Making policies work


ECDPM event


High-level conference

International Cooperation Beyond 2015: How Fit for Purpose is the ACP-EU Framework?

30 September 2015

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The EU and the ACP countries concluded the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) in 2000. This treaty expires in 2020 and the debate has started on what should come next. Recent official statements by various parties involved have indicated that a business as usual approach may not be the most appropriate way forward to rethink the partnership.

Find out more about ECDPM’s initiative to contribute to a well-informed debate on the future of the ACP-EU partnership through a political economy approach in our online dossier.

It is important to objectively consider if, where, how and under what conditions the current ACP-EU framework could add value in the context of a multi-polar world and the new priorities of the universal Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Agenda.

To this end, ECDPM has initiated an independent political economy analysis (PEA) of the ACP-EU partnership. This type of analysis does not look at “what should be done” to revitalise the relationship but at “what kind of reforms are feasible” under the current political and institutional context. To assess this, it focuses on describing how the nature of the ACP-EU partnership evolved over time and why these changes took place.

A political economy analysis is primarily concerned with power relations as well as the political/economic interests of the different actors and their respective incentives to pursue change or rather go for a status quo. It is hoped that applying such a PEA lens will enrich the on-going debates on the future of the ACP-EU relationship by bringing in more facts, evidence and attention for the feasibility and added value of possible reform options.

The overall PEA study will be completed by the end of October 2015, leading to the publication of a comprehensive report, underpinned by a set of concrete case studies.

The progress report on the political economy analysis on the future of ACP-EU relations can be found here.

On 30th September 2015, ECDPM in partnership with the Luxembourg Presidency of the European Union organised a high-level seminar that addressed the following issues:

  • The ACP-EU partnership – Taking stock and putting Cotonou in a global perspective
  • Applying a political economy lens to the ACP-EU partnership – Presentation of the preliminary findings of ECDPM’s political economy analysis on rethinking the ACP-EU partnership
  • Exploring the building blocks of a future partnership relation

The programme is available here

Biographies of speakers and discussants

Following the event, a photo exhibition supported by the Luxembourg Presidency ‘Les Maliens‘ was opened

Image courtesy of Daniele Pesaresi


Permanent Representation of Luxembourg
Avenue de Cortenbergh 75

Cross-cutting TopicsACP Group of StatesPost 2015Post CotonouAfricaCaribbeanEuropePacific