Brussels, 21 June 2010
Commissioner Piebalgs in Burkina Faso to attend the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific States' signature of the revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement
On 22 June, Commissioner Piebalgs will attend the joint EU-ACP Council of Ministers in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The EU and 79 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) States will sign the revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which was initialled last 19 March. They are also expected to adopt joint statements on the Millennium Development Goals and on climate change. This should strengthen the EU and ACP countries position in the upcoming international negotiations, such as the UN High Level Summit on MDGs in New York in September and the UN Climate change conference in Cancun in December. As part of the bilateral visit, Commissioner Piebalgs will meet with President Compaoré and inaugurate the "avenue of Europe" in Ouagadougou.
"The joint EU-ACP Council represents half of the world and half of global aid. The revised Cotonou Agreement is our common instrument in the fight against poverty. It will help to tackle the challenges of regional integration, climate change and the achievement of the Millennium Development in these countries. If we join our efforts to address common challenges, if we speak together as one, we can make New York and Cancun a success." stated Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development. He added: "Burkina Faso is a good example of a country where our cooperation can make a difference. It is on good tracks towards economic development and political stability, and can count on our support in its endeavors."
The Cotonou Agreement is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU. It is our key instrument in the fight against poverty in the ACP States. It has been the framework for the EU's relations with 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States since 2000.
The revised Agreement promotes an open dialogue and a flexible approach to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty. It aims to foster regional integration, to address global challenges such as climate change and supports ACP countries to progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
The 2nd revision adapts the partnership to the latest challenges, in particular:
Our ACP partners face major challenges if they are to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The EU commitment to tackling poverty and to increasing aid to 0.7% GNI was endorsed by the European Council on 17 June.
The global challenge of climate change is a major subject for the partnership. The parties commit to supporting efforts in mitigating and adapting to its effects.
The growing importance of regional integration in ACP countries and in ACP-EU relations is reflected. The African Union becomes a partner of the EU-ACP.
Security and fragility: no development can take place without a secure environment. The new agreement highlights this interdependence and tackles security threats jointly.
The trade chapter of the Agreement will reflect the new trade relationship and the expiry of preferences at the end of 2007. It reaffirms the role of the Economic Partnership Agreements to boost economic development and integration into the world economy. It underlines the importance of trade adaptation strategies and aid for trade.
More impact, more value for money: the revision will put into practice the internationally agreed aid effectiveness principles, in particular donor coordination. For the first time, the role of other EU policies for the development of ACP countries is recognized and the EU commits to enhance the coherence of those policies to this end.
In 2009, the Parties have considered necessary to adapt existing cooperation framework to better address the all aspects of poverty eradication. The negotiations were launched in May 2009, and the EU negotiator initialled the endorsed texts on 19 March 2010.
During the visit, Commissioner Piebalgs will hold a bilateral meeting with Blaise Compaoré, the President of Burkina Faso. They will discuss EU relations with Burkina Faso, including development cooperation and energy policy. The European Commission is the largest grant donor in the country, with over €500 million allocated over the 6 years 2008-13 under the current European Development Fund. Reinforcing infrastructure and inter-connectivity and support to good governance are the two main focal sectors.
Commissioner Piebalgs will also inaugurate the "Avenue of Europe" with the Mayor of Ouagadougou Simon Compaoré. This marks a symbolic way of good cooperation between Burkina Faso and the EU.
More information about the EU's relations with Burkina Faso is available here.
More information about the EU's aid to Africa is available in the 2010 Donor Atlas.