International Cooperation and Development

Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific

Our development partnership with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Group of States began in 1957 and continues to be our most comprehensive partnership with developing countries.

The ACP Group of States covers:

  • 48 Sub-Saharan African countries
  • 16 Caribbean countries
  • 15 Pacific countries

The Cotonou Agreement (2000) frames our relations with these countries, incorporating civil society, the private sector, trade unions, parliaments and local authorities, and giving priority to poverty eradication and sustainable development. Negotiations on a post-2020 ACP-EU relations agreement to succeed the current Cotonou Agreement are in progress, in accordance with the EU negotiating mandate adopted in 2018.

Since 2010, our cooperation with ACP countries additionally focuses on challenges including climate change, food security, and regional integration. By tackling poverty, boosting local economies, and strengthening governance, the EU-ACP partnership supports over 1 billion people in ACP countries. We cooperate and provide development assistance to help secure the long-term future of developing countries which face the rigours of operating in an ever more complex and fast-paced global economy.

Our programmes

We support programmes that both benefit ACP countries and complement activities at national and regional levels. With funds provided through the European Development Fund (EDF) and the EU budget, we ensure funding goes to activities that deliver tangible and lasting results. Programmes are tailor-made to meet local needs, and funding goes where it is required most.

A substantial amount of our assistance is provided through budget support. This requires us to maintain discussions with partner countries on the policy measures required and the results to be achieved.

We work in close partnership with local partners, jointly preparing programmes locally where the challenges are experienced first-hand.

Intra-ACP cooperation

Intra-ACP cooperation enables us to address shared challenges faced by ACP countries and provide support when national or regional programmes would have been less effective.

Through intra-ACP cooperation, we mainly help ACP countries:

  • protect themselves against global health threats, including the fight against the main poverty-related diseases
  • build their resilience and adapt to climate-related and environmental challenges
  • promote integration through cultural and educational exchanges, and mobility activities
  • support private sector development and investment
  • contribute to the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Africa

We also assist joint ACP-EU organisations such as the Technical centre for agricultural and rural cooperation (CTA), and the active participation of ACP countries to the ACP-EU institutional dialogue, particularly at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA). The intra-ACP cooperation also supports the ACP Secretariat.

Annual Action Programmes (AAPs)

Through the AAPs, funds are reserved for regional and multi-country external cooperation programmes, and thematic programmes. The current AAP is planned to be formally adopted in December 2019 and prioritises:

  • private sector development
  • social development through investment in education and mobility, and the cultural sector
  • health and education global funding
  • climate change and natural disaster resilience building
  • sustainable fisheries and aquaculture value chain promotion