New Africa-Caribbean-Pacific/EU Partnership: Talks continue at the highest level
Today, post-Cotonou chief negotiators held another negotiating session online to advance talks towards a new partnership agreement between the EU and the 79 countries of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).
The meeting brought together Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen and the OACPS' chief negotiator and chair of the Ministerial Central Negotiating Group, Prof. Robert Dussey, who is also Togo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad.
Today’s constructive discussions allowed negotiating teams to take stock of progress made, while better understanding each other’s positions on the remaining open points.
Further progress is expected in the coming weeks as talks will continue at technical level on a daily basis. For their part, chief negotiators are set to meet again by the end of July.
The Cotonou Agreement, that governs EU-OACPS relations, was initially scheduled to expire on 29 February 2020. As negotiations on a new OACPS-EU Partnership are still ongoing, parties have decided to extend the Cotonou Agreement until 31 December 2020.
The negotiations were launched in September 2018, in New York city, in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
Talks cover a “common foundation”, which sets out the values and principles that bring the EU and OACPS countries together and indicates the strategic priority areas that both sides intend to work on together.
The future agreement is also due to include specific, action-oriented regional partnerships focusing on each region's needs. To this end, consultations on the regional priorities were concluded in spring 2019.
The future OACPS-EU Partnership will serve to further cement the close political ties between the EU and OACPS countries on the world stage. Together, the OACPS countries and the EU represent over 1.5 billion people and more than half of the seats at the United Nations.
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