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Draft EPA Model Bills up for Consideration

Legislative drafters from regional states signatory to the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM)-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) are to meet on 26-28 June in Grenada, to discuss draft Model Bills to give effect to provisions of the Agreement, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) headquarters said in a statement.

The Meeting is being mounted the CARICOM Secretariat-based EPA Implementation Unit, in keeping with its mandate to assist CARIFORUM States in the implementation of the provisions of the Agreement. The Unit’s Legal Officer, Ms Alexis Downes-Amsterdam, is spearheading the Meeting.

The upcoming event is the third such meeting of legislative drafters, organized by the Unit, on draft Model Bills under the CARIFORUM-EU EPA. As with the preceding meetings, it will be funded under the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund).

Two draft Model Bills will be the subject of deliberations at the Meeting: (i) Draft Model CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (Implementation) Bill, 2013; and (ii) Draft Model Immigration (Temporary Stay of EU Services Suppliers) Bill, 2013.

Since respective CARIFORUM States signed the EPA, commitments fall to each of them regarding the various provisions. Legislative obligations arise, as a result.

The expectation is the Regional EPA Implementation Unit’s technical assistance in the area of draft Model Bills, of the kind that will be the focus of the upcoming Meeting and that were considered in the previous two Meetings, will support authorities in CARIFORU.

States in their efforts to craft relevant domestic legislation in support of EPA implementation.

The EPA was signed by fourteen CARIFORUM States in October 2008 and by the fifteenth CARIFORUM State, Haiti, in December 2009, and it is being provisionally applied since 29 December 2008.

The fifteen signatory CARIFORUM States to the EPA are the independent CARICOM Member States and the Dominican Republic.