Mon | Nov 12, 2018

EU looking to change structure of agreements with ACP countries

Published:Monday | February 5, 2018 | 3:04 PM

The European Union (EU) is seeking to establish separate arrangements with members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group, as it prepares to enter into a new partnership agreement with these countries.

Director General for International Cooperation and Development in the European Commission, Stefano Manservisi, says this would represent a shift from finance-focused arrangements under the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, which expires in 2020.

According to him, it’s not a negotiation about money but about relationship.

Manservisi was delivering a lecture at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies in St Andrew, last week.

He explained that while the intention is to maintain the relationship between the EU and the ACP as a whole, the plan is to develop three pillars which would consist of different agreements between the EU and each of the regions in African, Caribbean and Pacific grouping.

The Director General said there can now be a modernised partnership which is focused on all parties’ common interests and values which will go beyond development policy only.

He argued that the EU, under its new partnership, particularly with the Caribbean, is seeking to benefit from the rich human capital and culture in the region.

The Cotonou Agreement is the overarching framework for EU relations with ACP countries.

It was adopted in 2000 to replace the 1975 Lomé Convention.

It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU, covering the EU’s relations with 79 countries.