Category Archives: African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

The European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP countries) enjoy special relations that can be traced back to the Union’s beginnings. These political, economic and social relations are to be found mainly in the field of development cooperation.

The Cotonou Agreement signed in 2000, follows on from the previous conventions (Yaoundé, Lomé) and currently provides the general framework for relations between the Union and the 79 ACP countries. This framework is reinforced by regional and national components and supplemented by a financial component represented mainly by the European Development Fund (EDF).

EU-Pacific strategy

EU-Pacific strategy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EU-Pacific strategy

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Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

EU-Pacific strategy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 29 May 2006 – EU relations with the Pacific Islands – A strategy for a strengthened partnership [COM(2006) 248 – Official Journal C 184 of 8 August 2006].

Summary

The strategy will bring the EU’s relationship with the Pacific into line with the new EU development policy statement adopted by the EU institutions in December 2005 and with the revised Cotonou Agreement of 2005. It will also help put into practice the EU’s commitments to aid effectiveness in the region.

The strategy consists of three components:

  • stronger political relations on matters of common interest such as global political security, trade, economic and social development and the environment;
  • more focused development action, with greater emphasis on regional cooperation to build up critical mass, enhance regional governance and facilitate mutual enrichment;
  • more efficient aid delivery, including greater use of direct budget support and closer coordination with other partners, in particular Australia and New Zealand.

In this strategy, the EU concentrates on sound management and protection of the environment, which are essential to the prosperity of the Pacific region, and takes into account its specific character: some of the islands are small, remote and vulnerable to natural disasters; they also face the challenges of state fragility and weak governance; moreover, their political and economic importance has increased owing to a growing demand for their substantial natural resources (fish, timber, minerals, oil, gas).

As regards strengthening the political dialogue between the EU and the Pacific region, the proposal is to increase contact with the Pacific Islands Forum, which is the main regional institution for political issues. It is also important to conduct a dialogue at national level with key Pacific ACP countries, in accordance with the Cotonou Agreement.

More focused development action

The action will focus on three priorities: governance, regionalism and sustainable management of natural resources.

Drawing on its experience, the EU will help prevention and stabilisation in post-conflict situations and establish good governance by strengthening credible institutions. It will encourage greater compliance with international standards as regards workers and in the fight against corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing.

Regional integration is crucial for an effective development aid strategy. The Pacific needs to strengthen this dimension and the EU will bring added value where it can. It will continue to help the Forum Secretariat and the other Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) agencies, in particular as regards natural resources management, vulnerability and governance.

The EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) has a catalytic effect on economic cooperation and integration in the Pacific region as it stimulates the Pacific ACP countries to negotiate as a group, open up to each other and improve regional governance. Of the Pacific ACP countries’ total exports, 10 % go to the EU. This is a remarkable figure considering the size of these countries and the physical distance between the Pacific and Europe. In order to maximise the benefits of the EPA, the negotiations are closely coordinated with the programming and implementation of development assistance.

The Commission proposes that the central theme for strengthened cooperation be “blue-green”: that it deal therefore with sustainable management of natural resources and that it support Pacific ACP countries in their action to cope with environmental problems and resource-management issues. This is an area where Europe could contribute with its clearly recognised added value and where it could offer its collective experience and know-how.

The EU can assist these countries in managing their ocean and coastal resources in a sustainable manner through initiatives that could combine the use and conservation of fisheries and marine biodiversity. The new generations of Fisheries Partnership Agreements (FPAs) are an important milestone. They provide regulated access to fishing opportunities for European vessels and envisage close cooperation to promote responsible fishing and ensure conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources of the partner countries concerned.

To make EU development assistance more efficient, the Commission proposes that assistance should be more concentrated, with a stronger focus at regional level, more efficient use of small-country allocations and greater use of budget support. The proposed concentration will facilitate donor coordination and avoid overlap or inconsistencies between those seeking to achieve common goals.

With a view to a more systematic application of the budget support instrument in its cooperation with the Pacific ACP countries, the EU plans to enter into a dialogue with the International Monetary Fund (the IMF) in order to share analyses, experience and studies.

Furthermore, the EU will proactively assist these countries in meeting the eligibility criteria for budget support, i.e.:

  • a poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) or a national development strategy under preparation;
  • a stable macroeconomic framework which is either satisfactory or under reform;
  • transparent and sound public finance management.

Related Acts

Proposal for a Council Decision of 16 December 2008 on the signature and provisional application of the Interim Partnership Agreement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Pacific States, of the other part [COM(2008) 858 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The European Union and the Pacific States have agreed on the provisional application of the interim agreement providing for the establishment of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

In 2007 the regime of safeguard clauses concerning trade measures contained in the Cotonou Agreement expired as did the World Trade Organization (WTO) waiver covering that regime. In this context, the provisional application of this agreement aims at ensuring the stability of trade between the EU and the signatory States from the Pacific region.

The EPA mainly concerns trade in goods. It lays down the measures necessary to establish a free trade area and deals with questions concerning customs, the facilitation of trade, dispute settlement, the removal of technical barriers, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

The agreement provides for the addition of new fields of cooperation when negotiations concerning the adoption of an enlarged EPA take place – in particular cooperation in development, fisheries, services and agriculture.

A regional policy partnership for the Horn of Africa

A regional policy partnership for the Horn of Africa

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A regional policy partnership for the Horn of Africa

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

A regional policy partnership for the Horn of Africa

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 20 October 2006 – Strategy for Africa: An EU regional political partnership for peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa [COM(2006) 601 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Horn of Africa, which consists of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda, is one of the poorest and most conflict-prone regions in the world.

The importance of the Horn of Africa for the EU

The EU plays an important role in the Horn region, where it is the main provider of development and humanitarian assistance.

At the same time, the EU has an interest in the stability of the region. The Horn is embroiled in a regional system of insecurity in which conflicts and political crises feed into and fuel one another The crises in the border region between Eritrea and Ethiopia and in Somalia, together with the conflicts in Sudan and the north of Uganda, create instability and insecurity in the region. The instability is further reinforced by illegal migration and trafficking of arms and drugs, as well as refugee flows.

Nevertheless, the stability of this region is important for the EU in view of its proximity to the Red Sea, which is a crucial waterway for trade with Saudi Arabia – the world’s largest oil producer.

Regional dimension and dynamics

The major conflicts reflect the interconnections characterising the region. These are related to the fact that most of the borders are unstable and many are contested. In addition, this factor undermines relations between countries sharing a common border, with some States providing support to armed groups fighting in neighbouring States.

The crises in this region have several cross-cutting regional issues in common, i.e.

  • interdependence between insecurity, poverty and governance. The marginalisation of certain communities is reinforced by the warlords and the business community who benefit from war economies. In addition, authoritarianism, militarism and the interference of external powers contribute to instability and conflict;
  • religious fundamentalism has taken advantage of weak state institutions to spread. It is also strengthened by the grievances wrought by poverty and conflicts and the influence of extremist fundamentalist ideology;
  • migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are numerous throughout the region. These populations are not only a source of regional instability, but also vulnerable and easily exploited by traffickers and criminal networks;
  • proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons (SALW) contribute to the presence of warlords, militias and criminal networks and also serve as an enabler of terrorism;
  • insecurity of border and peripheral areas;
  • competition for access to natural resources (such as water, timber, fish and fertile land), which are suffering from the consequences of desertification and climate change. In particular, access to limited water resources is of strategic importance. Specifically, five of the seven countries of the Horn share the Nile basin, which is at the centre of potential regional tensions;
  • structural food insecurity mostly affects nomadic pastoralists and agri-pastoralists. Depletion of the natural resources and degradation of pasture areas are potential causes of ethnic tensions and conflicts;
  • the high number of transhumant and cross-border pastoralists are communities which are often marginalised and alienated;
  • the demographic upsurge increases pressure on limited natural resources still further.

Work programme to improve the political stability of the region

The Commission proposes to enhance the partnership between the EU, the AU and regional organisations by means of the following measures:

  • enhancement of cooperation with the IGAD, focusing on three main areas: peace, security and governance; pastoralism and food security; and institutional development;
  • building Africa’s capacities for conflict prevention, mediation and deployment of military peacekeeping operations, with active participation of the AU;
  • fostering of regional integration in the countries of the Horn, in particular by integrating the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East Africa Community (EAC) in any long-term strategy to establish peace in the region;
  • supporting African efforts to monitor and improve governance.

In addition, the dialogue between the EU and the Horn must take account of key country-level strategic issues with potential regional ramifications, i.e.:

  • factoring into the dialogue of the interests of the supporters and opponents of the peace process in Sudan, with particular attention paid to the Darfur crisis;
  • putting cross-border state support for armed groups on the political agenda of the EU and the countries of the Horn;
  • finding solutions to border demarcation issues, particularly in relation to the Ethiopian/Eritrean border;
  • taking account of the role of Kenya and Djibouti in regional stability;
  • the participation of Somalia’s neighbouring countries in the Somali peace process, in which they can play a stabilising role;
  • taking account of the regional dimensions of the conflict in northern Uganda in the peace process.

Finally, regional cross-cutting and cross-border concerns should be addressed on the basis of three pillars:

  • improved governance and security, and enhanced dialogue between cultures;
  • enhanced development, trade, security and political participation, and improved management of migration and refugees and prevention of SALW proliferation;
  • improved programmes to address competition for natural resources.

An enabling environment for a successful partnership

The Commission proposes accompanying measures for the successful implementation of the partnership. These measures concern both the EU and the countries of the Horn of Africa.

In particular, the EU must:

  • promote information-sharing and consultation between EU Member States and EU institutions;
  • promote the International Partners Forum (IPF) as a forum for dialogue with IGAD;
  • facilitate political dialogue (Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement) with key actors, with a strong emphasis on regional issues;
  • tackle issues concerning the Horn of Africa with Egypt, the Arab Gulf States, the League of Arab States, and Central and East Africa;
  • enhance dialogue and coordination with the USA, Norway, Japan, Canada, Russia and China, as well as with the United Nations;
  • strengthen integration into development programmes of human and social rights and gender, demographic issues and the environment;
  • take account of regional and cross-cutting issues in EU strategies and programmes concerning the countries of the Horn region. In addition, the national and regional strategies of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) for the period 2008-2013 must dovetail with the regional political partnership for the Horn.

For their part, the countries of the Horn must:

  • obtain a coordinated position among Member States, the IGAD Secretariat, regional players and civil society organisations;
  • be open to dialogue on key regional challenges and be engaged in identifying the drivers of change;
  • allocate adequate resources for the dialogue and the work programme;
  • address sources of conflict and promote cross-sectoral cooperation;
  • implement relevant institutional reforms.

The implementation of the partnership starts in 2007 and will be the subject of a joint review in the following two years.

Background

The regional political partnership proposed in this Communication builds on two strategies already being implemented by the EU: the European Consensus for Development and the EU-Africa Strategy. This partnership is in particular a test case for applying the EU-Africa strategy.

 

Partnership with Africa for the development of the cotton industry

Partnership with Africa for the development of the cotton industry

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Partnership with Africa for the development of the cotton industry

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Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Partnership with Africa for the development of the cotton industry

Special partnership with Cape Verde

Special partnership with Cape Verde

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Special partnership with Cape Verde

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Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Special partnership with Cape Verde

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 24 October 2007 on the future of relations between the European Union and the Republic of Cape Verde [COM(2007) 641 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Republic of Cape Verde and the EU are united by historical, human, religious, linguistic and cultural ties. They share fundamental socio-political values such as democracy and human rights and the promotion of good governance, peace, security and the fight against terrorism and crime. Specifically, they share a number of priorities as regards the fight against drug trafficking and illegal immigration, as a result of which Cape Verde is expected to intensify police and judicial cooperation with the EU.

The EU-Cape Verde special partnership

In view of the increasing interest of Cape Verde in approaching the EU, its outermost regions (ORs) of the North Atlantic (Azores, Madeira and the Canaries) in particular, and in order to respond to the mutual interests of the EU and Cape Verde as regards security and development, the Commission proposes a special partnership. This partnership is intended to strengthen dialogue and policy convergence between the two parties, in the context of the implementation of the Cotonou agreement.

The partnership considered is characterised by:

  • strengthening of political dialogue between the two parties, on the basis of an action plan covering the priorities for the development process of the special partnership and including the cooperation instruments provided for in the Cotonou agreement;
  • a search for forms of complementary cooperation to add to the traditional measures implemented under the Cotonou agreement;
  • promotion of an evolving process, based on a flexible action plan that can be adapted to the development of the country and of its relations with the EU and third countries;
  • pursuit of further progress in the area of good governance in Cape Verde;
  • support for closer ties with the ORs and the rest of the EU by intensifying relations with the West Africa region and within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);
  • promotion of convergence on European norms and standards, in order to strengthen the country’s comparative advantages.

The partnership will offer new perspectives. In particular, it will:

  • strengthen cooperation between the two parties at a political, economic, commercial, administrative and judicial level;
  • ensure convergence between legislation on economic and technical standards;
  • offer Cape Verde, within the framework of closer links with the ORs, access to the EU’s internal market and the possibility to participate gradually in a number of EU policies and programmes;
  • promote activities aimed at bringing Cape Verde closer to the Community acquis in the areas covered by the action plan.

The partnership action plan, which represents the overall strategic framework, is based on the following pillars:

  • The good governance policy pursued by Cape Verde, and especially the consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and the participation of civil society. The partnership will also focus on the rights of children and women, the integration of immigrants, the fight against domestic violence and also the reform of the justice and public finance sectors.
  • Security and stability, through actions implemented on a cross-border and regional basis in particular, in the areas of the fight against transnational organised crime, efficient management of migration flows and maritime security.
  • Regional integration, both at OR level (through the country’s participation in the transnational Madeira, Azores, Canaries (MAC) cooperation programme for the period 2007-2013 and the cooperation mechanisms within the outermost regions) and at West Africa level (by taking into account the specificity of Cape Verde within the Economic Partnership Agreement and the use of the resources of the European Development Fund (EDF) regional indicative programmes).
  • Convergence of technology and standards policies in the sectors covered by the action plan.
  • Progress towards a “knowledge-based society” by encouraging economic, social and cultural development though education, research and information and communication technologies.
  • The fight against poverty, in particular through environmental protection, the protection of natural resources, the preservation of the marine environment and closer cooperation in the area of fisheries.

The implementation of the action plan will be funded mainly by the EDF and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of the MAC programme for the period 2007-2013. Moreover, the European Community’s general budget will support specific activities, in particular thematic programmes funded by the development cooperation instrument, and also activities financed by the stability instrument, the instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights and the humanitarian aid instrument. This funding will be added to the resources of the Cape Verde government.

The action plan will be of indefinite duration and will be reviewed periodically. The EU troika will ensure its follow-up and its implementation at political and technical level.

Related Acts

Council conclusions on the future of relations between the European Union and the Republic of Cape Verde. General Affairs and External Relations Council– 19 November 2007 [Not published in the Official Journal].

Cooperation and dialogue between the EU, Africa and China

Cooperation and dialogue between the EU, Africa and China

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cooperation and dialogue between the EU, Africa and China

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Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Cooperation and dialogue between the EU, Africa and China

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 17 October 2008 entitled The EU, Africa and China: Towards trilateral dialogue and cooperation [COM(2008) 654 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission proposes a new tripartite approach to reinforce cooperation and dialogue between the European Union (EU), Africa and China. The Commission recognises that adding to bilateral partnerships in order to promote the stable and sustainable development of Africa is of mutual interest.

The EU, Africa and China should base this cooperation on common objectives, which are defined progressively and consistent with national and regional development strategies.

This new approach should lead to joint working on questions of development and increasing the effectiveness of aid. Sharing experience and good practice should contribute to this aim, in particular with regard to financial instruments, Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Firstly, the partnership could concentrate on five priority objectives:

  • reinforcing security and support for peace-keeping operations;
  • developing affordable and sustainable infrastructures to reinforce interconnectivity and regional integration. The EU-Africa partnership for infrastructures (FR) could contribute to this objective;
  • protection of the environment and management of natural resources within a context of economic and commercial growth. The Commission proposes to cooperate with the African Union (AU) and African countries in order to promote sustainable management, technology transfers and investments;
  • the increase in agricultural production, the quality of production and food security, in particular with a view to meeting the objectives of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (FR).

The tripartite partnership is an extension of bilateral political dialogues between the African Union (AU), the EU and China, as well as dialogue between the EU and China. The partnership will be based on regular strategic dialogue as well as specific consultations.

The Commission proposes to establish a network of exchange and information between the competent national and regional authorities. Organising an annual coordination meeting of development partners should contribute to the evaluation of priorities for cooperation whilst integrating the initiatives of international organisations, funding providers and civil society.

Context

During the summit held in Lisbon in 2007, the heads of state and government of the EU and African countries adopted a new joint strategic partnership. This strategy provides a global framework for strengthening relations between the EU and Africa and an action plan for the period 2008-2010. The EU is the largest provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and the first commercial partner for Africa. This partnership also aims to establish synergies with other partners and international funding providers.

Cooperation between China and Africa is mainly directed at commercial exchange, investment, infrastructure projects and aid in social domains and training. This partnership was reinforced by the adoption of a new strategy in 2006 during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Their respective methods for cooperation contribute to meeting the objectives of the partnership for development (MDGs) and the integration of Africa into the world economy.

Economic partnership between Eastern and Southern Africa States

Economic partnership between Eastern and Southern Africa States

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Economic partnership between Eastern and Southern Africa States

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Economic partnership between Eastern and Southern Africa States

Document or Iniciative

Proposal for a Council Decision on the signature and provisional application of the interim agreement establishing a framework for an Economic Partnership Agreement between Eastern and Southern Africa States on the one part and the European Community and its Member States, on the other part.

Summary

The European Union and the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) States have agreed on the provisional application of the interim agreement establishing a framework for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

When the interim agreement enters into force, five of the ESA countries, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe, will be covered by the guarantee of a harmonised trade regime. They will be listed in Council Regulation 1528/2007 on the application of regimes provided for under Economic Partnership Agreements. However, Zambia did not table a European Union market access offer. This State continues to benefit from the Everything But Arms (EBA) regime, that implies the total suspension of Common Customs Tariff duties for all products, with the exception of arms and munitions.

The signature of an EPA was made necessary by the expiry in 2007 of the regime provided for by the Cotonou Agreement, on the safeguard clauses relating to trade measures, as well as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) waiver covering that regime. The EPA covers many areas targeted by the Cotonou Agreement. It generates stability for trade until a comprehensive EPA has been concluded.

This agreement provides the measures necessary to establish a Free Trade Area compatible with WTO requirements. Several products have been excluded from this liberalisation in order to protect the most sensitive sectors or emerging industries in these States.

These provisions concern in particular:

  • rules of origin;
  • non-tariff measures;
  • trade defence measures;
  • trade dispute avoidance and settlement;
  • fisheries and development;
  • administrative and institutional cooperation.

The agreement is to be implemented in line with ESA development strategies, and the partners undertake to cooperate to strengthen the regional integration process of African countries. The scope of the interim agreement will be extended according to the results of negotiations concerning the comprehensive EPA.

An EPA committee made up of party representatives should be established and will be responsible for monitoring the matters covered by the agreement.

Context

The conclusion of this interim agreement took place in several stages. Agreements were signed on 28 November 2007 with Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe, on 4 December 2007 with Mauritius and on 11 December 2007 with Comoros and Madagascar. This agreement is open to participation from all other States in the Eastern and Southern Africa region.

Negotiations with a view to concluding a comprehensive agreement have been continuing since 7 February 2004 with the ESA States, in line with the Directives adopted by the Council on 12 June 2002. Ministers from the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region and representatives of the Commission of the European Union, meeting in Brussels on 28 February 2007, gave joint conclusionson the state of these negotiations.

References And Procedure

Proposal

Official Journal

Procedure

COM(2008) 863 final

Related Act

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 23 October 2007 on Economic Partnership Agreements [COM(2007) 635 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Further information can be obtained from the website of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for External Trade.

European Water Facility for the ACP countries

European Water Facility for the ACP countries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Water Facility for the ACP countries

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Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

European Water Facility for the ACP countries

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 26 January 2004 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the future development of the EU Water Initiative and the modalities for the establishment of a Water Facility for ACP countries [COM(2004) 43 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

A WATER FACILITY FOR ACP COUNTRIES

The Water Facility for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, is intended to serve as a catalyst by supporting development and reform of the relevant sectoral policies and through flexible and innovative methods of financing water supply and sanitation projects and programmes.

Basic principles

The Facility is based on three key principles:

  • Governance: The Water Facility is to concentrate its activities on ACP countries which have a sound national water policy or which are strongly committed to developing one, and on countries that prioritise spending on social sectors. It will help those countries to establish the institutional and regulatory framework necessary to attract additional financial resources;
  • Ownership: The facility is entirely demand-driven. It will be an instrument for supporting and deepening the involvement of ACP actors in the design and implementation of water policies;
  • Innovation and flexibility: In order to achieve maximum impact a creative combination of grants and other sources are envisaged to fund basic infrastructure. The proposed grants could constitute the necessary seed capital to get projects off the ground and be a tool in forging the public-private partnerships needed to increase funding.

Activities funded

The Water Facility will mainly fund two types of activity: improving water management and governance, and cofinancing drinking water and sanitation infrastructure.

The activities relating to improved water management and governance are:

  • institution building and support for reforming the sector;
  • integrated management of water resources at national level and at that of ACP river basins.

For the second category of activities the Water Facility uses flexible and innovative methods to finance water and sanitation projects and programmes for low-income users and socially disadvantaged areas.

Management of the Facility

The organisational structure for the management of the Water Facility has been set up within the European Commission, staffed with EU officials. The officials on this team are responsible for establishing implementing procedures for the facility.

However, in the preparation and implementation of projects to be financed, maximum use should be made of the expertise available outside the Commission, in particular through expert groups and collaboration with the European Investment Bank and other development finance institutes, and, where appropriate, the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The projects are selected on the basis of a call for proposals open to most of the state and non-state actors concerned in the ACP and EU countries. Proposals are selected on the basis of criteria defined by the European Commission in the call for proposals, which must be consistent with the general objectives of sustainable development and the EU’s water management policy in the developing countries and with the integrated river basin water management programmes, and take account of factors such as the implementing capacity of the partners and the maturity of the project.

THE FUTURE OF THE EU WATER INITIATIVE

The Communication also assesses the outlook for the EU Water Initiative launched during the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

It finds that the Initiative has made considerable progress, noting that the drinking water and sanitation objectives will have to be achieved within the framework of integrated management of the river basins.

The Initiative concentrates on Africa, the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, the Mediterranean and Latin America.

The Commission considers that the progress made is not sufficient to meet the Millennium Development Goals without a significant increase in financing and improved mechanisms to help development aid attract other resources (private sector, development banks); the creation of a European Water Facility will serve both these purposes.

BACKGROUND

The Communication follows up on the EU Water Initiative launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in September 2002. The summit confirmed the objective, set in the context of the Millennium Development Goals, of halving the number of people in the world who do not have access to drinking water or basic sanitation by 2015.

Unsafe water causes more deaths than war does. More than 1 100 million people in the world have no access to drinking water, and 2 400 million do not have access to adequate sanitation. In Africa more than 40 % of the population is without drinking water, and even more lack appropriate sanitation services.

Related Acts

Decision No 7/2005

of the ACP-EC Council of Ministers of 22 November 2005 concerning the use of a second allocation of EUR 250 million from the conditional EUR 1 billion under the ninth EDF to be used for the second instalment of the ACP-EU Water Facility [Official Journal L 48 of 18.2.2006].
The Decision officially authorises allocation of a second tranche of EUR 250 million to the ACP-EU Water Facility.


Decision 2004/632/EC

of the ACP-EC Council of Ministers of 6 May 2004 on the use of the reserve of the long-term development envelope as well as resources from the Investment Facility of the ninth European Development Fund for the establishment of an ACP-EU Water Facility [Official Journal L 289 of 10.9.2004].
The Decision officially authorises allocation of a first tranche of EUR 250 million to the ACP-EU Water Facility and provides for the release of a further EUR 250 million.

Council Decision of 26 April 2004 on the position to be adopted by the Community in the ACP-EC Council of Ministers concerning a Decision on the use of the reserve of the long-term development envelope as well as resources from the Investment Facility of the ninth European Development Fund (EDF) for the establishment of an ACP-EU Water Facility [Not published in the Official Journal].
The Council provides that the reserve of the long-term development envelope as well as resources from the Investment Facility of the ninth EDF are to be used for the establishment of the ACP-EU Water Facility.

Council Decision 2004/289/EC of 22 March 2004 concerning the partial release of the conditional amount of EUR 1 billion under the ninth European Development Fund for cooperation with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in order to establish a Water Facility [Official Journal L 94, 31.03.2004].
In this Decision the Council agrees to establish the Water Facility for ACP countries. In accordance with the provisions of the Financial Protocol to the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement, the Council notes that the level of commitments and disbursements at the end of 2003 in conjunction with forecasts for the period 2004 to 2007 allows the release of EUR 500 million from the ninth EDF out of the budget of EUR 1000 million for the establishment of the Water Facility. The Council approves the release an initial tranche of EUR 250 million. Decisions will be taken later on the remaining sum.

EU Strategy for Africa

EU Strategy for Africa

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EU Strategy for Africa

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Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

EU Strategy for Africa

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 12 October 2005 – EU Strategy for Europe: Towards a Euro-African pact to accelerate Africa’s development [COM(2005) 489 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The EU Strategy for Africa outlines a framework of action for all EU Member States aimed at supporting Africa’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In recent years considerable progress has been recorded in Africa, particularly as regards governance and economic growth. The African Union (AU), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and international organisations have equipped Africa with political and economic roadmaps and a vision for the future. Nevertheless, Africa’s road towards sustainable development remains long.

A very diverse reality

Africa comprises different political regimes, historical experience and cultural, religious, economic and geographical contexts. Furthermore, areas of insecurity and centres of stability coexist. Some African countries have experienced, or are experiencing, sustained periods of peace, security, economic and political stability and democratic participation, while others remain mired in long-term conflict. Heightened instability is linked to a rise in transnational organised crime, resulting in an increased threat of drugs trafficking and consumption, human trafficking, smuggling of natural resources and arms trafficking.

Nevertheless, there is no shortage of growth factors. Sustainable exploitation of natural resources, agricultural development and investment in human resources create a sound investment climate. A number of African countries possess considerable natural resources which permit genuine sustainable development. Commodity-dependent African economies can reduce their vulnerability by acting against the long-term downward trend in prices and against fluctuations in world prices.

A fundamental driver of growth is a reliable and attractive investment climate. A country’s stability and level of governance, transparency, dialogue with the national and international business community, and regional integration are all contributing factors in economic development. New external players, such as Brazil, India and China, are increasingly attracted by Africa’s economic potential, while Africa’s longer-established partners, such as the United States, Japan and Russia, are showing renewed interest in the continent.

In these regions, interconnection is crucial to allowing people easier market access and reducing the costs of doing business. A regional integration process must therefore be developed to strengthen Africa’s position in the world economy.

Social dynamics

Human development also presents a highly varied picture. While several African countries have recorded impressive economic growth, a highly unequal distribution of income often prevents this growth from having a positive impact on poverty levels.

Job creation remains one of the major challenges for poverty reduction and social development, in particular for women and ethnic minorities. The employment situation is closely linked to literacy rates, which are gradually improving. Individuals’ well-being is also dependent on health and hygiene conditions. In particular, the HIV/AIDS pandemic is a heavy burden on many African countries.

Environmental dynamics

The African continent is environmentally very diverse. Climate change will further increase the strain on water resources, affect biodiversity and human health, worsen food security and increase desertification. Flooding and drought are common and are set to increase as a result of climate change, while early-warning systems are inadequate and disaster management is weak. Climate change adaptation is therefore an urgent necessity for Africa’s development.

The desertification process affects almost half of the African continent, the worst-affected areas being located along desert margins. Furthermore, Africa’s renewable water resources fall below the world average and several countries suffer water stress or scarcity. Africa also has 17% of the world’s forests, and deforestation, both for commercial timber and to make room for agriculture, is therefore a major concern.

The principles of the EU-Africa relations

Over the last few decades, the EU has concluded an increasing number of agreements with Africa, including the Lomé Conventions, entered into with the Member States of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP) Group and since replaced by the 2000 Cotonou Agreement, the South Africa Agreements and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and Association Agreement.

So now is the time to develop the basic principles that govern the relationship between Africa and the EU. This Communication envisages three principles:

  • equality, based on mutual recognition and respect for institutions and the definition of mutual collective interests;
  • partnership, i.e. developing links based on political and commercial cooperation;
  • ownership, i.e. strategies and development policies being country-owned and not imposed from the outside.

The EU should engage with Africa’s three levels of governance – national, regional and continental – on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity: only matters which would be dealt with less effectively at a lower level should be reserved for a higher level of governance. The EU should enhance intra-African solidarity between these three levels and raise dialogue with the African continent as a whole to the highest political level.

The EU’s response strategy

The EU should strengthen its support in the areas considered prerequisites for attaining the MDGs (peace, security, good governance), areas that create a favourable economic environment for growth, trade and interconnection and areas targeting social cohesion and environment.

The EU will step up its efforts to foster peace and security by means of a wide range of actions, ranging from the support for African peace operations to a comprehensive approach to conflict prevention addressing the root causes of violent conflict. These actions also target cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as support for regional and national strategies for disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and reinsertion in order to contribute to the reintegration of ex?combatants – including child soldiers – and stabilisation of post-conflict situations.

Despite the progress made in Africa, the road towards good governance remains long. With a view to reforming the State, the EU will work towards building effective and credible central institutions, to which end it will define a Governance Initiative in support of the African Peer Review Mechanism. It will reinforce respect for human rights and democracy, develop local capacity and encourage the decentralisation process, with the aim of promoting democracy and development. It will also encourage African countries to sign and implement the main international instruments of crime prevention.

In order to contribute to the effective reduction of poverty across Africa, the EU will stimulate rapid and broad-based economic growth by supporting macroeconomic stability and assisting in the creation of integrated regional markets. Limited access to transport and communication services, water and sanitation, and energy constrains economic growth. The Commission therefore proposes to establish an EU-Africa Partnership for Infrastructure. Transport policies must also be harmonised through support to the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Programme and the energy infrastructure must be developed along with integrated water management for its improvement in trans-boundary river basins.

When we consider that 40% of all Africans survive on less than one dollar a day, the EU must contribute to the establishment of social safety for the most vulnerable. In this context, it will support education, access to knowledge and transfer of know-how as a lifelong process going beyond primary education, and promote access to water supply, sanitation and energy, as well as the improvement of health infrastructures and the provision of essential health services.

Particular attention will be paid to employment policies, the promotion of cultural diversity and turning migration into a positive force in the development process.

As regards the environment, the EU’s activities will include the management of environmental diversity, the improvement of sustainable land management to halt desertification, the conservation of biodiversity, limitation of the effects of climate change and support for the sound management of chemicals.

Despite being the main donor to Africa, the EU should increase its financing substantially. In June 2005 the EU committed itself collectively to increase official aid to 0.56% of gross national income (GNI) by 2010 and to 0.7% by 2015. In particular, some €4 billion will be available annually for Sub-Saharan Africa and this Strategy for Africa should constitute the reference framework for the programmes and action under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).

This Strategy was adopted by the European Council of 15 and 16 December 2005.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – From Cairo to Lisbon – The EU-Africa Strategic Partnership [COM(2007) 357 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

An EU-Caribbean partnership for growth, stability and development

An EU-Caribbean partnership for growth, stability and development

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about An EU-Caribbean partnership for growth, stability and development

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

An EU-Caribbean partnership for growth, stability and development

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee of 2 March 2006 entitled “EU-Caribbean partnership for growth, stability and development” [COM(2006) 86 final – Official Journal C 104, 3 May 2006].

Summary

The overarching objective of the EU’s development strategy is to help all the countries in the Caribbean region achieve their long-term development goals in a self-sustaining manner and join the ranks of the developed states by 2020, when the current Cotonou Agreement expires.

The Caribbean faces a number of challenges, one of which is to build a well-balanced relationship with different partners in the Americas, in particular the United States, Brazil and Venezuela, that respects the interests of the small island states.

The EU supports the creation of a regional unit in the Caribbean, with CARICOM to encourage integration and CARIFORUM* to encourage cooperation. A second objective is to develop links between the Caribbean and the wider region, including Central and Latin America. To encourage the smooth integration of the region into the world economy, the EU will focus on the strategic EU-LAC (Latin American and Caribbean) partnership.

Bold leadership initiatives are also required if the region is to tackle its socio-economic and environmental challenges. The insular nature of most of the Caribbean acts as a brake on integration efforts and has adverse effects on the cost of energy, transport, communications and trade. To varying degrees, all the countries in the region remain vulnerable to both economic and natural shocks and face common socio-economic and environmental challenges, including climate change and management of natural resources. Countries such as Haiti, Guyana and some OECS* countries face significant poverty, unemployment, migration and brain drain, a high rate of HIV/AIDS, high levels of indebtedness and the need for economic reforms and for a restructuring of the public sector.

The communication highlights how the challenges facing the Caribbean can be transformed into opportunities. To achieve this, the EU is proposing action on three main fronts: shaping a political partnership based on shared values; addressing economic and environmental vulnerabilities and promoting social cohesion; and combating poverty.

A political partnership based on common values

The development of a strong political partnership between the EU and the Caribbean is a central plank in the EU’s Caribbean strategy. A political partnership focusing in particular on good and effective governance is the key to the consolidation of democracy, respect for human rights, improvements in gender equality, social cohesion, security, stability, conflict prevention, action on migration, the fight against drugs and regional integration.

Against the background of enhanced dialogue, the EU will prioritise its relations with CARIFORUM and LAC in order to move forward on issues of common concern. It will systematically support parliaments, the judicial system and public financial management systems, which are vital to ensure good governance. It will also promote transparency and information exchange in order to combat corruption, financial irregularities and corporate malpractices.

Addressing economic and environmental vulnerabilities

In an increasingly interdependent and globalised world, one major objective of EU development policy is to help developing countries reap greater benefit from the globalisation process. It is important to develop a viable economic model for the region. With this in mind, the EU will support regional integration efforts in the Caribbean and help boost competitiveness, diversify exports and establish regional markets. The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) process will play a crucial role in achieving these goals.

The environment and natural resources constitute an important asset for the Caribbean and, particularly, the poorest part of the local population. Caribbean states currently face many environmental problems, all of which impact strongly on the region’s economic and social development. These include land degradation, deforestation, scarce water resources, fish stocks management, biodiversity loss, waste and toxic chemical management and climate change.

The EU will help boost the region’s capacity for natural disaster management at all levels, with emphasis on risk reduction, preparedness, early warning, prevention and mitigation.

Promoting social cohesion and combating poverty

The EU will work together with the Caribbean to combat chronic poverty and improve stable basic livelihoods. Efforts will focus on, among other things, support for national social safety nets and activities that generate income for the poorest sections of the population.

Action against HIV/AIDS and other endemic diseases remains a priority in the region. To pursue this line, the Union aims to strengthen health care systems, with special emphasis on human resources and fair access to care. In the drugs field, the focus will be on education, awareness-raising, training and coordination between institutions so that a prevention-based approach is given priority.

To tackle real local problems such as brain drain, socio-economic alienation and weak social cohesion, the Union will work on developing a key mechanism that provides individuals with the skills base and know-how to take advantage of economic diversification.

Being more effective

The EU and the Caribbean countries must act together to build a more structured cooperation that reduces the risk of insufficient coherence and complementarity and of cumbersome procedures generated by the existence of a large number of small projects.

Regional and national aid strategies should be more coherent and mutually reinforcing. At national level, EU assistance will rest on a single national development strategy encompassing all Community instruments, including the European Development Fund (EDF), special funding for bananas, sugar, rice and rum, and all other Commission budget lines and facilities. At regional level, it will draw on the Regional Development Fund.

Key terms used in the act
  • CARICOM: Caribbean Community. This comprises 15 countries and associated territories: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
  • CARIFORUM: Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP). This comprises all members of CARICOM, except Montserrat, plus Dominican Republic and Cuba.
  • OECS: Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

Related Acts


Economic Partnership Agreement between the CARIFORUM States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part [Official Journal L 289 of 30 October 2008].

The European Union and the CARIFORUMStates have concluded a new Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) aimed at supporting the sustainable growth, competitiveness and development of these States. The priorities of the Agreement have been established in line with the Millennium Development Goals and the Cotonou Agreement.

The EPA enhances regional integration and the development of international trade in the Caribbean. In particular it establishes a more stable and more transparent framework for the growth of businesses and the security of investments. It provides for the asymmetrical liberalisation of trade with the EU. Customs duties and quotas applicable to products from CARIFORUM are therefore abolished, with the exception of the sectors of sugar and rice which will be subject to progressive liberalisation. The parties to the Agreement also liberalise cross-border supply of services, with the exception of audiovisual services, national maritime cabotage and air transport. Development cooperation activities and technical assistance are provided for in order to support in priority fiscal reform, the private sector, the diversification of exports of goods, compliance with technical, sanitary, phytosanitary and environmental standards, technological innovation and the development of infrastructures necessary for trade. European funding related to this cooperation will be transferred through the intermediary of a regional development fund.

African, Caribbean and Pacific states

African, Caribbean and Pacific states

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about African, Caribbean and Pacific states

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

The European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP countries) enjoy special relations that can be traced back to the Union’s beginnings. These political, economic and social relations are to be found mainly in the field of development cooperation.

The Cotonou Agreement signed in 2000, follows on from the previous conventions (Yaoundé, Lomé) and currently provides the general framework for relations between the Union and the 79 ACP countries. This framework is reinforced by regional and national components and supplemented by a financial component represented mainly by the European Development Fund (EDF).

GENERAL FRAMEWORK

  • Cotonou Agreement
  • Regional integration for development in ACP countries

Africa

  • Towards a renewed Africa-EU partnership
  • The Africa-EU partnership at work
  • From a strategy for Africa to an EU-Africa strategic partnership
  • EU-Africa partnership
  • EU Strategy for Africa
  • Taking EU-Africa dialogue forward
  • Economic partnership between Eastern and Southern Africa States
  • A regional policy partnership for the Horn of Africa
  • Special partnership with Cape Verde
  • Cooperation and dialogue between the EU, Africa and China
  • Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation

Caribbean

  • An EU-Caribbean partnership for growth, stability and development

Pacific

  • EU-Pacific strategy

INSTRUMENTS AND FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

Basic Instrument

  • European Development Fund (EDF)
  • Budgetisation of the European Development Fund

Specific Instruments

  • European Water Facility for the ACP countries
  • ACP-EU Energy Facility
  • Creation of a Peace Facility for Africa
  • Exceptional aid for highly-indebted ACP States

SECTORAL COOPERATION

  • Assistance for traditional ACP suppliers of bananas
  • Partnership with Africa for the development of the cotton industry
  • Partnership agreements with Non-EU Member Countries
  • Cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries on nuclear safety
  • Cooperation with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism
  • Cooperation with ACP States involved in armed conflicts