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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

MEPs back Contonou deal, but with human rights reservations

Development Committee MEPs backed the second revision of the EU's Cotonou partnership agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific states in a vote on Tuesday 19 March (adopted unanimously with 24 votes), but voiced strong reservations about its lack of binding human rights clauses, making recommendations for the third revision taking place in 2015.
The first revision of the Contonou agreement was concluded in 2005, and it entered into force in 2008. The second revised text was adopted in 2010.
On 19th March, the committee expressed its "strongest reservations about parts of the Agreement which do not reflect...the values of the Union", noting that a non-discrimination clause based on sexual orientation is not included in the revised version.
It urged the Commission to reflect on the provisions not fully included in the current revision, with a view to incorporating them in the next one, which is due to start in two years (2015).
The Cotonou Agreement established in 2000 a partnership between the ACP States, and the European Community and its member states. The EU-ACP partnership now has 79 member states, 78 of which have signed the Cotonou Agreement (Cuba is the exception).
The Cotonou Agreement includes a revision clause which allows it to be adapted every five years until 2020.

Source: European Parliament