Negotiating a new agreement with the ACP post What is at stake in the coming months - ECDPM
The ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, which was signed in Cotonou, Benin, in June , has been the framework for the EU's relations with for advice asked whether the current partnership agreement between the Ocean (the ACP group) should be continued after and, if so, in what form and Relations between the European Union (EU) and the Africa, Caribbean and. relations after the Cotonou Agreement (CA) expires in Using the same form of a Agreement's trade pillar expired in , and trade relations between the EU and ACP countries are Next, it looks at the ways in which the main aims.
What is at stake in the coming months. In the first semester ofEU member states will need to chew over this proposal and agree on a suitable mandate for the EU to engage talks with the ACP as of September. This internal EU process merits special attention.
In the past two decades, ACP-EU cooperation lost its flagship status in favour of new partnership structures with the African Union and other regional organisations.
This explains the limited interest in the debate on the future of this relationship beyond the narrow circle of officials in Brussels and in some European capitals.
Yet this is a worrying trend, as the renewal of ACP-EU cooperation is in many ways a test case for the overall capacity of the EU to adapt its external action to the reality of today.
EU member states should use the coming months to further refine the Commission proposal, make the link with other key policy processes such as the new post Multiannual Financial Framework and ensure a realistic, coherent and workable mandate for the negotiations. This would maintain the ACP-EU construct as a foundation while strengthening existing regional partnerships with Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific through separate regional compacts.
This hybrid formula reflects a political compromise between those who sought to maintain the longstanding relations with the ACP Group and those in favour of a regionalisation of EU external action. Hence, the debate in the Council will mainly focus on how to make this hybrid scenario work in practice. We see three major challenges.
ACP–EU development cooperation - Wikipedia
This is a break with the past and an opportunity to revitalise the relationship between the EU and Africa — a key political priority for most EU member states. The current proposal contains a long list of possible strategic priorities for cooperation, yet this is the easy bit.
- Breaking the silence on North Africa: A new EU-Africa partnership after 2020
- The future of ACP-EU relations
- ACP–EU development cooperation
A meaningful regional compact with Africa means putting the AU and relevant regional bodies in the driving seat. It requires changes in the governance structures, decision-making processes and financial flows — all of which are now dominated by the ACP institutions. It, inevitably, also implies that African continental and regional actors should be involved upfront in the negotiation process of a new agreement.
ACP-EU relations after The end of an era - Think Tank
This will not be easy. This is similar to what was used in the late s to conclude the Cotonou Agreement and risks diluting the regional dimension. The ambition of regional ownership should therefore also be reflected in the negotiation format. Respecting the principle of subsidiarity and finding an adequate role division The effective co-existence of the ACP-EU construct with deepened regional partnerships requires a clearer division of labour.
Yet, at the same time, they do not want to re-open the Euro Mediterranean Association Agreements, which are the current legal basis for cooperation between the EU and North African countries, nor is a review of the European Neighbourhood Policy in the works. The formal decision-making and the implementation of a future continental partnership with Africa would, therefore, take place in the frameworks of a future EU-Africa compact as far as it concerns Sub-Saharan Africa, and four Association Agreements with Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt when it comes to North Africa.
The specifics of this hybrid construction are still to be decided and will be worked out in consultations among the various parties involved. None of this can be unilaterally decided. Interests and incentives Regionalising the political partnership with the ACP may also require more than a late invitation to North Africa to join the structures of a future Africa partnership. It calls for more clarity on the role of regional coalitions, their interests, and their incentives to engage with the European Union.
What is most important, perhaps, is the added value for North African countries to enter into a potentially cumbersome hybrid arrangement with the EU. This all happens at a moment of difficult relations between the EU and North Africa, given the current political upheavals and the constant risk of crisis in the EU neighbourhood. The AU member states are developing a Common African Position for their cooperation framework with the European Union, yet it is still unclear whether they will join the negotiations under the ACP flag, or whether they will position the AU to lead in the negotiations.
North African countries are increasingly looking Southwhich may affect their position in a continental partnership with the EU. But they are yet to formally enter into the discussion. The unanswered questions are not minor. What kind of incentives can be provided to North African countries to invest in a future continental EU-Africa partnership protocol, especially if no changes to the trade, political dialogue and development cooperation components of the Association Agreements and ENP are foreseen?