The implementation of the Cotonou agreement has been extended until December 2020. The agreement was originally due to expire in February 2020, but as negotiations on the future agreement are still ongoing, this has been delayed until the end of the year. The EU will work towards a comprehensively revised agreement, based on a common basis at THE ACP level, in conjunction with three bespoke regional partnerships for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. The EU funds most of its development programmes for ACP countries through the European Development Fund (EDF). These funds are not part of the EU`s overall budget. They are subject to internal agreement between the Member States meeting in the Council. 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 However, under the Cotonou Agreement, this system has been replaced by the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), a new regime that came into force in 2008.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.
CONCORD is closely following the revision of the Cotonou Agreement, the EU`s most comprehensive partnership with developing countries. The agreement expires in 2020 and formal negotiations will begin in August 2018. What is going on? What about CONCORD? You can find all the latest useful information in this blog here. Our current relations with ACP countries are governed by the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (2000), also known as the Cotonou Agreement, which brings together more than 100 partner countries and about 1.5 billion people. It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement ever signed between the EU and third countries. The ACP-EU Council of Ministers is the supreme institution of the ACP-EU partnership. It meets once a year, alternating in Brussels and an ACP country, and consists of an EPA signed in 2009 for the East and Southern Africa region, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. The agreement has been implemented on an interim basis since 14 May 2012. On 12 December 2017, the European Commission presented the Council with its recommendation on negotiations with ACP countries. We pose three challenges to refine the Commission`s proposal in the coming months and to ensure an urgent modernisation of EU external partnerships. In order to adapt to new challenges, the agreement was revised in 2005 and 2010 to focus more on the following themes: the EU negotiated a series of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the 79 ACP countries.
These agreements aim to create a common trade and development partnership, supported by development aid. The EU and the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) have governed their relations since 1975 through a series of partnership agreements. 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.