The Cotonou Agreement: A User's Guide for Non-State Actors

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    ‘This Cotonou Agreement seems most relevant for our communities in the rural areas. But we are only starting to discover it, to understand what it is all about and what it could mean for us. It is a world of which we had no clue so far.’ - Representative of a women’s organisation in Fiji

    What is this guide about?

    As the ACP-EC cooperation is no longer restricted to governments, opportunities for participation are now provided to non-state actors in the ACP countries. For these non-state actors to be fully involved in cooperation, they need to be well informed on the contents of the Agreement, and on ways and means provided for them to participate effectively. It is in that context that the ACP Secretariat and ECDPM have produced "The Cotonou Agreement. A User's Guide for Non-State Actors".

    This guide has two main purposes:

    • to inform civil society organisations, economic and social partners and the private sector in ACP countries on the most important features of the Cotonou Agreement, and
    • to provide practical guidance on how all of these non-state actors can participate in ACP–EU cooperation. 

    Chapter 1: Introduction - What is this guide about? And who is it for?

    Chapter 2: The Cotonou Agreement in a nutshell - Is Cotonou a new way of doing cooperation? What are the principles and key terms? 

    Chapter 3: Opportunities for participation under the Cotonou AgreementThe Cotonou Agreement promotes participation as a fundamental principle. But what is the legal framework for NSA participation? Who can participate? 

    Chapter 4: Participation in practice - What are the experiences of participation in development cooperation? Some examples in trade and political dimensions of partnership. 

    Chapter 5: Accessing funding: What non-state actors need to know - What are the main funding routes? information on European Development Fund and EU budget lines. 

    Chapter 6: Four steps to promote quality of participation - Participating is one thing, but effective tripartite dialogue requires additional effort. Are non-state actors always coordinated? What are the best ways to build capacity of non-state actors? 

    Chapter 7: Translating this guide into practice - The guide is in your hands -- what next? How to start dialogue and discussion? how to sustain information flows and knowledge sharing?

    Annexes I-III, IV-VII, VIII-X, XI-XIV

    Published by ACP Secretariat, Brussels, Belgium. Copyright© 2003 ACP Secretariat.

    Funded by the European Commission. This is not an official EC document. 

    Read the User's Guide for Non-State Actors 




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