The European Commission has officially started negotiations with ACP countries for a new Partnership Agreement to replace the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. There is also an argument over money. The Cotonou Agreement also regulated financial relations. Over the past six years, OACPS has received a total of more than €30 billion ($35 billion) in development assistance from Brussels. The governments of poor countries want this to continue. “ACP countries have insisted that a financial protocol be part of the agreement,” keijzer said. On the other hand, the EU is cautious and only wants to make general commitments. In the future, the money would come from the regular budget. However, this must be decided annually by the Member States. A risk for OACPS.
In response to the European Commission`s communication, CONCORD has developed recommendations to put people and the planet at the heart of the future agreement. The year 2020 will mark the renewal of political, economic and trade relations between the European Union and the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The Cotonou Agreement, signed in 2000, which underpins this relationship, must be renewed. It mobilises a significant budget for development: €30.5 billion has been allocated to the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for the period 2014-2020. Negotiations between the parties will begin no later than September 2018. Should the agreement be extended and, if so, with what objectives and in what form? Things have not been as simple as they were in 2000, when the Cotonou Agreement entered into force. “Africa and Europe want to develop and deepen their relations. But the African side also wants its priorities to be taken more into account,” said John Maré, a South African diplomat who has negotiated several agreements with the EU. There may be changes in the schedule. The question of creating a legally binding agreement, such as the Cotonou Agreement, is currently being discussed between Member States, but some countries have long called for a more flexible framework. The duration of the future agreement has also been set and should be 20 years + 5 years.. .