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    The EU Economic Partnership Agreements

    The Economic Partnership Agreement – the "EPA" – between certain countries of the Southern African Development Community (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) and the European Union might seem very recent and modern, but it is in fact the culmination of nearly 70 years of development cooperation, a core obligation under the EU's 1957 founding Treaty of Rome. This was initially embodied in two generations of "Yaoundé Convention", then four generations of "Lomé Convention", but in the late 1990s the whole structure of the relationship between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries was challenged at the World Trade Organisation and it was clear that the old ACP-EU cooperation model had run its course. A new approach was needed.