The European Union (EU) Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen has welcomed EU Council’s agreement on the signature of new EU – OACPS Post-Cotonou partnership agreement.

“Today is a historic day for the EU and 79 members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).

“At the 20 July 2023 Foreign Affairs Council meeting at the Council of the European Union, we have paved the way for the signature and provisional application of the most comprehensive Partnership Agreement between the EU and its Member States and the OACPS, the largest alliance of countries at a global level. In the coming months, it will be officially signed by the EU, its Members States and OACPS members.

“I very much welcome this advancement. Since we started negotiations in 2018, the world has been in constant flux and geopolitical tensions have risen. The Agreement brings certainty, continuity and guarantees a bright future for our relations with important partners around the world,” she said.

The Association Agreement covers a wide range of issues, from sustainable development and growth to human rights and peace and security.

“We face common challenges: the growing risks of climate change, global pandemics and fragility.

“Under this new Agreement, which succeeds the Cotonou Agreement, we and the OACPS can re-energise our cooperation and make our partnership future-proof. In an increasingly complex geopolitical context, it strengthens the capacity of the EU and the ACP countries to address global challenges together, including through cooperation in international fora, underpinned by our common values of rule of law, democracy and the international legal order,” Commissioner Urpilainen said.

She said a signing ceremony for the EU-OACPS partnership agreement will be organised in the coming months.

“Once the partnership agreement has been signed by the EU and OACPS representatives, the new provisional agreement will enter into force on first day of second month after its signing,” she said.

The ACP-EU partnership is one of the oldest and most comprehensive frameworks for cooperation between the EU and partner countries. It unites over 1.5 billion people stretched over four continents. More specifically, the partnership connects the EU with 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

Their collaboration is wide-ranging and based on the values that bring the EU and ACP countries closer together. In the past years, the partnership has been focusing on the eradication of poverty and inclusive sustainable development in ACP countries. Our action revolves around three key areas: political dialogue, development cooperation as well as regional integration and trade.