Relations are governed by the Cape Verde-EU Special Partnership, which goes beyond the traditional donor-beneficiary relationship by means of an action plan focusing on:
The EU is Cape Verde's main trading partner. In December 2011 Cape Verde obtained access to the GSP+ trade regime.
The EU earmarked €51m for Cape Verde through the 10th European Development Fund (2008-13). That amount has since been increased by €10.2m, bringing the total to €61.2m. The main focus of the programme is on alleviating poverty and developing the Special Partnership.