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Multi-country and regional cooperation

The EU supports programmes and initiatives benefiting multiple countries across the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states. At the same time, specific regions within the ACP also benefit from programmes and initiatives to bring about further regional economic growth and development. Funding for both purposes is from the 10th European Development Fund (2008-2013).

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Multi-country cooperation

The Cotonou partnership includes programmes benefiting numerous, or all, ACP States. This multi-country cooperation - known as "intra-ACP cooperation" - is designed to address the shared challenges facing ACP States and is complementary to national and regional cooperation. It is based on the principle of subsidiarity and is implemented when activities at national and/or regional levels would prove less effective. A  sum of € 2.7bn is earmarked for this type of cooperation for the period 2008-2013, amounting to 12% of the 10th EDF's overall budget.

Measures carried out in this framework fall under three clusters of action:

  • helping ACP countries to protect themselves against international threats by participating in global initiatives in the area of health and the fight against the main poverty-related diseases;
  • helping them to protect themselves against exogenous shocks in the area of climate change and environmental pressure as well as assisting ACP States' integration among themselves and in the world economy through investments in infrastructure and promotion of related regulations, investments in higher education, cultural exchanges, research, migration policy and support for trade;
  • supporting integration in Africa through peace-building activities, institutional capacity-building for the African Union and assisting in the development of strategies to address common challenges, namely in the area of agriculture and rural development.

In addition, support is also provided to the joint institutions: the Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) and to the Brussels-based ACP Secretariat.


The EU maintains privileged political, trade and development cooperation relations with ACP countries, including Sub-Saharan Africa, under the revised ACP-EU Partnership Agreement signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000 for a period of 20 years. Development financing under the Cotonou Agreement is provided from the EDF (European Development Fund) in the form of multi-annual financial protocol.
The framework for Intra-ACP cooperation is set out in a Strategy Paper covering the period 2008-2013 and implemented through Annual Action Programmes.

Regional cooperation

Dedicated budgets in the 10th EDF for African, Caribbean and Pacific regions aim to foster regional integration leading to economic growth and poverty alleviation. Programmes in support of trade and regional integration, better management of natural resources and for improved peace and security are implemented by ACP Regional Organisations.

Eastern and Southern Africa - Indian Ocean (ESA-IO)

Enhancing trade and promoting the sustainable management of the region's natural resources, vital to food security, are the priorities of this envelope under the 10th EDF. Four Regional Organisations are involved in the implementation of the programme in cooperation with EU Delegations:

A sum of €619 million is earmarked for the region under the 10th EDF.

Southern Africa (SADC)

Trade and regional integration are the main focus of this regional envelope, alongside support to regional political cooperation and capacity building for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat. The programme is implemented by SADC in cooperation with the EU Delegation to Botswana and SADC.
A sum of €116 million is earmarked for the region under the 10th EDF.

Central Africa

The EU is working with the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) to overcome obstacles to economic diversification, boost intra-regional trade and bring about economic growth and poverty alleviation. The EU is also working with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS/CEEAC) in order to improve the management of natural resources - the forest of the Congo basin containing the biggest concentration of diversity in Africa - as well as backing measures to promote peace and security across the region.
A sum of €165 million is earmarked for the region under the 10th EDF. Out of this, €15 million is set aside for the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (ECGLC/CEPGL) to support infrastructure (transport, energy) and related institutional strengthening/cooperation.

West Africa

Support to regional integration, competitiveness, EPA negotiations, connectivity and energy infrastructures and food security constitute the first pillar of EU support to the two regional organisations – the Economic Community of West African (UEMOA) and the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) and their Member States (15 countries) as well as Mauritania. The second pillar aims at consolidating regional stability, peace and security and promoting good governance Actions in favor of the environment also feature.
A sum of €571 million is earmarked for the region under the 10th EDF.

Caribbean region

Assisting the region in a shift from over-dependency on commodity exports to services and its integration into the global economy are the goals of cooperation with the 15-member Forum of the Caribbean Group of ACP states (CARIFORUM). The 10th EDF also includes programmes to assist people who are the most vulnerable to economic reform as well as social issues such as the fight against illegal drugs, as well as strengthening non-state actors and skills within regional institutions.
A sum of €165 million is earmarked for the region under the 10th EDF.

Pacific region

Regional economic integration is being boosted across the Pacific for 14 ACP members of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and East Timor. A reduced dependency on commodity exports and stronger services industries are being encouraged. The sustainable management of natural resources - under threat from climate change - is another priority.Restoring biodiversity across the region is vital to the region's agriculture, fisheries and tourism.
A sum of €95 million is earmarked under the 10th EDF.

(PALOP - Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa)

Cooperation with the five countries forming the grouping of Portuguese-speaking African countries: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe, together with East Timor, benefit from a  €33.1 million sum under the 10th EDF, largely for governance initiatives.

Last update: 29/11/2012 | Top