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).

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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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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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.

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.

African, Caribbean and Pacific states

African, Caribbean and Pacific states

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

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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

Cooperation with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism

Cooperation with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cooperation with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism

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Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Cooperation with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism

Document or Iniciative

Council Joint Action 2007/501/CFSP of 16 July 2007 on cooperation with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism in the framework of the implementation of the European Union counter-terrorism strategy.

Summary

This Joint Action offers the support of the European Union (EU) to the Member States of the African Union (AU). Its objective is to improve the organisation of the capacities of the Member States of the AU in the fight against terrorism and to strengthen cooperation, in particular through the exchange of information.

The EU undertakes to provide financial support to the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) with a view to improving the efficiency of the counter-terrorism arrangements of the African countries.

African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism

Since its creation in 2004, the ACSRT has been responsible for evaluating the terrorist threat in Africa and for promoting intra-African cooperation against terrorism. It deals more specifically with carrying out training measures, conducting studies, setting up databases for gathering, exchanging and analysing information, as well as for terrorism-related surveillance and alerts.

Project

The project consists in carrying out audit missions on national counter-terrorism arrangements and providing advice on reorganisation in the AU Member States. To achieve this, an action plan, drawn up by the EU, will be presented at the next seminar in Addis Ababa.

This seminar will bring together two representatives from the 53 countries of the AU, Morocco, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the ACSRT and each EU Member State, as well as the EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator.

At the close of the seminar, the African States will declare whether they wish to receive an audit mission or not. The audit teams will be made up of two specialists from the EU Member States and one member of the ACSRT and will be responsible for drawing up reports containing recommendations. If they are accepted by the audited countries, the latter will implement them, with monitoring by the ACSRT.

In parallel, the evaluations recording the possible improvements are forwarded to the ACSRT, which in turn sends them to the Council for communication to the Member States. On the basis of these evaluations, the ACSRT, with the agreement of the EU, can make recommendations to the audited countries.

Implementation

The Presidency, assisted by the Secretary-General of the Council/High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), is responsible for the implementation of this Joint Action.

The ACSRT is responsible for:

  • the technical implementation of the project;
  • the organisation of the Addis Ababa seminar;
  • contact with the States which have accepted the action plan;
  • proper management of the audit missions in operational and financial terms;
  • coordination of the project;
  • drawing up regular project evaluation reports.

The Council and the Commission ensure consistency between the implementation of this Joint Action and other external activities of the Community.

Terms and conditions

The project implementation budget amounts to EUR 665 000. The Commission is responsible for supervising the proper management of expenditure, supplying the information relating to the financial aspects, concluding a financing agreement with the ACSRT and informing the Council of any difficulties.

The Joint Action enters into force on the day of its adoption and expires 18 months after the conclusion of the financing agreement or on 16 July 2008, if no agreement has been concluded before that date.

Background

This Joint Action is part of the EU counter-terrorism strategy, the EU’s strategy for Africa, the Plan of Action on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism in Africa and the Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, signed in Algiers.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Joint Action 2007/501/CFSP 16.7.2007 OJ L 185 of 17.7.2007

Cotonou Agreement

Cotonou Agreement

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cotonou Agreement

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Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Cotonou Agreement

Document or Iniciative

Partnership agreement 2000/483/EC between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000.

Summary

The Cotonou Agreement offers a framework for the European Union’s (EU) cooperation relations for the economic, social and cultural development of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP).

Centred on the target of reducing, and in the longer-term, eradicating poverty, the cooperation must also contribute to the peace and security and the democratic and political stability of the ACP states. In this regard, the partners to the agreement shall act jointly to gradually achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Cotonou Agreement is based on equality between the partners and ownership of the development strategies. It was signed on 23 June 2000 for a period of 20 years and may be revised every five years.

Political dimension

The Agreement has a strong political dimension resulting in:

  • regular political dialogue, aimed at strengthening cooperation and promoting an effective system of multilateralism;
  • peace-building policies, conflict prevention and resolution. In this field, the partnership concentrates on regional initiatives and on building local capacities, and also on the involvement of regional organisations such at the African Union;
  • promoting human rights, democratic principles based on the rule of law and transparent and accountable governance. A new procedure has been developed for cases of violation of these elements, stressing the responsibility of the country in question;
  • identifying questions of common interest connected with general (regional integration) or specific (trade, military expenditure, drugs, organised crime, child labour and discrimination) issues;
  • developing cooperation strategies, including an agenda for aid efficiency, sectoral policies concerning the environment, climate change, gender equality and migration;
  • attention paid to the subject of security, in particular with regard to countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, provisions on the Statute of the International Criminal Court, provisions on international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and illegal trafficking.

The political dialogue is conducted in a flexible way, under either a formal or an informal framework and at the most appropriate territorial level. The regional organisations and national parliaments may also participate.

The Agreement envisages a substantial role for non-State actors (NSAs) during the design and implementation of development strategies and programmes. In particular, the NSAs are local authorities, civil society organisations and the private sector, which have access to specific partnership financing.

Development strategies and poverty reduction

The Agreement is based on an integrated approach which includes actions for promoting economic, social and human development, as well as regional integration. The action priorities are set for each country in accordance with the principle of differentiation.

Economic development focuses on:

  • macro-economic and structural policies and reforms;
  • sectoral policies (in particular, developing the industrial, agricultural, tourism, fisheries and traditional knowledge sectors);
  • investment and development of the private sector, in particular the cooperation supports public sector investment in infrastructure which promotes the development of the private sector, economic growth and poverty eradication.

The key elements of social and human development concern:

  • sectoral social policies regarding improving education, health and nutrition systems;
  • youth issues, in particular participation in public life and exchanges between the partner countries;
  • health and access to services, fighting diseases connected with poverty and sexual and reproductive health protection;
  • cultural development.

Regional cooperation and integration are aimed at facilitating development in all sectors. Cooperation must also support inter- regional and intra-ACP cooperation schemes and initiatives, including those involving non-ACP developing countries. Regional cooperation and integration seek, among other things, to:

  • accelerate diversification of the ACP States’ economies;
  • promote and expand trade, which equally benefits the least developed countries (LDCs) among the ACP States;
  • implement sectoral reform policies at regional level.

Lastly, the development strategies systematically take into account three cross-cutting issues:

  • gender equality;
  • sustainable management of the environment and natural resources;
  • institutional development and capacity building.

Economic and trade cooperation

The Agreement complies with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. It enables the ACP States to play a full part in international trade.

It provides for the negotiation of regional economic partnership agreements with a view to liberalising trade.

The Agreement highlights the vulnerable situation of the ACP states and the importance of cooperation and trade assistance. In this respect, cooperation on trade matters is not restricted to trading activities; it also extends to the protection of intellectual property rights and compliance with international labour standards.

The most vulnerable states

Special treatment is granted to the least developed, landlocked and island ACP States, and to post-conflict countries. They receive special attention in certain areas, namely on matters relating to food security, regional cooperation, transport infrastructure and communications.

Joint institutions

The Council of Ministers meets once a year. It consists of members of the Council of the EU, the Commission and a member of the government of each ACP State. The presidency is held in turn by a member of the Council of the EU and by a member of the government of an ACP State.

It conducts the political dialogue and ensures that the Agreement is properly implemented. It may take decisions that are binding on the parties and draw up resolutions, recommendations and opinions. It may also delegate responsibilities to the Committee of Ambassadors. It presents an annual report to the Joint Parliamentary Assembly on the implementation of the Agreement.

The Committee of Ambassadors assists the Council of Ministers. It is made up of each Member State permanent representative to the EU, a Commission representative and a head of mission for each ACP State to the EU. Its presidency is held in turn by the representative of an EU Member State and by an ACP State.

The Joint Parliamentary Assembly is an advisory body made up of an equal number of Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the ACP States. The Assembly may adopt resolutions and submit recommendations to the Council of Ministers. It meets twice a year in plenary session, alternating between the EU and an ACP country. The members of parliament may also meet at regional or subregional level if desired.

Violation of essential elements of the Agreement

The Agreement lays down measures in cases of non-compliance with the requirements of essential elements of the Agreement, namely respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law.

The Agreement provides for a preliminary consultation procedure, however, in the absence of an acceptable solution, supplementary measures may be taken, including suspension of the Agreement, although this is a last resort.

Context

The Cotonou Agreement represents a new phase in the cooperation between the ACP states and the EU. For certain ACP states, the cooperation started with the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. It was extended with the two Yaoundé conventions and the four Lomé conventions.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Agreement 2000/483/EC

1.4.2003

OJ L 317, 15.12.2000

Act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2005/599/EC

21.6.2005

OJ L 209, 11.8.2005

Decision 2010/648/EC

14.5.2010

OJ L 287, 4.11.2010

RELATED ACTS

Trade regime

Proposal for a Council Decision of 30 September 2008 on the signature and provisional application of the agreement establishing a framework for an Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on one part, and the East African Community Partner States, on the other part [COM(2008) 521 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The trade regime set out in the Cotonou Agreement and the WTO waiver covering that trade regime expired in December 2007. Thus the establishing of a Framework for an Economic Partnership Agreement (FEPA) between the EU and the East African Community Partner States should allow existing trade relations to be maintained and should serve as a basis for the negotiation of a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement by the end of 2009.
The FEPA lays down the necessary measures to establish a Free Trade Area, as well as specific provisions on rules of origin, non-tariff measures, trade defence measures, dispute avoidance, fisheries and administrative and institutional cooperation.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 of 20 December 2007 applying the arrangements for products originating in certain states which are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States provided for in agreements establishing, or leading to the establishment of, Economic Partnership Agreements [Official Journal L 348 of 31.12.2007].

This Regulation establishes the list of States benefitting from an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). It provides for the implementation of this trade regime from 1 January 2008.

Specific provisions

Decision 2008/991/EC n° 3/2008of the ACP-EC Council of Ministers of 15 December 2008 to adopt amendments to Annex IV to the Partnership Agreement [Official Journal L 352 of 31.12.2008].
Annex IV related to the procedures for the implementation and management of the Cotonou Agreement has been amended in order to harmonise the procedures for the awarding and performance of public contracts.

Decision No 2006/1/EC of the ACP-EC Council of Ministers of 2 June 2006 specifying the multi-annual financial framework for the period 2008-2013 and modifying the revised ACP-EC Partnership Agreement [Official Journal L 247, 9.9.2006].
This financing agreement relating to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement covers the period 2008-2013 and provides for an overall budget of more than EUR 24 billion. This envelope includes EUR 2 billion in own resources of the EIB, while the remainder consists of the tenth EDF. On an annual basis, that represents an increase of approximately 35 % compared to the 9th EDF. A larger share of the budget will be devoted to regional programmes, thereby emphasising the importance of regional economic integration for national and local development.

Assistance for traditional ACP suppliers of bananas

Assistance for traditional ACP suppliers of bananas

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Assistance for traditional ACP suppliers of bananas

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)

Assistance for traditional ACP suppliers of bananas

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 2686/94 of 31 October 1994 establishing a special system of assistance to traditional ACP suppliers of bananas.

Council Regulation (EC) No 856/1999 of 22 April 1999 establishing a special framework of assistance for traditional ACP suppliers of bananas.

Summary

Traditional African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) suppliers of bananas have benefited from a framework of assistance to improve the competitiveness and diversification of their agricultural production.

The term traditional ACP suppliers of bananas does not refer to all current ACP suppliers of bananas. The countries involved (defined according to historical references) are: Belize, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Madagascar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Somalia and Suriname.

Within the meaning of the Regulation, the term “bananas” means fresh or dried bananas, excepting plantains.

The temporary special framework of assistance (SFA) is established by Regulation (EC) No 856/1999 for a period of ten years with effect from 1 January 1999.

Activities eligible for assistance

The assistance measures aim to:

  • increase productivity and improve product quality, including in the field of plant health;
  • adapt production, distribution or marketing methods, particularly in the context of the standards provided for in Regulation (EEC) No 404/93 and (EC) No 1234/2007;
  • establish producers’ organisations to improve the marketing and competitiveness of their products;
  • develop fair trade, and systems of certifying environmentally-friendly production methods;
  • develop a production and/or marketing strategy to meet the requirements of the market;
  • assist with training, market intelligence and the development of environment-friendly and fair production methods;
  • support the diversification of production where improvement in the competitiveness of the sector is not sustainable.

Financing programmes

The financial assistance provided is designed to complement and reinforce the assistance provided under other instruments of development cooperation. Each year, the Commission fixes the maximum amount available to each supplier on the basis of the competitiveness gap observed and the scale of banana production of the country concerned.

The Regulation provides for mechanisms to reduce Community aid gradually. From 2004, a maximum reduction coefficient of 15 % will be applied each year to the level of assistance made available to each country. When programmes are implemented, this reduction coefficient will be reduced to an extent equivalent to the increase in competitiveness observed.

The projects financed under the “bananas” budget heading were devolved to the Commission delegations in the last quarter of 2005. This devolution has enabled the delegations to manage projects more effectively and to catch up on any commitment or payment backlogs.

Evaluation

The Commission was required to present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the operation of the Regulation by 31 December 2000 and every two years thereafter.
It presented its first two-yearly report in February 2001, and the second in December 2002.

Context

Since the common market organisation (CMO) in bananas was established in 1993, ACP states have benefited from a preferential trade regime for exporting bananas to the EU. As such:

  • from 1993 to 2005 imports of bananas from non-ACP states were subject to quotas and customs duties. ACP states were not subject to customs duties within quota and benefited from reduced customs duties for imports above the quota;
  • in 2006 the general imports system was replaced by a system based only on customs duties, except for ACP states which benefited from a quota system exempt from customs duties;
  • since 2008, the ACP states which have negotiated an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) have benefited from access to the market without quotas or customs duties. The EPAs replace the trade provisions of the Cotonou Agreement which expired on 31 December 2007;
  • since 15 December 2009 customs duties applicable to imports from third countries (non-ACP states) have been EUR 148/tonne.

The special framework of assistance for ACP suppliers established in 1999 came to an end in 2008; however a number of projects are still underway.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2686/94

5.11.1994

OJ L 286 of 5.11.1994

Regulation (EC) No 856/1999

30.4.1999

OJ L 108 of 27.4.1999

Related Acts

Council Decision 2010/314/EU of 10 May 2010 on the signing and provisional application of the Geneva Agreement on Trade in Bananas between the European Union and Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Venezuela and of the Agreement on Trade in Bananas between the European Union and the United States of America.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1609/1999 of 22 July 1999 laying down the detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 856/1999 [Official Journal L 190 of 23.7.1999].
This Regulation lays down the detailed rules for the implementation of the special framework of assistance, for example the deadlines, the methods for calculating the reference price, the reference quantities and the competitivity gap.
Requests for assistance should be based on a coherent long-term strategy for the banana sector. Programmes submitted should be drawn up on the basis of this strategy and take the form of annual action plans. Funds allocated to countries which have not presented a request for assistance within the specified deadline shall be distributed to other countries.

REPORTS

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 17 March 2010 – Biennial Report on the Special Framework of Assistance for Traditional ACP suppliers of Bananas [COM(2010) 103 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The special framework of assistance (SFA) came to an end on 31 December 2008. Its implementation enabled traditional ACP suppliers of bananas to make progress in terms of:

  • competitiveness and adaptation to the needs of the European market and to EU standards and policies with the aim of sustainable economic development;
  • diversifying agricultural production and including it in the planning of the development of the country in a more integrated and strategic way.

However, the majority of these states remain vulnerable to external crises and must still overcome significant challenges to adapt to the constraints of world trade.

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament –Special Framework of Assistance for traditional ACP Suppliers of Bananas (Council Regulation No 856/1999): Biennial Report from the Commission 2006 [COM(2006) 806 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – Special Framework of Assistance for Traditional ACP Suppliers of Bananas (Council Regulation (EC) No 856/1999): Biennial Report from the Commission – 2004 [COM(2004) 823 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The EU trade regime has not changed since the last report and measures have been taken as part of enlargement.

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 23 December 2002 – Special Framework of Assistance for Traditional ACP Suppliers of Bananas (Council Regulation (EC) No 856/1999): Biennial Report from the Commission – 2002 [COM(2002) 763 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In April 2001 the Community prepared a new regime in order to comply with WTO rules, putting an end to the “banana conflict” between the United States and the European Community. The amended regime is a compromise and contains major, phased changes to EU banana import arrangements:

  • the quota system should be replaced by a tariff-only system;
  • in the meantime, the EU market in bananas will continue to be managed through a quota system based on historical reference, which has also been discussed with the ACP countries.

In particular, the Commission notes that between 1999 and 2002 the amounts used to boost the productivity of banana plantations have declined, compared with those aimed at supporting diversification. These changes correspond to the Commission’s desire to improve the management of funds, in particular regarding transparency, security and identification of the various stakeholders’ responsibilities.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament of 7 February 2001 – Special Framework of Assistance for Traditional ACP Suppliers of Bananas (Council Regulation No 856/1999) – Biennial Report from the Commission 2000 [COM(2001) 67 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Market conditions were difficult for the traditional ACP suppliers of bananas in 1999 and 2000. The market is dominated by cheaper bananas from Latin America. In addition, banana prices fell in 1999 and plummeted to an exceptional low in 2000. Furthermore, following the WTO’s unfavourable conclusions on the Commission’s import regimes in 1999, the Commission made significant changes to the import regime.