.
Thus, for purposes of AfCFTA sustainability, AfCFTA implementation mechanisms should: integrate inclusive and participatory decision-making process; retain policy space for national interests; and extend AfCFTA benefits to all society groups—women, youth, people with disabilities, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)—without comprising the sustainability of environmental resources.
Welcome to Afronomicslaw.org, a blog on the international economic law landscape as it relates to Africa. A major goal of this blog is to complement current analysis of international economic law issues as they relate to Africa in the blogosphere. We believe that this blog is particularly timely because there are significant international economic law developments taking place in Africa that invite more contemporaneous reflection and discussion.