Eu Cotonou Agreement

African members of the OACPS are also offended by the fact that the EU has negotiated EPAs with some states. The African Union (AU) is trying to create an Africa-wide free trade area. But if different states have their own agreements with the EU, it makes things difficult. “These agreements have led to a great division and fragmentation of the African position,” Carlos Lopes, the AU`s representative for relations with Europe, said in early June. Under the new agreement, the EU can be more selective and flexible in the allocation and use of its development resources. The allocation of development assistance is based on an assessment of a country`s needs and performance and involves the possibility of regularly adjusting financial resources accordingly. In practice, this means that more money can be transferred to “good performers” and the share of “bad performers” can be reduced. It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU and covers the EU`s relations with 79 countries, including 48 in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of this procedure is to restore a normal relationship between the partners. In the absence of an agreement, the party that started the process may take action with regard to cooperation projects and development assistance. In July 2014, 16 West African states, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) presented an agreement with the EU on the eve of the day before.

The signing process is ongoing. 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 MarĂ©, a South African diplomat who has negotiated several agreements with the EU. The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly is an advisory body composed equally of representatives of the EU and ACP countries. The Assembly encourages democratic processes and allows for better understanding between the peoples of the EU and those of the ACP countries. Issues related to development and the ACP-EU partnership, including economic partnership agreements, will also be addressed. For Eastern and Southern Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Madagascar signed an EPA in 2009. The Agreement has been provisionally applied since 14 May 2012. The two chief negotiators met in N`djamena, Chad, to take stock of the process. Although the two sides did not agree on all areas of the Joint Foundation, they decided to start discussions on the regional pillars (EU-Africa, Caribbean, EU-Pacific). 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 EU finances most of its development programmes for ACP partner countries through the European Development Fund (EDF). These appropriations are not part of the general budget of the EU. They shall be governed by an internal agreement between the Member States meeting within the Council. Many African countries are calling for a new course, particularly in trade relations. The Cotonou Agreement laid the foundation for the controversial Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). In recent years, the EU has negotiated such agreements with various OACPS members. In essence, both sides agree to reduce tariffs and other barriers to trade and open their markets to the other`s products. “The agreements are perceived as unfair in Africa,” says MarĂ©.

. . .

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL.