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Cameroon-European Union: agreements and disagreements around a partnership


A view of the port of #Douala, the main point of embarkation and disembarkation of goods from #Cameroon to the #European #Union

#Beyond bombastic diplomatic language, the unexpected occurrence of the health crisis linked to #Covid-19 is only the hidden face of a tumultuous relationship that led to the suspension of the #Economic #Partnership #Agreements (EPAs).

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#Six years after the signing of the #Economic #Partnership #Agreements between the #European #Union (EU) and #Cameroon, the sky has often been cloudy between the two partners regardless of the fact that diplomacy has always been responsible for fixing the angles. The machine has really seized up in the light of the 5th phase of the EPAs which should have entered into force on #August 4, 2020. #An extension at the request of #Cameroon which was based on article 31 of the #Agreement which provides for suspension possibilities.

#Despite this valid reason linked to the #Coronavirus pandemic which is seriously impacting economic activities, the EU protested strongly not only because there were stumbling blocks on “the accompanying measures to promote an increase quantitative and qualitative goods and services produced and exported by #Cameroon ”but also because“ this request has reached us in coincidence with the letter from the government which informed us of the temporary suspension of the implementation of the EPA ”, specifies the EU.

#In other words, the #European #Union considers that #Cameroon is using the #Covid-19 as a pretext to undermine the implementation of the EPAs, the 4th phase of which should end on #August 3, 2020. #Pushed into these last entrenchments, #Cameroon invoked #Article 57 of the 1969 #Vienna #Convention on #International #Treaties, relating to cases of force majeure. #On the basis of this provision, a contracting party may partially or totally suspend the application of an #Agreement.

#Cameroon, of which the #European #Union is the first economic partner, was almost forced to suspend this agreement, given that the extra-community barriers have been closed since last #March because of #Covid-19. #In addition, the EU is both the country’s leading partner for imports (35%) and for its exports (46%). #In 2019, #Cameroonian exports to the #European #Union amounted to 1400 billion FCFA while imports peaked at 1000 billion FCFA.

#According to sources, the dismantling of customs barriers within the framework of the EPAs should resume on #January 1, 2021. #Despite these upheavals, “the #Cameroon-European #Union relationship remains cordial,” observers said. #Last #July, the #Cameroonian government presented a support plan estimated at 607.63 million euros (398.6 billion FCFA), aimed in particular at improving the business environment, promoting integration and the implementation of the EPA.



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https://www.financialafrik.com/2020/12/31/cameroun-union-europeenne-accords-et-desaccords-autour-dun-partenariat/

##CameroonEuropean ##Union #agreements #disagreements #partnership

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