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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

ACP group of states need synergy with EU goals

I recently attended a meeting in Brussels to discuss the future of the four-decade relationship between the 79-member African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States — to which SA belongs — and the 28-member European Union (EU). This relationship was forged to promote development and provide ACP access to the European market, but has not delivered. Several analysts argue that the EU, with 500-million people, will pursue separate relationships with each of the 1-billion-strong ACP regions after the 2000 Cotonou accord expires in 2020. Brussels appears to be losing interest in the Caribbean and Pacific, while economic, security and migration issues dominate relations with Africa. The financial and migration crises facing Europe have put pressure on budgets. EU ministers have also failed to attend ACP-EU council meetings, sending mostly low-level officials. ACP ministers themselves need to show more commitment to their own organisation. The ACP-EU political dialogue has represented a "dialogue of the deaf", conducted with multilateral bodies such as the African Union (AU) and individual states, but not within a structured ACP framework.

Source: bdlive.co.za