Lomé Convention

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Lomé Convention

in the law of the EUROPEAN UNION the agreements, the fourth of which expired in 2000, which were the foundation for the Union's links with the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific countries) and overseas territories. It became a series of bilateral agreements with more than 60 countries. Originally concluded with a view to the post-colonial situation of some of the member states, it became an instrument of development and aid. The general basis of it was to allow the produce of Convention states to enter the Union free of the common customs tariff but without reciprocity for the Union. Member States were, however, allowed most favoured nation status. A system was developed to assist states that rely on a single product - the Union evens out the good years and the bad years: the downside was that this intervention did not encourage diversification in the beneficiary state. Present arrangements are under the COTONOU AGREEMENT of 2000.
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The signing of the first ACP-EEC Lome Agreement in 1975 seemed, therefore, to be the culmination of a decade-long struggle by developing states to achieve these development objectives.
Throughout the period 1973-5, when the ACP-EEC officials were negotiating the Lome agreement, the Anglophone Caribbean rum producers, represented by the West Indies Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA) had been of the understanding that they would be able to sell their rums widely within the European markets, free from any quantitative trade restrictions.
Nevertheless, despite certain drawbacks in the Lome Agreements, the ACP Group remained strongly committed to a continuation of the cooperation with its European partners.
Aid management under the Lome agreement is now criticized for its general ineffectiveness in promoting sustainable development in ACP countries.
The incoming Government will have to grapple with difficulties such as the impact of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt) regime which came into force in January and will cut back the value of Lome agreements.