Negotiators from the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries met at the United Nations last week to determine the future of the ACP-EU partnership.
The current ACP-EU partnership, as set out in the 2000 Cotonou Agreement, is due to expire in 2020. Negotiations over a renewed partnership have been ongoing since September 2018. The EU’s chief negotiator, Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development Neven Mimica, said: “One year after launching our negotiations, the shape of the future agreement is becoming more precise with every day. Today, we endorsed the text on the economic priorities that aim to boost growth, jobs and better living conditions for all. But the clock is ticking and I am counting on all partners to put in the necessary efforts to soon deliver an agreement that we all want: [one which is] modern and ambitious.”
The negotiators, who met at the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, have achieved significant progress in drawing up an economic framework for the future ACP-EU partnership after 2020. Further negotiations will take place in coming weeks, covering all aspects of the ‘common foundation’ of the partnership; these are expected to include the formation of ‘regional pillars’ detailing the particular needs of each region. Chief negotiators for each region will discuss the progress of negotiations at their next meeting, which is set to take place in October.
Chief negotiator for the ACP Robert Dussey, Togo’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Africa Integration and Chair of the Ministerial Central Negotiating Group, said: “We are delighted with the work our negotiators have done since our last meeting. We have made excellent progress together, and I thank all those who have worked steadfastly to advance the common foundation and the regional protocols. We uphold our commitment to conclude an agreement that will produce a win-win outcome for both the ACP and the EU.”