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Brief On The European Union
The European Union was set up with the aim of ending the frequent and bloody wars between neighbours, which culminated in the Second World War in 1939. As of 1950, the European Coal and Steel Community began to unite European countries economically and politically in order to secure lasting peace. The six founders are Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands
MEMBER STATES OF THE EU
The EU is composed of 28 European countries namely Austria,  Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus ,Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,Finland,France,Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden  and United Kingdom.
 
COUNTRIES ON THE ROAD TO EU MEMBERSHIP
Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey.
 
POTENTIAL CANDIDATES FOR EU MEMBERSHIP
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Kosovo
 
KENYA’S TRADE WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION
Kenya has enjoyed a longstanding cordial association and trade relations with the European Communities, under the framework of the successive Lomé Conventions and the Cotonou Agreement.  The cooperation began in the 1960’s, prior to the Lomé Convention, and has been in the areas of, inter alia:
1.    Development finance,
2.    Trade, political,
3.    Industrial development,
4.    Energy, socio-cultural,
5.    Regional cooperation development,
6.  Agriculture and environment, with the objective to increase exports income, promote industrialization, and promote economic growth of developing countries.
 
EUROPEAN UNION MARKET PREFERENCES UNDER THE LOME CONVENTION
To achieve the above objectives, the European Union provided Kenya and other ACP countries preferential market access for primary products, essentially agriculture and other agro-based products, together with funds and other forms of assistance towards trade and private sector development. The preferences have been non-reciprocal, and are in the form of lower tariffs and/or tariff exemption in value-added (manufactured) products and agricultural products, provided they pose no direct competition with the Community products and do not discriminate among EU member states in terms of tariffs charged on their imports to Kenya.
 
BENEFITS OF THE LOME CONVENTION TO KENYA
The arrangement has benefited Kenya, particularly in the areas of horticulture and fisheries, due to the production and supply capacity potentials, and other agricultural products like tea, coffee, and sugar.
This non-reciprocal market access treatment was operational until January 2008, at which time the new reciprocal and WTO-compatible trade arrangement, namely the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), should have taken effect.  However, the EPAs are currently still under negotiation for certain ACP member states, including Kenya and are to be concluded by October 2014.

KENYA’S EXPORTS TO THE EUROPEAN UNION
Kenya’s exports to the EU are mainly agricultural commodities such as cut flowers, fruits and vegetables, which account for over 90% of total export value. Others are tea, coffee, fish and fisheries products, sugar, semi-processed tobacco, textile and clothing, coffee and handicrafts, among others. Though trade with the EU is heavily in its favour as shown in the statistics shown below. It remains Kenya’s second largest market after COMESA. The United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and France are leading EU destinations of Kenyan exports.
 
KENYA EXPORT TRADE STATISTICS
REGION STATISTICS

REGION:    European Union

YEAR:

EXPORT VALUE: KSH.

2003

57,343,268,678

2004

58,287,300,039

2005

60,349,624,023

2006

66,384,918,700

2007

72,710,963,456

2008

89,529,984,825

2009

91,360,414,359

2010

97,921,823,430

2011

115,866,249,505

2012

108,718,787,412

AVERAGE VALUES

67,050,470,496

Source: Centre For Business Information In Kenya Export Promotion Council

 

 
 
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