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Negotiations on the post-Cotonou Agreement slowed down by migration


Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Negotiations on the post-Cotonou Agreement slowed down by migration

Due to a lack of consensus on the issue of migration, member states cannot come to an agreement on a mandate to begin negotiations on the future partnership agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, EURACTIV.fr reports. The disagreement among member states on the issue of migration in the future partnership agreement could postpone the start of negotiations, originally scheduled for 1 June. and readmission of illegal migrants. EURACTIV France reports. No negotiating mandate was put forward, following two meetings last week on the question of the future Cotonou Agreement. The agreement, which was signed in 2000, governs trade and political relations but also cooperation between the EU and 79 ACP countries. The current agreement expires in 2020 and will have to be replaced with a new partnership agreement. European governments had to agree on a negotiating mandate for the new Cotonou Agreement in May so that negotiations could begin at the meeting of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, in Lomé (Togo) on 31 May. There could be changes to the timetable. Though there are discussions on strengthening the migration chapter of the agreement, Hungary opposed the negotiating mandate put forward at the meeting between European Foreign Ministers on 22 May. The second meeting on 24 May saw no changes with “several member states opposing the compromise text that would have lifted Hungary’s opposition,” said an EU source to Euractiv. The Hungarian delegation made no comment on the subject.