Many African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries are relatively young nations. Good governance is key to tackling instability, fragility and conflicts at national and regional levels. It is therefore a major focus of EU-ACP cooperation.
The EU provides assistance to governing structures at local, national and regional level as well as to the Secretariat of the ACP Group of States.
Support in key governance areas is complemented by the mainstreaming of governance into other cooperation areas, taking into account notably political, economic, social, cultural as well as environmental aspects.
To launch a dialogue on governance with its ACP partners, the EU presented the Governance Initiative in 2006, an incentive mechanism that gave ACP partner countries access to additional funding on the basis of their commitment to deliver governance reforms. As a result of the initiative, 67 ACP countries put forward reform plans and received financing from the €2.7 billion reserve earmarked for this purpose.
At African level, the Africa-EU Partnership on Democratic Governance and Human Rights provides a forum for political dialogue on these issues. The partnership promotes the African peer review mechanism and supports the African charter on democracy, elections and governance .
Programmes and projects
- African Peer Review Mechanism(APRM)
- Support for and Strengthening of ACP Local Government Associations (ARIAL)
- Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme
The Mechanism assesses the quality of governance in participating countries against a list of criteria set by African countries for African countries. The Commission supports it by contributing to a Trust Fund established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The EU supports the ARIAL programme which aims at strengthening ACP local authority associations at national, regional and global levels, with a view to facilitating the participation of Local Authorities in the dialogue on development policies.
Slums in ACP countries are the result of both rapid urbanisation in an environment of economic decline and lack of urban governance. The programme provides guidance on how to formulate slum upgrading and prevention policies through participatory urban planning processes.