Revised Cotonou Agreement

Revised Cotonou Agreement

The EU will work towards a comprehensively revised agreement, based on a common basis at THE ACP level, in conjunction with three bespoke regional partnerships for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly is an advisory body made up equally of representatives from the EU and ACP countries. The Assembly promotes democratic processes and facilitates a better understanding between the peoples of the EU and those of the ACP countries. Issues related to development and the ACP-EU partnership, including economic partnership agreements, will also be discussed. It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU, covering EU relations with 79 countries, 48 of them from sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this procedure is to return to a normal relationship between the partners. In the absence of an agreement, the party that initiated the process can take action on cooperation projects and development assistance. In July 2014, 16 West African states, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) reached an agreement with the EU. The signing process is currently underway. The Cotonou Agreement aims to reduce and eradicate poverty, while contributing to sustainable development and the gradual integration of ACP countries into the global economy. The revised Cotonou Agreement also addresses the fight against impunity and the promotion of criminal justice by the International Criminal Court. The Council gives the Commission a mandate to negotiate these agreements and must sign the final agreement as soon as it is concluded.

The EU funds most of its development programmes for ACP countries through the European Development Fund (EDF). These funds are not part of the EU`s overall budget. They are subject to internal agreement between the Member States meeting in the Council. The Interim EPA between the EU and the Pacific ACP countries was signed in July 2009 by Papua New Guinea and Fiji in December 2009. Papua New Guinea ratified it in May 2011. In July 2014, Fiji decided to begin provisional implementation of the agreement. Of the 14 Pacific countries, Papua New Guinea and Fiji account for the bulk of EU-Pacific trade. Recognising that impunity is one of the factors contributing to cycles of violence and insecurity, the preamble and Article 11.6 of the revised Cotonou Agreement include a clear commitment by ACP and EU countries to fight impunity and promote justice by the International Criminal Court.

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