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Cotonou Agreement

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Cotonou Agreement



Partnership Agreement 2000/483/EC between the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States of the one part, and the EU, of the other part


  • The Cotonou Agreement is the backbone of the partnership between the European Union (EU), EU countries and 79 countries located on 3 continents in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific states (ACP).
  • It aims at reducing poverty towards its eradication, at supporting the sustainable economic, cultural and social development of the partner countries and at facilitating the progressive integration of their economy into the world economy.


  • The Cotonou Agreement is a close partnership based on a series of fundamental 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.
  • 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, 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 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.
  • 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 states.
    • 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.
  • The agreement was signed in 2000 and will come to an end in 2020. It was most recently revised in 2010 (Decision 2010/648/EC), which adapted the partnership to focus more on issues such as:


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


  • Signed on 23 June 2000 in Cotonou, Bénin, the partnership agreement between the ACP States and the EU is the latest phase in the cooperation between the ACP states and the EU. For certain ACP states, the cooperation started with the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. It was extended with the 2 Yaoundé conventions and the 4 Lomé conventions. A communication was adopted in 2016 on a renewed partnership with the ACP countries for the post-2020 period.
  • For more information, see:


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.


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 08.12.2016