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New publication provides crucial background to EU-ACP post-2020 debate

A debate on the future of ACP - EU relations.

January 12, 2015

The Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which governs the partnership between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, comes to an end in 2020. The debate about future cooperation – a post-Cotonou agreement – is now beginning in earnest.

Days before his appointment in November 2014, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, put the future of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement high on the agenda for 2015. At his hearing before the European Parliament, Mimica announced the launch of a broad consultation and dialogue process on the subject in 2015, stressing that “the question is not whether ACP countries are still important to the EU or not, but about how to best design our cooperation in the future”.

the-future-of-acp-eu-relations-post-2020In December 2014, the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) published The future of ACP-EU relations post-2020: An overview of relevant analysis by ECDPM as a contribution to this important debate. This guide brings together summaries of selected ECDPM resources related to the topic and provides analytical ‘food for thought’ for anyone interested in the future of EU-ACP relations. The contents include summaries of a selection of ECDPM publications that:

  • cover perspectives on the future of ACP-EU relations, the changes in the global world order that have impacted the ACP-EU relations and scenarios for the future of both ACP-EU relations and the ACP Group itself;
  • focus on specific elements of the Cotonou Agreement as a basis for further analysis on whether and how these specific elements could be brought forward in future ACP-EU relations; and
  • review complementary, competing or alternative structures governing strategic partnerships between the individual ACP geographic areas and the EU, including the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, the Joint Caribbean-EU Strategy, and the EC Communication on a Pacific-EU partnership.

The publication also provides a quick statistical overview of ACP countries and other relevant country groupings and indices and a bibliography of other ECDPM and non-ECDPM publications on the future of ACP-EU relations and the European Development Fund.

While not a quick read (the main text runs some 35 pages), it does provide an accessible overview of a vast amount of information, summarising long documents in just a handful of clear, concise bullet points. It is an invaluable entry point to crucial elements of the debate about future relations between the EU and the ACP.

Source: ECDPM. 2014. The future of ACP-EU relations post-2020: An overview of relevant analysis by ECDPM. (Version 1, December 2014). Maastricht: ECDPM.

Video: Hearing of Neven Mimica, Member designate of the EC in charge of International Cooperation and Development, before the European Parliament on 29 September 2014. Mr Mimica's priorities starts at 17:45 of the video.