7 July, 2011
"Civil society must play a leading role in the sustainable and inclusive development of ACP countries"
EESC President Staffan Nilsson declared, while opening the 26th meeting of ACP-EU economic and social interest groups on 5 July in Brussels. The three-day conference brought together delegates from the EU and from most ACP countries: participants coming from civil society, institutions, and socio-professional organizations.
The general meeting of the ACP-EU economic and social interest groups takes place every three years in Brussels, to ensure that the views of civil society are taken into account in the implementation of the Cotonou Agreement.
The main topics which have animated the conference are the renewal of European Union's development policy, Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations and the participation of non-state actors in their implementation, support to farmers as a key aspect of food security strategies, and participatory democracy.
Representatives of ACP-EU economic and social interest groups participating in the conference adopted a final declaration which called on ACP and EU authorities:
The final declaration of the meeting is available at:
For further information, please contact:
EESC External Relations Unit