The Economic Partnership Agreements are a system for creating a free trade area between the European Union and the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP). This is a response to persistent criticism that the EU`s proposed non-reciprocal and discriminatory preferential trade agreements are incompatible with WTO rules. The EPAs date back to the signing of the Cotonou Agreement. EPAs with different regions are in different playing conditions. In 2016, the EPAs were to be signed with three regional economic communities in Africa (East African Community, Economic Community of West African States and Southern African Development Community), but these faced challenges.  [must be updated] Negotiations on economic partnership agreements can take years to conclude. The agreements address a detailed set of issues that all need to be balanced in order to bring benefits to all parties. An agreement may be less difficult to reach between nations with a strong history of trade and cooperation, as was the case with the economic partnership agreements signed in 2007 by the European Union and the Asia-Caribbean and Pacific group. In the strict sense of a for-profit business run by two or more individuals, there are three broad categories of partnership: the general partnership, the single limited partnership and the single limited partnership. Opponents of economic partnership agreements argue that agreements can benefit more developed countries than their less developed partners. Stronger economies may be more likely to exploit their weaker partners, leading to unequal benefits.
In the view odi.org, economic partnership agreements must provide for reciprocity in order to be taken into account under World Trade Organization rules. This means that any action taken in favour of a given economy must be replicated by that economy, which in theory brings equal benefits for each country. There are different types of partnership agreements. In particular, in a partnership operation, all partners share commitments and benefits equally, while in other partners, liability is limited. There is also the so-called “silent partner,” in which a party does not participate in the day-to-day operations of the business. People in partnership can benefit from more favourable tax treatment than when they start a company. In other words, corporate profits are taxed, as are dividends paid to owners or shareholders. On the other hand, the benefits of partnerships are not doubly taxed. In this context, a first WTO waiver was granted to the EU in 1996, which expired in 2000. A request for an extension of this waiver was approved in 2001, in parallel with the launch of the WTO Doha Round, after an in-depth debate until 31 December 2007.
on the condition that Cotonou`s discriminatory trade regime be replaced only by WTO-compatible trade rules in favour of the ACP, That is, either free trade agreements (i.e. EPAs), a non-discriminatory and arbitrary preferential trade regime for developing countries (i.e. the generalised preference system – GSP), or non-preferential treatment (i.e. trade under the most country-favoured clause – WTO MFN) No, the “deadline” of 1 October 2014 does not mean the end of the EPA negotiations. The deadline relates only to the registration of countries at Mar 1528/2007 after that date, as discussed above. Negotiations on EPAs can continue as necessary (i.e. for countries that have not yet concluded an EPA but still want to, and for EPA countries/regions that have an appointment clause to continue negotiations on a broader framework, such as trade in services, investment and other trade-related issues).