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ECDPM event



Fridays of the Commission: Future of ACP-EU relations

8 December 2015

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Discussions on the future of the ACP-EU Cotonou partnership beyond 2020 are in full swing. This complex policy process involving 79 ACP and 28 EU countries deserves an evidence-based debate at the level of the African Union.

On Tuesday 8 December (please note: not 4 December as originally announced) the African Union Commission will organise a special ‘Fridays of the Commission’ session on the future of ACP-EU relations – in partnership with ECDPM and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).

Participants will discuss what added value the ACP Group and the ACP-EU partnership will bring for Africa as it moves forward with the UN Global Goals.

Read the background note:

Download (PDF, 84KB)

The sessions

Session 1

The first session will deal with the global perspective. It will explore how Africa’s interest can best be served in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union Agenda  2063?

Session 2

The second session focuses on the relevance of the current ACP-­EU Partnership from a political economy perspective in dealing with global challenges. It aims to make a reality check of  the current ACP-EU cooperation. It will explore whether this framework is still fit to deal with the complexities of the new global agenda. The session will be partially based on the findings and  factual evidence of the in depth political economy analysis by ECDPM.

Session 3

The third session will explore possible alternative frameworks able to pursue Africa’s interests and the partnership with Europe beyond 2020. We will start from the realities that have been brought up in the first two sessions  with a view to discuss other alternative frameworks for cooperation that hold potential for Africa, that might have taken over part of the original ACP-EU agendas (peace and security, migration, trade, climate change..) and that could serve the interests of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (e.g AU, RECs, SIDS).

Session 4

The aim of fourth and final session is to explore what could still be the value added of the ACP Group and the ACP-­EU Partnership for its African members beyond 2020. This session also aims  to reflect on possible building blocks and scenarios for future arrangements.

Read the programme logic:

Download (PDF, 84KB)


Who will participate?

  • Staff members of the Commission
  • Representatives of the regional economic communities (RECs)
  • African and non-African diplomats at post in Addis Ababa
  • Researchers and academics in Addis Ababa
  • University and college students of Ethiopia
  • NGOs, civil society organisations and private sector
  • All other interested parties

To guarantee a place please register by emailing Ms. Barbara Ambela, to whom all registration enquiries should also be directed:

T: (251 11) 5 182 668
F: (251 11) 5 182 678 or (251 11) 551 7844

You can also attend the conference by registering at the gate of the African Union Commission Headquarters on the day.

Press enquiries should be directed to Mr. Rhys Williams at


To contribute to a well-informed debate on the future of the ACP-EU partnership, ECDPM launched a political economy analysis (PEA) of the partnership. We examine how political and economic processes interact and shape policies and practices. A major advantage of a political economy analysis is that it avoids normative approaches. The focus is not on “what should be done”, but “what could be feasible” considering the contextual realities of a given process or system.

Our progress report, published in October 2015, can be read here: 

Download (PDF, 1.18MB)

For more information about the project and additional resources, please visit

Follow the event at #ACPEU




Headquarters of the Commission of African Union, New Conference Building
Roosvelt Street
Addis Ababa

Cross-cutting TopicsACP Group of StatesEurope