Brussels 21.09.2020 “Our ambition is clear: we want a stronger EU-Africa partnership. At informal development ministers meeting next week, we will continue our discussions on how to further step up our relations” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, concluding the Council of the bloc foreign ministers.
The EU diplomats exchanged views on the EU relations with its African Union counterparts, and ways to step up relations with Africa in the medium and long term both from a political and an economic point of view.
Ministers agreed to develop joint strategic priorities in order to pave the way for cooperation in the next decade, and to focus on tangible results, in the spirit of the “Team Europe” approach.
In this context the Council was also updated on the state of play of the post-Cotonou negotiations.
Brussels, 18.09.2020 The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting on September 21, chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, will start at 9.30 with a discussion on current affairs. Among the issues Ministers will discuss relations between the EU and the African Union, in particular in preparation for the next EU-AU Foreign Ministers’ meeting. They will exchange views on the joint EU-Africa priorities ahead, and possible outreach to African partners on the road to the next EU-AU Summit. Ministers will also have an opportunity to be updated on the state of play in the post-Cotonou negotiations.
Under this item ministers will review the most pressing issues on the international agenda, including matters relating to Lebanon, China, Turkey, Russia and Venezuela.
The Council will then exchange views on the latest developments that have taken place in Libya since the announcements made on 21 August 2020 by the Libyan political leaders on the way forward out of the crisis. The High Representative will also debrief ministers on his visit to the country on 1 September 2020.
Finally, the Council will discuss the latest political developments in Belarus and potential EU support for national inclusive dialogue. Ministers will also be updated on EU financial support to the people of Belarus and on the initial findings of the review of EU-Belarus relations.
Over a working lunch, ministers will exchange views on the overall partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood and how it should be framed in the future.
The European Union and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), formerly named the ACP Group of States, resumed today talks by teleconferencing at the highest political level, a first since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with the objective to advance talks towards the finishing line on the new ‘Post Cotonou’ agreement. The meeting has provided an important opportunity for the chief negotiators, Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and for the OACPS Professor Robert Dussey to build on the work, which has continued at technical level over the past. (Image above from archive 2019).
Welcoming this step forward in the negotiation talks, Commissioner for International Partnerships and chief EU negotiator, Jutta Urpilainen, said today: “The ongoing negotiations with OACPS countries remain a priority. Despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the negotiations are progressing in the same cordial spirit that has guided our talks until now. I am pleased to see that we are getting closer and closer to the finishing line.”
Professor Robert Dussey, Togo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, the OACPS’ Chief Negotiator and Chair of the Ministerial Central Negotiating Group, said: “The negotiations for renewed and revamped relations with our European partners have moved forward satisfactorily, despite COVID-19, thanks to modern technology. I am happy to say that the Members of the OACPS remain committed and are on course to conclude a partnership agreement that will also take into account the unprecedented challenges that now confront us at national, regional and global levels due to COVID-19.”
In the coming weeks the EU and OACPS negotiating teams will step up their efforts with the aim of reaching an agreement as soon as possible. Negotiations will continue virtually.
Captain of a Portuguese-flagged cargo ship who was kidnapped along with seven other sailors by pirates off the coast of Benin last month, has been freed, Bulgaria’s foreign Ministry announced on May 25.
The Bulgarian captain of the container ship Tommi Ritscher, which was attacked at the port of Cotonou in the Gulf of Guinea on April 19, was already in an European country and would soon return to Bulgaria, the Ministry said in a statement.
The Ministry said it has been in close coordination with the ship’s owners but did not give other details. It’s unclear what whether the other seven sailors have been released.
Brussels. The EU Foreign ministers will discuss the future of the EU partnership with African, Caribbean and Pacific states. The current partnership agreement, known as the Cotonou Agreement, will expire in 2020.
The Cotonou Agreement is the overarching framework for EU relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It 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 Cotonou Agreement is a close partnership based on a series of fundamental principles.
- The partners to the agreement are equal.
- The ACP countries determine their own development policies.
- Cooperation is not only among governments: parliaments, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, economic and social partners play a role as well.
- Cooperation arrangements and priorities vary according to aspects such as countries’ levels of development.
The Cotonou Agreement aims to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty and contribute to the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the world economy. It is based on three pillars: development cooperation, economic and trade cooperation, political dimension.