Reflection on the Future of the Programme

PALOP-TL and the EU are developing a new Policy Dialogue mechanism to support the future of the Cooperation. Recognizing that dialogue is the cornerstone of a multilateral approach to international cooperation, the partner countries have begun to reflect on the vision for the future of the cooperation, which will count with a platform for structured dialogue.

This process aims to bring these countries and the EU closer in relation to the formulation of policies, to support the development of countries and to increase collaboration on issues of the international agenda.

The relationship between the PALOP-TL and the EU is framed in the Cotonou Agreement, signed on 23 June 2000, which governs the cooperation between the European Commission and the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries, up to 2020. The debate on the future of EU-ACP relations is now at the negotiating table where new priorities and cooperation structures will be defined.

In this context, the PALOP-TL have been looking for new ways of deepening the current partnership with the European Union in a post-Cotonou scenario. A study carried out at the end of 2018, to support the definition of these same strategies, revealed that the ” policy dialogue mechanism, applied to a regional partnership, can enrich the process of political reform in different aspects, taking advantage of the common will to cooperate, shared understandings, the history of relations and trust between partners”.

In interviews, representatives of the PALOP-TL countries expressed their intention to continue the cooperation programme, preferring to maintain their coordination and management structures separate of other organizations and / or programmes, in a post Cotonou framework, with the expectation of strengthening the specific cooperation they have had with the European Union for 27 years.

The new dialogue mechanism could intervene at all stages of the policy-making process, with a structured exchange on issues of common interest between national governments and partners, as well as experts in the areas under discussion. The mechanism also proposes a closer articulation between the various levels of decision-making and the effective and broad participation of public and private sectors.

Following the unanimous approval of the proposed Policy Dialogue mechanism, discussed at the XIII Meeting of Ministers, National Authorities of the PALOP-TL with the European Union, in March 2019 in Maputo, a phased implementation of the mechanism is expected to be launched this year.