Negotiations between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States on a post-2020 ACP-EU Partnership

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Summary:

Reports and analyses on the negotiations undertaken between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries towards setting up a Partnership Agreement for the period after 2020 (or post-Cotonou).

Further information:

Relations between the EU and the ACP countries date back to before 1975 and the first Lomé Convention. Successive partnership agreements have shaped the relationship throughout the decade. The existing ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (CPA) was signed in 2000 in Cotonou - hence the name 'Cotonou Agreement'. This CPA established that negotiations must open 18 months before its expiration in 2020.

The European Commisison published a Recommendation in December 2017 in support of an umbrella agreement defining common values and interests and three distinct tailor-made protocols with the three regions. The Recommendation was adopted by the Council of the European Union in June 2018. A month earlier, the ACP Council of Ministers adopted its own negotiating position.

The first round of negotiations was launched in October 2018 and were concluded on 14 December. A second round took place in January 2019. On 4 April, negotiators launched the talks for the three regional protocols. In May 2019, negotiators announced their willingness to set transitional measures should a new agreement not be concluded by February 2020. On 28 September 2019, negotiators reached an agreement on the economic priorities of the agreement.

The ACP Group of Countries endorsed a revised version of its Constitutive Act (Georgetown Agreement) in December 2019, which included the renaming of the Group to Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (OACPS). This became effective in April 2020.

On 14 February 2020, the two sides agreed to extend the existing Cotonou Agreement unchanged until December 2020, thus avoiding its expiration on 29 February. At the meeting, the negotiation teams also made progress in relation to the regional partnerships and agreed on key chapters for these within the new OACPS-EU Partnership. The two sides returned to high-level political talks on 12 June, following an interruption due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, April 2018: Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2018)615670
EurActiv, 03/10/18: ACP-EU negotiations: Taking the road to prosperity together https://www.euractiv.com/section/development-policy/opinion/acp-eu-negotiations-taking-the-path-to-prosperity-together/
EPRS: Briefing, July 2019: Accords internationaux en marche: Le futur partenariat de l’UE avec les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (post-Cotonou) https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2019)637981
Chatham House, 04/12/2019: Can the New European Commission Deliver on Its Promises to Africa? https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/can-new-european-commission-deliver-its-promises-africa
Foreign Policy, 10/02/2020: It’s Africa’s Turn to Leave the European Union https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/02/10/african-union-european-union-trade/
EPRS: Briefing, February 2020: Accords internationaux en marche: Le futur partenariat de l’UE avec les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique («post-Cotonou») https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2020)646183
Deutsche Welle, 21/04/2020: Coronavirus: Debt relief key to helping Africa, says EU Commissioner https://p.dw.com/p/3bE96
ECFR: Commentary, 08/06/2020: After covid: Resetting Europe-Africa relations for mutual benefit https://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_after_covid_resetting_europe_africa_relations_for_mutual_benefit

News
Deutsche Welle, 23/10/2018: EU begins tricky negotiations with developing states https://p.dw.com/p/372w2
EurActiv, 17/05/2019: EU-ACP Cotonou successor faces one year delay https://www.euractiv.com/section/development-policy/news/eu-acp-cotonou-successor-faces-one-year-delay/
EurActiv, 06/03/2020: Post-Cotonou delays complicate EU’s new African vision https://www.euractiv.com/section/botswana/news/post-cotonou-delays-complicate-eus-new-african-vision/

Official
General Secretariat of the Council: Policies: Cotonou Agreement https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/cotonou-agreement/
Council of the European Union: Timeline: steps towards a new EU-ACP partnership after 2020 https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/cotonou-agreement/timeline-new-cotonou-agreement/
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: Signature and Conclusion of the new Agreement between the EU and the Countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP-EU "Post-Cotonou") https://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-a-stronger-europe-in-the-world/file-signature-of-the-new-eu-acp-agreement-(%E2%80%98-post-cotonou-%E2%80%98)/05-2020
ACP Council of Ministers: ACP negotiating mandate for a post–Cotonou partnership agreement with the European Union (May 2018) http://www.acp.int/sites/acpsec.waw.be/files/acpdoc/public-documents/ACP0001118_%20ACP_Negotiating_Mandate_EN.pdf
Council of the European Union: Negotiating directives for a Partnership Agreement between the European Union and countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (June 2018) http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-8094-2018-ADD-1/en/pdf
European Commission: Press Release, 26/02/2019: New ACP-EU Partnership: EU and Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Leaders intensify the regional talks in Samoa https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_19_1409
European Commission: Fact Sheet, 26/02/2019: EU and Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Leaders intensify the regional talks in Samoa [Q&A] https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/MEMO_18_5903
European Commission: Press Release, 15/04/2019: New ACP-EU partnership: EU discusses future EU-Caribbean relations https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_19_2113
European Commission: Press Release, 03/05/2019: New ACP-EU Partnership: Chief negotiators conclude successful series of regional consultations, culminating with African leaders' meeting https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_19_2332
European Commission: Press Release, 23/05/2019: New ACP-EU Partnership: Chief negotiators assess progress made and move talks on to next stage https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_19_2673
European Commission: Press Relese, 28/09/2019: New Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific - European Union Partnership: Chief negotiators agree on economic priorities for future agreement https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_19_5913
European Commission: Memo, 28/09/2019: Questions and answers: New ACP-EU Partnership after 2020 https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/MEMO_18_5903
European Commission: Press Release, 14/02/2020: New Africa-Caribbean-Pacific/EU Partnership: moving forward towards a new partnership fit for the future https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_248
European Commission: Questions and answers: Future ACP-EU Partnership (14 February 2020) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_257
European Commission: Press Release, 12/06/2020: Future Africa-Caribbean-Pacific States/EU Partnership: “Post-Cotonou” negotiations resume at ministerial level https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1015
European Parliament: Press Release, 26/06/2020: ACP-EU Post-Cotonou: A Joint Parliamentary Assembly is non-negotiable https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20200622IPR81710/

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