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Minister Müller welcomes agreement on a new compact for the future between the EU and the ACP states

An important breakthrough for the reconfiguration of EU-Africa relations


Flags in front of a building hosting an event in the framework of the German EU Presidency

04.12.2020 |

BERLIN/BRUSSELS – The EU and 78 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific region reached an agreement yesterday evening in Brussels regarding the contents of a new EU-ACP partnership agreement; it is the world's biggest North-South agreement. The new agreement will replace the 20-year-old "Cotonou Agreement".

German Development Minister Gerd Müller said: "This is an important breakthrough. Europe has agreed on a compact for the future with 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, which will cover the next 20 years. The agreement will apply to more than 1.5 billion people on four continents. I am delighted that this agreement has been achieved during Germany's Presidency of the EU Council and that we were able to find good compromises, including for contentious issues such as orderly migration, binding detailed regulations for repatriation and human rights. The main objective of the agreement is poverty reduction and sustainable development, along with closer cooperation on migration, climate protection and education. The agreement will thus create new impetus for economic development and employment. For example, the EU and Africa are committing themselves to cooperate on the African Continental Free Trade Area, which encompasses more than a billion people. Europe must seize this opportunity and use it to create fair trading relations on an equal footing. If we do that, then we will trigger the biggest leaps in development. And that is also in Europe's interest."

  • The German Presidency of the Council of the European Union has had a significant hand in the negotiations to shape the new partnership agreement. The new agreement is to run for 20 years, starting in 2021. Following the completion of the negotiated text, it will need to be signed and ratified.
  • The Cotonou Agreement, which the new agreement will replace, was signed in 2000 and was initially meant to run until February 2020. Because of the intense negotiations, it is to be extended until the new, so-called post-Cotonou Agreement enters into force in November 2021.
  • The European Development Fund, endowed with 30.5 billion euros for the period 2014–2020, has provided the funding for cooperation with ACP countries until now. Germany is the biggest contributor to the Fund, with a share worth 6.3 billion euros.

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