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Summaries of EU Legislation

Cotonou Agreement

 

SUMMARY OF:

Partnership agreement 2000/483/EC — between ACP countries and the EU

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT?

The Cotonou Agreement is the backbone of the partnership between the EU, EU countries and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP).

It aims to reduce poverty towards its eradication, to support the sustainable economic, cultural and social development of the partner countries and to help the progressive integration of their respective economies into the world economy.

KEY POINTS

Main principles

The Cotonou Agreement is a close partnership based on a series of principles:

  • The partners to the agreement are equal.
  • The ACP countries determine their own development policies.
  • Cooperation is not only among governments: parliaments, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, economic and social partners play a role as well.
  • Cooperation arrangements and priorities vary according to aspects such as countries’ levels of development.

Organisation

Joint institutions are in place to support the implementation of the Cotonou Agreement:

  • The ACP Council of Ministers, assisted by the Committee of Ambassadors:
    • conducts political dialogue;
    • adopts policy guidelines; and
    • takes decisions to implement the agreement.
  • It presents an annual progress report to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. This consultative body makes recommendations on the achievement of the agreement’s objectives.
  • The joint ACP-EU ministerial trade committee discusses trade-related issue of concern to all ACP countries. It monitors the negotiation of and the implementation of economic partnership agreements. It also examines the impact of the multilateral trade negotiations on ACP-EU trade and the development of ACP economies.
  • The ACP-EU development finance cooperation committee examines the implementation of development finance cooperation and monitors progress.

Political dimension

The political dimension of the Cotonou Agreement is important and includes:

  • a comprehensive political dialogue on national, regional and global issues;
  • promoting human rights and democratic principles;
  • developing peace-building policies, conflict prevention and resolution;
  • addressing migration issues and security issues, including the fight against terrorism and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Activities

The agreement includes cooperation activities to boost:

  • economic development focusing on the industrial, agricultural, or tourism sectors of ACP countries;
  • social and human development to improve health, education and nutrition services; and
  • regional cooperation and integration to promote and expand trade among ACP countries.

These activities are funded through the European Development Fund.

The agreement complies with World Trade Organisation rules, and enables ACP states to play a full part in international trade.

Revision of the agreement

The agreement was signed in 2000 and will come to an end in 2020.

It was most recently revised in 2017 (Decision (EU) 2017/435). In 2010, the agreement was adapted to focus on issues such as:

Negotiations on a new agreement must start by August 2018.

A communication was adopted in 2016 on a renewed partnership for the post-2020 period. It:

FROM WHEN DOES THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT APPLY?

It has applied since 1 April 2003 as the last instrument of ratification or approval was deposited on 27 February 2003.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENT

Partnership agreement 2000/483/EC between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000 (OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, pp. 3-353)

Successive amendments to Partnership agreement 2000/483/EC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Joint statement by the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission (OJ C 210, 30.6.2017, pp. 1-24)

Council Decision (EU) 2017/435 of 28 February 2017 on the conclusion of the Agreement amending for the second time the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000, as first amended in Luxembourg on 25 June 2005 (OJ L 67, 14.3.2017, pp. 31-32)

Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council: A renewed partnership with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (JOIN(2016) 52 final, 22.11.2016)

last update 26.07.2018

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