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Economic Partnerships Brussels, 17 January 2013

European Parliament backs EU’s first Economic Partnership Agreement with Africa

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A good majority of MEPs (494 in favour) today endorsed the trade and development agreement concluded by the EU and four Eastern and Southern African states (ESA) Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe. The deal has already been provisionally applied since 14 May 2012. Under the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament is required to give its consent on the EU's trade agreements. Today’s vote paves the way for the official entry into force of this interim Economic Partnership Agreement, which will be possible as soon as EU Member States and ESA countries will have ratified it.

Welcoming the support given by MEPs, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht declared: “This Agreement provides a sound basis for our African partners to make a real difference to the lives of their citizens. It sets out the sort of long-term vision we need for our relationship with these countries to achieve sustainable economic growth and development. I hope companies in the African countries concerned can take full advantage of it.” Exporters of tuna, textiles and horticultural products in Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe are among those likely to benefit from the agreement.

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