The Cotonou Agreement

Issues related to development and the ACP-EU partnership, including economic partnership agreements, will also be addressed. Over the past two years, negotiators have been working on an agreement on the successor to the 2000 Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which officially expires in November 2021. On 4 December 2020, Robert Dussey, Chief Negotiator of the OACPS, and Jutta Urpilainen, Chief Negotiator of the EU, announced a new Partnership Agreement. For Eastern and Southern Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Madagascar signed an EPA in 2009. The Agreement has been provisionally applied since 14 May 2012. In July 2014, 16 West African states, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) presented an agreement with the EU on the eve of the day before. The signing process is ongoing. In recent years, the EU has negotiated such agreements with various OACPS members. In essence, both sides agree to reduce tariffs and other barriers to trade and open their markets to the other`s products. “The agreements are perceived as unfair in Africa,” MarĂ© said. The European Commission has officially started negotiations with african, caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries for a new partnership agreement to succeed the Cotonou Agreement. This is an opportunity to build human-centred cooperation as an egalitarian partner, but there are fears that Africa`s narrative will only be presented as a trading and economic partner of Europe.

Under the new agreement, the EU can be more selective and flexible in the allocation and use of its development resources. The allocation of development assistance is based on an assessment of a country`s needs and performance and involves the possibility of regularly adjusting financial resources accordingly. In practice, this means that more money can be transferred to “good performers” and the share of “bad performers” can be reduced. The EU has negotiated a number of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the 79 ACP countries. . . .