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COMECE Secretariat welcomes European Commission initiative to open EU markets to Least Developed Countries



COMECE Secretariat welcomes European Commission's "Everything But Arms" initiative

Press Release - 20 September 2000 COMECE Secretariat welcomes European Commission initiative to open EU markets to Least Developed Countries

The Secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) warmly welcomes the European Commission's "Everything but Arms" (EBA) initiative to provide duty-free and quota-free access for all products from all least developed countries into the EU (except those related to the arms trade). Previous initiatives by the European Commission regrettably excluded sectors, such as agriculture and textiles, which are of vital importance to the economies of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and yet which represent relatively low levels of imports into the EU. The COMECE Secretariat welcomes this sign of real commitment from the European Commission to help the LDCs gain access to the global marketplace. It also hopes that this initiative will give momentum to the preparations for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations. COMECE has long supported the efforts to construct a multilateral trade system based on the principles of justice, responsibility and partnership. The Secretariat of COMECE encourages the French Presidency of the EU to do everything possible to ensure that the Council of Ministers adopts the "EBA" initiative wholeheartedly and at the earliest opportunity.

COMECE represents the fourteen Catholic Bishops' Conferences of the European Union. The Bishops' Conferences of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Switzerland are associate members. Contact: John Coughlan COMECE Press Officer Tel. +32 2 235 0515 or + 32 486 583250
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Alessandro Di Maio

Press & Communications Manager E-mail contact Tel.: +32 (0) 2 235 05 15
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