EU Strategy on Aid for Trade: Enhancing EU support for trade-related needs in developing countries: Conclusions, 29 October 2007

Sectors : International trade: market access, subsidies and aid for trade, Regional cooperation and integration
Organisation : EU
Date made: 
Heads Of State
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Commitments in: Trade - International trade: market access, subsidies and aid for trade


...(e) With a view to supporting regional integration and achieving greater complementarity and cooperation at regional level, the EU will:

• Collectively upgrade AfT at regional level so as to further strengthen its support to regional organisations' implementation of their regional integration strategies, including by:
- supporting regional organisations’ capacity to organise coordination and wider stakeholder involvement at the regional level;
- assisting, where needed, regional organisations in the further identification and prioritisation of trade-related needs;
- providing adequate responses to priorities, using joint delivery mechanisms where possible.
• Support the translation of regional needs into national implementation strategies, taking care to channel support activities to the appropriate geographical level of intervention.

...5. Building upon, fostering and supporting ACP regional integration processes with an ACP-specific angle of EU AfT

...(a) The Council Conclusions on AfT of May 2007 state that the Strategy will indicate the overall share of the Community and Member States increase in TRA available for needs prioritised by ACP countries. In the context of efforts to increase the collective EU TRA to € 2 billion annually by 2010, in the range of 50% of the increase will be available for these ACP needs. The spend will reflect policy and programming decisions at country and region levels.

(b) A prerequisite to deliver on both TRA and wider AfT commitments is to enhance the integration of trade-related concerns into ACP national development strategies, implementation plans or national budgets. In this context, the EU will enhance its dialogue on these issues with ACP countries and other donors and financial institutions present at country level, with a view to achieving integration of trade concerns into the ACP countries' poverty reduction and development strategies by 2013.

(c) To promote an effective response to the wider AfT agenda in ACP countries and regions, the EU will:

• Continue and strengthen the support to trade-related infrastructure through increased support to national, regional and continental initiatives, including the EU Africa Infrastructure Partnership, giving priority to use of existing schemes;
• Reinforce support to productive capacity building on the basis of coherent regional and national strategies, involving local stakeholders and the private sector, and contributing to improving the business and investment climate;
• Contribute to the absorption of net fiscal impact resulting from tariff liberalisation in the context of EPAs in full complementarity with fiscal reforms;
• On the basis of the above, seek to increase support to the wider AfT agenda in a manner which is proportionate to overall ODA increase in ACP countries;
• Further explore the contribution that could be made by the EIB and Regional Development Banks.

(d) With a view to the application of aid effectiveness at the regional and national level, and in order to support strengthened regional integration of ACP regions, the EU will:

• Support the technical capacity of regional and national ACP institutions for identifying, prioritising, designing, implementing and monitoring AfT regional programmes;
• Work together within the Regional Preparatory Task Forces (RPTF) during the EPAs negotiations, and subsequently within the framework of country and regional donor coordination and in the relevant institutions, to support the identification of EPA related needs and coordination of support activities at regional and national level; this coordination will aim at ensuring good interaction between AfT national and regional programmes;
• Focus regional AfT in ACP countries on initiatives which target a deepening of regional integration, such as elimination of remaining intra-regional barriers to trade in goods and services, strengthening and modernising regional customs rules and arrangements, strengthening and harmonising standards and technical regulations, promoting and strengthening regional conformity assessment institutions, as well as the integration of financial and capital markets and the free movement of persons;
• Further support capacity development in ACP countries and regions in trade-related rules and regulations in the areas of competition policy and law, investment, transparency in public procurement and intellectual property rights;
• Participate on a voluntary basis in regionally-owned funding mechanisms, such as the regional funds, on the basis of a structured dialogue between regional institutions and EU donors, whilst seeking contributions from other donors and institutions, notably regional development banks and the World Bank as well as from regional and national ACP authorities;
• Monitor the implementation of the EU AfT related to EPAs through arrangements to be established in this context and in coherence with regular aid programme monitoring processes.”