Economic Partnership Agreements
The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the Pacific Island Countries and the European Union started negotiations in 2001 and were sold as a development agreement for the Pacific countries. After years of negotiations and the EU insisting on a 2007 deadline, Papua New Guinea and Fiji signed onto the interim-EPAs (iEPAs) in order to maintain market access for the fish cannery and sugar industries respectively.
The iEPAs however are full of many contentious issues that the remaining Pacific countries want to see remedied. Negotiations have now stalled on largely on account of the Pacific refusing to negotiate access to their fisheries as part of the EPAs and the EU putting a 3-year hiatus on negotiations to allow the Pacific to consider their positions.
The iEPAs contain many trouble commitments that PANG and other civil society organizations have voiced opposition to. More information about the EPAs and what they mean for Pacific peoples can been found below.