State of play of EPAs with ACP countries (as of October 2016)

The variety of situations regarding economic partnership agreements highlights the fact that the ACP group is less cohesive. Its pledge from 2002 to negotiate collectively on ‘issues of common interest’ soon proved hard to keep: although it wanted first to conclude a framework agreement, it yielded to the EU’s wish to negotiate along regional lines. It is contended by several analysts that, in providing for such clustered trade agreements, the Cotonou Agreement laid the ground for the fragmentation of the ACP-EU partnership.