Tag Archives: Acp countries

EU-Pacific strategy

EU-Pacific strategy

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


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)

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].


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.

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


OJ L 286 of 5.11.1994

Regulation (EC) No 856/1999


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.


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.

Budgetisation of the European Development Fund

Budgetisation of the European Development Fund

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Budgetisation of the European Development Fund


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)

Budgetisation of the European Development Fund

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 8 October 2003: “Towards the full integration of cooperation with ACP countries in the EU budget” [COM(2003) 590 final – not published in the Official Journal].


In this communication, the Commission recommends the incorporation into the EU budget of the aid granted to the ACP and OCT countries under the European Development Fund (EDF).


Countering the risks of marginalisation

With the extension of the external relations of the Union, the conclusion of cooperation agreements with numerous other regions and the increase in the amounts earmarked for external aid in the budget, separate financing for the ACP countries is no longer a privilege, rather the opposite.

These cooperation agreements with numerous regions around the world, like the Cotonou Agreement broach a series of subjects of common interest: political dialogue, trade arrangements, democracy objectives, etc. After the integration of the EDF into the budget, all the major geographical programmes will be part of the structure of the budget. From a technical point of view, that will permit increased synergy between the programmes centred around the national/geographical approach and those that pursue thematic objectives.

The cooperation programmes with the ACP countries have created a wealth of experience and good practice that is worthy of application to other programmes pursued in other developing regions. The incorporation of the EDF will facilitate the mutual enrichment of the different programmes.

The incorporation of the EDF into the budget will also facilitate cooperation between the regions of Africa. A similar gain in coherence could be brought about for Caribbean countries in relation to Latin America and for the Pacific group in relation to Asia.


Towards greater independence

With the budgetisation of the EDF, the financing of EU-ACP cooperation would gain independence from voluntary contributions determined as a result of national viewpoints and would present better prospects for continuity. For Member States, that would signify that financial cooperation with the ACP was genuinely placed at the EU level.

Towards stronger legitimacy

The EDF is currently the only expenditure that is not subject to authorisation by the European Parliament. Incorporating the EDF into the budget would put an end to this anomaly, thereby strengthening the public legitimacy of the EU’s external assistance. Not being part of the budget, cooperation with the ACP countries is clearly excluded from one of the most important political decision-making processes of the Union. The already significant risk that relations with the ACP countries are marginalised in comparison with other economically more advanced regions of the world is exacerbated by their lack of visibility in the political arenas of the Union. Furthermore, the influence of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly will be enhanced through its members in the European Parliament.

Towards greater transparency

A single budget including all external aid expenditures offers the possibility of providing a global picture of the EU’s external assistance and of EU development policy, in terms of both size and geographical distribution. Citizens will have to refer only to a single document in future when they want to know what the EC spends on development policy.

Towards greater efficiency and effectiveness

The integration of the EDF into the budget will lead to greater cost effectiveness. The unification of administrative and legal rules, decision-making structures, and commitment and payment procedures will remove a certain amount of duplication which is currently imposed on the different operators and stakeholders. It will help simplify reporting requirements, reduce the administrative burden on beneficiary countries and respond in a more efficient manner to the challenges faced by developing countries. The management principles applicable to the budget will also make the pattern of commitments more regular and help improve the delivery of aid to the ACP.


Will the quality of the partnership with ACP countries be maintained?

Yes. In the Commission’s view, the European Development Fund is a historical, not a substantive element in the privileged relations between the ACP and the EU. The Cotonou Agreement remains the cornerstone of this partnership and will continue to govern EU-ACP relations as in the past.

Commitments to individual ACP countries will continue to be made on the basis of programmes prepared and approved with them. In every country, the government will continue to be closely associated with multiannual indicative programming, the preparation of annual action plans, etc.

Will budgetisation challenge the financial commitment of the EU to the ACP?

This financial commitment must be renewed every five years, either through a new EDF within the framework of the general budget. The instruments currently available in the budgetary framework, and more particularly the decisions on the financial perspectives, offer the same guarantees.


There are currently two main channels of EU assistance to the ACP countries: funds from the EU budget and funds from the EDF. Different administrative rules and decision-making structures apply to these two forms of aid. Funds from the EU budget are administered in accordance with the general Financial Regulation. Funds from the EDF meanwhile are administered according to the rules laid down by the Cotonou Agreement.

The proposal to incorporate the EDF into the budget would mean that the new financial perspectives could include the totality of expenditure for EU-ACP cooperation. This is not a new proposal: the Commission had previously proposed the integration of the EDF in the Community general budget in 1973 and 1979. During the negotiations on the 2007-2013 financial perspectives, the Commission revived the proposal, but it was once again rejected by the European Council (15-16 December 2005). The debate is likely to be reopened when the next financial perspectives are prepared.

Governance in the consensus on development

Governance in the consensus on development

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Governance in the consensus on development


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

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

Governance in the consensus on development

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 30 August 2006 – Governance in the European consensus on development – Towards a harmonised approach within the European Union [COM(2006) 421 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Within the framework of the European consensus on development, which stressed the importance of integrating the concept of democratic governance into every sectoral programme, the Commission is proposing to the European Union (EU) a common approach to governance.

New approach

The Commission underlines the importance of approaching governance from a wider angle, taking into account all its dimensions (political, economic, environmental and social). Good governance means more than tackling corruption; it includes such things as access to health, education and justice, pluralism in the media, the functioning of parliament and the management of public accounts and natural resources.

In order to encourage developing countries to step up their efforts to reform, the approach proposed by the Commission is based on political dialogue, respect for the undertaking of reform by governments and the citizens of partner countries, and incentives. The identification of reforms and support measures that are suitable for each country requires an evaluation of governance in the country concerned. This evaluation is carried out using a participatory approach that encourages local players (such as the government and civil society) to develop their own analytical tools and skills.

Assuming that conditions for suitable democratic control, financial management and institutional development have been created, budgetary assistance helps to strengthen governance and institutions at central and local level. The Commission underlines its increased use and the fact that this makes it possible to tackle the problems of lack of political legitimacy and the capacities which characterise several developing countries, fragile States in particular.

The effectiveness of this new approach is dependent on the capacity of donors to act in a coordinated and harmonised manner, with respect to governance analysis tools and response strategies in particular. Within this context, Member States and the Commission have made progress towards common programming and have drawn up a code of conduct on complementarity and the division of labour.

African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries

Governance is already included in the regular political dialogue with ACP countries, and support for this will be stepped up. When the 9th European Development Fund (EDF) was being programmed, the sum of €870 million (or 10% of all programmable funding) was granted for projects in this field. In addition, under the 10th EDF €3 billion will be set aside for incentives, divided between national funding (2.7 billion) and a regional fund (300 million). Country access to this reserve is dependent on the outcome of a dialogue with the Commission concerning its own governance plan. In this context, a governance profile will be created for each country.

Moreover, governance will be integrated as a cross-cutting theme in all sectors of cooperation. This will be accompanied by the creation of new ways of taking into account the new provisions of the Cotonou agreement and the regional strategies adopted for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

In Africa, governance has also been mainstreamed in dialogue and cooperation between the Pan-African institutions and the EU. The Commission is proposing increased support for the institutions of the African Union and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

Other developing countries

The EU supports the promotion of democracy, human rights and good governance in all other developing countries, according to strategies based on the specific features of each region.

In cooperation with countries covered by the neighbourhood policy, priority areas for financial assistance from the EU are selected on the basis of action plans focused on governance and adopted jointly with the countries concerned. Progress made in the various areas of governance is regularly monitored. Moreover, governance is supported by cooperation mechanisms such as twinning, TAIEX and the SIGMA initiative, which were originally developed for the purposes of enlargement. Additional support for the promotion of political and economic reforms in these countries is now offered by the new “Governance” facility.

In a 2005 Communication, the Commission undertook to support governance in Latin America. It therefore intends to continue to support the modernisation of government in the region, using an approach tailored to the needs of individual countries, which vary according to their stability. The Commission will continue, moreover, to support regional integration which, since it involves establishing and complying with common rules, is a powerful vector for good governance in economic and trade matters.

In Asia, the EU will continue its dialogue with China and India. Political dialogue at regional and bilateral levels with the countries of in central Asia is bolstered by the presence of a special rapporteur on democratic governance. Moreover, governance features in the cooperation with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and in the informal dialogues of the Asia-Europe meetings (ASEM). In the programming for the period 2007-2013, governance is a cross-cutting issue in all cooperation activities in the countries of the region and also a focal sector in the cooperation with several of them.

Associated Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 20 October 2003: Governance and development [COM(2003) 615 final- Not published in the Official Journal].

ACP-EU Energy Facility

ACP-EU Energy Facility

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ACP-EU Energy Facility


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)

ACP-EU Energy Facility

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 26 October 2004 on the future development of the EU Energy Initiative and the modalities for the establishment of an Energy Facility for ACP countries [COM(2004) 711 final – not published in the Official Journal].



The Energy Facility for African, Pacific and Caribbean countries will be a catalyst promoting initiatives and projects in the area of energy, acting as a clearing house and building research and management capacity in ACP countries.

Key Principles

Four key principles underpin the Facility:

  • Governance: The Energy Facility targets in particular ACP countries which pursue or are firmly resolved to create a sound national energy policy, based on good governance principles. The Facility helps countries to establish their institutional and regulatory framework and to attract additional financial resources for public-private partnerships.
  • Ownership: The Energy Facility is to be fully demand driven. It will be an instrument to support and deepen the involvement of actors in ACP countries in the design and implementation of energy policies.
  • Flexibility: Maximum impact is sought by offering creative combinations of grants with other sources of financing. The Facility is open to joint financing with Member States, other international financing institutions such as the European Investment Bank and private sector investments via public-private partnerships.
  • Innovation: The Facility is intended to offer innovative responses to the challenge of providing sustainable energy services to the poorest areas. Projects can include electrifying rural areas, improving the efficiency of households’ cooking and promoting sustainable energy generation through bio-mass, small hydro-electric plants and wind turbines.

Priority Activity Areas to be funded under the Energy Facility

The Commission has identified three Priority Activity Areas:

  • Delivery of energy services: The largest financial contribution from the Facility is designed to improve rural people’s access to modern energy services, particularly in Africa. Priority is given to people in unserved areas. Proposals must ensure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the investment.
  • Creating an enabling environment: Where governance conditions are not in place for delivery-oriented intervention in the field, up to 20% of the Facility supports the development of an enabling environment for the energy sector based on good governance principles. The Facility facilitates the implementation of sound national energy policies and strategies, improves the institutional, legal and regulatory framework, strengthens the capacity of key stakeholders, and improves monitoring and evaluation capacity.
  • Supporting future large-scale investment programmes: Up to 20% of the Facility resources is devoted to preparatory activities required to facilitate future large-scale investment plans for cross-border interconnections, grid extensions and rural distribution, preparing them for financing by international finance institutions.

Management of the Energy Facility

Management of the Energy Facility must respect the principle of project ownership by the ACP partners and their right of initiative.

Officials from the Commission manage the Facility, although they are able to call on outside expertise.

The existing decision-making processes established between the EU and ACP institutions apply in the management of the Facility.

Member States are involved in the development and overall guidance of the Facility and are able to ensure the necessary coordination of their own bilateral activities with those of the Facility.

Implementation is developed along the lines of the Water Facility.

Approval by the EU

In June 2005, the ACP-EU Council approved the creation of the Facility, for a total amount of 220 million euros. The Commission approved its implementation in April 2006.


Recalling that access to modern energy services is a prerequisite for social and economic development, the Commission takes stock of the EU Energy Initiative launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

It notes, inter alia, that engaging in dialogue and specific partnerships with developing countries has led to strong ACP ownership of this initiative. But it has also revealed the need for allocation of more resources by the EU to this area, and this underlies the will to create a specific Energy Facility for ACP countries.


Energy is critical for almost all human activity, and access to modern energy services is a prerequisite for poverty alleviation and social and economic development.

Nearly two billion people in developing countries lack access to high quality, reliable and modern energy services. Recognising the importance of improving this access for the poor, the Commission and Member States launched the EU Energy Initiative for poverty eradication and sustainable development (EUEI) at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).

This initiative has increased the attention given to energy services within the external assistance of the EU.

Cooperation with ACP States involved in armed conflicts

Cooperation with ACP States involved in armed conflicts

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cooperation with ACP States involved in armed conflicts


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)

Cooperation with ACP States involved in armed conflicts

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and to the European Parliament of 19 May 1999 on cooperation with ACP States involved in armed conflict [COM(1999)240 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The escalation of conflicts in ACP countries, particularly in Africa, requires a review of the Community’s cooperation with ACP States. In light of the close links established by the Lomé Convention, replaced in 2000 by the Cotonou Agreement, the European Community has a special responsibility to help ACP States to find peaceful solutions to their conflicts. In particular, it must ensure that the Community funds provided to ACP States are not diverted to military uses.

The communication sets out the various measures and policies available to enable the EU to react to different conflict scenarios in ACP States. The main aim of this review is to prevent the diversion of Community funds to military purposes.

Measures within the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and within the Community framework

Disbursement of funds in instalments

In all financing agreements concerning direct budgetary assistance, the Commission is now introducing provisions that enable funds to be disbursed in stages on the basis of individual assessments. This requires complete budget transparency and enables the Commission to monitor closely the use of Community funds.

Freezing, reducing or suspending aid
This involves freezing the implementation of projects or any further budgetary assistance, reducing aid or suspending it. It may occur in the following circumstances:

  • freezing implementation pending an investigation or stopping certain programmes if the funds are likely to be diverted to military uses;
  • suspending aid in cases of serious violations (as a result of an armed conflict) of human rights and other key elements, such as democratic principles (Articles 96 and 97 and Articles 9 and 10 of the Cotonou Agreement). The Community holds consultations with the country concerned in order to determine whether suspension of aid is necessary;
  • suspending aid in cases where economic sanctions are imposed by the United Nations Security Council.

Freezing aid may concern the disbursement of funds or result in programmes being stopped. Suspending aid consists of a temporary interruption in financing and programmes in certain areas, for example food security or provisions relating to funds for development cooperation in the Cotonou Agreement.

Conditions for freezing or stopping Community aid under the Cotonou Agreement or within the Community framework
It should be noted that suspending aid is an extreme measure. Where aid is frozen or suspended with a view to motivating peaceful solutions, the following aspects must be taken into consideration:

  • the degree of fungibility of funding, in other words the speed and ease with which funds may be diverted to support the war effort;
  • the political and social repercussions of the measures implemented, particularly in relation to the fight against poverty;
  • the administrative flexibility permitting the freezing and re-launching of aid programmes.

The decisions must be based on the individual assessments of the countries and the instruments involved. The measures should be applied in an impartial and proportional manner.

Humanitarian aid

Humanitarian aid must be provided wherever needed on condition that the necessary security conditions exist. It should not be subject to political objectives. However, its potential impact on the course of the conflict should be assessed.

Options for the common foreign and security policy(CFSP)
The review of development cooperation with the countries involved in armed conflicts must form part of an integrated strategy for conflict management and resolution within the framework of the CFSP. The strategy must be flexible and appropriate to the situation on the ground in each region in crisis. It must also take account of the historical, social, economic and political factors at the root of the hostilities, plus the motivations of the parties concerned.

The communication proposes general guidelines for a global EU approach in the following three main situations:

Outbreak, escalation or spread of an armed conflict:

  • complete or partial interruption of development cooperation followed by the implementation of Community measures to resolve the problem;
  • use of other tools such as restrictions on arms exports, trade relations, etc.;
  • use of CFSP instruments (statements issued by the presidency, joint actions, special envoys) to seek solutions to the conflict;
  • involvement of the European Union in the planning of operations to restore peace undertaken in the international arena;
  • establishment of emergency plans for regions susceptible to humanitarian disasters linked to war, such as genocide, “ethnic cleansing”, etc. In the case of such disasters, the provisions of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter could come into play;
  • use of existing measures to improve the control of arms flows to countries involved in armed conflicts;
  • a coherent response from the Union. All decisions to suspend Community aid must be accompanied by similar action on the part of the Member States of the Union in terms of their bilateral aid in order to guarantee a coherent approach and to maximise the impact of the Union’s policy.

Cessation of hostilities and negotiations:

  • the CFSP must offer support for dialogue and negotiations by sending special envoys, and, where necessary, participating in the efforts to maintain peace;
  • the Commission and the Member States may offer technical and financial assistance for the operations to be carried out after the war, particularly in the socio-economic field, for example the reintegration of refugees.

Breakdown of State authority:

The erosion of State authority and of the management capacity of many African countries has resulted in a particular risk of lasting breakdown of State authority. In order to protect the most vulnerable countries, the European Union may:

  • provide humanitarian aid;
  • provide basic assistance to the social sector through United Nations agencies, international organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs);
  • provide aid on a political and economic level to neighbouring countries where there is a breakdown that threatens regional security. This is only envisaged for specific cases. Naturally, such aid would depend on the will of the beneficiary government and respect for fundamental values such as human rights, democratic principles and complete transparency in relation to military expenditure.

Conflict prevention
All political responses to an armed conflict must be considered as emergency responses resulting from a failure in conflict prevention measures. The European Union must be prepared to manage and resolve these violent crises. However, first and foremost, the Union must concentrate on conflict prevention.