Comparing the ACP and EU Negotiating Mandates

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    At first sight, the EU and ACP agree on the principles and objectives of future cooperation. Both parties want to build a strengthened partnership, secured through deeper political dialogue. This partnership should be geared towards poverty reduction, sustainable development and further integration of the ACP into the international economy. Both mandates recognise the need for “differentiation” between ACP countries (e.g. by providing special treatment to least-developed countries and vulnerable land-locked and island countries).

    However, there is a major split with regard to the political basis of the partnership. For the ACP group, development should be the primary objective of partnership; it is an objective in its own right, a fundamental human right, not to be subordinated to political objectives or other agendas. Political dialogue should reflect this and be unconditional.

    The EU seeks a political environment that guarantees peace, security and stability, respect for human rights, democratic principles, the rule of law and good governance. This is seen as a prerequisite for development. The same applies to “sound and sustainable economic policies”. The preamble of a future agreement should therefore refer to many basic texts, acts and pledges made in recent UN Conferences. The EU sees an explicit linkage between development and broader political and economic agendas.

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