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The European Union (EU) is opening up strategic alliances with other regions and groups, apart from the partnership through the Cotonou Agreement with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group.
This shift is spelt out in the joint Communication to the European Parliament and Commission by the EU’s Higher Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini in November last year, titled, ‘a renewed partnership with the ACP countries.’
“The partnership should enable the EU and its partners to join forces more effectively to drive forward a common agenda in global and multilateral fora.
This partnership, was barely exploited in its almost 20 year relations with 79 member countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific group.
The EU wants more co-operation with the ACP countries in the international arena where a new partnership can provide a substantial added value.
“The basis for stronger action is a renewed commitment to promote rules - based effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core. The partnership should support global governance by seeking to reform, implement, and develop multilateral institutions, agreements, and norms.
In the report, the EU’s highest ranking diplomat is demanding that such a commitment to global governance must translate into increased dialogue and effective cooperation within international fora (including UN Security Council, UN General Assembly, UN Human Rights Commission and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), as well as in the determination to reform the UN, including the Security Council.
Mogherini singled out the only successful partnership between the EU and ACP was through the high ambition coalition process that paved the way at COP21 for the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. The alliance representing more than 100 countries, included 79 ACP countries, the US and all of the EU member states.
“The partnership must actively identify topics where the EU and partner countries have major common interests and could drive forward global action. This should translate into joint action at decision - making moments.
“A process should be defined to identify on a regular basis at the highest political level the common interests, allowing for a timely preparation and coordinated action and voting in the relevant international formats and frameworks, Mogherini advised the EU Parliament and the European Commission.
The EU wants the proposed renewed post 2020 Cotonou partnership with the ACP to focus on areas such as climate change, sustainable development, blue and green economy, protection of biodiversity, global digital economy, fight against illicit financial flows, and the proper functioning of commodity markets.
“The partnership should equally seek to further common interests at the WTO. There is also scope for closer cooperation in the international financial Institutions.”
The EU is also exploring strategic alliances with countries beyond the ACP, in North Africa, among LDCs and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The report is part of the conversation going on now with EU member countries to prepare for negotiations on the successor agreement to the Cotonou Agreement, which starts next year.
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