January 23, 2022

EU – African, Caribbean and Pacific countries future partnership: Council adopts negotiating mandate

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On 22 June 2018, the Council adopted the negotiating mandate for the future agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Formal negotiations will start by the end of August 2018, as provided by the current agreement, the Cotonou Agreement.

The EU will work towards a substantially revised agreement with a common foundation at ACP level combined withthree regional tailored partnerships for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. The future agreement is expected to cover priority areas such as democracy and human rights, economic growth and investment, climate change, poverty eradication, peace and security and migration and mobility.

The ACP group adopted its own negotiating position on 30 May 2018 at the ACP Council of Ministers.


The existing agreement between the EU and the ACP countries, known as the Cotonou Agreement, is set to expire in February 2020. In this view, the Commission has put forward a recommendation to open negotiations to update the framework for cooperation with the ACP countries, together with draft negotiating directives, in December 2017.

The Cotonou Agreement was adopted in 2000 to replace the 1975 Lomé Convention. It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU, covering the EU’s relations with 79 countries, including 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa.

The General Secretariat of the Council is a body of staff responsible for assisting the European Council and the Council of the EU. It helps organise and ensure the coherence of the Council’s work and the implementation of its 18-month programme.

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