EU reaches political deal on new partnership agreement with African, Caribbean, Pacific countries, to replace ‘Cotonou Agreement’

Negotiators from the EU and the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) have reached a political deal on a new twenty-year treaty to govern EU-ACP (African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries) relations, replacing the current ‘Cotonou Agreement’ enacted in 2000. 

The political deal focuses on the following areas: human rights; democracy and governance; security; human and social development; environmental sustainability and climate change; sustainable growth; and migration and mobility. It takes into account the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate agreement. 

The deal no longer has an associated development budget as the EU’s off-budget European Development Fund is being phased out in favor of a single on-budget EU development instrument.

Negotiations have been ongoing for three years. While the current Cotonou Agreement was initially due to expire in 2020, it has been extended until November 30, 2021. The new treaty text still needs to be finalized and ratified and the new treaty will enter force in December 2021. 

The European Parliament’s approval of the agreement is required, but parliamentary representatives have threatened to withhold approval unless it includes greater parliamentary scrutiny. 

Press release - European Commission

News article - Euractiv