Basic Documents

A raised hand with a card with a plus sign in the meeting room in Brussels.
© European Union (2018) - European Parliament


The Post-Cotonou Agreement

post-Cotonou hearing poster
DEVE hearing on the future of ACP-EU relations © European Parliament
In December 2020 the EU and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), replacing the ACP Group of States, reached a political deal on the text for a new Partnership Agreement that will succeed the Cotonou Agreement.

Key aspects of the new Agreement will be cooperation on trade and investment, development and regionalisation. It will cover a large number of areas such as sustainable development and growth, human rights, peace and security with the aim of promoting regional integration. Once ratified by all parties, the Agreement will be the new legal framework and govern political, economic and cooperation relations between the EU and 79 Members of the OACPS for the next 20 years.

The new Partnership Agreement is built on a common foundation, which sets out the values and principles that both parties have in common. In addition, it creates three specific regional protocols for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific with the aim of promoting regional integration. The regional protocols allow for the establishment of autonomous structures that will independently develop relations between the EU and the three regions involved. The Agreement also provides for a strong parliamentary dimension with a permanent JPA with a clear advisory role. Furthermore, to reflect the strong regional dimension of the new Agreement, it also includes three RPAs, which will operate autonomously and have a clear advisory role.

The ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (‘Cotonou Agreement’), 23 June 2000

ACP-EU logo in the back is slightly covered by flags of member states in the front
© European Union (2018) © European Parliament
The ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000, was concluded for a 20-year period from 2000 to 2020. It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU. The fundamental principles of the Cotonou Agreement include equality between partners, global participation (States and non-state actors), dialogue and regionalisation.

The Agreement entered into force in April 2003 and was revised in 2005 and 2010 in accordance with the revision clause that provides for reviewing the Agreement every five years.

In the 2010 revision, ACP-EU cooperation was adapted to new challenges such as climate change, food security, regional integration, state fragility and aid effectiveness.

The Cotonou Agreement was designed to establish a comprehensive partnership with three pillars:
  • development cooperation
  • political cooperation
  • economic and trade cooperation (for the period 2000-2007).

Rules of Procedure of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly