The Cotonou Partnership Agreement provides the legal framework for the EU / Timor-Leste cooperation. This convention, between the 78 ACP countries and the 27 EU member states, makes a clear link between the political dimension, trade and development. The overarching objective of the EU/ACP cooperation is to assist the developing countries concerned to achieve sustainable socio-economic development through, amongst others, their smooth integration into the world economy.

The agreement was concluded for twenty years (2000-2020), with a clause allowing its revision every five years and a financial protocol for each 5 year period.

Special emphasis is being paid to matters pertaining to conflict resolution and peace-building through a more meaningful role in the consultations between the ACP countries and the European Commission, and focusing the process to dealing with root causes of such conflicts.

Timor-Leste became an integral part of the EU – ACP family of nations in 2006.