Composition of the study group
The EESC recommends that the EU should aim to achieve a modern, equal and effective partnership with the ACP countries that transcends a donor-recipient relationship and is based on a coherent and integrated EU external policy, based on the principle of Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). This framework should guarantee the involvement of civil society organisations, including the private sector, whose specific task should be to monitor and assess the impact of the implementation of this Agreement on the sustainable development of the Parties. Civil society should be provided with the technical and financial support needed to undertake this role.
The EESC recommends that all forms of development support that the EU gives to third countries should fall under the same legal framework and should be subject to the same democratic scrutiny by the European Parliament, while retaining the same positive aspects of the EDF.
The EESC supports CSO involvement from conception, inception through to monitoring, and implementation and ex-post review of EU-ACP policy domains. Through a holistic process of structured dialogue and regular consultation with CSOs, the partnership will deliver on the spirit of CPA to fully include NSAs as outlined in Article 6 of CPA.
Future partnership must embody the "partnership of equals", underscored in the new framework, which recognises the universality of challenges across EU and ACP countries: income inequality, youth unemployment, climate change and more. In joint cooperation and as equals, EU and ACP partners can strive to solve development challenges in both the EU and ACP states.