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The EU–ACP Economic Partnership Agreements and the 'Development Question':
Constraints and opportunities posed by Article XXIV and special and differential treatment provisions of the WTO

Journal of International Economic Law, 24 April 2007

Cosmas Milton Obote Ochieng1

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

SARPN acknowledges Dr. Cosmas Milton Obote Ochieng as the source of this document.
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This article argues that Article XXIV and special and differential treatment (SDT) provisions of the WTO present a number of constraints and opportunities to the design and scope of the proposed economic partnership agreements between the European Union (EU) and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It examines the negotiating positions of both sides to argue that were the EU’s position to prevail, ACP and other developing countries would likely suffer an ‘erosion of the development principles’ embedded within the WTO. It is shown that the differences between the two groups over the desirability and/or applicability of negotiating free trade agreements between developed and developing countries under the ‘strict’ jurisdiction of Article XXIV, and of negotiating agreements on services and the ‘Singapore Issues’, amount to a contestation over the principles of reciprocity and SDT within the WTO, and of the scope of the WTO.

  1. Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington DC, USA and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Email: . The author is indebted to Hanna Wossenyeleh for her research assistance.

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