The Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) warmly welcomes the official conclusion of the negotiations of the successor to the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the EU and its Member States. The former agreement was signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000 (Cotonou Agreement), also under a Portuguese Presidency.
The initialling of the Post-Cotonou agreement by the Chief Negotiators, the Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, on behalf of the European Union, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Togo, Robert Dussey, on behalf of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), took place in Brussels on 15 April, marking the official conclusion of the negotiations, launched in September 2018 in New York.
The new agreement builds on the longstanding relations between the EU and OACPS Member States, while providing a framework for a more comprehensive, ambitious and far-reaching partnership, covering key strategic areas such as: peace and security, human development, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, environmental sustainability and climate change and migration and mobility.
One of the key features in the new agreement is the joint commitment to cooperate at international levels with a view to promoting and defending common interests and strengthening multilateralism. Together, the EU and OACPS Member States represent over 1.5 billion people and more than half of the seats in the United Nations.
The agreement is expected to be signed in late 2021, once the internal procedural steps have been concluded. Until then, the Cotonou Agreement remains in force, following its extension until 30 November 2021.