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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

DG Stefano Manservisi: the Future of EU-ACP Cooperation

The Cotonou Agreement which governs relations between the European Union and 78 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) will expire in February 2020. How could the relationship evolve? In the following interview, Stefano Manservisi, Director-General of DEVCO (the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development) discusses the shared interests which will guide cooperation and outlines a new basis for partnership founded on regional pillars. Capacity4dev (C4D): The current partnership agreement with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific expires in February 2020. What are the Commission and the High Representative proposing to shape future relations between the EU and ACP? Director-General Stefano Manservisi (SM): The partnership with the ACP is the oldest one the EU has with the largest group of developing countries in the world, going back to the late 1960s, and formally set up in Lomé in 1975. Then, it was the most advanced partnership between a group of developed countries, as we used to say at the time, and developing countries. Concepts in the Consensus today like ownership, partnership, co-decision, respect for each other, and solidarity, were already embedded in the Lomé Convention. Therefore, there is something powerful in thinking about what next.