Nigeria's economy is developing rapidly and is now the second biggest in Africa. Nigeria is an important trade partner for the EU, especially for oil and gas.
Political, trade and cooperation relations between the EU and Nigeria are built on the 2000 Cotonou Agreement (ACP-EU Partnership Agreement), last revised in 2010.
In 2009, they signed the "Nigeria-EU Joint Way Forward" political framework, which lay down detailed plans for intensifying dialogue and cooperation.
As a result the EU and Nigeria now have regular political dialogues that cover a wide range of issues including human rights, security and migration. The most recent Nigeria-EU ministerial meeting took place in Abuja in February 2012.
Overall EU assistance for Nigeria between 2009 and 2013 is expected to be around €700 million (chiefly from the 10th European Development Fund).
Nigeria is facing important security problems. Of the €700m, more than €200m will go towards helping people in the Niger Delta in the South of the country, and recently several development programmes have diverted funding to dealing with the increasingly problematic security situation in northern Nigeria.