Representation at the European Union – SA withdraws from the ACP Group
South Africa has written to the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) announcing that it plans to quit the 79-member body. The OACPS, based in Brussels, is linked to the European Union by the 2000 Cotonou Agreement, and acts as a lobby group for developing countries at the EU on relevant issues. SA has not commented on its reason for leaving, however, this may be influenced by SA’s role in BRICS (the Brazil, Russia, India, China, SA trade group) and the feeling that SA can make better bilateral agreements with the EU than if it is struck in a very broad group of developing countries from across the globe (with their wide variety of different concerns). SA’s withdrawal comes at a sensitive time for the OACPS as Hungary is blocking attempts by the EU to sign the Post-Cotonou Agreement which will provide the basis for future legal, political, and economic relations between the EU and the ACP states.
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