To put pressure on the negotiations, the EU set a new deadline: ACP countries that had initialled or signed (provisional) EPAs but did not ratify or start implementing these agreements before 1 January 2014 would lose their preferential access to the EU. As a result of this threat, regional EPAs were initialled in West, East and Southern Africa in the summer of 2014. However, the European Commission has warned the three regions against withdrawing preferential market access if these regional EPAs are not ratified within two years. In the summer of 2016, the European Commission presented the legal instruments to address this threat on 1 October 2016. All target countries (non-LDCs) (Ghana, Côte d`Ivoire, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Kenya) have capitulated and „ratified“. The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly is an advisory body composed equally of representatives of the EU and ACP countries. The Assembly encourages democratic processes and allows for better understanding between the peoples of the EU and those of the ACP countries. Issues related to development and the ACP-EU partnership, including economic partnership agreements, will also be addressed. Relations between the European Union (EU) and the ACP group changed considerably during the 1990s. . .