ACP and Africa

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From the first Lomé Convention (1975) to the Cotonou agreement (2000-2021), EU-ACP Parterships have governed the relations between the EU and 79 countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), which recently became the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).

Throughout this period the EESC, together with ACP civil society, fought for recognition of the essential role played by non-state operators in the development process until this was achieved in the Cotonou Agreement, which mandated the EESC to organise activities and consultations with "ACP-EU economic and social interest groups" in order to gather the views of, and give voice to the organised civil society. The aim has been to foster exchanges and provide recommendations on issues and policies relevant to ACP-EU relations, later officially addressed to the EU and ACP leaders.

In practical terms, the EESC's activities concerning EU-OACPS relations are mainly carried out under the guidance of an inclusive ACP-EU Follow-up Committee made of EESC members and delegates representing ACP economic and social interest groups.

The ACP-EU Follow-up Committee maintains regular contacts with the representatives of civil society in the ACP countries at different levels, through:

  • Regular meetings of the ACP-EU Follow-Up Committee,
  • Regional Seminars in ACP countries, providing a forum for discussing topics of common interest with civil society representatives in alternating regions,
  • Triennial General Meetings of ACP-EU economic and social interest groups in Brussels.

The EESC also maintains regular contacts with the African Union's representatives of economic and social interest groups, in the framework of the Joint EU-Africa strategy. In particular, the EESC holds annual meetings with the Africa-EU Economic and Social Stakeholder's network.

The EESC has for many years kept up regular contact with the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, presenting a report on its activities at sessions of the Plenary Assembly.

The EESC is likewise in close contact with international employers', workers', farmers', cooperatives' and consumers' organisations. These organisations nominate the ACP representatives invited to the meetings held by the EESC, including the ACP-EU Follow-up Committee.

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Event

The social economy is prominent in everyday life and in the productive activity of large regions of the world and makes a decisive contribution to improving the living and working conditions of millions of people. However, the social economy is not specifically recognised as a sector in the EU development cooperation programmes.One of the principal aims of the opinion is that the external dimension of the EU’s programmes and initiatives should establish support measures specifically targeted at boosting businesses and organisations in the social economy.

14/03/2017
Event

The EESC organises regional seminars every year in an ACP region –this year, in Eastern Africa (Nairobi) on 4‑5 July 2016, with three main topics of discussion:

- Implementation of the SDGs - The Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Eastern African States. - The post-Cotonou agenda.

At the end of the seminar, a final declaration will be issued that will be forwarded to the partners of the Cotonou agreement.

Around 60 representatives of economic and social actors as well as political authorities and international organisations will attend the seminar.

04/07/2016 05/07/2016
Event

The Consultative Committee (CC) is one of the 5 institutions foreseen in the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement. The CC is composed of 40 (25 from the CARIFORM side and 15 from  the EU side)  standing representatives of organisations of the civil society  representing employers' organisations, trade unions, other economic, social and non-governmental organisations, including development and environmental organisations; and the academic community.

18/04/2016 19/04/2016
Event

The Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), between the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the EU was signed in 2000, and it will expire in February 2020. This agreement contains trade, aid and development mechanisms that link 79 nations in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific with the EU as a whole.

The EESC is involved in this consultation through the referral sent by the Commission and has therefore been tasked with the preparation of an opinion on the Commission's Green Paper.

To prepare for the post-Cotonou framework, the Commission has launched a public consultation process by publishing in October 2015 a Green Paper on the Future of EU's relations with ACP Group of countries.

The EESC is involved in this consultation through the referral sent by the Commission and has therefore been tasked with the preparation of an opinion on the Commission's Green Paper.

22/02/2016
Event

The EESC has been entrusted by the Cotonou Agreement with maintaining relations with socio-economic actors and civil society from ACP countries.

 

Priorities and activities within the frame of the ACP-EU civil society relations are decided and implemented through an ACP-EU Follow-Up Committee (FuC), which is composed of 12 EESC members and 12 representatives of ACP economic and social interest groups. The FuC is also a primary partner of the political authorities in the Cotonou partnership and the other EU institutions.

Next meeting of the FuC, the first one of the 2015-2018 EESC mandate, will take place in Brussels (JDE 63) on 25-26 January 2016, with some new faces among ACP representatives and fresh chairman Yves Somville.

Topics of discussion will include the post-Cotonou framework; agriculture, climate change and food security; and the current state for Economic Partnership Agreements –with a focus this time on Eastern and Southern Africa.

25/01/2016 26/01/2016

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