Under the Cooperation Program of the PALOP and East Timor with the European Union, an Extraordinary Meeting of the National Authorizing Officers of the PALOP and East Timor was held on the 8th and 9th of March 2018 in Brussels, Belgium, to assess the current stage of the program projects’ implementation and the formulation of the programs under the 11th EDF. It was also the opportunity to approve the new visual identity of the program and to publicize the new website, in the framework of the celebrations of this Cooperation Program’s 25 years of existence.
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.
The 13th Meeting of Ministers, National Authorizing Officers of the European Fund for the Development of Portuguese-Speaking African Countries and Timor-Leste (PALOP-TL) with the European Union (EU) took place on the 8th of March in Maputo, Mozambique. Both parties reaffirmed the importance of cooperation between the PALOP-TL countries and the European Union, in addition to the current framework of relations between the European Union and the ACP (Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries) and as an innovative example of south-south and triangular international cooperation.
The PALOP-TL countries and the European Union have shown their satisfaction with the positive evolution of the cooperation maintained until now. Beyond that, stakeholders are committed to implementing a public policy dialogue, in order to further deepen the partnership between the countries and the EU on the formulation of public policies. The Meeting also served to strengthen collaboration between partners on issues of the international agenda and strengthening of multilateralism.
Two new cooperation projects starting this year were launched at the Meeting. On the one hand, the PROCULTURA project, which will strengthen the technical knowledge of specialized human resources, creating a focus on the culture sector and increase the access of cultural products from PALOP-TL to regional and international markets. On the other hand, the PRO PALOP-TL ISC Phase II, which will be based on three pillars of training for (a) budget executives, (b) higher control institutions (ISC) and (c) parliaments and civil society organizations, continuing to give priority to the consolidation of the public finance management systems of the PALOP-TL.
According to Stefano Manservisi, Director-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission, “the European Union is a strong partner of the PALOP-TL. The EU believes that culture has the power to build bridges between people, reinforce mutual understanding and, in particular, be an engine for inclusive economic growth and social development through the creation of decent jobs. This is why we have developed several programs to support the cultural area, in which PROCULTURA is a concrete contribution to the project aimed at implementing reforms in the public finance sector is also very important for contributing to effective public spending and improving the quality of services for its citizens. ”
The cooperation between PALOP-TL countries with the European Union has been in force for more than 27 years and is part of the global partnership between the Group of African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the European Union established by the Cotonou Agreement. It aims to support the development efforts of this group of 6 countries, with a common historical-cultural, institutional and linguistic matrix, in strengthening cooperation in areas of mutual interest, by identifying common solutions, promoting the exchange of knowledge, experiences and the dissemination of good practices.
Between the 4th and 7th of December, the second Forum of Criminal Investigation Police of the PALOP and East Timor was held at the headquarters of the Judiciary Police in Lisbon. Researchers from the criminal investigation police of the PALOP-TL, with responsibility in the area of economic and financial crime, met for sessions of knowledge sharing and to acquire new tools and mechanisms in asset recovery and asset loss.
This initiative was promoted by Camões – Instituto de Cooperação e da Língua, IP, through the Project for the Consolidation of the Rule of Law in the PALOP and Timor-Leste (PACED), in partnership with the Office of Asset Recovery of the Judiciary Police, and the participation of 24 criminal investigation police officers from Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and Timor-Leste.
The forum focused on research and legal mechanisms for the recovery of goods and products seized in favour of the State or victims, in order to prevent organized crime, corruption and economic and financial crime from generating profits for those who practice these activities.
The PACED is under the scope of the European Union’s partnership with the PALOP and Timor-Leste and aims to affirm and consolidate the rule of law in these countries, as well as to prevent and combat corruption, money laundering and organized crime, in particular, trafficking of narcotic drugs.
The cooperation between the PALOP-TL and the European Union (EU) has a new image and website, online from today, with information on the history of the partnership, the programs and projects carried out, news, as well as a knowledge space that invites the public to reflect on topics relevant to cooperation. The scientific and technical knowledge generated in the past, in production in the present and projected for the future, is one of the main assets of this partnership, now accessible to all.
The relationship between the PALOP-TL and the European Union represents a great opportunity for the economic and social development of the countries, while at the same time strengthening and promoting fundamental values such as democracy and human rights.
Over the last 26 years of working together, Cooperation has supported 5 programs, 20 projects, in sectors such as education and vocational training, health, justice, public finance, governance and public administration, statistics and culture. A new stage has been set in motion within the 11th European Development Fund funding framework, and the objectives for the next projects are the promotion of good governance and job creation in the area of culture.
With more and better communication, Cooperation reinforces essential aspects of its mission, including the dissemination of good practices and success stories and the promotion of the exchange of expertise. Now closer to the citizen and looking to the future, the PALOP-TL and the EU reiterate their willingness to collaborate and overcome challenges based on dialogue and joint initiatives.
The Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO) won the country’s municipal elections in 44 of the 53 municipalities. The municipal elections on October 10 reached a record 60.3% share.
The scrutiny on October 10, 2018, gave victory to FRELIMO in 44 municipalities, five less before the election, while RENAMO increased from one to eight the number of municipalities that it will govern, according to the National Election Commission (CNE).
The Mozambican civil society organization, Centro de Integridade Pública (CIP), said on a statement that the figure represents “a significant increase” compared to previous elections, 46% in 2013, 46% in 2008 and 28% in 2003, and added that, “The city of Maputo had a 63% share and Matola, the second largest municipality in the country, 59%, compared to 50% and 38%, respectively, in the previous elections,”
Four municipalities had a share of over 70%, with Metangula, in the northern province of Niassa, registering the highest participation: 77%.
The Executive Director of IMD (Institute for Multiparty Democracy) considered exemplary the work of electoral bodies, noting that there were few cases of voters who were prevented from voting because of failures in the organization and management of the process.
A total of 21 parties, coalitions or groups of citizens participated in these elections, although only three parties with parliamentary seats have applied in all municipalities: Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) and Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM).
Mozambique follows the principle of gradualism in the municipalization of the country. The first elections in 1998 began with 33 municipalities and held the same number in their second ballots in 2003, in 2008, the number of municipalities increased to 43, and to 53 in the poll of 2013 – a number that is currently maintained.
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.