The agreements provide a framework for cooperation, not competition between geographically distant economies. An agreement between a stronger economy and a weaker economy should stimulate the economic development of the weaker nation, while bringing real benefits to the strongest. They aim to maintain peace between nations in different parts of the world and to improve the standard of living of families in less developed countries. By concluding an EPA with the EU, ACP countries retain preferential treatment in terms of tariffs and quotas. In theory, the EPA will promote economic development and improve the quality of life of citizens in member states. However, with the expiration of non-reciprocal trade preferences, Member States will lose revenue from the imposition of tariffs on EU products. Whether the loss is significant depends on how Member States have changed their fiscal policy. How can the WTO EPA be made compatible? Reform of the rules governing regional trade agreements Economic partnership agreements between the European Union and the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states are important in that they take into account the development needs of CPA members. At the same time, these agreements provide for the gradual integration of APC members into the global economy, in accordance with the provisions of the World Trade Organization. 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.  [it should be updated] The Cotonou Agreement offers EU and ACP countries the opportunity to negotiate development-oriented free trade agreements, known as Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). EPAs are firmly rooted in the goals of sustainable development, human rights and development cooperation, which are at the heart of the Cotonou agreement. 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. Because of the WTO`s persistent incompatibility with previous agreements, the main feature of EPAs is their reciprocity and non-discriminatory nature. These include the phasing out of all trade preferences introduced between the EU and ACP countries since 1975 and the phasing out of trade barriers between partners.