Discussions are currently underway between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, to renew the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, or the Cotonou Agreement as it is commonly known.
This week the Forum Secretariat is in Lome, Togo, representing the Pacific region at the Inter-Agency Consultation with Regional and Continental Organisations on the ACP Group’s Negotiating Framework for the new agreement.
At the meeting, the Pacific ACP region signaled the high priority accorded to their relationship with the ACP group and the European Union, and their expectation that the relationship should be strengthened over time, through a partnership that is founded on mutual respect and equitable exchanges that strengthen all Parties.
The Pacific region informed the meeting of the Pacific Leaders endorsement of The Blue Pacific identity as the core driver of collective action for advancing their shared vision for deeper Pacific regionalism.
The Pacific emphasised Oceans, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development as three priority themes it would like to see feature in the post-Cotonou negotiations.
The region also highlighted the need to advocate for opportunities that secure better ACP trade and economic deals with others outside the EU, and a mechanism that allows for an accelerated modality for disbursement of financial commitments made by the EU.
The Cotonou Agreement was signed in Benin on the 23rd June 2000 and expires in February 2020. You can find more information about the partnership agreement between the EU and the ACP countries here: https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/policies/european-development-policy/acp-eu-partnership-after-2020_en