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Special partnership with Cape Verde
The European Union (EU) proposes to strengthen its relations with the Republic of Cape Verde within the framework of the Cotonou agreement, on the basis of a special partnership. In particular, this partnership will focus on cooperation at a political level and on security, regional integration, the knowledge-based society and poverty alleviation.
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 24 October 2007 on the future of relations between the European Union and the Republic of Cape Verde [COM(2007) 641 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Republic of Cape Verde and the EU are united by historical, human, religious, linguistic and cultural ties. They share fundamental socio-political values such as democracy and human rights and the promotion of good governance, peace, security and the fight against terrorism and crime. Specifically, they share a number of priorities as regards the fight against drug trafficking and illegal immigration, as a result of which Cape Verde is expected to intensify police and judicial cooperation with the EU.
The EU-Cape Verde special partnership
In view of the increasing interest of Cape Verde in approaching the EU, its outermost regions (ORs) of the North Atlantic (Azores, Madeira and the Canaries) in particular, and in order to respond to the mutual interests of the EU and Cape Verde as regards security and development, the Commission proposes a special partnership. This partnership is intended to strengthen dialogue and policy convergence between the two parties, in the context of the implementation of the Cotonou agreement.
The partnership considered is characterised by:
- strengthening of political dialogue between the two parties, on the basis of an action plan covering the priorities for the development process of the special partnership and including the cooperation instruments provided for in the Cotonou agreement;
- a search for forms of complementary cooperation to add to the traditional measures implemented under the Cotonou agreement;
- promotion of an evolving process, based on a flexible action plan that can be adapted to the development of the country and of its relations with the EU and third countries;
- pursuit of further progress in the area of good governance in Cape Verde;
- support for closer ties with the ORs and the rest of the EU by intensifying relations with the West Africa region and within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);
- promotion of convergence on European norms and standards, in order to strengthen the country’s comparative advantages.
The partnership will offer new perspectives. In particular, it will:
- strengthen cooperation between the two parties at a political, economic, commercial, administrative and judicial level;
- ensure convergence between legislation on economic and technical standards;
- offer Cape Verde, within the framework of closer links with the ORs, access to the EU’s internal market and the possibility to participate gradually in a number of EU policies and programmes;
- promote activities aimed at bringing Cape Verde closer to the Community acquis in the areas covered by the action plan.
The partnership action plan, which represents the overall strategic framework, is based on the following pillars:
- The good governance policy pursued by Cape Verde, and especially the consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and the participation of civil society. The partnership will also focus on the rights of children and women, the integration of immigrants, the fight against domestic violence and also the reform of the justice and public finance sectors.
- Security and stability, through actions implemented on a cross-border and regional basis in particular, in the areas of the fight against transnational organised crime, efficient management of migration flows and maritime security.
- Regional integration, both at OR level (through the country’s participation in the transnational Madeira, Azores, Canaries (MAC) cooperation programme for the period 2007-2013 and the cooperation mechanisms within the outermost regions) and at West Africa level (by taking into account the specificity of Cape Verde within the Economic Partnership Agreement and the use of the resources of the European Development Fund (EDF) regional indicative programmes).
- Convergence of technology and standards policies in the sectors covered by the action plan.
- Progress towards a “knowledge-based society” by encouraging economic, social and cultural development though education, research and information and communication technologies.
- The fight against poverty, in particular through environmental protection, the protection of natural resources, the preservation of the marine environment and closer cooperation in the area of fisheries.
The implementation of the action plan will be funded mainly by the EDF and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of the MAC programme for the period 2007-2013. Moreover, the European Community’s general budget will support specific activities, in particular thematic programmes funded by the development cooperation instrument, and also activities financed by the stability instrument, the instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights and the humanitarian aid instrument. This funding will be added to the resources of the Cape Verde government.
The action plan will be of indefinite duration and will be reviewed periodically. The EU troika will ensure its follow-up and its implementation at political and technical level.