Written question – EU-SADC relations – E-005436/2016

In early June 2016, the EU and six countries of the Southern African Development Community — Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland ‐signed an Economic Partnership Agreement. Its main goal is the reciprocal, yet asymmetrical, abolition of trade barriers and the opening of the respective markets.

The EU is the largest trading partner of these six SADC Member States. EUR 32 billion worth of goods, mostly minerals and metals, were imported by the EU in 2015 alone. The main exported goods to the region are from the automotive, engineering and chemical sectors.

1. What are the Commission’s estimations on EU-SADC EPA trade dynamics by 2020?

2. Does the Commission see any potential for developing the SADC into an integration project comparable to Mercosur, ASEAN, NAFTA or even the EU, or some kind of sub-regional integration bloc within the African Economic Community?

3. What are the approximate dates and nature of the potential future agreements — similar in nature to the EU-SADC EPA — between the EU and the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) and the East African Community (EAC)?