Acp-Eu Partnership Agreement

The world has changed considerably since the adoption of the Cotonou Agreement almost twenty years ago in 2000. Global and regional contexts (in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean) have grown considerably and, as a result, the common global challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed. It is therefore necessary to review the broad objectives of the partnership in order to adapt to the new realities. The EU is therefore striving to reach a comprehensive political agreement that defines a modern agenda, framed by internationally agreed sustainable development roadmaps (UN 2030 agenda, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Addis Ababa action programme and Paris agreement, the EU`s new consensus on development, the EU`s comprehensive foreign policy and security strategy etc.). The next few months will be crucial as the EU enters a new era in relations with ACP countries. The negotiations will pave the way for a new dynamic and cooperation that goes beyond the traditional dimension of development. Perhaps the most radical amendment introduced by the Cotonou Agreement concerns trade cooperation. Since the first Lomé Convention in 1975, the EU has not granted reciprocal trade preferences to ACP countries. However, under the Cotonou Agreement, this system has been replaced by the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), a new regime that came into force in 2008. The new regime provides for reciprocal trade agreements, which means that not only does the EU grant duty-free access to its ACP export markets, but also that ACP countries grant duty-free access to their own markets for EU exports. The Cotonou agreement introduces the idea of performance-based partnerships and forgoes “aid rights” such as fixed endowments, regardless of delivery. We were invited to speak in Amsterdam at the informal European Council for Foreign Affairs and Development, under the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Such an invitation is unusual for a think tank. In the minutes of the meeting, our speech “reveals several myths about the ACP-EU partnership.” Relations between Africa and the EU and post-Cotonou: African collective action or fragmentation of partnerships? Alfonso Medinilla and Jean Bossuyt, ECDPM brief, March 2019 The EU and the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) have governed their relations through a series of partnership agreements since 1975. The most recent is the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which expires in 2020. Although formal negotiations on a new partnership will not begin until 2018, the future of the ACP-EU partnership has been the subject of intense discussion for several years.