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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Socio-economic actors to play a key role in post-Cotonou

The Economic and Social Committee calls for new EU-ACP partnership that puts civil society in the driving seat During its Plenary session today, the EESC put forward recommendations on how EU trade, aid and development mechanisms should be reshaped to be more effective in dealing with current and future challenges in relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. These recommendations will influence the new framework that will replace the current Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), signed by 79 ACP countries and the EU and due to expire in February 2020. Despite some successes, issues such as extreme poverty, gender inequality and environmental degradation persist across the regions concerned. At the same time, new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in September 2015, aim to mobilise all actors and be universally applicable. In order to effectively implement the SDGs and deliver better outcomes to both ACP and EU citizens, the EESC wants a new framework recognising the importance of political dialogue in fostering civil society participation in the whole development process. The EESC believes that the role of civil society should also extend to monitoring and assessing the impact of the implementation of the future agreement, and to undertake this role civil society should receive the necessary financial support.