Recent Cases of Article 96 Consultations

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    Over the past 15 years, the promotion of democracy and human rights has become one of the key debates shaping relations between the European Union and the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP). In its Article 9, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, signed 23 June 2000, defines as the 'essential elements' of the ACP-EU partnership respect for human rights and adherence to democratic principles and the rule of law.

    The political dimension of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement aims at fostering a continuous political dialogue on these issues, as stipulated in Article 8 of Title II of the Agreement. When flagrant violations of the essential elements occur, a consultation procedure, as foreseen under articles 96 and 97 of the Cotonou Agreement, can be initiated, aimed at finding a common solution to the political difficulties encountered by one of the parties. 

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