Situated in the Atlantic Ocean 620 km off the West Coast of Africa, the Cape Verde archipelago has made steady progress since independence in 1975, performing well in both human development and economic terms.
The priorities are:
poverty reduction through improvements to water and sanitation and health and,
promotion of the ’EU-Cape Verde Special Partnership’.
In 2008, Cape Verde graduated to middle-income status. However, the country’s lack of natural resources makes it economically vulnerable and poverty and inequality are prevalent. The government is spurring growth to improve the livelihoods of the most impoverished communities. In addition to its membership of the Cotonou partnership, Cape Verde has a special partnership with the EU, shaped to strengthen dialogue and promote policy convergence.
The Special Partnership was approved by the Council at the end of 2007. Now in its implementation phase, it has six priority sectors: governance, security, information society, regional integration, normative and technical convergence towards EU standards and the fight against poverty.
The country also benefits from the EU’s thematic programme for Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development, the instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights and the ACP-EU Energy Facility, among others.
A Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Cape Verde runs until 2014.
The country also participates in the transnational Madeira, Azores, Canaries (MAC) cooperation programme, 2007-13, and cooperation programmes with the EU’s outermost regions.
Cape Verde is also one of the beneficiaries of the EU's regional cooperation programme with Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP) countries: Angola, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe together with East Timor.