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Assessing the Cotonou Agreement

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Friday, 31 August 2018

Assessing the Cotonou Agreement

The Cotonou agreement has regulated cooperation between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries since 2000. With negotiations on its successor about to start, the results so far seem mixed. EURACTIV France reports. The agreement, signed between the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the EU in 2000, expires in 2020. It rules the political, commercial, cooperation and development relations between the two blocs, whose closer ties began in 1975 with the Lomé agreement. The 79 partners have taken stock of the results of their exchanges before opening the negotiations to design a new framework for a future deal. “The achievements of the Cotonou agreement are numerous. Everything is present in this agreement, even if not all have been applied with the same success,” a French diplomatic source explains.The commercial realm also shows some weaknesses. “The share of imports and exports between Africa and the EU keeps decreasing. Between 2012 and 2016, importations have fallen to 11,1% and exportation to 1%,” the African Union underlined in a common position assessing the findings of cooperation with the EU as neither good nor bad. “In fact, the record of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is quite modest,” a French diplomatic source admits. Signed between the EU and the regional blocs of the ACP countries, these agreements are largely criticized by the African countries, blaming it for hindering the integration of the continent by fragmenting the regional markets.

Source: euractiv.com