European Union and Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States begin negotiations on a new Partnership Agreement

On September 28, the European Union and 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific began negotiations on the future of their cooperation after 2020. The ambition is to transform today’s partnership into a modern policy framework aimed at achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

The European Union (EU) countries, together with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, represent more than half of the UN member countries and unite more than 1.5 billion people. The current partnership, governed by the Cotonou Agreement, which ends in 2020, is one of the longest and most comprehensive cooperation frameworks between the EU and the countries considered to be in development.

To mark the opening of the first round of political negotiations in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the EU’s main negotiator, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said that “the partnership between The EU and the countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific is an asset to the EU and to multilateralism in general. Revision of the existing agreement is a great opportunity to further deepen the partnership and modernize it in response to global developments such as the UN Agenda 2030 or the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”

The Togolese Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the negotiator of the Group of ACP States, Professor Robert Dussey, recalled that “the link between the ACP Group and the EU was established in 1975 in the first article of the Agreement of Georgetown – the Constitutive Act of the ACP Group”. He also stressed that “the ACP-EU partnership is a valuable and unique achievement that strengthens the ties between the EU and the ACP over the last 45 years of its existence.”

This partnership aims at closer political cooperation on the world stage, capable of meeting the major global challenges, and thus becoming an enriching example of multilateralism as the cornerstone of a rule-based world order. This agreement will mean that the EU and the ACP will work together to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, such as climate change, migration, peace and security.

To achieve the desired impact, the future partnership aims to adapt to the new realities of the European Union, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, taking into account the geographical specificities of each.

Future cooperation will facilitate strong building of alliances in global forums and address key issues that current and future generations can benefit from.