ACS en Afrika

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Vanaf de eerste Overeenkomst van Lomé (1975) tot de Overeenkomst van Cotonou (2000-2021) zijn de betrekkingen tussen de EU en 79 landen van de groep van staten in Afrika, het Caribisch gebied en de Stille Oceaan (ACS), die onlangs is omgedoopt tot de Organisatie van staten in Afrika, het Caribisch gebied en de Stille Oceaan (OACPS), geregeld in het EU-ACS-partnerschap.

Gedurende deze hele periode heeft het EESC, samen met het maatschappelijk middenveld van de ACS-landen, gestreden voor erkenning van de wezenlijke rol die de niet-statelijke actoren in het ontwikkelingsproces spelen, wat uiteindelijk werd bereikt met de Overeenkomst van Cotonou, waarin het EESC de opdracht kreeg activiteiten en raadplegingen te organiseren met de economische en sociale belangengroepen uit de ACS-landen en de EU, om de standpunten van het maatschappelijk middenveld te verzamelen en het een stem te geven. Het doel is uitwisselingen te bevorderen en aanbevelingen te doen over kwesties en beleidsmaatregelen die van belang zijn voor de betrekkingen tussen de ACS-landen en de EU, om daarna officieel aan de leiders van de EU en de ACS-landen te worden voorgelegd.

In de praktijk worden de activiteiten van het EESC m.b.t. de betrekkingen tussen de EU en de OACPS-landen hoofdzakelijk uitgevoerd onder leiding van een inclusief follow-upcomité ACS-EU, bestaande uit EESC-leden en afgevaardigden die de economische en sociale belangengroepen van de ACS-landen vertegenwoordigen.

Het follow-upcomité EU-ACS onderhoudt regelmatige contacten op verschillende niveaus met de vertegenwoordigers van het maatschappelijk middenveld in de ACS-landen, via:

  • Regelmatige vergaderingen van het follow-upcomité ACS-EU,
  • regionale seminars in ACS-landen, waarmee een forum wordt geboden voor het bespreken van onderwerpen van algemeen belang met vertegenwoordigers van het maatschappelijk middenveld in wisselende regio's,
  • driejaarlijkse algemene vergaderingen van de economische en sociale belangengroepen uit de ACS en de EU in Brussel.

Het EESC onderhoudt ook regelmatige contacten met de vertegenwoordigers van economische en sociale belangengroepen van de Afrikaanse Unie, in het kader van de gemeenschappelijke strategie EU-Afrika. Zo vergadert het EESC jaarlijks met het netwerk van economische en sociale belanghebbenden Afrika-EU. 

Het EESC onderhoudt al vele jaren regelmatige contacten met de Paritaire Parlementaire Vergadering ACS-EU; tijdens de zittingen van de plenaire Vergadering presenteert het een verslag over zijn activiteiten.

Het EESC onderhoudt eveneens goede contacten met internationale werkgevers-, werknemers-, landbouw- en consumentenorganisaties. Deze organisaties wijzen de ACS-vertegenwoordigers aan die worden uitgenodigd voor de door het EESC georganiseerde bijeenkomsten, met inbegrip van het follow-upcomité EU-ACS.

  • Adopted on 27/04/2021 - Bureau decision date: 01/12/2020
    Reference
    INT/930-EESC-2020-01-01
    Workers - GR II
    Malta

    The Communication stresses the EU's commitment to safeguarding an online environment providing the highest possible freedom and security, for the benefit of its citizens.

    EESC opinion: Communication on cybersecurity strategy
  • Adopted on 18/09/2020 - Bureau decision date: 20/02/2020
    Reference
    REX/527-EESC-2020-01-01
    • The common foundation of any EU political engagement leading to an equal development partnership with Africa shall be based on a multidimensional approach, articulating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the respect of Universal Human Rights (UHRs) - including fundamental rights, the right to a healthy environment and the freedom to conduct a business.
    • The EESC advocates promoting a decent life and good prospects, creating a middle class and supporting equal partnerships by strengthening sustainable social-liberal democratic structures in Africa.
    • The EESC highlights that the EU strategy on Africa must focus on Development and welcomes the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
    • The EESC reiterates the important role of organised civil society in the up-coming ACP-EU Partnership Agreement.
    • The EESC stresses that long-term investment in intra-African infrastructures makes econom
    EESC opinion: EU and Africa: Making an equal development partnership a reality based on sustainability and common values (own-initiative opinion)
  • Adopted on 14/03/2018 - Bureau decision date: 19/09/2017
    Reference
    REX/495-EESC-2017-01-01
    (Romania
    EESC opinion: A new impetus for the Africa-EU Partnership (Communication)
  • Adopted on 07/12/2017 - Bureau decision date: 24/01/2017
    Reference
    REX/485-EESC-2017-01-01-EESC-2017-00788-00-00-AC-TRA
    (United Kingdom

    The Commission recently published a Communication on a Renewed Partnership with the ACP Group of countries. ACP-EU relations are currently governed by the Cotonou Partnership Agreement that will expire in 2020, therefore the Commission has published recommendations on what the future structure should be. Last year the EESC already drafted a general opinion on the post-Cotonou framework; this new opinion will have to answer specifically to the Commission's communication.

     

    EESC opinion: Renewed partnership with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (Communication)
    Renewed ACP Partnership
  • Adopted on 18/10/2017 - Bureau decision date: 26/01/2017
    Reference
    REX/487-EESC-2017-01-01
    (Austria
    Workers - GR II
    Austria

    The EESC is a strong advocate of a fair, well-administered and sustainable development policy at EU level. It is also very committed to the cause of greater tax justice. In recent years, questions have been raised as to whether the international tax policies of the Member States, in particular the concluding of certain types of double taxation agreements, are consistent with EU development policy objectives.

    EESC opinion: EU development partnerships and the challenge posed by international tax agreements (own-initiative opinion)
  • Adopted on 26/04/2017 - Bureau decision date: 13/12/2016
    Reference
    REX/484-EESC-2017-01-01
    Diversity Europe - GR III
    Romania
    (Romania

    The 2030 Agenda, the new global framework for sustainable development agreed by the UN in 2015, needs to be reflected in EU's development policy, the major orientations of which are set out in the 2005 European Consensus on Development ("the Consensus").

    To this end, the Commission issued Communication COM(2016) 740, "Proposal for a New European Consensus on Development: Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future" in November 2016.  Interinstitutional negotiations are expected to result in its endorsement in the form of a Joint Statement by the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission, in May 2017.

    EESC opinion: Proposal for a new European Consensus on Development: "Our World, our Dignity, our Future” (Communication)
  • Adopted on 14/12/2016 - Bureau decision date: 24/05/2016
    Reference
    REX/469-EESC-2016-01-01
    Diversity Europe - GR III
    Ireland

    Development responses to forced displacement should be tailored for each geographic region, whilst ensuring joined-up action across the European Commission and other institutions. While a development-led approach can produce considerable results with the current budget, the need for extra resources should not be ruled out. Civil society, end users, development partners and NGOs should be involved in the delivery and in making the Commission's Communication operational. Social and civil dialogue structures and processes should be enhanced and improved in partner and host countries to assist with its delivery. Entrepreneurship in the affected regions should be supported and developed as a viable development path for many forcibly displaced people. Education and training responses should be based on a lifelong learning approach. The possibility of making EU programmes available to forcibly displaced people should be considered.

    EESC opinion: Lives in Dignity: from Aid-dependence to Self-reliance
  • Adopted on 25/05/2016 - Bureau decision date: 15/09/2015
    Reference
    REX/455-EESC-2015-01-01
    (United Kingdom

    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.

    EESC opinion: Future of EU's relations with ACP Group of countries (Green Paper)
  • Adopted on 02/07/2015
    Reference
    REX/441-EESC-2015-01-01
    Employers - GR I
    Czech Republic
    Plenary session number
    509
    -

    2015 is marked as the European Year for Development (when the process of discussion for the post-Cotonou arrangements will begin to gain momentum), but also as the year where the Millenium Development Goals (defined until 2015) will give way to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To combine development and sustainability, all available resources of financing must be explored. The magnitude of this challenge is so large that all players including governments, private sector, banks, civil society organisations and development agencies must contribute to the implementation of these goals.

     

  • Adopted on 22/10/2013
    Reference
    REX/392-EESC-2013-01-01-6639
    Diversity Europe - GR III
    Latvia
    Plenary session number
    494
    -

    The aim of the European Year for Development 2015 is to inform EU citizens about EU development cooperation, highlighting what the European Union can already achieve as the biggest aid donor in the world and how it could do even more with the combined strength of its Member States and its institutions.