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European Commission - Press release

European Commission ready to start negotiations for a new ambitious partnership with 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific

Brussels, 22 June 2018

Today, the European Commission received authorisation from the Council to open negotiations for a new partnership agreement with countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).

The European Commission welcomes the Council decision allowing to launch the negotiations with the ACP group of States in the coming weeks. The existing framework, known as the Cotonou agreement, is due to expire in February 2020.

On this occasion, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: “We are ready to embark upon a modern and dynamic partnership with our partners in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. This new partnership will be a powerful tool to jointly tackle global challenges – from fighting poverty and inequality to peace and security, from climate change to sustainable growth for all."

The key objectives of the negotiations are:

  • To secure a new legally binding framework adapted to today's realities based on a modern and forward-looking agenda.
  • To explore new ways to achieve key interests and better address global challenges, such as inclusive growth, investment, job creation, sustainable development, peace, security and migration issues, human development, fundamental freedoms, human rights, rule of law and democratic principles.
  • To build a powerful alliance in international fora, as the EU and ACP countries represent more than half of the UN membership.
  • To develop a more tailored approach to Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
  • To draw lessons from 43 years of EU-ACP collaboration in order to nurture the sustainable development roadmaps in place (UN2030 SGDs Agenda, Paris Climate Change Agreement, European Consensus on Development, Africa Agenda 2063, etc).


The EU-ACP partnership is one of the oldest and most comprehensive legally binding frameworks of cooperation the EU has with third countries. Uniting more than one hundred countries and over 1.5 billion people, the Cotonou Agreement is set to expire in February 2020. Its provisions foresee the opening of negotiations on a future partnership by August 2018 at the latest.

For More Information

Q&A on the future EU-ACP partnership after 2020



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