A. HAVING REGARD to the Resolution on Sugar adopted by the 98th session of the ACP Council of Ministers held in Brussels (Belgium), from 10-11 December 2013;
B. NOTING that with the end of the EU sugar and isoglucose quotas in September 2017 the ACP would lose its preferential market share as a result of open competition among ACP, EU and third country;
C. NOTING the December 2013 report by the European Commission Services entitled "Prospects for Agricultural Markets and Income in the EU 2012/2022" which concludes that the expiry of sugar quotas would lead to a reduction of the domestic sugar price in the EU with prices falling to a low Eur 403/tonne. Imports, including preferential access, would be less attractive and the EU would move close to self sufficiency and may even become a net exporter from time to time. Noting also that prices have already fallen from Eur 723/tonne to some Eur 500/tonne over the past year causing serious hardships to growers;
D. RECALLING that the real value of the preference was the difference between the prices the ACP could obtain on the EU market and those obtainable on the world market. This difference, most likely to be reduced by the CAP reform, could be further eroded by WTO negotiations not only by significant tariff reductions but also by reductions in domestic support and by constraints on subsidized exports;
E. NOTING that Article 13.3 of Council Regulation 1528/2007 and other relevant provisions in respective EPAs provide for Sugar specific safeguard measures applicable to non LDC ACP countries post 30th September 2015 ;
F. CONCERNED that in its negotiations of FTAs with third parties, the EU has, provided certain concessions relating to the import of sugar which further erodes the preferences the ACP countries enjoy on the EU market;
Reiterating the ACP position that there remains at the end 2013, a shortfall of around 100 million Euro shortfall under the AMSP arising from accounting irregularities as well as the application of the EU's financial regulations; and
Recognising that some beneficiaries have not been able to make full use of their allocation as a result of circumstances beyond their control and that such amount will be decommitted.
G. CONCERNED that any mandatory COOL (Country of origin labelling) requirement in the sugar sector would represent a major non technical barrier to ACP sugar trade;
H. NOTING that the stated position of the EU to take into account development cooperation objectives in trade and other related policies in pursuit of policy coherence for development;
I. RECOGNIZING the significant technical results attained so far under the first phase of the ACP Sugar Research Programme in terms of deepening academic knowledge, provision of the required infrastructure, new infrastructures, development and capacity building, networking and partnerships for research and development as well as prospects for new industrial clusters based on the valorisation of new components extracted from the Sugar Cane biomass; and
J. NOTING the positive response to the call for project proposals received from ACP research centres and their partners which meet both the expectations of the relevant ACP States for enhancing competitiveness, and the broad guidelines established by the EU in economic and social matters.
1. Calls on the European Union and the European Commission to:
ensure that its commitment in respect of policy coherence between trade, agriculture and development policies is fully respected in all decision making processes, particularly on sugar related issues;
commit to review in 2017 the impact of the new sugar regime and the new FTAs on the ACP Sugar Supplying States and to take corrective measures if necessary;
rescind the sugar specific safeguard provisions applicable post September 2015 in the respective EPAs and to exclude such provisions in any upcoming sugar import implementation regulation resulting from the recent CAP agreement;
examine modalities and mechanisms for reinstating the sum of around 100 million Euros shortfall under the AMSP ;
display flexibility in implementing the AMSP to allow full utilisation of allocated resources through reallocation amongst beneficiary countries;
consider reallocating such funds which may be decommitted by any beneficiary in respect of any uncompleted project to other projects proposed by the beneficiary;
consider granting new accompanying support in view of the new challenges which the ACP Sugar Supplying States are likely to face with the end of the EU quotas in 2017;
ensure that ACP preferences are not eroded as a result of market access concessions in its FTA negotiations and to ensure are maintained to the maximum extent possible in the WTO negotiations;
ascertain that no mandatory to the ”C00L" requirement is applied to the sugar sector;
provide adequate funds for a new Sugar Research and Innovation Programme on the basis of proposals made by the ACP research centres and their partners;
2. Instructs the President of the Council of Ministers to forward this resolution to the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European Parliament.
Nairobi, 18 June 2014